Everything You’ll Need to Know About Replacing Your Home’s Windows
Your home’s windows are more than — ahem — window dressing. Beautiful windows can drastically enhance your home’s curb appeal, transforming the exterior from dull and outdated to magnificent and modern. Expansive windows flood your home with natural light, allowing you to enjoy sweeping views of your yard or garden and create a more open feeling while still giving your family the privacy and security it needs. Lastly, new, energy-efficient windows can help keep your family cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and save money on your electricity bill.
Conversely, old, deteriorating windows can obstruct your view and detract from your home’s exterior appearance, and increase your energy bills. This guide from Beissel Window and Siding will help you decide if it is time for new windows and what style and material best complement your home exterior and suit your family’s lifestyle.
Signs Your Windows Need to be Replaced
Replacing deteriorating windows is more than a matter of aesthetics. Damaged, drafty windows can drastically increase your energy bills. Rotting windows can eventually affect the structural integrity of your home’s walls. And if moisture seeps in, it can expose your family to allergy-inducing mold and mildew or damage your home’s interior.
- They are difficult to open and close – It should require minimal effort to open and close your windows. If your window frames are damaged, you’ll have to put more muscle into opening them. You might not be able to open them at all! This is typically due to a damaged window frame or or to the window itself.
- High energy bills – If your energy bills suddenly skyrocket, that is a clue that your current windows are no longer adequately insulating your home.
- Drafty interior – Damaged windows may have gaps around the edges that enable cold air to escape in the summer and warm air to leak out in the winter, creating an uncomfortable interior temperature.
- Warping – Worn or deteriorating caulk around your windows compromises the waterproof seal. If moisture accumulates around a wooden window frame, your paint can peel and the wood can rot and warp, making it difficult to open and close.
- Cloudy glass – Moisture accumulation on the outside or inside of your windows is likely a sign that the seal on the glass unit is failing.
- Noisy interior – Whether you work at home or just need a good night’s sleep (who doesn’t?), your home’s interior should be peaceful and quiet and insulate your family from environmental sounds such as rumbling airplanes or yappy canines. Modern windows are especially effective at keeping the noise out. Sound and leaking air follow the same channels.
- Outdated style – No matter how well-kept your home is, if your windows look like they are from the last century, it is probably time to replace them. Popular window brands offer a huge variety of styles to suit any home.
What Are the Best Replacement Window Materials?
If you’ve decided it’s time to replace your windows, your next step is to decide what material is right for you. The good news is that there is a wide selection to choose from. However, with so many choices, it can be difficult to narrow it down. There are many variables to consider, including style, cost, and climate. Each material has unique attributes and benefits. Here are some of the advantages of each window material to help you choose the best one for your home:
- Expands at the same rate as glass, so it will not (or is less likely to) crack, chip, or break
- Lasts up to 50 years
- Comes in a variety of styles, including sleek and modern to complement contemporary homes or warm and traditional like natural wood
- Climate resistant
- Low maintenance
- Reduce sound transmission
- Lasts up to 20 to 40 years
- Wide range of colors and styles
- Requires minimal upkeep
Can Replacing Your Home’s Windows Provide Long-Term Savings?
As windows age, the caulking can crack or shrink allowing cold air to come in resulting in a drafty home. You can’t afford to let chilly air seep in during the Minneapolis area’s freezing winters. If your house is drafty, you are likely losing energy through your windows.
There is no question that new windows are a significant investment. However, you can expect to realize some major cost savings as well. According to ENERGY STAR, replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR-certified windows can save you between $101 and $583 a year. The exact savings will vary based on your climate, utility rate, and how well your home is insulated. Double-pane windows are the most energy-efficient in any climate.
Window Style Trends
Unless you’re going to a costume party, you probably don’t want to dress in 1980s attire. Likewise, your home shouldn’t have 1980s-style windows. New windows have the power to dramatically enhance your home’s exterior. There are a variety of styles to choose from as well as exciting new design trends that complement any home, whether you have a Cape Cod, Craftsman, Colonial, Mediterranean, or Mid-Century modern style house
The latest trends include:
- Window in place of a backsplash – Does your kitchen have an amazing view? If so, consider using a window as a backsplash. They are as easy to clean as traditional ceramic tiles and provide the illusion of more space. And you can chop and prep while gazing at your garden’s fabulous greenery!
- Black trim windows – While they are especially popular right now, black trim windows are a timeless choice. They provide a dramatic contrast to white interiors and light cabinets, give your home interior a sleek, monochrome look when paired with black walls, or enhance a contemporary appearance when installed on dark exteriors.
There are almost as many types of windows as there are home styles. Fortunately, that means you can choose one that enhances your home’s look and provides the functionality you want. These are some of the most popular:
- Single-hung – Single-hung windows have a stationary top with a bottom portion that opens and closes to allow air in.
- Double-hung – This type of window includes two sashes that slide vertically in the frame to open and provide ventilation from the top or bottom.
- Slider – Slider windows are essentially double-hung windows on their side. The moving portion glides along a fixed track and over the stationary part. Slider windows are cost-effective and allow you to decide how much air to let in.
- Casement – This type of window is attached on the side by a hinge and opens outward to the left or right using a crank.
- Picture windows – Picture windows are stationary, create an unobstructed view of your surroundings, and let in the maximum amount of light.
- Bay or bow – Bay or bow windows are a combination of three or more windows that protrude from your home and provide additional interior space. They complement most home styles.
- Egress – Egress windows are usually installed in basements. They open completely so you can exit quickly in the event of an emergency.
- Hopper – This type of window is well-suited for basements or bathrooms. They are usually rectangular and open inward with a hinge on the bottom. They also allow proper ventilation to control humidity.
- Garden – Garden windows are mainly used in kitchens. They protrude from a home’s exterior and have a wide viewing area. They usually include a large shelf for plants or storage.
How to Care for Your New Windows
Maintaining your windows properly is the best way to ensure they last as long as possible so you can protect your investment. Regular maintenance ensures they function properly and prevents a small problem from causing a larger one down the road. Here is what you should do to take care of your new windows:
- Create and adhere to a regular cleaning schedule.
- Inspect your windows at least once a year so you don’t miss any problems or damage.
- Clean and lubricate the track twice a year.
- Clean your window screens so they are less prone to rips and tears and so water doesn’t pool on the window sills.
- Check the caulking and sealant at least once a year to ensure your windows are airtight and watertight.
- Repair or replace wood rot to avoid a nasty insect infestation in your home.
Choosing the Right Window Replacement Contractor for Your Project
If you are ready to replace your windows, one of the most crucial decisions you can make is who to hire to install them. A poor installation job can result in window damage, leaks, operational problems, a voided product warranty, and more. Your window installation contractor should be skilled, reliable, and communicative.
These tips can help you choose the right contractor for the job so you can protect your investment and get the most out of your new windows:
- Ask friends and extended family members for referrals.
- Read external reviews.
- Ask if they are insured and what type they have.
- Find out if they carry industry-leading, high-quality products.
- Choose a contractor that offers warranties on their workmanship.
- Ask them how long it will take to complete the installation.
Replacing Your St. Paul & Minneapolis Area Home’s Windows Doesn’t Have to be Stressful!
At Beissel Window and Siding, we understand how frustrating it can be when your home’s exterior does not look the way you want it to. It’s difficult to be proud of your home when deteriorating, outdated windows are ruining its curb appeal. But replacing your home’s windows can seem like a daunting, stressful prospect.
Our company has more than 70 years of experience installing windows in homes in the Twin Cities. We will take care of the details so you do not have to. You can count on our experience, professionalism, and expert craftsmanship, to make the process as effortless as possible. If you think it is time to replace your windows, learn more about our installation services.
Recent Window Articles:
- Should You Replace Your Windows In Phases or All At Once?
- How New Windows Enhance Your Family’s Safety and Security
- Double Pane vs. Single Pane Windows
- Streak-Free Window Cleaning Techniques
- What Are the Parts of a Window Called?
- 9 Surprising Ways Windows Can Enhance Your Well-Being
- 8 Signs Your Wood Windows Need to Be Restored
- Can Wood Windows Be Restored?
- Tips on How to Bug-Proof Your Windows
- Should You Replace Your Windows if You’re Going to Sell Soon?