If you are considering replacement window installation, it is likely that the window installation cost is weighing on your mind. However, if you are considering any type of home renovation project, replacement windows can offer the most bang for your buck.
Even if you can only replace a few at a time, the savings that you will see in energy costs will pay for them quickly. There are many styles and types from which to choose, so what is right for your house? Here are some things that you should consider.
Styles of Replacement Windows
The first thing to consider is style. There are several styles of new windows offer more energy efficiency than others. Casement windows are currently the most energy efficient style available. This type of window will open on a hinge. The hinge is located either on one of the sides or at the top. A crank is turned to open and close the casement style window. Casements are typically the best choice for a home that is a contemporary style.
The double hung window is another style option. The double hung offers a traditional style and is likely the type that you are most familiar with. This type of window has an upper and lower pane. The lower part slides up to open. Some double hung windows will allow you to slide the top and the bottom panes to open them from both ends.
A third type is called a sliding window. This type offers the same concept as the double hung window except the windows open from side to side instead of from top and bottom.
Determining the Windows Energy Efficiency
There are several factors to consider when determining how efficient a window is. These factors are important to consider as it will help you determine the best type for the climate that you live in.
R-Value: This is the measurement of the amount of heat loss the window can prevent. This means that the higher the R-value the more efficient it is. R-3 is the lowest value that you should consider if you want your new windows to be energy efficient. Consider a higher value than this to improve the energy efficiency of your home greatly.
U-Factor: This is the measure of how well the window can prevent air from leaking in between the frame and the sash. To be considered energy efficient the U-factor of a window needs to be less than 0.35. Individuals that live in areas that have a cold and windy climate will want to give as much consideration to the U-factor of the window as they do for the R-value.
Types of Windows to Consider
Low-E Windows: This type of window is the most energy efficient. The windows consist of inner panes and outer panes of glass. Low-E glass has a metallic oxide finish that helps prevent some heat loss. Low-E glass is often filled with some type of gas to prevent further heat loss. You can see the difference in the efficiency of these types by looking at their R-value.
Condensation Prevention: Condensation occurs when there is a difference in the temperature of the air between the inside and outside. If the humidity and temperature inside the home is high and the temperature outside the home is low, it is likely that condensation will form on the glass. The same is true if the air is hot outside the home and cool air inside the home. In order to prevent condensation from occurring, you will want to look for a window that has a high quality metal spacer around the edge of the insulated pane and has warm air technology. Warm air technology works by keeping the glass temperature close to the temperature of the home. This keeps condensation from forming.
Should I Install the Windows Myself?
Window installation is a bit tricky. There are some very good instructions out there and if you are rather handy you will likely be able to take on this project yourself. If you feel confident enough to take on this project yourself you will be able to save quite a bit in costs for your home window installation.
It is a good idea to start with a small window, such as one in a bathroom or possibly the kitchen. Take your time, read instructions, and watch videos. You will need to make sure that you have the appropriate tools available to perform this project. Once you are ready, start the process of replacing the window.
One of the hardest things about new window installation is that you will need to make sure that the fit is perfect. If you are off by even a small fraction, the result is that your window is no longer energy efficient as air will be leaking through the gap. If you have purchased high efficiency windows and fail to install them correctly, you are not going to save on energy costs, which is really the point of installing new windows of this type.
Take the time to measure everything precisely and double check your work. The actual installation process is not that hard and most people that are familiar with this type of work will be able to do this project without many issues.
If you discover that you are struggling with process, call a professional to help. This will ensure that your windows are installed the correct way and that you are getting the most out of the money that you paid for the new windows.
VIDEO: Here is a pretty good video that shows the basic process.
Professional Window Installation
Typically, it is recommended to hire a professional. The main reason for this is because a professional will often guarantee their work, so if anything goes wrong you will be able to have the person come back and redo the work to make sure that your windows are functioning at the highest efficiency possible.
When choosing a professional window installer it is important to do a bit of research first. Compare different companies and choose the one that has the best reputation. You can ask your friends and family members for recommendations and start with those companies first during your search.
Make sure that you ask the companies that you are considering for your job for recent referrals. A reputable home window installation company should not have any problem providing you with this information.
The cost of the job will depend on several factors including the types that are chosen and the company that you choose to install them. Most often you will find when comparing window installation costs that the rates that are charged by different companies will be fairly comparable.
Typically, you will expect to pay approximately the same amount for the install as you pay for the window itself. Labor and installation of the window is often the same amount as the window itself, which means that you are paying nearly double than you would if you choose to install them yourself.
However, one of the things that you should consider when it comes to costs is that hiring a professional may save you money in the long run because if you choose to perform the window installation yourself and break something or do not complete the job appropriately you will end up having to pay a professional more to fix your mistakes.
When it comes to window installation, if you are confident in your do it yourself skills, this is a project that can be accomplished on your own. However, replacement window installation can be tricky and you need to be able to handle any surprises that come up when you are removing the old windows of the home and replacing them with new ones.
Most of the time, it is recommended that a professional be hired to ensure that the windows are appropriately installed. While the cost may be higher, it will be worth the extra money overall.