Top Questions to Ask When You Need New Windows

Whether you’re embarking on a full home remodel or you’ve begun to notice some deterioration or condensation on your current windows, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before you make any final decisions.

Here are some of the top questions we recommend our clients ask — of themselves and their contractor or vendors — as they assess their options for new windows.

How Long Will the New Windows Last?

Some windows are simply better made than others. As you compare your options, make sure to research how often windows require maintenance or full replacement, and if possible try to find unbiased reviews to confirm or oppose that information.

In general, custom-built windows will fit your home better, be made from longer-lasting materials, and be easier to properly install, all of which makes them the more durable option. But there are standard-sized windows that last longer than their cheap, mass-produced counterparts, if custom is outside your budget.

Which Window Material and Type is Best for My Home?

The material your new windows are made of can have a major impact on their longevity. Most window frames are made of either fiberglass, wood, or vinyl; fiberglass (also called composite) is the longest lasting of these choices. On the other hand, wood is often the best choice for historical renovations, and vinyl outsells the other two by a large margin, likely because of the cost and variety of colors available.

You’ll also want to consider the type of windows you want: double-hung, sliding, and crank-out windows are the most common options. The style of your home, how often you plan to clean them (double-hung is the easiest to clean by far), and how important energy efficiency is to you (if it’s very important, consider crank-out windows) will all factor into your decision.

What’s the Best Window Choice for My Budget?

If you’re on a tight budget, it might be tempting to simply choose the lowest overall price for your new windows, but that can be more expensive in the long run. Cutting costs on glass coating (or glazing) can mean higher energy bills for years to come, while aiming for less expensive frames is usually a safer bet. For example, wooden frames are not only more expensive at the outset, but are also costlier and more difficult to maintain, and need replacing sooner than vinyl or composite.

Should I Replace All My Windows at Once or Section by Section?

This will likely be a calculation of budget, time, and overall renovation need. If you’re doing a full home renovation, living outside the home while the work is done, and your budget can handle replacing all the windows in the home at once, you may find it’s more convenient and produces a consistent final look.

On the other hand, if you’re only remodeling one or two rooms, or the windows upstairs need replacing but not the ones downstairs, or you simply don’t have the budget or capacity to do them all at once, replacing windows in batches works just as well over time.

When Should I Plan to Buy and Install New Windows?

The most popular times of year to replace windows are usually spring, summer, and fall, since those are the seasons when it’s least uncomfortable to have your home open to the elements (although summer can be very uncomfortable in some parts of the country!).

That said, you may be able to cut costs if you can bear to replace your windows in the winter, when fewer customers are doing so.

Like any element of a home remodel, window replacement can get complicated (and expensive) quickly, which is why it’s worth thinking about these questions before you start the process.

Ready to give your windows an upgrade? If you are a Kansas City area homeowner, Open and Shut can help you through every step of the process for finding and installing perfect windows for your home.

In the market for a full remodel? Total Home is in the business of total home transformations. From design to install, the Total Home team are experts at revitalizing homes inside and out. Contact us to get started with a free consultation.

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