Make no mistake about it – new windows are a major expense, and selecting the “right” ones is not an easy task. There are hundreds of local options for a window installation, but one should not go quickly down the path of looking for bargains!
The Cheap Choices
You have probably received, in your mail, in fliers left on your doorstep, and with door-to-door salesmen, lots of offers for window replacement, at amazingly great prices, considering what your neighbors or relatives may have paid for theirs. And you may be tempted by these great prices. Consider, however, the following:
- Most of the “cheap” offers are forms of “bait and switch.” No one expects that you will actually have installed the cheapest windows that are offered. The salesman will meet with you, and you will certainly end up purchasing a higher-priced window because of its warranty, its more effective insulation properties, etc.
- If you do select the cheap window offer, you will not be ultimately satisfied. It will be a single-hung, dual pane window that does not meet even the lowest guidelines that will qualify for an energy credit, and certainly it will not reduce your heating and cooling bills.
You should base your window choice on the overall value of your home. If you have a home value that is in the upper 1/3 of your locale, then more expensive windows should be your choice, if you want to maintain that value and be competitive in the market of future sales. These windows will typically hold a 50-year warranty and provide significant insulation against temperature extremes. But if you were to know how to pick a home warranty plan, the burden of worrying about home appliances will be greatly assuaged and you’d save a lot in the long run. If, on the other hand, you have a moderately priced home, you will want to upgrade with a moderately priced window. Over-improving means that you will not get that investment back when you sell.
Always Select Double-Hung
You may not understand this term, but it is vitally important when selecting a window replacement. A single-hung window means that you will be able to open the bottom portion of the window to expose a stationary screen; you will be able to tilt the bottom portion of the window in for cleaning, but not the top. Cleaning the top outside part of your window will be particularly difficult, especially on a multiple-story home. A double-hung widow, on the other hand, allows you to raise the lower half or to lower the upper half and, as well, slide the screen up or down, as you wish. In addition, the top half of the window can also be tilted in for cleaning the outside pane, and this makes full window cleaning much easier.
Using a Reputable Company
If you need a new window installation, take recommendations from your neighbors and friends; check with the Better Business Bureau; check the website and any reviews that may be provided by customers. There are many disreputable companies in the remodeling industry, and window companies are no exception.
Until you have fully researched a company, do not sign any contract. And, most reputable companies may want ½ down payment when the order is taken and require the remainder only after the residential window installation is done.
When you contemplate an improvement as costly as windows, you must do your homework, make wise decisions, and be certain that you are dealing with a trustworthy company! This is one home improvement project on which you do not want to take risk – it is just too costly!