22 Dec Window Replacement: Do It Best with a Professional – Part 2: Window Replacement Questions to Ask Your Contractor
Most window companies offer a free, in-home consultation, giving you the perfect chance to learn anything you want to know about getting new units. At the same time, an interview provides you with a closer look at how professional and reliable your window contractor can be.
To make the most of your opportunity to sit down with a window expert, here are some important questions you should ask:
1. What window styles do you offer? If you’re told they carry just two or three window options, take your business elsewhere. Even if they specialize in certain window styles, your contractor should still be able to provide you with a range of options to consider. No two homes will ever be alike, after all, so you need choices to find the right unit to meet your property’s aesthetic and functional needs.
If you want to add to your Victorian home’s historical accuracy, for instance, you’ll want to get bay and bow windows from your contractor. A Modern or Contemporary home style, on the other hand, will look better with picture or gliding units instead. On the more practical side of the spectrum, bay and bow windows are excellent options when you need to add space to your home. Picture windows can maximize your home’s viewing area and access to natural light. If you want better natural ventilation in your rooms, double hung and casement windows can provide it in spades.
2. Are your windows ENERGY STAR®-qualified? When investing in replacement windows, it pays to choose new units that can further improve your home’s energy efficiency. You’ll know your replacement windows can fit the bill when you see that familiar white-and-blue ENERGY STAR label on them. This means they have passed, or even exceeded, the stringent energy-performance rating set by this program.
What makes a window energy-efficient?
• Framing Material. Different framing options have different pros and cons but your choice should be both durable and efficient. For example, wood is reliably strong and a good insulator, but it’s prone to moisture damage and will require constant maintenance. Vinyl, on the other hand, is versatile and requires little upkeep, but easily warps when exposed to extreme thermal and weather changes. If you want a better alternative to these two, get composite windows instead, like Renewal by Andersen’s Fibrex windows. They can provide the best features of wood and vinyl, resulting in window frames that are beautiful, energy-efficient, and durable yet easy to maintain.
• Glass. Go for replacement windows fitted with low-emissivity (low-E) glass. They help reduce heat transfer in your home, keeping it comfortable without the high energy bills–plus, it protects interior surfaces from extensive sun damage.
3. Do you offer window customization? Given how your windows are highly visible design elements, they should always create a big impression from the curb. For this reason, make sure your window company offers many opportunities for customization, allowing you to choose from different window styles, hardware options and finishes, color combinations and grille patterns.
In the final installment of this 3-part blog series, we’ll take a closer look at how professional window replacement is done. Stay tuned!