Last month, we covered many types of windows available for your upgrade or installation, and we conclude that discussion in this month’s issue.
Window frames are an important consideration when planning to install new windows in your home. And there are many choices available including:
- Wood and wood composite – While wood provides excellent insulation, it does require more maintenance than most other materials. Wood composites however, comprised of wood particles and resin, provide a maintenance-friendly and more economical option as compared to other framing materials, while maintaining the look of solid wood.
- Aluminum – Aluminum frames stand up to high-wind conditions and wet weather very well but don’t insulate as well as some other choices, such as wood. Aluminum is easily maintained by wiping clean.
- Vinyl – Vinyl allows for tight construction and therefore provides good insulation but doesn’t have the same higher-end look of wood. Typically, these are at the lower end pricewise so they make for an affordable choice and are easily cleaned. Most vinyl cannot be painted, so you won’t be able to change the color down the road without replacement.
- Fiberglass – Also a composite of sorts, fiberglass is made up of glass and resin, providing great strength and excellent insulation against the elements.
In years past, windows installed throughout the home were all the same with the only major exception being size. Today we have more many more options to consider. Homeowners are considering how the windows will be needed in each room. For example, high transom windows that open near or in the kitchen may be desirable to someone who cooks a great deal. Cooking odors that rise can be eliminated easily with the touch of a button.
An egress window should be considered and may be required when building a basement apartment if there won’t be more than one other means to enter and exit the apartment.
For the work-at-home professional living in a noisy suburb or city, peace and quiet may be of utmost importance in the home office. Foam-filled frames on high performance acoustic windows create a sound barrier that may not be necessary in other rooms.
Of course, all of these considerations are moot if the window itself is not of the quality and energy-efficiency we expect. Once you hire your contractor to tackle your window installation, you’ll find him to be a wealth of information. Have your contractor complete a home energy audit to expose vulnerable areas in your home. In some cases, a better seal is all that’s needed. But if you have older windows, they may not be very energy efficient and may cost you much more in the long run if not replaced.
Low-E glass, specially coated to block heat in summer and cold in winter, in a double-pane glass window may be what’s suggested. Filled with argon or other inert gas, it provides effective comfort and energy efficiency. But once again, consult with your contractor before making any of these important decisions.
Protection from the sun’s harmful rays and visibility into the home is something well worth considering for energy savings, protection of expensive artwork displayed in the home and even security reasons. You can purchase UV protection already manufactured into the window glass or install a film post-installation.
Different window films are available across the market and should be chosen carefully to maximize the specific benefits you’re looking to achieve. While one type of film may eliminate virtually all harmful UV effects from the sun, another is designed to reduce solar glare, similar to the coating you may have on your eyeglasses. This type of film should be considered for a home office or family room where the reduction of glare will be especially appreciated on your computer and television screens. Temperature inside the home can also be lowered with a good film, and other films are designed to keep shattered glass in place.
When it comes to installation of any windows, waterproofing will most likely be done before the window is even placed. Sealants and foam are important but should not be relied upon solely for the effectiveness of the window. Even the best, most expensive windows won’t do their job if not installed properly and that’s why it’s so important you have the job done professionally.
Once you’ve replaced your windows with newer, more efficient ones, you’ll most likely realize two additional benefits: easier maintenance and added value to your home. Many windows manufactured today have sashes that tilt inward in order to make it easier to clean. Features like this no doubt make window buying even more attractive to the homeowner. Additionally, the value of your home increases with every upgrade, and solid, energy-efficient windows certainly can add to your bottom line when it comes time to sell. When looking at the big picture, an expensive window replacement project makes sense if you’re able to afford it.
Why don’t you give Mike of D4 Construction a call today? Mike is highly experienced and knowledgeable with all aspects of home building, including windows. He is highly trusted with the renovation of older homes as well as the building of new homes. You can reach Mike at +1 250-572-4812.
As we approach warmer spring temps, this is the right time to have your windows replaced to maximize – and not waste – energy. A good window installed professionally will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Call Mike today!
Author: Tiiu Garrett