Posts Tagged ‘how to buy new windows’

Home Window Replacement Choices

Posted on: May 25th, 2014 | No Comments

A man doing his own home window replacement.Home window replacement can be quite the undertaking. There are a number of variables to consider when purchasing them. It can be staggering and frankly, an overwhelming process. There is much to consider – from materials and styles to prices and ease of install, picking the right windows for your home will take time and patience. The biggest difference between window varieties is generally what they are made of. Of course, all windows have glass panes, but the materials that surround the glass can include vinyl, fiberglass, wood or aluminium.


Wood – This classic building material is known for it’s natural beauty. Wood can also can be easily painted or stained to change it’s natural appearance. In the past, wood has been considered a top-notch building material, but it’s propensity to rot and it’s susceptibility to termites means it has become less appealing to homeowners. Still, new weather stripping techniques and hardware innovations can eliminate draft and other imperfections in these windows. One major pitfall with wood frames is the maintenance. You should check them on a yearly basis for rot, termite damage, cracks and other weather damage. When choosing wood for your home window replacement project, keep in mind the environmental impacts as well. To ensure environmental responsibility, purchase your windows from producers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.


Vinyl – The most common home window replacement choice is vinyl. These low cost and durable windows are also energy efficient, making them attractive to residential buyers. Vinyl windows are waterproof and impervious to things like termites and moisture – which can lead to rotting. Vinyl is also an excellent insulator and because they are so lightweight, they can be easily installed by an ambitious DIY-er. One drawback of vinyl is the appearance, the seams are not attractive and factory direct colors are generally white and tan with a few other colors available by special order. Epoxy-based paints appear to adhere but the constant expansion and contraction of the material can cause cracking that would require touch ups. Finally, the process and materials used to create vinyl windows may be long lasting, but the sustainability of the PVC creation process and the chemicals released during its long decomposition do not lend these windows well to the term “environmentally friendly”.


Fiberglass – The popularity of fiberglass windows is on the rise. These durable, attractive and energy efficient models generally run about double the price of vinyl, but the maintenance-free aspect and longevity make them well worth the investment. Additionally, these frames come in a variety of colors, including a convincing wood finish – and can be easily painted. There are also frames available with a wood interior and an exterior sash that can be painted to your personal preferences. Because these frames are hollow, manufactures have chosen to inject insulation into this space, making fiberglass windows excellent insulators. Worried about your home window replacement carbon footprint? Fiberglass is easy to fabricate and therefore has a lower embedded energy factor and low energy is required to produce them.


Aluminium – Aluminium‘s strength and durability make it a favorite of architects by allowing more space for glass however, these windows do carry a higher price point and are therefore less popular with consumers. Aluminum comes is huge range of colors and finishes that are long lasting and tough. Unfortunately, aluminum is not an effective insulator and does corrode in salty air, so it should not be installed in coastal climates. Its low energy efficiency does not outweigh the recyclability of aluminum.


The four options listed above are of course not the only choices for your home window replacement project. Glass blocks, awnings and jalousie windows all offer aesthetic differentiation, interest and beauty wherever they are installed. By researching your options and comparing the factors important to your specific project, you can ensure that you choose the best windows. When installing your new windows, be sure to hire someone who is experienced with the material you have chosen to use. Proper installation is important not only for energy efficiency reasons but should you ever choose to sell, home inspectors, like those at Inspect-It 1st, examine your windows for proper installation and upkeep.


Looking for a trustworthy home inspector for your sale? Inspect-It 1st is the Nation’s Premier Property Inspection Franchise. Find a qualified home inspector near you!

Top 5 Reasons It’s Time to Replace Your Windows

Posted on: July 17th, 2013 | No Comments

windowMost of us enjoy what we see when we look through the windows of our home.  The summer sun, a child riding a bike or a bird chirping in a tree.  But, it’s safe to say that far fewer of us enjoy what we see when we look at the windows of our home.  Is the paint chipping on that old window? Is there a draft coming in?  Is it costing you lots of money?  You can probably answer the first two questions.  If the answer of the first two is yes, the last answer is also yes.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat loss from inefficient windows can account for 10 to 25-percent of your home’s heating bills.  Those windows also let that precious air conditioning seep out in the summer.  Beyond the money you will save in energy bills, here’s a look at five reasons to buy new windows.

  • Added home value – According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2012-2013 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing windows will increase the average resale value by roughly $7,000.
  • Increased curb appeal – It’s not just about efficiency, but also aesthetics.  By adding a bay window or a picture window you can really catch the eyes of your friends during a dinner party or a potential home buyer.
  • Maintenance free – If you buy vinyl windows, they will not rust or corrode and you don’t have to paint them.
  • Noise reduction – You won’t have any trouble falling asleep or watching a movie with double-pained windows because you won’t be able to hear the neighbor’s dog or the ambulance racing down the steet.
  • Functionality – If you burn the apple pie or there is a huge thunderstorm, you won’t have to worry about trying to open paint-sealed windows or windows with a broken lock.

If you do decide to buy new windows, you should be aware of the following features when making your purchase:

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label – products with this label have passed tests that prove the products meet minimum criteria for energy efficiency.
  • Low-emissivity or low-E coatings – the coating goes on the glass and helps reduce the amount of heat transfer, essentially keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Low-E windows are significantly more expensive than non-coated windows.
  • If you live in a colder climate, pick a window with a low U-factor.
  • If you live in a warmer climate, go with a window that has a low SHGC (solar heat gain co-efficient).

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.