Options for Window Replacement
If you can see the drafts blowing the curtains, clear water damage clearly, or visible frost, it’s time to replace your windows. What window replacement options best suit your needs, how it fits within your budget, and what installation methods are needed are a few of the things that you must consider.
What Are The Window Replacement Options?
There are three different window replacement options: sash replacement, frame-and-sash replacement and complete unit replacement. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and each carries its own installation quirks.
Sash replacement is a good option if the window frame is in good condition, with no signs of water damage and the opening is still square and true. Most replacement sashes are compression-fit into the liners, making an airtight seal. This is the least expensive way to upgrade energy efficiency, but the new look may make the frame and sash appear too bulky.
Sash-and-frame replacement can work well if the windowsill is showing signs of moisture damage or air is leaking between the sash and frame. Typically, a single unit is fit into existing jambs and against the interior or exterior stops, then screwed or nailed into the jambs. These are the most expensive units to buy, but homeowners save in reduced labor costs.
Complete Unit Replacement
A new window with new flashing, sealants, caulking, and insulation is the best option for significantly damaged windows. Although installation often requires removal of old casings and trim, with proper installation you will get the best performance of all three options.
What Style is Best For Your Home?
When it comes to choosing quality windows for a home, homeowners should look at the following key areas:
- A sturdy frame with multiple chambers for support and thermal resistance and reinforced corners
- The water management system should depend on flashing rather than caulking
- Installation aids such as adjustable screws on jamb liners to fine-tune the frame
- All hardware and mechanisms are strong and durable
- Any accessories such as between-the-glass blinds, snap-in grilles and screens should be durable and won’t negatively affect the look of the window
Investing in the right windows can create simple design finishes, and it can make a dated exterior look fresh and appealing.
What Type of Window Should You Get?
Regardless of whether or not you retrofit or replace, you can opt for a number of different types of windows. Here are descriptions of the most common types of windows:
- Casement – swinging in and out like a door and operating with a crank
- Double-hung – two sashes move up and down, offering great ventilation
- Picture – large and fixed, they provide lots of natural light and can come in dramatic shapes
- Bay – a staple in Victorian-style homes, they are made up of one large fixed window in the middle, with a casement on the other side
When buying new windows, you’ll want to remember the difference between High and Low. High is for high R-value, which determines how well a window prevents heat loss. Low is for low emissivity and is the method manufacturers use to reflect the heat to the warm side of the glass.
Empire Construction Group
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