Sunday, October 4, 2009
Clear Choice: Upgrading Windows
If you feel a draft every time you walk by your windows, it’s probably time to replace them. Likewise, windows that stick, glass that is cold to the touch, and costly energy bills despite new insulation and other home repairs are all signs that you’ve put off replacing them for too long.
Whether you intend to buy and install the windows yourself or have a pro do it for you, do the research first. Know your window type: double-hung windows that slide up and down, casement windows that swing out, awning windows, etc. Then pick your preferred framing material, such as wood, vinyl or fiberglass. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, from style to price to longevity.
You must also consider where you live; energy needs in the Northwest differ from those in the Deep South. Ratings for energy efficiency, light visibility, air leakage and other factors are available from government programs such as Energy Star, publications such as Consumer Reports and industry sources such as the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Armed with the right information, you can shop smarter. Have a target price in mind, get estimates and have the patience to wait for the best possible price.
Handy tip: The sun’s rays cause window streaking, so save that part of spring cleaning for a cloudy day. Source: www.realsimple.com