For many people, purchasing new windows can be a daunting task. From the initial research, to final installation and all the questions that may arise in between, there’s a lot to think about. Our kick-starter guide to window replacement projects can help.
While it may feel overwhelming when you start out, the right service and advice throughout the process can make all the difference between a pleasant buying experience and a stressful one.
Since starting at Renoviso, (a Harvey Building Products partner and authorized reseller since 2015) I’ve helped guide homeowners through the window buying process, from style selection to glazing options and gridlines.
Here are my quick tips for determining if it’s the right time to replace your windows, what windows and finishes you should choose, and what you can expect from installation.
When homeowners call in to discuss a window project, sometimes they aren’t sure if it’s the right time to buy. They haven’t hit that tipping point yet. For these folks, before getting too deep into logistics, we discuss why they might need new windows. Here are a few common issues you may have as a homeowner considering new windows.
ISSUE: Current windows aren’t energy-efficient
Condensation, cold spots, and drafts shouldn’t be the norm. You shouldn’t be spending hundreds more over the life of your windows on your heating and cooling bills. Many old windows are single pane or have broken seals. Energy efficient double pane windows reduce energy loss by 30% to 50% over single pane windows. Look for windows with double or triple weather stripping to block more air and dust.
ISSUE: Window not opening/closing properly
Your window needs to function properly for two key reasons. First, All home occupants should be able to operate a window easily, including children and elderly. Secondly, a broken window is an unsafe window. Burglars, predators, and weather can easily slip through when the window is not shutting or locking.
ISSUE: Aesthetic upgrade needed
Old windows look dim and out-of-date. Although harder to picture than say, a new roof, a set of bright, white new windows will truly transform your home. For a big “wow” factor, choose the superior craftsmanship of wood or a bold, bright color you’ve never tried before.
ISSUE: Home too dark
You’ll be shocked how a room can be transformed simply by letting more light in and getting a better view of the outdoors.
ISSUE: Windows difficult to clean
Do you feel like your windows are impossible to clean without a ladder and very long arms? Modern double hung windows have hinges that swing inwards that make a quick wipe down a breeze.
ISSUE: Noisy Neighborhood
With cars zooming by, kids playing, and planes overhead, your home needs to be quiet and peaceful, especially at night. A set of new windows will keep the outside noise at bay.
ISSUE: Home is about to go on the market
Selling your house soon? According to the National Association of Realtors, window replacement projects can return homeowners more than 78% of the project costs upon resale. Choose a window with strong performance ratings. Educate yourself on U-Rating, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Air Leakage, and Visible Transmittance ratings.
After reviewing your current window complaints, we then dive into what type of window might best suit your needs. It’s easiest to replace your current window with one of the same style, though some people do choose to alter their homes entirely. Either way, there are a variety of options to consider. Here’s a quick breakdown of the best sellers:
Match your home’s color scheme, choose a stylish wood grain option, or add some pop with a brighter shade. You also can’t go wrong with a set of clean, white windows or add a pop of color for a bolder look
Take time to consider what gridlines appeal to you most. Choose from colonial style, half grids, prairie, craftsman, horizontal, and many more. You may prefer no grid lines at all, too.
Most homeowners don’t think about screens when buying windows. In reality, there are options and although most choose half-screens, you can get a full screen or even upgrade to the VIEWS screen that lets in more air and light.
Lastly, it’s the detailing that will make your windows shine. So what are your options here? Brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze locks or cranks add sophistication to any window. Don’t rush through the selection of your hardware and finishes.
Installation of your new window should be relatively quick and painless. After ordering your product, there may be a wait period of two to three weeks as each window is custom made by the manufacturer. And windows can be installed in any weather.
Installers will arrive on the agreed upon date and they’ll prep the interior and exterior of your home, taking great care to protect your belongings. Depending on the size of your job, the installers could be done in less than one day.
After installation is completed to everyone’s satisfaction, the contractor will usually haul your old windows away. All that’s left is to enjoy your new views!
Now that you’ve chosen your window type, style, color, hardware and finishes — you’re all set! All that’s left is to purchase and complete installation (using a certified Harvey installer like Renoviso).
Keep following the Harvey Building Products blog as we’ll be discussing the installation process in depth in the coming weeks.