Do you know that your windows can last approximately 20 to 25 years if they are a high-quality brand, installed by a reputable company? They can last even longer with regular maintenance and care.
However, you may not know the age of your windows if you’ve moved into an older home. The window’s material also affects how long it will last. If you do find yourself needing new windows, vinyl replacement windows are often the best option.
Vinyl Windows or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are the least expensive type of window frame option. They are very energy-efficient, strong, long-lasting and beautiful.
But how do you know if your windows need to be replaced or simply need to be repaired? Certain signs will let you know.
Signs You May Need to Replace Your Windows
Many homeowners are deciding to make the change to more energy-efficient windows. But there are also many other reasons for window replacement. Here are a few tell-tale signs:
- Drafts are becoming more noticeable
- Windows are not functioning properly, including issues opening or closing them
- Windows have decay or water damage, dependent on the material
- Evidence of condensation caused by a leak or poorly sealed window
Besides the more obvious physical issues, you might simply want to consider changing your windows because their curb appeal has diminished. Once you have decided your windows need to be replaced, you should consider a few things.
9 Things to Consider When Getting New Vinyl Replacement Windows
Replacing windows is a costly investment, so you should consider a few things before starting the project.
Get a quote and ensure it includes the entire window replacement cost. Ensure there are no hidden fees for manufacturing or installation. Remember, the lowest price may not always be the best option.
You may end up spending more in the long run on maintenance costs or worse, replacement costs due to window failure. Ensure the windows are superior in quality.
- Window Manufacturer
Windows will function and age differently depending on the type of material. There are a variety of window materials to choose from, but vinyl replacement windows are usually the most popular choice.
Whatever the material you decide on, choose a window manufacturer that uses high-quality materials. They should be made with care and attention to detail. They should be structurally reinforced so that they last for a long time.
- Energy Efficiency
You can lower your heating and cooling bills by ensuring your windows have energy-efficient window glass. Ninety percent of heat loss occurs through the glass of the window.
- Type of Glass
The level of energy efficiency will be dependent on the type of glass you choose. Window glass can be single-pane or dual-pane. Dual-pane glass or insulated glass unit (IGU) is an ideal selection when considering energy-efficient windows. It insulates your home better than single-pane glass.
However, the hermetic seal found in dual-pane glass, that provides it with better insulation will eventually fail. This often happens after 15 to 20 years. The cost of this windowpane replacement can be as much as the cost of replacing the entire window. Make sure your warranty covers this.
Choose windows that can let in air without posing a safety risk, especially if you have children. Consider double-hung windows and ensure they lock properly to lessen chances of a break-in.
If the windows are close to the floor, they should have tempered glass. Always ensure that the windows you choose meet your state’s code requirements.
- Your Home’s Architecture and Landscape
This can affect how much you end up spending on utilities once you replace your windows. Consider how light enters your home, based on where the windows are located (west or east). If there are trees near the windows, this will help with energy efficiency by blocking the sun’s light and heat.
Eaves or overhangs can also affect energy efficiency. They are especially important on the south side of your home. All these factors can play a part in deciding what type of windows are best for your home.
- If Replacement is Due to a Damaged Foundation
Cracks in windows are one of the signs of foundation problems. If this is why you’re changing your windows, check to see if there are issues with your foundation. This can also be the case if your windows won’t close properly or begin to stick.
Foundation problems can become costly if left untreated.
Have your foundation inspected before replacing your windows. You don’t want to waste money replacing your windows only to have the same issues again because you have a foundation problem.
- Who Should Install Your Windows
So you know the type of windows you want, including the type of glass. You now have to choose one of the many window replacement companies available.
Ensure that you get a company that knows about window installation and replacement and can do the job properly. It is a costly investment, so proper window installation is essential.
Research the company and their years of experience doing vinyl replacement windows. Check company reviews and ask for referrals. Compare companies using the factors above before you decide.
- What Warranty, If Any, the Company Offers
Another factor to consider before choosing your vinyl window replacement company is whether they provide a warranty for their products and services. Always ask if there is a warranty offered and what it includes. It is preferable to use a company that offers a warranty to safeguard your investment.
A lifetime warranty is best but can involve different elements depending on the company. If it covers replacement parts, ensure it covers the labor to install them. If it covers a certain number of years, ensure that it extends over the expected life of your windows.
An added bonus would be if it covers accidental breakage of the glass. Warranties should ideally cover anything to do with the product, construction, installation, and window replacement.
Getting the Best Vinyl Replacement Windows
It’s important that before you consider vinyl replacement windows, that you know all your options before making a decision.
Home window replacement can be costly, so do your research to ensure you hire the best company to replace your windows. Check out our blog for information and advice on other home improvement projects.