Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are a first time home buyer and are perhaps not fully aware of the myriad things, inside and outside the house, you need to check in order to make sure that the place is structurally sound and you are getting good value for your money.
One of the commonly overlooked features during many new home purchases is the existing windows and many people don’t consider the fact that windows that have been improperly installed or maintained can end up becoming quite a headache, and financial burden, down the road. Below are 5 things you have to check your windows for when moving into a new house.
Windows appear square. Make sure the window frames are square with the side of the house. This does not mean that the shape of the window must be a square, it means checking to make sure the framing is symmetrical and flush with the side of the house. Framing that appears as though it is popping out is the sign of a poorly installed window, or worse, a collapsing house.
No broken glass. Cracks or stress fractures in the glass means that it has probably been time to replace a window for quite a while, or again, that the glass has been improperly installed into a frame that is too small for it. Like a car windshield, what starts out as a barely visible hairline fracture, over time, can mutate into a series of major weaknesses in the glass, which means a) that you are constantly running the risk of your windows breaking all together and b) they are not able to do their job and keep the elements out.
They operate easily. Windows that become stuck when opening or closing, or which require an excess amount of force to use are typically windows that have not been installed properly or should have been replaced long ago. Good quality windows, which have been installed professionally should open and close with ease and the locking mechanism should be simple to use and keep the window securely locked.
They have drip caps installed. Drip caps, which are typically made of aluminum, are an essential part of any window installation as they help to secure the window and the inside of your home against any water leakage. Homes with windows that do not make use of drip caps are at risk of water damage, both to the window and inside of the house. They are easy to install and do a lot to fortify against seepage.
In-tact caulking. Anybody with an improperly caulked bathtub or shower knows that the most surefire way to guarantee you will be faced with an insidious mould problem is to neglect the caulking. Windows are no different. In addition to the aforementioned drip caps, properly installed and maintained windows should have strong, consistently used caulking to provide additional protection against leakage, seepage and drafts.
Knowing what to keep an eye out for when buying a new home is a huge leg up. Being able to spot potential problems and ask relevant questions when going through a home inspection can save a considerable amount of time and money and ensure that you are making the best investment possible. Add the above 5 window inspection criteria to your list and be comfortable knowing you are buying a home with well-installed, well kept and structurally sound windows.
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