Here are some guidelines for evaluating the current condition for your windows and assessing if replacement is needed. If a window simply shows signs of wear and tear or exposure such as cracked paint but operates normally, then it’s likely time to refinish it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, if a window shows clear signs of the following, then replacement is needed.
Fog or moisture between the glass.
If the seal between glass panes is broken, cold air and water can leak into the window. Moisture or fog in between the panes is a good indicator that the seal is broken.
Moisture or condensation.
Windows that let in moisture can lead to more severe problems such as mold growth. Look out for condensation on the window or standing pools of water on the windowsill.
Windows without protected wood can decay and rot if they are exposed to the harsh elements or if a home has termites. Signs that wood may be decaying include soft wood that breaks away easily in irregular pieces or wood that has moisture in it.
Problems opening or closing.
In older homes, wood windows may have been painted over numerous times or may have become severely warped due to age and weather conditions. Windows that don’t open and close easily or properly is more than just annoying; it’s a safety issue and a sign that it’s time for a replacement.
There are many tests to determine if a window is drafty, such as placing a lighted candle next to the window to see if the flame moves. If it does, you have a draft and your energy bills are paying the price.
Typically, older, single pane windows don’t block as much noise as new double pane windows. If you can hear your neighbors chatting across the street as they are getting their mail, it is probably time to upgrade your windows.
BONUS: Most Importantly, have fun.
Replacing your windows should be a highly satisfying home improvement project. One that not only saves you energy and increases the value of your home, but also adds comfort, security and beauty inside and out. As one of California’s Largest Home Improvement Company’s, The Window Design Group is here to help. If you’d like more information, please call us at 800-577-0643 or complete our on-line form for a complementary free in-home estimate.
If your home is located in a warmer, sunny climate, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measurement will be more of a consideration. Consider heat-reflective Low E glass and insulating Argon Gas to not only block the sun’s rays in the summer but to prevent heat loss in the winter.
The Window Design Group offers a QUIET LINE of windows where sound transmission is reduced. Compared to a single pane of glass that has a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of around 27, an insulated laminated glass unit can achieve an STC rating of up to 35, which has the ability to block even loud construction noises. Even without laminated glass, there are other options for reducing sound transmission with insulated replacement windows.
In the past, wood has required more maintenance than vinyl or aluminum. In fact, vinyl is virtually maintenance free. However, for homeowners that want real wood with less maintenance, The Window Design Group has spearheaded a number of innovations. Windows in Wood Clad feature Cladding which is an aluminum “cap” that covers the exterior of some wood window and comes in an array of different colors. It never needs painting, and the interior side can remain un-clad to display the natural beauty of wood. We estimate that nearly 90 percent of our wood windows are sold with cladding.
Casement, awning, single-hung, double-hung and sliding windows are available in many shapes and sizes, including radius and geometric, and combination units. When choosing the type of a window, first consider practical factors such as how it opens, then consider aesthetic options such as how it will affect the curb appeal of your home. Picking the right opening method may depend on whether there are obstacles, such as furniture or plants, on either side.
For life-long durability, choose solidly constructed frames with steel, reinforced sashes that prevent warping, and sloped sills to remove rainwater. Look for double fin mylar weather-stripping, double ventilation locks, and fusion-welded sash and frame. Are the windows custom manufactured for your specific home? Are the products American-Made?
Does the warranty cover air leaks, and broken seals and if so, for how long? Does the warranty cover labor and glass breakage? Is the company reputable and what recourse do you have if they go out of business? Do they carry liability insurance and are they licensed to work in your state? Do they have national backing by a third-party such as The Better Business Bureau and Angies List? Is the warranty transferrable to the next homeowner?
In general, wood is more expensive than vinyl or aluminum, and may require more maintenance. The Window Design Group also offers different pricing scales within its window lines – from Custom and Economy, to more modest, Standard options. When it comes to budget, consider the long term value beyond the initial purchase price. Energy efficiency and a longer warranty can all help save maintenance and replacement costs over time. Resale value is also a key consideration – beautiful, more efficient windows are a big selling feature. You can also defray some of your initial costs with the current government tax credits.
Make sure that the price of the windows include accessories you may need as well as installation, removal of the old windows and the dump fees?
You’ve determined that price, energy efficiency, warranties and service are most important to you, for example. Next, develop a comparison checklist to determine which products and companies can provide the highest level at the lowest possible price. Our sales team will provide you with a full checklist that you can use that detail’s all of our features and benefits vs the other companies.
Add style and functionality to your windows with a variety of optional features, especially for our Custom Windows. For example, for screens, The Window Design Group offers invisible screens that allow the screen to roll up and out of sight when not in use. Hardware finishes are important to consider for any windows and The Window Design Group has a wide variety to choose from. Vinyl window options included on The Westbridge Series offers a clean contemporary window design with a variety of grid options and configurations. optional features of the Westbridge window include Low-E Glass, Argon Gas, Insulated Frames, Equal Sight Lines, SunClean Neat Glass, 3 1/4″ frames, Edgetech Super Spacer’s Warm Edge Technology, Set Back Glass and Lifetime Glass Breakage Warranty.