avoid big window replacement mistakes

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Window replacements are rewarding projects for your home, and it is only right that you make every effort necessary to make sure yours will not be compromised.

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  • Recent estimates gathered by industry resource Remodeling Magazine show that Americans can recover as much as 73 to 79% of the money they invest in getting their windows replaced, depending on the material. Aside from the high resale potential, swapping out dysfunctional old windows for new window units can do a lot to enhance your homes curb appeal, reduce energy loads, and provide better protection against the elements.

    Window replacement, however, is a process that demands a lot of consideration. Paying heed to the pointers we share with you in this blog will help ensure a successful outcome for your project.

    YOUR OPTIONS

    Windows come in various styles, with an equally varied number of choices for your framing and glazing. The ease or difficulty of upkeep and maintenance will depend highly on your choice of material, so you should base your choices on the amount of effort youre willing to commit towards this end.

    Other vital aspects of window performance will also often depend on your material of choice and window style. Composite frames such as Fibrex, for instance, are better equipped to weather temperature extremes than wood. Style- and functionality-wise, youll want to consider that casement windows admit as much daylight and ventilation as awning windows do, while fixed-pane windows have one of the lowest air leakage rates. Research your options well to make sure you find the right one for your home.

    PART ONE: THE WINDOW REPLACEMENT PROCESS

  • YOUR GOALS

    Thanks to modern technology, energy efficiency can now be harnessed through several exterior products for the home. For windows, the National Fenestration Rating Council rates products according to several metrics and ENERGY STAR sets minimum performance requirements and other standards. These cover U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, air leakage, visible transmittance, and condensation resistance. Find the right recommended values for your specific region to make the most out of your energy efficient windows. In addition, consider your architectural settings (orientation to the sun, number of trees near the window, etc), and plan accordingly.

    YOUR CODES

    The US enforces international model codes for construction and energy efficiency, among others, on a national level and some states supplement these with their own adopted regulations. In fact, local counties can even prescribe specific rules for any modifications made to interior and exterior home components. Thus, the considerations when replacing a window in San Francisco will be different from when youre replacing a window in Tucson. Comprehensive knowledge of the technicalities involved is critical to securing a permit and commissioning a successful project.

    So, are you ready to replace your windows? In the next installment of our series, we talk about the rewarding features that will turn your window

    replacement into a worthwhile and lasting investment.

    PART ONE: THE WINDOW REPLACEMENT PROCESS

  • We have discussed the basics of window replacements; Now, we cover the options you should seriously consider if you want to make the most of your

    window replacement project.

    LOW EMISSIVITY

    Low emissivity (low-e) coatings are engineered to allow visible light through, while limiting the transfer of ultraviolet and infrared light. They function much like the silver lining of a thermos by reflecting the temperature of the interior. And this ability applies to both hot and cold days, which reduces the need for extra cooling in summer and extra heating in winter.

    There are two types of low emissivity coatings: passive control and solar control. Passive control low-e coatings are applied to the glass ribbon during production, while solar control low-e is applied post-production to pre-cut glass. Passive low-e coatings are best for cold climates, and solar low-e coatings work well in hot regions.

    DURABILITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

    Functionality is an essential prerequisite to choosing the right windows, but so is durability. Thankfully, you do not have to choose one over the other. Todays windows are engineered for weather protection, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal with a long lifespan, to boot.

    PART TWO: REWARDING WINDOW FEATURES

  • Lets consider composite frames. Available in vinyl, engineered wood, and fiberglass options, these frames are more suited to dealing with changes in temperature without rotting, cracking, or splitting. One patented material, Fibrex, is an even better option; it is considered twice as strong as vinyl for a more weathertight seal, it maintains its durability throughout weather changes, and it resists a wide range of physical defects.

    SUSTAINABILITY

    Eco-conscious homeowners also have a plethora of choices when it comes to sustainable window materials. Frames certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, for instance, come from well-managed forests that provide social, economic, and environmental advantages to the country. In some states, installing sustainable windows can even earn you tax credits.

    Wood is one of the most sustainable framing materials you can find today. The downside is, it is also quite expensive to maintain. You can also consider Fibrex, which is composed of reclaimed wood fiber and thermoplastic polymer. Fibrex, though, does not require as intensive maintenance as other materials.

    To cap off the series, well go over additional pointers to help gear you towards a successful window replacement project.

    PART TWO: REWARDING WINDOW FEATURES

  • In part one, we talked about some important factors inherent in any window replacement your options, your goals, and your building codes. In part two, we discussed advances in technologies that have resulted in features that enhance energy efficiency, comfort, and aesthetic appeal in your home. To conclude the series, we go over some important considerations that you should take into account before you commission a window replacement.

    EDUCATE YOURSELF

    Any home improvement project will directly affect your homes overall comfort, so you really should do your homework before you set any home improvement plans in motion. In the case of window replacements, understanding the following essential truths is important.

    The maintenance-free mythWhile some materials require minimal maintenance, that doesnt give you license to simply sit back and make no effort at all to care for them. Vinyl, for instance, is touted as virtually maintenance-free, but the material is known to warp under extremely high temperatures. And when that happens, fixing it almost always requires replacing the entire frame.

    Replacing in kindMany homeowners shortchange the potential of a window replacement by sticking with their old window materials. With the current options on the market, the failure to consider another material may be to your detriment.

    PART THREE: ADDITIONAL TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS

  • HIRE THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL

    Your choice of window installer or contractor is half the battle. A window professional, after all, knows how best to harness window replacement techniques and channel them towards getting the best performance out of a product. Improper installation, on the other hand, carries risks that range from safety issues to a complete waste of your investment.When choosing your window professional, look for:

    A trusted history.Your installer or contractor should not only have extensive industry experience, he or she should also have a good record. Client trust is indicative of the skills, work ethic, and overall dedication to quality service of the window professional. If you are not satisfied with your potential window professionals portfolio, keep looking.

    A partnership with an established brandPartnering with a manufacturer means your installer or contractor is privy to specialized knowledge of the products that he or she works with. Additionally, you can get a more comprehensive product warranty.

    Competitive ratesA successful window replacement does not have to automatically mean the most expensive window replacement. Make sure your window professionals rates are well justified by the quality of the work that you will receive.

    PART THREE: ADDITIONAL TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Renewal By Andersenof Tucson

    3819 North Oracle Road, Tucson,AZ 85705

    (520) 257-4717

    RBATucson.com