Becoming a new homeowner is an exciting experience, in fact it’s a rush! The whole process will get you sitting on the edge of your seat until the moment you finally get those house keys placed into your hand, the kind of keys that come shiny, newly cut, and bare on a single key ring. You have yet to add it to your cluster of old keys to truly make it a reality that these keys belong to you.
A lot of first time buyers start with older homes for many good reasons, the architectural details give the home character, the foundation is more solid and settled, and it fits the budget. The thing is, older homes often present new challenges for homeowners who haven’t yet braced themselves for the true costs of necessary upgrades and renovations to keep the home looking and functioning beautifully.
The upgrade that’s likely to happen first is usually replacement windows because it’s vital for the comfort and security of the people living in the home and it instantly elevates an older home’s curb appeal and value. It’s the one aspect of the home besides the doors that can be seen from both inside and outside the home. With that being said, moving forward with the decision to replace your windows is an easy one however, knowing which ones to choose or where to start looking is often the part that gets new homeowners stumped. For the first time you’re facing decisions you once groaned about when you were a kid as you waited impatiently for your parents to finish their discussions about boring adult stuff. Now here you are in your parents shoes, filling your days with new home projects and important decisions about decor and design or should we say, “adult stuff”.
You can sift through all the pages of the new homeowner’s manual and you’ll find it won’t cover the how-to’s of buying new windows and how to choose from the many different types out there. It’s almost mind boggling to think how many styles and options there are and which one is best suited for your home.
This may be an obvious one, but still it makes the number one spot for what to look for in quality windows. The purpose of windows, besides looking great is to keep the warm air in and cold air outside and vice versa in the summer. Since 70% of energy is lost from the windows and doors, it’s crucial to choose energy-efficient windows will help to keep energy costs low and see savings in the long-term.
What makes an energy-efficient window efficient?
When it comes to energy-efficient windows look for the Energy Star rated symbol. Energy- efficient windows consist of a vinyl window frame and are usually made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with ultraviolet light (UV) stabilizers to keep sunlight from breaking down the material. A simpler way of putting it is, you can enjoy the natural sunlight coming through your home without it completely heating the area it reaches, thus keeping the cool air cool during the summer and working vice versa to keep the warm air in during the winter. A vinyl window frame is a strong, durable, yet low-maintenance option, it effectively reduces heat transfer and helps insulate better. Another way to amp up the efficiency of windows is to choose a window type with multiple panes. With this option, there are two panes of glass, with an air or gas-filled space in the middle, insulate much better than a single pane of glass.
Depending on your budget and design you have in mind, you’ll want to consider design types within your budget. Vinyl windows are the most preferred type window for homeowners because of it’s affordability and visual appeal.
HIGH PERFORMANCE, LOW MAINTENANCE
There are a few types of windows to consider: Vinyl, aluminum, and wood. Each having its features and benefits.
Wood: Wood is classic and offers many different style option including being able to paint the frame anything you want to match your home’s decor. Bear in mind, that wood is very susceptible to moisture and water. Moisture can warp wood windows over time, which may cause splintering and sagging. The color of wood windows can also fade and requires more upkeep to paint or stain them.
Aluminum: Unlike wood, aluminum windows won’t rot, but they can oxidize. Aluminum windows can also be very hot or cold to the touch based on the weather outside, meaning they are not a great barrier to the outside temperature.
Vinyl: Vinyl windows require the least amount of upkeep making it the ideal choice for new homeowners who probably have a long list of home improvement tasks that need their attention. The replacement cycle for vinyl windows is extremely long due to the nature of the materials it consists of. It’s considered highly durable and requires little to no maintenance over time. Since windows tend to accumulate moisture from the weather, vinyl has been a highly effective alternative to protect against wear and damage from moisture.
As new homeowners with so many new things to learn about home renovations, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your family members, friends, and local professionals. Trying to navigate through all the different types of windows can be confusing for anyone at first. There are many window replacement companies who can offer free quotes, design tips, and information on your specific needs for your home. Choose a reliable company that provides superior customer service, one that you feel confident with from the very first point of contact through to design and installation.
Regardless of the next home improvement job you have planned, take comfort in knowing that brand new replacement windows are one of the best remodelling jobs you can do to your home. Aside from being a smart financial investment by adding value to your home, the beauty new windows can bring to your home including the ability to change and improve the functionality of your windows, make the rewards are truly immeasurable.
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