Everything You Need To Know Before Replacing Your Windows in 2018
When shopping for replacement windows for your Kansas City area home, you need knowledge before you can make a good decision. How do you know what you should focus on?
To help you, we’ve put together the ‘Ultimate Checklist Of Everything You Need To Know Before You Replace Your Windows.’ Here is the list of everything to consider, broken down into 7 main categories:
Category #1 Aesthetics
- How important is it to you to have beautiful windows? While there are certainly attractive vinyl windows on the market, if beauty is a high priority, you should consider investing a bit more and getting fiberglass or wood composite windows.
- Remember that the aesthetics of your window can affect the overall value of your home. Sometimes homeowners don’t think about how better windows can add overall value to their home.
- Are you being offered a wide enough selection of color choices? Are the windows paintable? Some window materials – like fiberglass – offer more color choices and also can be painted.
- Consider whether the window’s interior will match your home. There are windows that have real wood interiors that are stainable and come in a variety of wood grains.
- How much glass viewing area does your window have? Stronger frame materials mean less frame can hold more glass. The more glass, the better the views and the more natural light will flood into your home.
Category #2 Energy-Efficiency
- Consider replacing windows that are more than 10 years old because the energy efficiency advances over the last decade have been significant.
- Also consider putting in new windows if you have a recently-built home where cheap, builder-grade windows were used during construction.
- Remember, it’s mostly about the glass. Frames do matter somewhat for energy-efficiency, but look for companies offering you a variety of glass packages so you can choose how energy-efficient you want your replacement windows to be.
- Speaking of glass packages, always go for at least a double-paned window. Upgrade to triple-pane if you want to save even more on your energy bills.
- Pay attention to U-Factor, Energy Star, and SHGC ratings. U-Factor is important in the winter months for retaining heat – the lower the rating, the better. SHGC – Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – is important for the summer months for blocking heat transfer from the outside. Again, the lower the rating, the better. Finally, make sure the window meets recent Energy Star standards.
Category #3 Selecting A Kansas City Window Contractor
- Always check out the online reviews of any window company you are considering. Look for a pattern of excellent reviews and a decent quantity of reviews. Use sites like Angie’s List, Houzz, and GuildQuality.
- Are they an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and do they have an A+ rating?
- Do they have any awards and do they work with proven, reputable manufacturers?
- Look for Kansas City window replacement companies that have been in business for 10+ years. That shows financial stability and that they have a track record. Generally, the longer they have been in business, the better experience and results you’ll get.
- If you meet with a sales consultant, pay attention to how they make you feel. Did they use a lot of sales pressure? Look for companies interested in educating you over selling you.
Category #4 Materials
- Most window frames are made from either vinyl, fiberglass, or wood composite. Vinyl is less expensive, but not as strong and beautiful. Fiberglass windows rival wood in appearance and are strong and durable. Wood composite windows are more expensive but look great.
- Beware of some kinds of vinyl windows. There are some very good vinyl windows on the market, but you do need to be cautious that you are not getting windows made from cheap, recycled vinyl. These windows will eventually chalk, fade, or peel and they just don’t look very good. Stick with proven manufacturer brands like Simonton to be sure you are getting a trusted window.
- If you find a window company that insists there is only one good material for replacement windows, get a 2nd opinion. The right window material depends on your budget, the look of your home, and your goals for your window project. Companies should work with you, not push you into a window material you may not want.
Category #5 Installation Method
- Figure out which window installation method will work best for you. One option is “pocket” installation, which involves removing the existing sash and glass – the actual frame is not replaced.
- There is also “full-frame tear-out” installation. This includes replacing all inside and outside trim. While this is more expensive, it is often necessary if anything is rotten or compromised in the existing frame. New frames will also upgrade the overall appearance of your new windows.
- When talking about installation with a window contractor, get specifics about who will be doing the actual installation. Is it temporary labor, or is it experts who do this every day, day in and day out for years?
- Also, find out who specifically will be in charge on window installation day and who you can go to if you have questions or concerns during the process.
- Ask if the installers will take any measures to protect the area they are working around – both inside and out. Are they careful about landscaping outside and controlling dust inside?
- If lead paint could be an issue in your home, make sure that your window installers are EPA Lead-Safe Certified.
Category #6 Pricing
- Beware of extremes. There are some big companies with huge brand names that are sales and marketing machines. They have sky-high prices to cover their high overhead costs.
- You also should be aware of very low prices. This often indicates that shortcuts will be taken with product quality or hiring unqualified installers willing to work for low pay.
- Make sure that you can trust the quote you are given. Always ask if there are any additional fees or potential charges you should know about before you sign anything.
- Always factor in the long-term value of the windows when considering price. Having lifetime windows that improve the attractiveness of your home can be a better investment than paying less now for cheaper windows.
Category #7 Warranty
- Understand that it is normal that a warranty will have some exclusions, but they should not be excessive.
- Remember to consider what manufacturer is behind the warranty. Manufacturers that have been in business for decades are much more likely to still be around if you need to file a claim. A newer, unproven manufacturer might not survive in the competitive window industry.
- Find out the process for registering your warranty, and what are the conditions under which a warranty could be voided. This is another reason why it is so important to find a trusted Kansas City window installer: improper installation can void a warranty.
- Finally, make sure you get a copy of your warranty in writing – either a printed version or a digital file.
Even with so much to consider as you shop for replacement windows, don’t forget to enjoy it, too. Shopping to improve your home should be a very satisfying feeling.
Use this checklist to make sure you love your window replacement results!
At Johnson County Siding & Window Co., we want to help you make an educated and informed decision about your replacement windows. You can reach out to us by phone (913) 782-2878, or by filling out our contact form.