Your Complete Guide to Home Window Replacement
Maybe you’re hoping to boost the energy efficiency of your home or give your home’s exterior a makeover. Either way, it’s time to replace the windows.
When you’re ready to make such a big change, it can feel like an insurmountable feat; there are so many choices available out there that it’s hard to decide which one is right for you!
Windows are key to protecting the largest investment you’ll ever make: your home. You need to trust that the windows you choose are built to last and that the contractors you hire to install them are careful and qualified.
Most importantly? You want your home to look beautiful. Windows can enhance and transform the appearance of your home’s exterior, and installing new windows is the perfect opportunity to give your home a facelift.
Replacing the windows on your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing. Approved Contractor is here to remove the mystery and make your choices easier. Here’s your complete need-to-know guide to window replacement and installation.
How to Know You Need New Windows
What are the signs that your windows need to be replaced? There are telltale signs that your windows are past their prime, and if you recognize any of these symptoms, it might be time to call a qualified contractor.
Do you need to look at the world through a new windowpane? Here’s how you can tell:
- You feel a draft near the window, and weatherstripping hasn’t helped.
- You’ve discovered condensation between the panes of glass.
- You’ve noticed that your energy bills are through the roof.
- Your windows aren’t opening and closing the way they should.
- You want windows that add to the beauty of your home or update your home’s exterior.
- Your window frames are cracked, warped or show other signs of damage.
Sometimes home windows aren’t properly installed. Untrained contractors or installers or low-quality materials may leave your home vulnerable to major structural issues. You may see the above signs or discover leaks or signs of water damage. This means that even if your windows are relatively new, it still may be time for replacement windows to mitigate any additional water damage.
Other reasons many homeowners are choosing replacement windows? They want to increase the overall energy efficiency of their home. You can choose to install energy-efficient windows to reduce heat loss or limit heat gain.
What Are the Benefits of Window Replacement?
A window replacement doesn’t just address issues like drafty corners or sky-high energy bills. Homeowners can enjoy many additional benefits when they install new windows. What kinds of perks do you receive when you trade out your old windows for brand new ones?
We’ve already established that replacing your old windows with new ones can save you money on energy bills and limit your energy usage. But by how much? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average U.S. home can save anywhere between $126 and $465 per year if you are replacing single-pane windows with newer energy-efficient ones and between $27 and $111 per year if you already have double-pane windows. By this estimate, you could save up to $13,950 over the 30-year lifespan of a typical mortgage.
What other reasons should you switch your windows with brand-new ones?
- You can install new windows that improve your home’s curb appeal and overall resale value and value of your home.
- New windows with high visible transmittance ratings can let in more light and create an inviting space.
Different Styles of Windows
There are seemingly countless types of windows available on the market today. How do you even know where to begin to choose the right ones to enhance the look and value of your home? You will want to keep the following considerations in mind as you choose your new windows:
- How the windows operate
- The style of the windows to match or enhance the look of your home
- How energy-efficient the windows are
- Whether or not the windows are easy to clean
- If you want your windows tinted to keep your home cooler in the summer
The kinds of windows you choose will have a lot to do with their functionality and how you intend to use them. Here’s what you need to know:
From the outside, single-hung windows and double-hung windows might look very similar. A single-hung window contains two panels. The upper sash is stationary, and the lower sash can slide up, covering the upper sash when the window is fully open. Single-hung windows tend to be more weather resistant than double-hung windows because there are fewer moving parts that might let in the elements.
How do double-hung windows differ from single-hung windows? With double-hung windows, both the upper and lower sashes move. Double-hung windows are notedly easier to clean than single-hung windows and can provide better airflow. Some families with small children prefer double-hung windows because they can open the upper sash and not put their children at risk by opening the lower sash.
Sliding windows open horizontally from side to side. One section of the window slides to the left or the right to open. These windows tend to be very popular in bedrooms. They are like single-hung windows that are set on their side; the sliding window glides along a track for smooth, simple opening and closing.
Tilt-out windows operate just like they sound; they tilt out of the frame and into your home for easy cleaning. These can be a popular option above the ground floor because it’s the easiest way to keep exterior windows clean.
Types of Window Materials
It can feel like a challenge to choose the right window material—there are so many options! In addition to picking the right operating style of your window, you need to ensure that you’ve chosen the correct material for your windows to fit your style, your needs, and your budget.
What kinds of materials are available for your new windows? Let’s examine vinyl, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum window types so you are fully in the know about each of your options.
Vinyl windows are a low-cost option that’s perfect if you’re working on a budget—they’re some of the most affordable windows on the market. Vinyl windows insulate very well and keep summer heat outside where it belongs. They can’t be painted, which means you choose a color when they are installed, but they don’t need any maintenance at all. They never chip, crack or fade, and they are completely customizable.
When you choose fiberglass window options, you are choosing a low-maintenance window with excellent insulating properties. Many also love that fiberglass windows look more like wood window frames than vinyl windows do. Some considerations? Fiberglass windows are a costlier option, and there are limited choices in terms of sizes and other features.
Fiberglass windows are also a popular option for more contemporary home styles found in California architecture.
Wood window frames are a stunning option and can add charm and flair to your home. Wood windows can increase your home’s value and can be stained and painted often to match your taste. This also means that wood needs to be resealed and repainted to prevent rot or decay, so it will require regular maintenance. They are higher in price, but they’re also a great insulator, which is fantastic for energy efficiency. These windows are popular in Cape Cod, Craftsman and bungalow-style homes because they add a great deal of style and curb appeal.
Aluminum windows require zero maintenance—you can have them installed and then forget about them. They are durable and lightweight, which makes aluminum a great option if you need a large window replaced. Aluminum also can be painted, which means you can customize it to match your taste and your decor. And if you are looking for sustainable options? When you finish with your aluminum windows years down the line, they can be recycled instead of tossed in a landfill.
Sustainable Windows for Green Build Homes
Green building is one of the most important trends in construction in California today and rightfully so. To keep up with CALGreen building initiatives to “improve public health, safety and general welfare through enhanced design and construction of buildings,” new construction dictates that homes are built to protect our environment. Shouldn’t your replacement windows also be sustainable windows to make your home a green home?
What do you need to know about eco-friendly windows? Today, high-quality windows are engineered to avoid impacting the environment, including the material they are made from. The manufacturing process cuts down on the environmental impact, and the windows are built to last so they don’t have to be replaced as frequently, putting fewer old windows in the landfill.
Sustainable windows keep energy usage low. What do you do with your old windows when you replace them? You can safely recycle your windows by taking building materials to reuse centers or recycle with a nonprofit organization like Habitat for Humanity if they are in decent shape.
Approved Contractor uses eco-friendly windows that lower greenhouse emissions as well as your energy bill. Our manufacturers reclaim all manufacturing byproducts to be recycled. These green build windows are created to live a long life in your home, not as waste.
There are all kinds of tax credits and incentives to choose energy-efficient windows. These windows are an effective method for lowering your home’s energy usage and are a great way to reduce your carbon emissions.
How can you tell if the windows you’re considering for your home remodeling project are energy efficient? These windows will be labeled with an Energy Star emblem, and they have a coating to reduce heat gain. They also have a low U-factor, which is the rate at which the window conducts non-solar heat flow, or how much heat can pass through the window.
When looking for energy-efficient windows, you want them to have a good ratio of a low U-factor and low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) for the entire window unit, not just the glass, for optimum energy efficiency.
Why are energy efficient windows such a good choice? The benefits are numerous, but here’s why homeowners choose energy-efficient windows time and time again:
- Energy-efficient windows keep the heat out of warm, southern climates.
- A window replacement using energy-saving windows can improve your home’s resale value by as much as $12,000.
- New windows cut down on noise intrusion from outside sounds with better-insulated windows.
- A window replacement can lower your monthly utility bills.
Budgeting for New Windows
The first question many homeowners ask when they are preparing to have new windows installed is, “What is this going to cost?” The fear of window replacement cost can deter many from ever inquiring about new windows until they desperately need them, which can lead to greater expenses, but there are ways to estimate the cost of new windows and also ways to finance your new windows to make the project feel a little less daunting.
How much will a window replacement cost?
The cost of windows varies greatly based on the style, the materials, and the size of the window. On average, a new window will cost anywhere between $150 to $750 per window, with an additional $150 to $250 in labor costs.
Here’s an average cost you can expect to pay based on your window’s material, based on a double-hung window:
- Aluminum: $157
- Vinyl: $409
- Wood: $586
- Fiberglass: $475 to $1,575
How can you finance your window replacement?
Approved Contractor offers financing options to make your next window replacement feel more doable. We understand that sometimes windows can’t wait and need to be installed now, which is why we have enlisted the help of GreenSky to give you greater financial flexibility to get the windows you need when you need them.
You can take a home equity line of credit and pay zero interest if the windows are paid in full. We have longer financing options available too because we believe that everyone should be able to update their home and shield it from the elements.
Home Window Maintenance and Warranty
You need windows that look great and stand the test of time. That’s why it’s important to maintain your windows and also why a warranty is an important factor in protecting your investment.
What does regular window maintenance include?
Windows should be cleaned regularly to keep them looking their best. This way you can let in the most natural light. Your home will feel brighter and more cheerful inside and out. There are all kinds of attachments and tools to make cleaning your windows a breeze, but you also should never underestimate the power of cleaning your windows with a coffee filter or piece of newspaper for a dust-free, streak-free shine.
Additionally, some windows need additional maintenance. For example, fiberglass and vinyl windows need no additional maintenance, but wood window frames need to be sealed or repainted and should be cleaned regularly with warm, soapy water to prevent dirt and dust from building up or weathering your window frames.
Your Window Warranty
Your home windows are an investment in the future of your home, which is why warranties are necessary to protect your windows and your home. Manufacturer warranties can vary in length based on the expected lifespan of the window, but you should inquire about the following aspects of the warranty for the windows you choose:
- The length of the warranty
- Which components of the window are covered
- Whether or not the warranty covers labor
- Whether the warranty is a limited warranty or a lifetime warranty
Why Choose Approved Contractor for Your Window Replacement in Southern California?
With Approved Contractor, you don’t deal with pushy salespeople and you never have to deal with an aggressive sales pitch. Instead, we act as your advisor and guide through the entire window replacement process.
We also don’t try to overdo it—we specialize in window installation and attend to your replacement project with skilled care and specific attention to detail to protect your home. We only take on projects in our specialty areas so we can ensure quality work every time.
What can happen if your windows aren’t installed properly? You can start to see leaks or signs of water damage, windows can warp or become impossible to open, and drafts and air leaks can cause your energy bills to go through the roof. In just a few months, your new windows may need to be replaced or could cause serious moisture issues.
If you make the wrong choice in window installation, you can end up suffering costly mistakes:
- Air and moisture leaks
- Heat transfer
- Noise pollution
This is why you need a window company with expert craftsmen like our team at Approved Contractor to make sure your windows are securely installed with no possible chance of leaks or gaps. You need a contractor who can offer credentials; detailed, accurate pricing estimates; quality workmanship; and happy customers. Our clients are thrilled with the work we do and are happy to share the excellent results.
At Approved Contractor, we never cut corners and we treat your home like it’s our own. We walk you through each step of the process and work diligently to protect your window warranty to get the job done right the first time. Our contractors have all the necessary training and certifications to master the best practices for window installation every time.
Get Expert Window Replacement
You deserve a home exterior that lasts, and that starts with quality windows and expert installation. At Approved Contractor, we offer exceptional products and even better service. Hiring a contractor can feel like a big leap of faith, which is why we’ve created a fine-tuned, reliable process to give you a beautiful home that’s made to last.
Our contractors are here to give you peace of mind that your home is a stunning reflection of your style and is fully protected from the elements.
Is it time for new windows? We want to help. Schedule a free quote today to learn more about the Approved Contractor difference.