Home windows are only designed to last 15-30 years. That means it might be time to replace windows in your home.
Of course, 15-30 years is a huge window itself. Before starting this project, consider a few factors. Have you noticed a dip in your home's energy efficiency? Have your utility bills increased? Do your windows look older and are they cracked or sagging?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it's definitely time to replace your windows. The install is a bit more complicated than a run-of-the-mill DIY project and requires a professional.
To find out how to get your windows replaced, check out the guide below.
Consider Your Options
The first step to replacement windows is to literally go window shopping. You don't want to waste a contractor's time -- or your own -- by not knowing what you're looking for.
There is an overwhelming amount of choice out there. You can break it down into a couple of key categories: type of window and window material.
First, decide if you're going to keep your old window style or make it a bigger project. The types of windows are bay windows, double hung windows, fixed windows, hopper windows, casement windows, horizontal slider windows, and awning windows.
As far as a window material, decide between wood, clad wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or metal. If you're really on a tight budget, vinyl may be the best option. It's one of the cheapest to install and it lasts the longest.
Don't forget to consider energy efficiency in your decision. These windows are usually not the cheapest, but an energy efficient window can save you a ton of money in utilities.
Hire a Professional
After you've decided the window style and material, it's time to consult the professionals. You can choose to keep it local or go corporate.
It may be more difficult to find reviews for some local outfits. Make sure to thoroughly research any company before hiring them, no matter if they're a small company or a huge franchise.
You can also ask the company for their own references. If they are worth their salt, they should provide you with a list of people you can contact.
Before You Decide
No one wants to spend their free time driving around and collecting estimate for their home project. No one wants to do it; however, it is necessary.
Most companies are more than willing to hand out quick and convenient, free estimates. It's one of the ways that they drum up business. You should try to collect several.
Be wary of salesmen trying to upsell you into name brands and replacing more windows than necessary. Know what you want before you get the estimate and stand firm.
Replace Windows the Right Way
If it's time to replace windows, it's time to make decisions. Do you want to use this as an opportunity to renovate your house or keep it classic?
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