Your home’s windows fill a number of important roles. They let natural light into the house, allow you to see what’s going on outside, and serve as a barrier against inclement weather. Unfortunately, your windows aren’t immune to the ravages of time, weather, and various other hazards that can damage or weaken them. You may find yourself in a position where you have to replace one or more windows in your home, especially if you’re hoping to prevent drafts and leaks heading into the winter.
Not all replacement windows are created equal, however. Depending on your situation and the condition of your existing windows, there may be a few different options to sort through when choosing replacements. While a lot of this will depend on your specific circumstances and your own personal preferences, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make choosing replacement windows that much easier.
Sorting Through Window Options
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to choosing replacement windows. Some of these are obvious, including things like frame color, glass tint, and how the windows open. Others might not be quite as obvious, such as insulation values and UV filtering. Price isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality, either; you may find cheaper windows that are a better fit for your needs than more expensive models.
Take the time to figure out what you need from a window before you actually start shopping. If you live in an area where the winters are cold and you’re trying to prevent drafts, the insulating power of your new windows will obviously be a priority. If you’re replacing eastern-facing windows and worry about too much light coming through early in the morning, tinting or other filtering will be a concern. Having windows that are easy to open for cleaning may be a major concern, or if you’re security conscious, you may want windows with advanced security or smart sensors built in. Figure out what’s most important to you before you start shopping so that you can choose windows based on your criteria instead of developing criteria based on the windows you see.
Interior vs. Exterior Installation
In addition to the windows themselves, the type of installation you use can make a difference not only on your overall cost but also on how easily your windows are installed overall. Your options will include exterior installation, where the frames and other support material are replaced along with the window itself, and interior installation, where just the window is installed into an existing frame. When it comes to choosing an installation type, a large part of the decision rests on the condition of your existing windows and frames.
Exterior installations are bigger jobs and require more work to get the window installed, but they’re ideal if there is damage or warping present in the existing frame as they ensure that there aren’t going to be any leaks or drafts after your window is installed. They’re also essential if you’re changing the size of your window and the new window won’t fit easily into your existing frame. Interior installations are easier as there aren’t any changes made to the frame but are only possible if the frame is undamaged and the new window matches the dimensions of the old one.
Regardless of the replacement windows you choose, you’re going to want to have them installed by someone you can trust. While some homeowners may be in a position to install their own replacement windows, for the vast majority this will mean hiring a contractor or other professional to get the job done.