If you’re shopping for replacement windows, you are certainly aware that you are making an investment into your home. You’ll soon see lowered energy costs and improved beauty of your home. Down the line, you’ll be able to command a higher asking price than a home with old and outdated windows.
But for now, you might be getting conflicting information from window salesmen who want you to write a check out to their company. If you’re sensing that they are telling you anything to make a sale, you may just be right!
I’m here today to clear the air of some of the confusion around shopping for replacement windows.
Key Factors When Shopping for Replacement Windows
Factor 1: Energy Rating
First off, find the sticker on the replacement windows of your choice to see the energy rating. There are so many windows on today’s market, and this is a make or break factor. Indeed, this sticker reveals a good indication of how efficient the window will be—and how much it can save on your monthly utility bill.
Finding and reading this sticker is easy. Manufacturers print a message on the sticker that says NFRC Certified. It’s usually on the upper left corner of this sticker. NFRC window makers are licensed and meet or exceed national energy standards. Then, find the U-Value. This is the indicator of how well the window is insulated. The numbers start at .20 and go up to 1.20. Lower numbers equal better insulating properties.
Factor 2: Window Appearance
Replacing windows presents you a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is your chance to up your curb appeal and add significant value to your home. Windows are architectural details that can make your home the most outstanding looking home in your neighborhood.
Select windows that will show off our home to its best advantage for the long-term curb appeal they will add.
Factor 3: A DIY Project or Pro Installers
If you’ve stopped in at your local big box chain to shop for windows, they will not emphasize to you the importance of professional installation. After all, their job is to sell you windows. Window installation is not a DIY that the average homeowner should take on.
Pro installers have the experience to work through problems that you don’t expect. They have excellent carpentry skills, professional training on installation techniques, and all the tools they need to do the job correctly.
Suffice it to say that my professional advice is that this is a job that’s best left to the pros unless you have window installation experience, a very strong back, and excellent carpentry skills. This is not an average DIY job.
Factor 4: Window Types
Literally, there are so many types of windows in the marketplace that it could be a single blog post! You’ll need to choose frame materials, how the windows open, and architectural styles. A window pro can help point you in the right direction. Keep in mind that you will want to buy the window that best suits your home, all sales pressure aside.
Factor 5: Quality of the Warranty
Window warranties vary from company to company. More reputable companies will offer you 100% guarantee that will ease your mind while making this important purchase. Read the warranty information carefully before you commit to buying. The sales rep should be glad to allow you to read before you sign. Here is what you want to look for:
- How many years will the warranty cover the windows?
- Which window parts are warrantied?
- Is the warranty transferrable to a new owner if you sell your home?
- Is the installation covered by a separate warranty?
Windows are a significant purchase. It’s important to consider these key factors before you shop. Also, ask questions if something doesn’t add up in your head. If you really feel like you are getting confused by the process, take a step back, brush up on your knowledge by researching for the correct answer, and don’t allow yourself to be pressured into a snap decision.