Last updated on 01/04/2022
Windows replacement can be a project for you to do on your own. Though, it does take some planning. In terms of windows replacement, it is best to know what kind of window you will buy for your windows replacement project. For starters, there are certified window dealers who can help meet your goal cost for your windows replacement project.
Windows Replacement Affordable Options
Luckily for you there are some affordable options out there, including vinyl replacement window options, especially when you choose to do your windows replacement project yourself. The Association of Window and Door Installers (AWDI) certifies both window installers and window dealers. So you know that when you turn to a certified window dealer you are receiving top notch, expert advice. AWDI certified professionals are given the distinction for individual brands of windows. It is therefore helpful to have narrowed down your brands before you go to a window dealer.
Be sure you are replacing vinyl windows with the best that you can afford, because the better the window, the more money you will save. These days most windows for your windows replacement project will be double glazed. That is two panes of glass that are sealed, creating a vacuum between them. This makes for great insulation, to keep you comfortable inside.
This is where a little extra money can add to energy savings later. There are many windows replacement made for your home that have argon or krypton gas pumped inside before they are sealed. This helps create even better insulation than just regular air trapped between the panes. There are treatments sprayed onto the panes called low emissivity or Low e coatings that help return heat to your home, or away from it. They are a microscopic metallic oxide that is sprayed between the panes to help your home or office to keep you comfortable indoors.
Replacement windows can also have Energy Star ratings, which help you choose the most efficient windows available. Replacement can be more affordable than keeping your old status quo. The replacement will meet the U.S. Department of Energy's strict ratings if it has a low U-factor, and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. For both of these the lower the measurements the better. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient indicates how well a replacement window keeps the sun's rays outside. And for the U-factor, it tells you how well it insulates.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) also measures Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and the U-factor, in addition to three additional characteristics. These include Visible Transmittance (how much light is allowed inside), Air Leakage (how much air comes through the winodw joints) and Condensation Resistance (CR) (build up of water between the panes). Look for NFRC on product labels for your replacement as when the NFRC approves a particular model, it represents a high quality product.
Making the Choice
Vinyl replacement windows are probably the most affordable and easiest to maintain of all the materials available. It involves only cleaning them. Otherwise, they are one third the price of wood counterparts. They are slightly less expensive than aluminum window. Aluminum is excellent too, though it can involve a little bit more maintenance, and you might experience some cold or heat from outside, because aluminum is a good conductor of heat and cold. Vinyl insulates well, though, so you will not feel the outside elements inside.
It is also very important that you take extra special care to install the window as accurately as possible. Problems created from poor installation make up about 90 percent of all window problems, according to AWDI. It may be a good idea to get quotes for installation to see if it would make more sense to pay an expert installer to take care of the job. Do look for an installer who is certified, insured, bonded and make sure of course that the brand you plan to buy is their specialty.
Otherwise, you will also need to determine if you want to perform a retrofit, or just installing the window, not including the jambs. Retrofit installation is preferred for stucco houses and architectural gems, such as historical or traditional builds. This preserves the house's structure. Fully new window can wreak havoc on the house when the old is cut out and the new is installed. Again, it is useful to know this so you can make an educated decision when installing new window.
Windows replacement can be done by you, with the right knowledge. It involves learning enough about what your needs are, your budget, climate and window. It can be helpful to find a certified window dealer to help you pick the best window for your money. It might be good to also have a back-up installer just in case you find yourself backed into a corner. Otherwise, happy shopping and happy installing.