When it comes to home improvement, few endeavors can rival the significance of replacing old windows. Beyond the aesthetic transformation they bring to your living space, window replacement projects offer a range of benefits that extend far beyond mere appearances. The advantages of installing windows are undeniable, from increased energy efficiency to improved comfort and enhanced property value. However, before diving headfirst into window installation and replacement, it is important to know what to expect when replacing windows. By understanding the intricacies of the process and being prepared for potential challenges, you can ensure a successful and satisfying project outcome. In this blog, we will guide you through the ten important things you need to know before starting a window replacement project, ensuring you have all the information you need to make informed decisions and achieve desired results.

1. Assess Your Needs

Before purchasing or ordering new windows, you must establish your requirements and reasons for seeking a window replacement. Are you primarily concerned about improving insulation, enhancing energy efficiency, or transforming the visual aesthetic of your home? Understanding your unique objectives will help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you choose to install replacement windows that align with your specific needs. By clarifying your motivations and identifying the desired outcomes, you can embark on the window replacement project with a clear vision and select the perfect windows to fulfill your requirements.

2. Understand Different Window Types

Understanding the different window types available on the market is crucial as it allows you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs, preferences, and the advantages each window type offers. With this knowledge, you can select and install the window style that aligns with your desired functionality, energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and budget, ensuring a successful window replacement project. Below we have listed some of the different types of windows available and the pros and cons of each:

  1. Double-Hung Windows: 
    • Pros: Double-hung windows are versatile and offer excellent ventilation control with both top and bottom sashes that can be opened. They are also relatively easy to clean and maintain. 
    • Cons: The movable sashes may have slightly reduced energy efficiency compared to other window types.
  2. Casement Windows: 
    • Pros: Casement windows provide unobstructed views, excellent airflow, and a tight seal when closed, enhancing energy efficiency. They are ideal for hard-to-reach areas and offer good security.
    • Cons: They require more clearance for operation and can be more challenging to clean, especially for larger sizes.
  3. Awning Windows:
    • Pros: Awning windows are hinged at the top, allowing for ventilation even during light rain. They provide excellent energy efficiency and can be placed higher on walls for privacy while still allowing natural light.
    • Cons: They may have limited opening size and can obstruct the view partially when opened.
  4. Sliding Windows:
    • Pros: Sliding windows are easy to operate and offer a contemporary look. They provide good ventilation and can be cost-effective compared to other window types.
    • Cons: They have a limited opening size, and only one side can be opened at a time, restricting airflow.
  5. Picture Windows:
    • Pros: Picture windows offer expansive views and maximum natural light. They are energy-efficient due to their fixed nature and lack of moving parts. 
    • Cons: Picture windows do not provide ventilation and cannot be opened, limiting airflow.
  6. Bay/Bow Windows: 
    • Pros: Bay or bow windows create a dramatic architectural focal point and provide a panoramic view. They add extra interior space and can be a cozy seating area. 
    • Cons: Installation can be more complex and expensive and may require additional maintenance compared to standard windows.
  7. Fixed Windows: 
    • Pros: Fixed windows are highly energy-efficient, provide unobstructed views, and require minimal maintenance. They are also more secure due to their non-operational nature. 
    • Cons: They do not offer ventilation and cannot be opened, limiting airflow.

Remember, the pros and cons of each window type may vary depending on factors such as climate, location, and personal preferences. It’s important to consider these factors while selecting the most suitable window type for each room in your home.

3. Choose the Right Windows

Choosing the right window type for your needs involves considering several key factors contributing to overall performance and satisfaction. Firstly, window materials and durability play a crucial role. Common materials include vinyl, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass, each with its aesthetics, insulation, maintenance, and longevity benefits. Additionally, glass options, such as double or triple glazing, Low-E coatings, and gas fills, affect energy efficiency and sound insulation. Hardware choices should be assessed for functionality, security, and ease of use. Window styles, like single or double-hung, casement, or awning, can complement architectural aesthetics and impact ventilation options. Finally, customization options, including color, grille patterns, and decorative glass, allow you to personalize the windows to match your unique style and preferences. Considering these factors and consulting with professionals will help you choose the right window type that ticks all the boxes for durability, energy efficiency, aesthetics, and functionality.

4. Budget and Cost Considerations

Setting a realistic budget is a fundamental aspect of any window replacement project, as it ensures that you stay financially prepared and make well-informed decisions throughout the process. Several factors influence the window replacement cost, including the number of windows, the size and style chosen, the materials selected, and the level of customization required. Additionally, factors such as the complexity of installation, any necessary structural modifications, and the need for additional features like energy-efficient glass or security enhancements can impact the project’s overall cost. To manage the cost of window replacement effectively, it’s essential to obtain multiple quotes from reputable contractors, compare the pricing for different window types, and explore financing options, if necessary. Financing options, such as loans, payment plans, or energy efficiency incentives, can help you spread out the cost of installing replacement windows over time and make the project more affordable without compromising the quality and benefits of new windows. By carefully considering these aspects, you can balance your budget constraints and the desire for an efficient and aesthetically pleasing window replacement.

5. Research Window Contractors

When replacing windows, finding reliable and experienced contractors is paramount. The contractor’s expertise and professionalism can significantly impact your project’s success. To ensure you make the right choice, you must seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, or neighbors who have recently done replacement windows. Additionally, reading online reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into the reputation and reliability of contractors in your area. Obtaining multiple quotes from different contractors allows you to compare pricing, services, and warranties, giving you a clear understanding of what to expect when replacing windows. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the contractor’s experience, certifications, and references during the evaluation process. By conducting thorough research and considering these factors, you can select a contractor that meets your expectations and ensures a smooth and successful window replacement experience.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits if Necessary

Undertaking a larger-scale project like window replacement may require obtaining permits to comply with local building codes and regulations. It is important to understand the specific requirements in your area and ensure that you identify and obtain any necessary permits before you start to replace windows. Failure to do so can result in costly penalties and potential issues during installation. Some contractors may handle the permit process on your behalf as part of their services, while others may require you to secure the permits independently. Being aware of these requirements and taking the necessary steps to obtain permits ensures that your window replacement project is conducted according to local regulations, giving you peace of mind and avoiding potential legal complications.

7. Prepare Your Home for the Window Replacement Project

Proper preparation is crucial when embarking on a window replacement project. During the replacement planning phase, take the time to prepare your home to ensure a smooth and efficient window replacement process. Clear the work area around the windows, removing any furniture, curtains, or blinds that may obstruct access. This will allow the contractors to work unimpeded and protect your belongings from potential damage. Consider covering nearby furniture or valuable items to safeguard them during the installation.

Additionally, address any potential structural issues beforehand, such as water damage or rot, to ensure a solid foundation for the new windows. Communicating with the contractor about any necessary precautions or safety considerations is important. They can guide how to protect fragile items and may have specific requirements for access, electrical connections, or other aspects of the installation process. By prioritizing home preparation and addressing these considerations, you can create a safe and organized environment for window replacement, aligning with what to expect when replacing windows and ensuring a successful project outcome.

8. Consider the Installation Process and Timeline

The window replacement installation process typically follows a systematic timeline. However, the specific duration may vary depending on factors such as the number of windows being replaced, the size of the project, and any unforeseen complications. It is crucial to have a thorough discussion with the chosen contractor to understand the estimated timeline for the installation. Generally, the window installation process involves several steps, including removing the old windows, preparing the openings, installing the new windows, sealing and insulating, and finishing touches. The timeline can range from days to weeks, depending on the project’s scope. During the installation, it is important to be prepared for potential disruptions. These disruptions may include temporary loss of privacy, noise from tools and machinery, dust or debris, and the need to remove window treatments temporarily. While these disruptions can be inconvenient, a professional contractor will strive to minimize them and maintain a clean and organized work environment. Open communication with the contractor, discussing concerns beforehand, and understanding the potential disruptions will help you prepare for the installation process and ensure a smooth and successful window replacement project.

9. Inspecting the Windows After Installation

Inspecting the new windows after installation is crucial to ensure that the job has been completed to your satisfaction and that the windows function properly. Take the time to carefully examine each window, both inside and outside your home. Look for any signs of misalignment, gaps, or cracks in the window frame or glass. Ensure that the windows open and close smoothly and latch securely. Check for proper insulation and weather stripping to ensure energy efficiency.

Additionally, pay attention to the overall appearance and finish of the windows. If you notice any red flags such as drafts, water leaks, condensation between the glass panes, or difficulty in operating the windows, these could indicate issues with the installation or the quality of the windows. Promptly addressing any concerns with the window installers will allow for timely resolution and ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome of the window replacement project.

10. Determine Aftercare and Maintenance

Understanding and following the post-installation care guidelines provided by your contractor is essential for the long-term performance and longevity of your new windows. These guidelines may include specific instructions on how to clean and maintain the replacement window glazing, window frames, and hardware. Proper cleaning techniques and appropriate cleaning solutions will help preserve the appearance and functionality of the windows. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the warranty details for your new windows. If you encounter any issues or need assistance, it’s important to contact your contractor promptly. Situations that may warrant contacting the contractor include persistent drafts, condensation issues, difficulty operating the windows, or any unexpected damages that occur shortly after installation. By following the post-installation care guidelines, staying proactive in window maintenance, and promptly reaching out to your contractor when needed, you can ensure that your new windows continue to perform optimally for years to come.

Professional Window Installation You Can Trust From Aerotech

When installing new windows, working with a professional company is of utmost importance. As previously mentioned, several crucial factors must be considered before starting a window replacement project, including obtaining necessary permits, researching contractors, and setting a realistic budget. It is essential to thoroughly research and plan, ensuring that you make informed decisions and clearly understand what to expect. That’s where Aerotech comes in. As a fully-insured and trusted professional window installation company, Aerotech offers all the qualities you need for a successful window replacement process. With several locations and a commitment to customer satisfaction, Aerotech provides free estimates and delivers exceptional service from start to finish. Rest assured that when you choose Aerotech, the job will be done right, with attention to detail and expertise you can trust. So, don’t hesitate to contact Aerotech for all your window installation needs and experience the difference between working with professionals who prioritize quality and customer satisfaction!