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Replacement Windows

Summary: There are many reasons to replace or restore windows (and doors) on your home. Be sure to do your homework first. Choose a reliable installer and a reliable brand of windows. Then choose the window type that fits your home and your budget (i.e. vinyl replacement windows). Keep in mind that energy efficient windows will save you money each month and that there may be Federal and other rebates and incentives available for upgrading your windows.

There are many reasons for updating home replacement windows, restoring or replacing windows on your home. If linked to replacing siding, new windows can help transform the look of your home. If your crank-style windows are hard to operate, you may want to replace them with easier to use double-hung windows. And if you already have double hung windows, you may want to replace them with easier to clean tip out double hung windows. If you live in hurricane-prone coastal regions, you may want to install impact resistant windows. If you choose windows that are properly rated, this can provide insurance savings in addition to improved home security.

If your home has old style wooden-cased, single pane windows, you may want to keep that look (rather than replacing it with vinyl or aluminum materials), even if you don’t gain much energy efficiency with the new replacement windows.

This involves restoring the windows to their original state, keeping the glass panes, while replacing most everything else. If the glass has been discolored due to photochemical reactions or excessive salt spray or if the glass has been scratched due to cleaning or wind-blown grit or sand, the glass itself may have to be replaced or professionally cleaned and resurfaced.

And, if you are replacing windows or certainteed vinyl windows (and possibly replacement windows and doors with windowed sections), keep in mind that some window inserts now have operational blinds.

Finally, in today’s energy conscious, “green” environment, whatever you do almost always requires you to consider payback time (i.e., how long until you recoup the cost of the new windows in energy savings). Fortunately, there are periodic offerings of manufacturer’s rebates and/or Federal tax credits for installing energy efficient windows. Be sure to consider how long you intend to remain in your home before you embark on this potentially costly project.

Before you start a window project keep in mind that it is much more than removing and installing new window frames. You have to be sure that the windows fit properly, that there is no hidden water damage to the wood framing or wall coverings (inside or out) and that the newly installed windows are properly sealed to keep water outside. If there is any existing water or termite damage, have it replaced BEFORE you install new windows or you may wind up with a follow-up window removal and repair project.

The replacement task can be even more daunting for the do-it-yourselfer if the windows are on the second or third floor of your house, condo or town home.

Nothing beats a professional installation. So carefully pick an installer after interviewing several. Consider the company’s track record, testimonials that it offers and which window brands (e.g., Anderson Windows, Milguard Windows, Pella Windows) that it sells. Visit the home of one or more of their customers to inspect the work. A reliable company will have a list of people that are willing to have you visit. And, please don’t make the lowest price your only, or even the major, deciding criteria.