What You Need to Know When It Comes to Replacing Your Windows in the Chicago area
When it comes to replacement windows, there are countless options from which to choose. When you start considering the different combinations of materials, sizes and styles, it can seem impossible to know where to begin. And for each kind of window available, there are just as many reasons why homeowners elect to replace their windows.
Your home’s windows are a crucial part of your home’s overall appearance, and replacement windows can transform the whole look of your home’s exterior. They can boost the amount of light that pours into your house, lower your energy bill, and protect against the elements.
Everything we do at Siding & Windows Group is done to benefit our homeowners. What do you need to know about replacement windows? We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to walk you through all of your options.
What Are the Signs that You Need Replacement Windows?
It’s easy to overlook your home windows or take them for granted until they start to look drab or shabby or worse—they start to rot or do damage to your home.
So what are the signs that it’s time for replacement windows? What telltale symptoms should you be on the lookout for?
- You have difficulty opening and closing your windows: If your home windows don’t open and close easily, it could be a sign that the wood is rotting or that the mechanisms are breaking down. This could prove to be dangerous in the event of an emergency.
- You notice a draft near the window: If you can feel a draft—especially during the cold winter months—your windows most likely no longer have a strong seal, which can expose your home to all kinds of weather and moisture damage.
- Your windows are outdated: Home window fashions may not change as quickly as the fashion of our clothes, but they do go in and out of style as the years and decades pass on. It might be time to give your windows a modern makeover.
- You’ve observed condensation on the window: Moisture on the insides of the windows or between the panes of glass is usually another sign that your windows aren’t insulated properly and may have moisture damage.
- Your energy bill is on the rise: Windows help keep heat inside during the winter and cool air contained to your home during the summer. If your energy bills have started to climb, your windows may not be sealed properly anymore. You also can tell by placing a hand on the glass. Glass that is too hot or too cold may indicate that it’s time for replacement windows.
When you see these or other signs that it’s time to replace your windows, it’s not a wise idea to wait. You need to take action right away to protect the structural integrity of your home.
What Are the Benefits of Replacing Your Windows?
Nobody wants cold air pouring into their home through their windows when Chicago winter weather dips below freezing. You need replacement windows.
Replacing your windows is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your home. You’ll enjoy all kinds of perks when you update your home’s windows. What are some of the benefits you’ll notice when you replace your windows?
- Less maintenance
- Better home security
- Reduced sound transmission from exterior noise
- Improved curb appeal
- Improved energy efficiency and lower energy costs
- Reduced condensation
Not only are many new windows incredibly attractive and easy to care for, but they can add to the value of your home. Replacement windows are ranked among the top home remodeling projects to deliver a strong return on investment (ROI). In fact, vinyl windows can have a 77.5% ROI, and wood window replacements can have a 78.8% ROI.
Another consideration? If you’re replacing your home’s exterior siding, now’s the best time to replace your windows too. Window capping may become damaged when siding is replaced, and you’ll improve your home’s value, energy efficiency, and curb appeal from its foundation to its shingles.
What to Consider in Choosing the Right Window Style for Your Home
There’s a wide variety of replacement window styles and designs from which to choose, and it’s not just about selecting the right material. Knowing the right terminology for each style can help you narrow down your options and find the right window style for your window replacement project.
What styles should you consider as you dive into the world of window replacements?
These windows come with two separate sashes, but only the bottom sash is operable. Single-hung windows are usually lower in price than double-hung windows, but they offer the same amount of curb appeal. One consideration: Single-hung windows don’t offer the same level of air circulation as double-hung windows.
Double-hung windows might cost you slightly more than single-hung windows, but the added value is worth it. Both the top and bottom sashes slide vertically to open and close the window, allowing cool air to enter your home from the lower opening and warmer air to escape your home through the top opening, making for a well-ventilated space.
Slider windows do just what their name implies; they slide open and closed horizontally. They offer a large expanse of glass, which makes them a solid option for rooms where you want to maximize your view.
Casement windows open and close by turning a crank or handle. They open to the outside and can be hinged on the left or right. These windows offer clean lines and unobstructed views for a modern look. Casement windows are a great option for windows that you plan to open frequently and want to operate with ease, and they provide a better seal.
Picture windows are a great way to emphasize a gorgeous exterior view. They don’t open, but they can add a great deal of style and flair to your home nonetheless. Think of a picture window like adding a framed painting to your interior walls. The subject of the painting? The beautiful view.
The name of this window is a perfect description of what a half-round window looks like, but don’t underestimate the impact of a half-round window. A picturesque option for historic home window replacements and home exteriors with a lot of character, half-round windows will add charm to your home.
Bay and bow windows:
Bay and bow windows really can open up a room in your home. Frequently used in bedrooms and living rooms, they let in a great deal of light and allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of the outside from at least three angles. Bay windows have three sides and bow windows can have as many as six panels.
What Are the Types of Replacement Window Materials?
Windows come in so many styles, but they also come in almost as many materials. Each one comes with various considerations that can make a huge difference in how you care for your windows and how they function in your home. Here’s what you need to know:
Homeowners love vinyl windows because they are a durable and affordable window replacement option. They are incredibly low maintenance and don’t ever need to be painted or treated. Vinyl windows come in numerous color options, and they can last as long as 20 to 40 years. They’re energy efficient and incredibly practical.
You just can’t beat the strength and durability of fiberglass windows. They’re incredibly lightweight but are still eight times stronger than vinyl windows. They don’t rot, warp or twist, and the frame and sash corners won’t corrode, crack or separate. Slightly higher in price than vinyl windows, they are maintenance-free. You even can paint fiberglass windows to customize and color match them to the rest of your home.
At Siding & Windows Group, we use only the finest of fiberglass windows, among them Marvin Windows. Marvin Windows offer stunning designs, remarkable insulation power, and eco-friendly, energy-efficient technology. They’re high quality, attractive and a smart investment to increase the look and value of your home.
If you want a classic style for your replacement windows, wood windows are the way to go. Wood windows are made from sustainable materials and provide exceptional insulation, but they do require more maintenance like regular painting, staining or sealing every three to four years. Wood windows sometimes can be a pricey investment, but you won’t find a more versatile window material to completely personalize the look of your windows.
Do Windows Impact the Energy Efficiency of Your Home?
In the greater Chicago area, energy-efficient windows are a must-have during the long, frigid winter months when you need to do everything you can to keep cold air out, and they’re just as important during the sweltering heat of summer. If you haven’t yet, you should consider choosing energy-efficient windows as your new replacement windows.
Energy-efficient windows conserve the amount of energy you use. With energy-efficient windows, you can offset 6,205 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions!
Your existing windows may not be energy efficient. How can you tell whether or not your windows are adding to the costs of your energy bill?
- They don’t open and close easily.
- You’ve noticed a draft.
- Your windows don’t lock.
- Your windows are cracked after a storm, or they’re corroded.
What makes windows energy efficient? How do they prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer to save you money in energy costs?
- Multiple panes of glass: Energy-efficient windows have at least two panes of glass, and sometimes they have as many as three panes. These panes are spaced apart to avoid heat transfer. These pockets of space are sealed tight and filled with gases that insulate your windows.
- Quality frame materials: Materials like vinyl, wood and fiberglass help seal moisture and air out.
- Low-e coatings: Energy-efficient windows are covered in a low-E coating. “Low E” stands for “low emissivity,” which prevents heat from the sun from passing through the windows while still allowing light to pass through.
- Gases: The space between panes of glass in energy-efficient windows contain gases like argon and krypton. These gases are colorless, odorless, nontoxic and add to the insulation of your windows.
How can you find energy-efficient windows? If you select windows with an Energy Star rating, that means that they meet or exceed the energy code requirements for energy efficiency. Each Energy Star window model will have a label detailing the energy efficiency. You should look for the following qualifications:
- A low heat gain solar coefficient
- A high level of visible transmittance
- A low level of air leakage
How to Estimate and Budget for Window Replacement Costs
Windows can vary in price quite a bit depending on the size of the windows, the state of the framing surrounding each window, and the style and materials used. You should factor in the cost of labor as well.
It’s important to remember that when you’re looking at the final estimate for your window replacement project, you’re investing in so much more than just windows. You’re also getting excerpt craftsmanship from a certified contractor. At Siding & Windows Group, your window estimate also includes installation to meet warranty requirements. You also can figure in optional features that will make a big impact on your overall curb appeal and boost your home’s value.
New windows can help you save thousands of dollars over their lifespan. Ultimately? Windows are a great investment in the overall value of your home. They have a higher ROI than almost any other home improvement project out there. While some projects like a whirlpool tub or new glass cooktop add to your home’s value, they don’t have the same kind of market appeal as brand-new replacement windows.
And if you choose to install energy-efficient windows, you’ll pay less to heat and cool your home.
- You’ll enjoy lower utility costs.
- You’ll delight in a brighter living space with more natural light.
- You’ll love the beautiful look of new windows.
- You’ll discover a major return on investment.
- You’ll rest easy thanks to improved home security.
When your home’s structure is at stake, you never should have to wait to replace your windows. This is why at Siding & Windows Group, we have financing options available so you can start your window replacement process without delay.
How to Maintain Your New Windows So They Last
Modern replacement windows frequently are designed to be low maintenance, but with proper, regular window maintenance, you can extend the life of your windows. Once you’ve selected the best windows for your home, it’s a great idea to research the best ways to care for them.
When it comes to window maintenance, it’s helpful to know that while there are trade-offs with every kind of window material, vinyl windows require the least amount of maintenance while wooden windows require more care. Fiberglass window maintenance falls somewhere in the middle.
Wooden windows need to be sealed, painted or stained every three to four years, but all windows require some care. Here’s what you should know about maintaining your replacement windows:
- Wipe down windows regularly with a damp cloth and/or a glass cleaning spray, paying attention to the casing and window jambs.
- Regularly inspect your windows and the surrounding wall area for signs of moisture or rot.
- Seal up gaps around your windows with new rubber sealing.
- Repair any cracks, holes or damaged parts.
- Clean and lubricate the window tracks.
- Check for changes to the fit of your window from gaps to each window’s ability to open and close fully.
Why Should You Choose Siding & Windows Group as Your Local Contractor?
You’ve researched the questions you should ask your replacement window contractor, and you know the common mistakes homeowners make when they replace their windows. So why should you hire our team at Siding & Windows Group?
First and foremost, Siding & Windows Group is a certified professional contractor. Your home’s exterior is too important to leave to chance with an inexperienced or unqualified contractor.
At Siding & Windows Group, we’ll help you choose the right windows to fit your needs and your budget. We’re not pushy, and we’ll never upsell you or swindle you into paying for products or services you don’t need. Instead, we educate you throughout your window replacement project so you always know what’s going on.
We always follow manufacturer guidelines so your warranty is protected, and we have accumulated multiple brand-certified contractor distinctions. We have worked diligently to achieve the following certifications:
- We are a Marvin Authorized Replacement Contractor.
- We have received a Pella Window Certification.
- We are a ProVia certified and trained professional contractor.
Your windows are only as secure as their installation. We take our work seriously, and we’ll install your windows with care and professional attention to detail so you can love and trust your windows for years to come.
Siding & Windows Group is committed to high-caliber home improvements and exceptional installation. We care about our Glenview and Chicago-area neighbors, and we want your new replacement windows to be a beautiful reflection of your style and your home’s first line of protection against the elements.
We’ll work closely with you to find the perfect windows to best suit your home, and with over three decades of home improvement experience, we can deliver on our promise to take away your tired, deteriorating windows and leave you with stunning, long-lasting replacement windows, installed with unbeatable workmanship.
No matter the style, size or make of your windows, we have the right solutions for you. Want to learn more about how we can transform the look of your home exterior from damaged and outdated to fresh and new with replacement windows? Schedule a free quote today!