New Construction Windows
New Construction Windows
Although some manufactures are increasingly telling you not to replace your windows on a whim (recouping their costs can take a couple of decades), it’s a different story with new construction windows. New construction windows are windows that come in predetermined sizes, much like buying a garment “off the rack,” and can be bought at most home improvement stores.
In general, these windows are only used in new homes or in homes that are going to be stripped down to the studs. So if you have that kind of work going on, you will want new construction windows. If you just want to replace your windows, you’ll want what are called “replacement windows.” These types of windows can be more expensive than new construction windows, but they can also be custom-made to size as needed.
What kind of new construction windows should you get?
Although they’re more expensive than other types of materials, fiberglass and wood clad fiberglass windows are a top choice when it comes to energy efficiency and weather protection (keeps out hot or cold air as applicable, and inclement weather like rain). That’s because they can put up with the flexing, contraction, and expansion necessary during weather in temperature changes without losing air or water tightness.
Vinyl new construction windows are another option for you because you can get them relatively inexpensively and they won’t require any maintenance. However, in cold climates, they can leak more air, which will mean higher energy costs for you. In addition, because they can’t be painted and they’re not particularly attractive, again, wood clad fiberglass is generally the best option if you can afford them. If not, vinyl is a fine second choice for new construction windows, although they might not be suitable for an older home.
Should you install them yourself, or should you get a contractor?
It’s true that new construction windows are available “off the rack” at most home improvement stores, but unless you’re very handy and have experience in doing this, you should not try to install these windows yourself. That’s because if any measurements are inaccurate you’ll get the wrong size, then you’ll have difficulty with rain or snow coming in, as well as cold and hot air leakage, if the windows are too small. If the windows are too large, of course, they simply won’t fit.
In addition, if you’re not a professional contractor who knows how to install these types of windows, you may not even notice a measurement that’s off by a mere eighth of an inch, for example, but a contractor is certainly going to know that these windows need to be absolutely tightly fit. So, if you put these windows in yourself and think you’ve done a fine job, you may be dismayed to find out later that you’ve had leakage all along. In addition to the obvious energy costs inherent in this, you may also have problems with mold in drywall, etc., if water is allowed to leak in. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to hire a professional to install your new construction windows installation unless, of course, you’re a professional at this yourself.
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