Is There a ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Window Replacement Solution?
Many Kansas City area window replacement companies will tell you their windows are the “best.”
While it’s definitely true that some windows are better than others, there is no single ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to what is the best window for every situation.
To understand this, think of shopping for something other than windows. Let’s say you’re shopping for a car – how do you decide what is the best car?
- If you’re a teenager buying your first car, best might be a second-hand economy-sized car that gets great gas mileage and costs less to insure.
- If you’re a parent with multiple kids to chauffer around, a mini-van might be best.
- If you’ve always dreamed of the perfect sports car and you finally have the affluence to make it a reality, the best car might be a Jaguar.
Of course, that same Jaguar for the teenager wouldn’t be the best car, it would just be a dumb decision.
Getting the best replacement windows for your Kansas City home is no different – there’s no single right answer for every situation.
How To Get The Best Windows For YOUR Situation
Even if there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, there are solid guidelines to use when shopping for replacement windows in the Kansas City area.
The #1 most important resource for this is a window consultation from an experienced professional. The consultation should be education-based, and not have even a hint of the “hard sell.”
5 Things To Look For In A Good Windows Consultation:
- The consultant should ask questions that shows they want to understand what you want for your home and what your goals are for the project. Find someone who listens, not someone who insists on telling you what you want.
- Good consultations are NOT vague. For example, a consultant should not just say “these windows are energy-efficient.” Instead, they should give you facts, ratings, and glass package choices that actually demonstrate energy-efficiency.
- On the other hand, industry jargon should be kept to a minimum. When using words and concepts like ‘U-Factor’ and ‘Solar Heat Gain Coefficient’ (SHGC), everything should be put in terms of why it matters to you. If it seems to be more about a salesperson showing you how much they know (and what you don’t), that’s not a good sign.
- A good consultant should be able to talk about different choices. If a company insists on talking to you about vinyl windows only, and you want to know more about fiberglass options, find another company.
- You should not be charged for the consultation and you should get a detailed quote afterward. Beware of vague quotes that are basically one number written at the bottom of a sheet of paper.
What’s The Best Window Replacement Material?
Vinyl Replacement Windows
Many Kansas City window installation contractors would insist vinyl is the best all-around choice. They are less expensive and are low-maintenance. They are energy-efficient with the right glass package. This is all true, but in many cases, fiberglass is a superior choice.
Fiberglass Replacement Windows
Fiberglass windows have many advantages.
For example, the window manufacturer Marvin makes windows with their Ultrex fiberglass. It is eight times stronger than vinyl and three times stronger than vinyl/wood composites. The durability of Ultrex is based on the material’s stability in extreme temperatures and expands at nearly the same rate as glass. That means these windows stay air tight over time, giving them a longer life expectancy than typical windows.
How Reliable Are Wood Replacement Windows?
In general, we don’t recommend wood windows. They are beautiful, but the maintenance efforts and costs are high, and if you want maximum curb appeal, fiberglass windows can give you that.
The important point when it comes to choosing a window material is this: everything depends on your specific situation: your budget, your goals, and the amount of curb appeal you want for your home. Always look for a Kansas City window company that gives you real choice.
What About Getting The Best Installation?
There’s one more area of replacement windows where the word “best” is thrown around frequently: installation techniques and methods.
There are two types of window installation methods and the right choice depends on your situation:
“Pocket” Installation – Sash Only
- Only involves removal of the existing sash and glass (NOT the actual frame)
- Existing frame remains… which is often rotten and compromised & needs to be replaced
- Less expensive than full frame tear-outs-eliminates new interior trim & finishes
Full-Frame Tear-Out Installation
- The entire existing window, including all inside and outside trim, are removed
- The new windows are made to fit the rough openings just as they were when the home was built
- Will always require new interior and exterior trim
- More time and labor intensive—and expensive—than sash-only replacements
Obviously, the full-frame replacement will drive up the cost of the project, as it requires more time and material. However, more expensive does not make it a bad choice. If you have any rot, are having problem with drafts, or like the idea of all new, beautiful trim, the extra expense might be the exact right solution for you.
Just as important as the choice of installation method are the installers themselves. This is one area where you should insist on the absolute best! Ask questions about who will be doing the actual installation.
What is their level of experience? How long have they worked installing windows for the company you are considering? Do the company’s online reviews reference the quality of the installation and the friendliness and professionalism of the team?
Putting It All Together
Getting the right replacement windows and installation does not have to be overwhelming if you remember you’re not looking for some theory about what’s best… you’re looking for the exact right “best” for YOUR home.
Johnson County Siding & Window Co. has been helping Kansas City area homeowners remodel their home exteriors for decades. Give us a call today to get a Free Estimate. We’d love to help you create a home that you love.