40 Tips for Window Replacement
Brighten your home, enhance your décor, and conserve energy with new replacement windows. Extreme How-To offers 40 tried-and-true tips for surefire success when taking on this popular home-improvement project.
Selecting New Windows
1. For a low-maintenance window, select a vinyl window frame instead of wood. If you love the look of wood windows, consider a window with woodgrain laminate over vinyl.
2. Think about the type of cabinet hardware, lighting fixtures and other features of your home. Look for windows that have locks that can match those features, such as brushed nickel, brass or oil-rubbed bronze.
3. Consider choosing tilt-in windows for easy cleaning of the glass from the inside of the home.
4. Seek out manufacturers with warranties that cover the frame, sash and insulating glass units of the window.
5. Educate yourself on energy efficiency features of windows. Look for windows with Low E glass and fusion-welded vinyl corners. Gas-filled, double-paned windows will help cut down on heating and cooling costs. Select windows meeting Energy Star guidelines for your area.
6. Consider glass options. Not all glass is the same. Just as you have choices on Low E or gas-filled glass packages to maximize energy efficiency in your home, you have choices on the type of glass. Selections include clear glass, tempered, tinted (generally available in bronze or grey) or obscure glass.
7. Consider your surroundings. If you live in an area prone to severe storms, on a golf course or even in a noisy downtown area, then impact-resistant glass is a smart investment because it is extremely difficult to penetrate. Check with your insurance company to see if it offers discounts if you install impact-resistant windows in your home.
8. If you live around active children, consider ordering windows with laminated safety glass—at least for the first floor of the home. Two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer. If a stray baseball hits a window, the glass will shatter, but broken pieces remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing glass fallout inside the home. The plastic interlayer is also puncture-resistant, frustrating potential intruders.
9. If you currently hear too much outside noise—overhead planes, traffic, railroads—request laminated or impact-resistant glass in your replacement windows to reduce noise penetration into your home.
10. Review grid options. Many builders suggest standard white Colonial grid patterns. However, window manufacturers offer everything from brass to dark zinc as grid options.
11. Not every window requires a grid. For a window overlooking the lake or a mountain view, forgo the grid to preserve the view.
12. According to a checklist of home safety aspects available from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), ease of operation is tops on their list for window considerations for seniors. As you get older, you can’t “push and pull” on a Double Hung window the way you could in your 30’s. For older members of the household, consider easy-to-operate Slider or Casement windows.
13. If hiring a window installer, make sure to request paperwork that assures you that the entire installation team is bonded and insured.
14. Some manufacturers require you to fill out and submit warranty forms. Make sure to do that promptly and keep your window warranty information in a secure location.