What You Need to Know about Window Replacement

As the fastest-growing state in the United States with a hot housing market, Florida continues to be a destination dreamland for many people. Often, once the closing documents have been signed, new homeowners choose to begin immediate renovations to their new property in order to make it feel more like home. For Floridians old and new, a popular place to begin is with window replacement. While reinventing your home with fresh paint and flooring or even revamping the kitchen may appear to be logical places to start, window replacement is the perfect place to begin as it not only will improve the aesthetic of the home, but also protect the home in the long run. 

Florida is renowned for its white sandy beaches and clear blue water, but it is also notorious for its blazing summertime heat, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Replacing windows in the home provide homeowners the opportunity to expand their view, save on utilities, repair leaks, and safeguard the home from potential high wind damage during hurricane season. Window replacement isn’t simply taking out a piece of glass and putting a new piece in its place. There exists a whole universe of options from which people may choose. With so many options available, from glass types to window shapes and framing, window replacement is an ideal way to not only improve curb appeal but also brighten and stabilize the interior of the home.

Variables to Consider

Not all windows are created the same. There are multiple styles of windows with different framing available for installation. Materials used in the replacement of your windows, the style of window you want to be installed, the technology available, and your budget are all important variables to consider when choosing window replacement.

  • Window Replacement Materials

Are your desires purely aesthetic? Are you looking to reduce your energy bill?  Do you want to reflect harmful rays, but still allow natural light? Are impact ratings a concern for your region?  Does hurricane season make your blood pressure spike? The choice of glass in replacement windows is dependent on each individual homeowner’s needs and wants. From single, double, or triple-paned windows to selecting heat transfer coatings for each pane, consideration should be taken to understand your regional needs and aesthetic preference in order to design the right windows for your space.  Single-pane windows function well to block out the elements and are the least expensive windows to install, but they don’t provide much insulation. Double-paned windows work well to insulate the home, and triple-paned windows provide even more insulation, but triple panes are often overlooked as an option due to the drastic increase in price. For double and triple-paned windows, there is also the option to increase insulation and reduce noise pollution by upgrading from a simple air-filled space between the panes to the use of non-toxic and colorless argon gas. 

Frames also play an important role in the window heat transfer process. Options for frames may include metal, vinyl, and wood. Vinyl framing is the most energy efficient, with dark vinyl frames attracting more light, which increases heat in the window. For Florida residents, the most cost-efficient and energy-efficient option is white vinyl window frames.

  • Window Replacement Style

Once you’ve narrowed down the purpose of your replacement windows, the next choice to be made is the style of window that makes the most sense for your space.  Options for window styles include picture, sliding, single-hung, double-hung, casement, awning, and architectural. Picture windows are large rectangular frames with one singular fixed pane of glass, optimal for expansive views and a lot of natural light. Sliding windows are great for ventilation. They work with a horizontal roller that moves the panes from side to side. Single-hung windows have two sashes, with only one sash operational, meaning only one portion, typically the bottom portion opens. Double-hung windows are the same as single-hung windows, except both sashes are operational. These windows allow for more ventilation than single-hung windows. Casement windows open and close on hinges pushing open to the left or right. Casements provide great airflow and allow the user to control how open or closed the window is. Awning windows are top-hinged windows that open from the bottom. This type of window can be opened while still working to block out the elements from the home. They also are difficult for would-be criminals to penetrate. Architectural windows are fixed windows that are more creative than functional. They focus on the aesthetic aspect of the home as opposed to insulation or ventilation and are a great way to highlight personality in the home.

  • Window Technology

Now that you’ve narrowed down your options based on materials and style, understanding the various technology available will show you just how life-changing and important window replacement can be. Florida residents will want to consider whether it makes sense to upgrade current windows to hurricane-impact windows. Impact windows are thick, multi-paned windows that include laminate on the inside pane of glass. While hurricane-impact windows are required for upgrades in certain regions of Florida, those Florida homeowners not required by law to install hurricane-impact windows may want to consider doing so. As the last several hurricane seasons have shown, storms have been undergoing rapid intensification as they hit the warm shallow waters along the shore. The stronger the storm when it makes landfall, the further inland the storm may move while maintaining high winds. Debris from high winds may hit standard windows and damage them. During a hurricane, should window or window seals become damaged, this can affect the pressure inside the home. This difference in pressure may lead to roof failure, which can be life-threatening during a hurricane. For more on hurricane impact windows, see this blog from Mister Window.

Low-e coating is another option to consider for your windows. This technology reflects heat and UV rays and prevents them from entering the home. Homeowners in Florida will see real benefits from this tech in the summertime when the sun is at its peak and temperatures reach the high 90s with 99% humidity. Low-e coating will also help reduce energy bills by not making the air conditioner work as hard in Florida’s tropical climate. For more on energy-efficient windows, check out this Mister Window blog

  • Window Replacement Budget

Window replacement is an investment in your home’s future. In order to properly budget for your new windows, you must take into account your preferred materials, the window style you have chosen, and any technology updates you want to include. On average, the installation of standard windows will cost approximately $100 to $300 per window. This amount could increase to $800 to $1200 for oversized or specialty windows. Factors that contribute to the calculation of the cost of window installation include the size of the window opening, window style choice plus required hardware, and decorative options including non-standard window grids.

Window Replacement Process

The process of having your windows replaced may seem daunting with all of the options available. Another bump in the replacement road is wading through the vast array of gimmicks companies utilize to separate you from your hard-earned money. Creating a vision, researching options, contracting with true professional installers, and working with the installer to finalize the process and expertly carry out the installation will ensure you get what you pay for.

  • Start with Your Vision

Begin with your vision. Define the purpose of your window replacement. Maybe you want to ensure your family’s safety during hurricane season. Perhaps you are tired of the current window grids blocking your view of the beach. Do you want to qualify for your community’s energy efficiency discounts? Are you concerned that your air conditioner is working overtime during the summer? Whatever your reasoning, gather your needs and wants and work on developing a budget that balances your wants with any financial constraints.

  • Do your Research

Research all of your options. Prepare yourself for potential sales pitches and familiarize yourself with common gimmicks window salesmen may use to sell you on unreal upgrades. Take the time to search for a reputable window company. The advent of the digital age has made locating companies and comparing their services and qualifications a breeze. The website should be informative and provide the information you need to envision your design coming to life. Don’t stop at just a company’s website. Seek out reviews and overall online presence. A Better Business Bureau search will alert you to any complaints.

  • Consult the Professionals

The next step is to consult with the professional installer of your choice. Consultations should take place at the home so the installer may gain real information in order to provide an accurate estimate for the window replacement. For professionals like Mister Window, the initial consultation should be a fact-finding mission where the installer learns about the vision the customer has for their new windows. The installer will then walk the customer through design options and discuss any potential obstacles or issues with the homeowner’s vision. Once the owner’s vision and the installer’s design come together, the company can move on o measuring and inspecting the current windows.

  • Make Final Decisions and Schedule Your Replacement Window Installation

After the needs assessment is complete and the owner’s vision and the installer’s general design ideas unite, the installer can measure and inspect the status of the current windows. This process will alert the installer to any underlying issues that may change the design of the windows or identify any damage that could increase the replacement estimate. This measurement process is crucial to the proper installation of replacement windows. Proper measurements lead to properly installed windows and avoid the need for the installer to make a return visit to correct any flaws or leaks. Homeowners appreciate receiving accurate estimates without any surprises, which installers are able to provide once a complete inspection and measurement of the replacement areas have been made.

Understanding Window Installation

At this point, the stressful part of the process for the homeowner is complete. The choices have been made, the design plan outlined and the sock of the cost has been absorbed. Now comes the actual installation process itself. The length of time it takes to install the replacement windows is dependent on the number of windows being replaced and the complexity of the new designs.

  • Window Installation Prep

Homeowners may take a few steps to ease the installation process not only for the installer but for the homeowner. First, clear the way to the windows for the installers. Next make sure all curtains, valences, blinds, or other window treatments are removed. Third, cover any furniture that may be impacted by the replacement process. Finally, create a staging area for the installers to work from that will allow them to work uninterrupted to allow for accuracy and efficiency.

  • What to Expect on Replacement Installation Day

The day has finally arrived. Your new windows have been measured, ordered, created, and delivered. Now it is time for installation. The installation process is dependent on several factors including the level of remediation of window openings, the weather outside, and the number of installers the company has hired for the job. Accuracy is vital for the installation of windows. Frames and glass need to be properly installed in order for the window to maximize its benefits. Poorly installed windows will not fit properly and may be susceptible to leaks during weather events or broken seals. Naturally, poor weather will extend the length of time it takes for the installation process. Once the installation is complete, professional installers like Mister Window will conduct a walk-through with the customer to inspect the window replacements and ensure all aspects meet the homeowner’s requirements and expectations.

Enjoy the Results

Congratulations on your new windows! You’re the envy of the neighborhood! You can now enjoy the splendor of your revamped curb appeal and the comfort of a personalized home. New windows also allow you to feel protected from outside elements like criminals and weather events. 

Contact Mister Window today to discuss how window replacements will benefit you and your family.                                                                 

Mister Window

January 20, 2023

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