One of the most common home improvement projects that people undertake is the replacement of their windows. Every home has windows, and as they age the original windows can become outdated and unattractive and in many cases, non-functional. This process is often accelerated by the fact that many builders use low end windows in order to keep the price of the home down, knowing that 5 or 10 years down the road, after the builder's warranty has expired, the homeowner will have to replace them. In an area like Pittsburgh where there is a lot of older housing stock, thousands of homeowners replace their windows each year. In fact out of all of the products which Legacy Remodeling offers, windows replacement is what we do the most of.
Unfortunately many homeowners do not understand what to look for when trying to determine whether they should replace their windows or not. From my perspective the primary reasons break down into two main categories:Condition/Functionality
1)Often older windows simply no longer work. The sashes may no longer operate as they were intended. 2)If it is a wood window, the wood may have begun to rot and become moldy, which can also be a threat to your health. Soft wood, peeling paint and visible black mold are all indicators that the wood may be starting to rot. 3)If the windows do function, they may still be difficult to operate or difficult to clean. Newer windows are designed to operate for long periods of time and often include a lifetime warranty. Features built into new windows can also make them much easier to operate and clean. 4)As people have become more aware of the dangers of lead, many people have begun to seek out window replacement to remove old wood or steel windows which have lead paint on them. 5)Inefficient old windows can add significant costs to your energy bills for heating and air conditioning that leaks out of your home. Signs of this can include drafts around your windows, noticeable temperature differences around your windows and fogging of dual pane glass that indicates a failure of the insulating seal. Homeowners who correct inefficient windows can save significantly.Appearance/Maintenance
1) Older windows were not designed to be maintenance free. For this reason there is a need to periodically sand, scrap, putty and paint older steel and wooden windows. Homeowners who wish to avoid this work often opt for newer vinyl replacement windows or wood windows that have the exterior clad in a maintenance free material like aluminum or vinyl. 2) Due to the need to maintain older windows, eventually windows that are not properly restored will show the effects of all of this scraping and painting and in many cases will start to look their age. By installing a low or no maintenance wood or vinyl window, a homeowner can be assured that it will look nice for the long term.
In addition to correcting the deficiencies of older windows, by installing new windows, homeowners can take advantage of a number of technological improvements that have been made to windows over the past few decades. This can include aesthetic improvements like the availability of blinds between panes of insulated glass, or this could be the functional benefit of reduced noise from the outside of a home. It is also worth noting that the energy efficient low-e glass coating that makes newer windows more efficient also dramatically reduces the effect of UV light on your carpet, woodwork and furniture meaning that it not only can save you money on utilities but it also provides a new protective barrier for the items in your home.
If you think that you may need new windows for your home, please contact Legacy and allow one of our expert consultants show you the variety of window options we offer. As an independent company, Legacy is not required to push any one type of window over another so we are uniquely qualified to find you the best product to meet your goals for your home.