For those looking to replace their home’s windows, it’s important consider everything involved. Haphazardly rushing into the process won’t do you any favors. And while there are plenty of things you should do, there are also a handful of things you’ll want to avoid.
Avoid These 5 Mistakes
Replacing all or the majority of the windows in your home is a massive undertaking that requires careful attention to detail. This isn’t a project you can take lightly, so make sure you’re doing the right thing and thoroughly considering all of your options. Specifically, make sure you avoid the following mistakes:
1. Making Cheap Cost the Priority
Whether you like it or not, cost will always be a consideration. Very few homeowners have the luxury of being able to ignore the cost of a project. And unless you’re part of this small fraction of fortunate folks, you’d be crazy not to think about price.
With that being said, don’t let price be your primary focus either. If you make cheap cost the number one priority, you may very well end up with cheap windows that don’t last more than a few years. When thinking about cost, you have to consider the lifetime cost of windows. That means the upfront cost is only a fraction of the total expense. How much will it cost to clean, paint, maintain, and repair these windows down the road?
Very rarely will the windows with the lowest initial cost also have the lowest lifetime cost. Look at your budget, your future cash flow expectations, and make and weigh the upfront versus long-term costs in light of everything you know.
2. Not Asking the Right Questions
When it comes to choosing the right windows and finding the best contractor to install those windows, it’s critical that you ask the right questions. Failing to do so may result in a rash, uneducated decision that you’ll regret in the months and years to come. Here are a few of the questions to ask regarding the windows themselves:
• What type of warranty comes with the windows?
• How often do the windows need to be repainted?
• What is the U-factor and R-value of these windows?
• How much light do these windows let in?
The questions you ask prospective contractors are equally important. Start with the following:
• How many years of experience do you have?
• Do you offer a workmanship warranty on the installation?
• Are you licensed and insured?
• Do you have any referrals from past clients?
• How long will it take you to complete the project from start to finish?
• Do you subcontract workers or use company employees?
Getting answers to all of these questions is a crucial step in the window replacement process. While you should always speak with contractors in person, it’s also a good idea to get these answers in writing – via email or standard mail. This provides something to fall back on should you run in to any issues.
3. Replacing Windows With the Same Style/Model
Believe it or not, many homeowners choose their replacement windows based on the type of window that was previously installed. While this may sound like a good idea, this is a major mistake.
As with anything, window technology and manufacturing processes change over the years. If you’re installing the same style or model, you’re probably missing out on better solutions. Take the extra time you need to do some research and find a modern style that fits your needs. In a few years, you’ll be thankful you did.
On a related note, it’s best to avoid off-brand replacement windows. This goes back to the whole cost debate. While they may be significantly cheaper, most off-brand windows are made out of low quality materials. Not only will they need frequent painting and replacing, but they’ll also reduce your home’s overall level of energy efficiency. Higher quality name brands feature much better insulation and protection.
4. Not Considering Security
Did you know that 23 percent of burglaries occur via a first floor window? Another two percent of burglaries happen via a second floor window. That means one out of every four break-ins in the United States involve a window as the primary entry point. This should be a huge wakeup call.
When choosing replacing windows, you must think about the security features and durability of the windows. Not only do the windows need good locking mechanisms, but the glass panes should be strong. You also need to think about the visibility they provide from the outside looking in. While two windows may look identical when installed, you may be surprised to learn that certain models are much safer than others. Keep this in mind.
5. Not Thinking About Your Schedule and Time of Year
Finally, it’s important to consider your schedule. A replacement project will take some time and can be a disruptive process if you aren’t adequately prepared. Furniture and personal belongings need to be moved away from the windows. Security systems need to be disarmed in order to allow workers to do a thorough job. Dogs and household pets need to be placed in the backyard and kept away from contractors.
You also have to think about the time of the year. It’s not a good idea to replace windows in the dead of summer or winter. This will have a significant impact on your heating and cooling costs and can lead to some pretty uncomfortable days. Instead, you should think about replacing windows in the spring or fall. These are ideal times, because the weather is comfortable and easy to work with. Make sure you schedule ahead of time, though. These months tend to be the busiest for contractors.
Contact Siding & Windows Group Today
At Siding & Windows Group, we specialize in new siding, exterior remodeling services, and replacement windows. If you’re looking for experience, quality work, and convenient pricing, you’ve come to the right place. When you work with us, you get more than 30 years of industry experience, a 100 percent customer approval rating, and reliable warranties. For additional information regarding any of our services, please contact Siding & Windows Group today by calling 847-251-4200 for a no-pressure quote.