Roofs and windows have one thing in common: The cost and effort of replacing either make homeowners nervous. But windows differ in that they are seen every day, as opposed to a roof that you must actively look up to view. Beautiful windows improve the aesthetic of a home, allow in natural light, and provide character to a residence.
Moreover, residential window replacement makes financial sense. According to Remodeling magazine, windows recoup 75 percent of their cost in terms of home market value. Also, energy-efficient windows can save homeowners as much as $465 per year.
Are you a Washington, D.C., resident in the market for new windows or simply considering if this will be a good upgrade to your home? Here are some residential window replacement styles, as well as tips for proceeding with the job, for DMV homeowners:
If you are thinking about replacing your windows, you will have plenty of styles to choose from. The nature of your home might dictate your options, as will your personal preferences—are you more concerned with aesthetics, energy efficiency, cost, or a combination of multiple factors? Here are some window styles you might choose from:
- Double-hung: Most homeowners are familiar with the traditional double-hung window—an upper and lower pane, both of which move vertically to open. It’s a classic design that remains functional in the 21st century.
- Sliding: These windows slide horizontally instead of opening outward—basically, a hung window turned on its side. This is a great option for wide frames overlooking large outside spaces.
- Bay: Bay windows offer three or more lights (spaces for glass), with the center window(s) parallel to the wall and the side windows angling back. This offers incredible views as well as incredible natural light.
- Bow: Similar to bay windows, bow windows offer more lights for a truly elegant look. The panes of a bow window radiate out to form a semicircle.
- Casement: Hinged from the side, today’s casement windows usually open outward with a crank.
- Awning: This is the same as a casement window except it is hinged from the top. It also opens outward.
- Picture: A picture window lives up to its name: a large, usually rectangular window that offers great views of the outside. Picture windows don’t open, but side windows can be added around a picture window for ventilation.
- Garden: This is a box-style window that extends outside the exterior wall. Similar in theory to a bay window, a garden window is often found in kitchens and provides a nice outside view while cooking or doing the dishes.
You suspect you might need new windows, or perhaps you just want to upgrade your home, but you don’t know where to begin. Here are some residential window replacement tips to get you started:
- Know the signs: The desire to improve the aesthetics and value of your house aside, residential window replacement often occurs out of necessity. Were old windows damaged during a storm? Is the original framing rotting? Is too much air escaping out, thus affecting your energy bills? If your windows are not doing a good job at, well, being windows, it might be time to replace them.
- Can a window be repaired? If the frame of a window is still good but the glass, sash, or something else is the problem, often, a repair might be a less expensive course of action. Enlist a professional window contractor to inspect your windows to see whether the best course of action is repair or replacement.
- Pick a material: Window frames generally come in five materials—aluminum, wood, composite wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. These materials vary by durability, cost, maintenance, and energy efficiency. Do your homework and talk with a trusted contractor to determine which option is best for your home and your budget.
- More windows, more savings: If you need just one window replaced but the others are old, a complete replacement is a wise option to save money and increase the value of your home. Installing multiple windows usually offers a discount because the contractor is already on site.
- Pick a good time of year: Spring is usually the best time to replace windows—bad winter weather has (hopefully) passed, and the temperature is ideal for the caulking to fully seal. DMV summers are often too hot for the caulk to properly set, and though winter residential window replacement is possible, your home is going to feel awfully chilly during the installation.
- Trust a professional: Resist the temptation to DIY residential window replacement. Installation must be done correctly so that your investment isn’t wasted. The best professional window contractors in Washington and the DMV answer your questions, walk you through the process, deliver top-notch service, use quality materials, and may even help with financing. Your home deserves nothing less.
What is keeping you from following through on a residential window replacement?