Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Choose Replacement Windows

Replacement windows cartoonSometimes it seems like we're being bombarded with replacement window advertising. There are commercials on TV and radio, internet ads, print ads, billboards, even telemarketing calls. Then there's the company that sends installers to your house even if you say no.

With so many options out there, how do you know which replacement windows to buy? While there's no one answer that applies to everyone, here are some tips to help you shop smart:
  • Climate zone: Today's windows are made to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. But some are designed to withstand a lot of cold while others are built for extreme heat. Make sure you're getting ones intended for the New Hampshire climate. When your windows arrive, look for a climate zone map on one of the panes.
  • Quality: All modern replacement windows have certain things in common. They will all be double paned and filled with a gas that conducts very little heat compared to air. But even windows that have the same energy rating don't necessarily have the same quality. Consider the manufacturer's reputation, but also see if your salesperson has a sample. Cheaply-built windows are very light and are not likely to last long. If the sample has some weight to it, it's probably a better window.
  • Warranty: Some windows have lifetime warranties, while others are buy-at-your-own-risk.
  • Price: Whichever company you decide to buy from will likely have a top-of-the-line model, an economy model and one in between, with prices that vary accordingly. Which one you should choose depends on your house, your budget, your tastes and other factors unique to your situation. But in general, it's best to look for value: ask yourself which model gives you the most for your money.
  • Window type: To avoid potential problems, be sure you're getting the correct window for each opening. For example, a double-hung window is engineered to slide up and down, not side to side. If you have an opening for a horizontal window, make sure the replacement window you buy is a rolling casement, not a double-hung.
  • Getting the window you ordered: When your windows arrive, look for the brand and model information, and if they are different from what you ordered, don't allow them to be installed. Some disreputable contractors will charge you for a quality window but install something much cheaper.
  • Installer: No matter what window you choose, there's no substitute for a qualified installer. It's a good idea to speak directly with the contractor. Do they seem to know what they're talking about, or are they making things up as they go along? How long have they been installing replacement windows? Can they show you pictures of their work? Do they have any satisfied customers they can put you in touch with?
While we can't tell you which model or even which brand of replacement window is best for your home or business, we can tell you that there are two things to look for: the best value for your money and a good installer. Even the best replacement window money can buy will still be no better than the worst if it's not installed properly.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Replacement Windows

Mark recently did a replacement window job. The customer had gotten a ridiculously high price from one of those replacement window companies, so he called Mark. Mark put in Simonton 5300 series windows for a reasonable price.

Simonton 5300 replacement window
One of the replacement windows before installation
Insulating the pockets during replacement window installation
Insulating around the window opening
The customers are very happy with their new replacement windows. They not only saved a lot of money over what they would have paid the window company, but they're going to save a lot on their heating bills, too.