There is a reason why they call it spring time cleaning. As the weather gets pleasant, the days are longer – Spring is the perfect time to spruce up the house and make all those improvements to your home that you have been considering.
The larger your door or window project, the more you will benefit from having your window replacement done in the spring. When an unconditioned air – hot or cold – comes into your home, it can make things rather uncomfortable. Unexpected dips in the winter and soaring temperatures of summer months can make difficult for the family if windows are missing.
Although spring and fall have similarly pleasant temperatures, fall tends to be rainy. This could delay installations and cause other unwarranted damage while installation.
c) Longer Days
Spring and summer days are longer, and that can help make your replacement project shorter. The longer our specialists can work in a single day, the less they have to prep and break things down. Of course, it is also essential to identify and understand the needs of your window and door replacements. Windows and doors are a long-term investment, and cannot be changed often like other household refurbishments.
Here are a few reasons to consider before you take the plunge:
i) Your windows have a single-pane glass or temperature-conductive frames and sashes. A window replacement is beneficial if the home has a single-pane glass for all windows, these are not conducive to weather wear cracking at extreme temperatures. Single pane also does not provide adequate insulation if you live in colder climes.
ii) Your windows are in poor condition. Besides breakage and efficiency concerns, windows in poor condition can contribute to water and moisture leaks, humidity issues in the home and even pest infestations. Cracked window-panes, non-operational windows and rotting frames, sashes and sills on wood windows are all good reasons to consider replacement.
iii) Your windows pose safety problems. Windows that don’t open or shut completely or that are weak or loose because of improper maintenance or damage are good candidates for replacement. And if your home has upper-floor rooms with windows that don’t open, consider replacing them with operable windows and placing an easy-to-use fire ladder in the room so the windows can serve as exits in case of emergency.
So take a pick for yourself and transform your space as per the latest design trends »
If you decide to replace your windows, there are four factors to consider when choosing energy efficient models: frame, glass, design, and installation.
When choosing windows and doors, consider these four factors in material and design:
1. Vinyl: When procuring window frames vinyl can be an excellent and inexpensive choice. In most cases, vinyl offers quick, well-constructed and easy installation. Vinyl offers excellent energy efficiency when paired with insulated glass and tight construction that reduces air leakage.
2. Wood: Wood windows are a time-tested option and offer the best insulative value. Wood requires more maintenance and upkeep than vinyl, wood-clad or aluminum frames.
Wood has a potential to rot easily, and may not be the best choice for extremely humid or rainy climates. A well-built wood window will stand the test of time, however; many original wood windows in older homes are still in good shape thanks to the high-quality cut and species of wood used.
3. Wood-clad: Wood-clad windows seemingly offer the best of both worlds: a low-maintenance exterior (usually vinyl or aluminum) and a temperature-transfer-resistant wood interior. But clad windows can be prone to water intrusion, which can cause rotting, especially in the sills and jambs, where water tends to pool. Proper installation of wood-clad windows should include the use of waterproof rubber membranes around the cladding as well as a stand-alone flashing assembly called a sill pan. The sill pan drains any water that gathers around the sills and jambs, minimizing moisture intrusion (and resulting wood deterioration).
4. Aluminium: You can consider aluminium as an option if you want to consider a sturdy option. Aluminium offers some strength but is not always a good option for in terms of heat transfer and loss due to the metals conductive property. Aluminium windows are extremely practical in rainy, humid climates, and they meet stringent coastal building codes in hurricane-prone areas thanks to their strength.
5. Wood Composite: Composite is an eco-friendly, and inexpensive option. Composite is made from scrap wood shavings and plastic resins, can effectively mimic the look of wood and are almost maintenance-free.
6. Fiberglass: Fiberglass is extremely efficient energy efficient due to their low thermal conductivity, so are favoured in a colder climate. They are also the strongest and most durable frame material, with low maintenance. They can be repainted several times and they don’t twist or warp like vinyl or wood frames can.
Double or triple pane windows can be a very smart investment in the long term. Adding double-pane window with low-E glass with a vacuum-sealed argon fill can make a huge difference in your home energy utilization and bills. But be aware and research what would suit your area/region. The best triple-pane glass or denser gases with greater insulative properties may just add cost and gives diminishing returns in efficiency. The triple pane can be more suitable for areas with extreme winters but they also reduce the window’s visibility and light transmittance.
So what exactly are you getting when you choose a window with the aforementioned options? “Low-E, argon-filled, double-paned windows provide significantly more insulation than a single-pane window. These windows protect the inside of the house from the sun’s heat and UV rays in the summer, and they prevent heat from escaping during winter.
Glass standards can be a good way to choose the type of glass you need for your home. Typically window manufacturers must meet standards for these two main metrics:
- U-value, which measures a window unit’s resistance to heat loss
- Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which measures how much heat enters a home through the glass
For both U-value and SHGC, the lower the number, the better the window will perform.Another option for providing UV protection is a UV-repellent film that manufacturers use to tint windows. It’s undetectable to the eye, and they preserve paint and textiles in addition to keeping a house cooler. Homeowners in the hotter regions can even consider glass panes with a small degree of tinting.
Transoms are considered the “eyebrow art” of a window. Manufacturers and Architects are now opting for ‘active’ transoms. Rather than providing fixed transoms that exist for aesthetics only, these have an added feature that they open, providing an inlet for fresh air. Homeowners with facilities and means can also consider full length french or bay windows, these add a strong design element to any room and of course are a great source of natural light which make the house look bigger.
Good installation is the utmost priority when considering home improvements of this nature. You may have chosen the best materials but fitting and installation are vital in ensuring that the windows perform effectively. Be wary of any contractor who relies too heavily on expanding foams or sealants to get a window to fit well — these materials aren’t waterproof and can lead to problems down the road. While flashing and proper caulking are the cheapest parts of window installation, they must be done with an eye to detail. If installed poorly water leaks can cause a variety of problems for both builder and buyer that could have been easily prevented.
Be thorough in considering the safety of your window design choice. This is a two-way decision, of course, the windows must be strong enough to protect against weather elements and intruders, but it is also important that you assess the safety of the windows from inside the home – especially if you have young children. Consider child-safe locking mechanism, if required.
It is highly recommended that the homeowner is updated and aware of the warranties offered by the window manufacturers. Especially when dealing with the glass, fogging in between the insulation is a common complaint.
Consider investing in a reputable manufacturer and discuss all the details with your installation contractor. It may be wise to check if companies offer convenient replacements and repair services should the need arise.
Choosing a Window Contractor
While you may have a preferred contractor or someone recommended to you, it is also a good idea to first choose the window and manufacturer of your choice and then look for a contractor who is specially trained by that manufacturer.