Windows can impact your home in so many ways. Whether installing windows in a new home or selecting replacements, your choice can affect the appearance, efficiency, and safety of your property. There are many decisions to make. Working with a window company helps navigate the complexities and understand every detail. To help make the process even smoother and less stressful, here’s what you should think about when you order a window:
Windows are an investment; you don’t want to waste money on inferior quality. Determine what you’re able to spend before shopping around. Your budget can help focus on particular styles and materials. Also, a window contractor is going to ask about what you plan on spending. Prices vary from one company to another and also depend on the material, size, and efficiency rating. Custom shapes, stains, and decorative options can add to the cost as well.
Vinyl is one of the most affordable window frame materials. It is also durable and energy efficient. High-quality vinyl windows can last a lifetime if properly cared for. There are many other materials available as well, including wood that provides a classic, customizable look while delivering high efficiency. Aluminum frames are inexpensive and durable, while fiberglass is strong, insulating, and available in many styles. Composite and wood-clad frames are also available; they provide the desired look of wood without the high maintenance it’s associated with.
A frame may be built and sealed well. But that won’t matter much if the glass isn’t of high quality. Double- and triple-pane windows are available with insulating gas in between each glass panel. When you order a window, consider a Low-E product filled with argon, an inert gas that resists heat transfer. These windows also prevent ultraviolet rays from entering your home. Other glazing options can block noise, customize the look of the glass, and increase resistance to breakage.
A window’s U-value measures its resistance to heat loss. It mainly ranges from 0.2 to 1.25; the lower the number, the more insulating the window is. The solar heat gain coefficient, which measures how much heat can enter through the glass, is also listed on the label. Lower values are more suited for hot climates and higher values suit homes in cool climates that benefit from the sun’s warmth.
There are many window designs; your choice depends on the style of your home and your functional needs. Double-hung windows are the most common and have two operating sashes. The window can be tilted open at the top and bottom. Single-hung windows have only one opening sash. Meanwhile, sliding windows open horizontally via one or more panels.
Other options include awning windows, which open at an angle, privacy windows that let in natural light while blocking the view inside, and bay and bow windows that add space and create a focal point. Casement windows maximize the viewing area and easily crank open; they’re also sealed against water, air, and wind infiltration.
Before you order a window, think about how much time you want to spend cleaning and maintaining it. Once it’s installed, you can’t change what’s needed to keep it looking and working great. The lowest maintenance options include vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass. These materials are also strong and weather-resistant. Vinyl does not corrode or warp like wood and doesn’t need to be repainted. However, wood requires frequent cleaning, re-staining, and other types of upkeep that can take up significant time.
Installing or replacing windows as a DIY project is generally not recommended. It’s hard to make important decisions and achieve the most cost-effective installation without a professional. A window installation specialist can help avoid costly errors and ensure you understand all the fine details. Ask any contractor you hire lots of questions about their experience and your most cost- and energy-efficient options; research reviews and ask family, friends, and acquaintances for references as well.
Warranties differ from one window manufacturer to another. Some offer protection for as long as 25 years, but a “lifetime” warranty may only last three or four years after installation, so read the fine print. Most warranties cover the glass and some protect against poor installation. Hardware is generally not included. Only if the warranty is transferable will new windows increase home resale value. Therefore, check the terms of the agreement depending on your needs (i.e., you plan to stay in your home or eventually sell it).
Contact Window World of SoCal
At Window World of SoCal, we have a wide range of new and replacement window options. Many types are available and we also custom-manufacture each product so you can design a window in any way possible. You’re also guaranteed professional installation and an industry-leading warranty. When you order a window from us, you can expect the highest-quality service. To get started, get a free quote online or call 805-323-9174.