Can you think of a better way to add equity to a home? Especially if the existing windows are single glazed. And if the windows are old wood, the problems compound. For starters, the antique windows hardly ever had insulation around the jambs. And in this age, the iron balances probably don’t work. Air penetration is the worst culprit of these. The window putty rots and the glazing’s vibrate in place. Wood in itself has hardly any ‘R’ value. The moral of this story is “sentimental value of saving old wood windows should be re-thought”.
Aluminum windows tend to sweat (condensate) at different times of the year. This is due to atmospheric conditions of the internal to exterior of the home. Even dual glazed. Heat and/or cold transfer through the metal extrusions with the moisture content of the inside of the house. Bottom line is the condensation from year to year causes dry rot to the window sill and framing members in the wall. Sometimes the miters at the corners begin to leak and water destroys the framing members inside the wall. Other factors, such as deteriorating stucco or siding add to the problem. Just don’t let it become black mold. A sure indicator of a window change out job.
So; let’s get to the good stuff. Brand new windows. Many folks install there own windows. That’s fine, but consider the guarantee you get when you hire the job out to a Door & Window Contractor *. DO YOUR SHOPPING. Is the best advice any builder can give you. Don’t settle on the big box store. Some of the local glass companies can beat their price and offer a better install to boot.
Technology in fenestration offers the homeowner the best ‘bang for the buck’ in ages. Extrusions alone have advances in spades. PVC or plasticized vinyl chloride was the old way of manufacturing plastic framed windows. UPVC is the way they are made now. The ‘U’ stands for Unplasticized’. Very important, for the old frames began to ‘chalk’ in their deterioration. Not any more. Research windows with the lowest ‘U’ value for the price. Check for rebates from your city utility or manufacturer. Vinyl windows afford the first attack at energy efficiency for the home. They also add serious equity to the property. Especially in a time where everyone wants to ‘flip’ houses. It’s the very first order of business when considering a house to buy. We call it the ‘Envelope’ of the house. Keeping as much ‘conditioned’ air in the house as possible. There are all manner of upgrade in selecting windows for your home. Generally speaking, vinyl windows are for most homes in subdivisions with homes averaging 1000 sq ft, to 2500 sq ft. You will find these types of windows in much larger homes, although getting into up-scaled homes tend to be discretionary and use upper end windows such as wood with cladded exterior frames.
Retrofit windows are an interesting conversation. All homes are different. A home may be a model home and have an identical floor plan, but the orientation or upgrading over the years makes every home unique. This being said, retrofit window installation needs to be an ‘on site’ review by a qualified professional. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking this is an easy application. I personally changed out windows in a home that were installed upside down. With the weep holes at the tops of the windows. Use a window shop run by a supplier/contractor such as the company in the hyperlink.
*Cornerstone Door & Window is a paid Sponsor