Welcoming New Windows
There’s nothing like a room that’s bathed in natural light. New (bigger, brighter) windows can welcome more of the natural world into your home and give the illusion of a larger space. Advanced window technology can spell savings on your utility bill. And the wide variety of options—vinyl, aluminum, double-paned, gas-filled, blind-integrated, skylights, sliding windows, louvered windows—means you have almost unlimited design options.
While the price tag can be substantial, new window construction can deliver a huge savings on heating and cooling costs. And that’s to say nothing of the light-filled family time that you’ll soon enjoy, along with the positive impressions of all your guests. So line up a couple of local installers and take a look!
If your window frames are in good condition with no signs of water damage and the opening is still square
and true, sash replacement is the least intrusive and expensive to enhance energy efficiency without disturbing trims or casings.
SASH AND FRAME REPLACEMENT
If your windowsills are showing signs of moisture damage or air is leaking between the sash and frame but everything else is in good shape, a single unit can be fitted into your existing jambs and against the interior or exterior stops, then screwed or nailed into the jambs. Replacement units are expensive, but you save on reduced labor costs.
COMPLETE UNIT REPLACEMENT
If your windows are significantly compromised or damaged, you should look into new flashing, sealants, caulking, and insulation. Although this is the most invasive method, it traditionally offers the best performance of the three options and will leave the greatest visual and operational impact.
A professional window installation company can walk you through your options, which often consist of:
Vinyl—least expensive, maintenance-free, fewer color options
Fiberglass/composite—more expensive but more durable, no maintenance, can be painted any color
Wood—aesthetically pleasing, requires maintenance, can be painted any color
Aluminum clad—most expensive, maintenance-free, can be painted any color
Although you may be tempted to DIY this one, window replacement should only be attempted by the most adept DIYer. Getting a pro on the job will mean access to quality materials, proper installation, professional advice, and manufacturer warranties. Then all you have to do is kick back and enjoy your new, sun- drenched home.