Windows are one of your home or building’s most important features. They’re much more than just a vista to the outside world.
A well-engineered window can help reduce your carbon footprint, increase comfort levels inside, and lower your monthly energy costs. It can even extend the lifespan of your HVAC system in the process. The right windows are essential to the natural lighting in your days and fill your space with fresh air on the temperate ones.
When deciding on new windows for your home or commercial building, you may need help knowing where to begin. At Window World Twin Cities in North St. Paul, we specialize in helping Minnesotans create beautiful exteriors they love. We believe it’s essential to ensure all our clients are thrilled with their replacement windows, and we’ll happily take the time to help you make the right choice.
We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you get started. When you’re ready, reach out to discuss the next steps and financing options!
Step 1: Choose a Window Contractor
Before making any other decisions, choosing a window contractor you can trust is important. Although hiring a handyman who offers a cheap rate might be tempting, this decision can cost you down the road.
The problem with these fly-by-night contractors is that they often aren’t available to help you if an unexpected problem arises. They rarely hold the proper licensing and insurance, and the windows they install are often constructed and installed poorly.
A trustworthy contractor has been around long enough to be trusted and is willing to back their workmanship and products with a good warranty. Window World Twin Cities has been in business since 1995, and Window World windows are backed up with an industry-leading warranty to match the quality craft and installation you’ll get.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing to work with a window contractor!
Official certifications, referrals, testimonials, and online reviews – you should consider these variations of credentials before enlisting any window contractor's services.
Go Over Warranties & Contracts
Schedules, budgets, deposits, warranties on all products, and installation procedures – all of these various elements to replacement window installation must be officially squared away (in writing) before a contractor even lays a finger on your home or commercial property.
Compare Costs & Financing Options
It’s important to get somewhat of a frame of mind as to what you can expect to spend on your next window installation project. Just because a certain contractor is more expensive or cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ripping you off or providing you with a great deal.
Before choosing a specific company, just be aware of the pricing range for typical window contractor services. Also, note that some companies may offer more flexible financing options than others.
We make it easy to get approved for special financing at Window World Twin Cities through our quick application process. You can get approval almost immediately for smaller projects and pay the services off over time. Then, we can assist you with larger projects as you work with lenders to get a home equity loan.
Step 2: Consider Energy & Performance
Once you’ve chosen a contractor, it’s time to learn about window performance. One of the most common reasons homeowners replace old or outdated windows is because of poor energy performance. Older windows are often poorly insulated, which can cause energy costs to add up on your monthly energy bills. Poor window insulation can also make your home's interior temperature uncomfortable and uneven.
A well-insulated window is about more than just having the right glass. Hallmarks of an efficient window include a high-performance frame, weatherstripping, and glass panes.
Hallmarks of Window Thermal Performance
When comparing windows, ask about a window’s R-value. This term refers to the window’s thermal performance – a necessity in the cold-weather climate of Minnesota.
A high R-value is preferred over a low one and will keep your home more comfortable year-round by working together with your siding and doors to create a thermal envelope.
It’s also important to consider the wind resistance of a window before making a purchase. For example, Window World windows incorporate 22 layers of weatherstripping, a hurricane-rated steel-reinforced meeting rail, and double-strength glass.
E-Glass & Argon Insulation Installation
Another thing to consider when choosing windows and looking at improved energy efficiency is E-glass and argon insulation. The combination of these two things leads to savings.
To ensure you're getting the most energy-efficient windows, you should partner with a window contractor that offers energy-efficient windows that meet the standards outlined by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Windows are mostly made of glass, so the performance of the glass itself impacts your energy usage. E-glass filters out UV light; with this glass and argon insulation, your home can be much more energy efficient.
One benefit of this insulated glass package includes a 58% reduction of solar heat in the summer!
The Energy Benefits of Quality Vinyl Windows
A key component in energy efficiency is the material a window is constructed from. High-performance vinyl windows from Window World are among the best value for the money because they’re affordable and well-constructed. Cheap vinyl windows from other window installation contractors are often poorly constructed and prone to damage.
Too often, other contractors install budget vinyl windows with reground vinyl, bulky frames, and shoddy design elements. Window World windows are manufactured with precision corners, constant force balance, maximum glass space, pure vinyl, and special UV inhibitors.
Step 3: Select From Various Window Styles
The style and design of your window may depend on several factors, including your budget, your home’s architectural style, and your aesthetic goals. Before you choose which window design is right for your home, learning about key differences in window style is important.
Operating style is one of the most basic design options you’ll have to choose from when deciding on new windows for your home. Depending on the placement of your windows or how you plan to use them, you may prefer a fixed window or a window that’s easier to open.
Double Hung Windows
One of the most common traditional window designs, double-hung windows use two sashes – one on top and one on the bottom – and open up and down vertically. They generally achieve a more traditional, classic look for your home and are ideal for homeowners looking to achieve better ventilation through their window system without exhausting themselves with routine maintenance.
Homeowners love double hung windows because they’re very easy to use and keep clean. However, families with small children must consider the safety risks of windows that are so easy to open.
While double hung windows open vertically, casement windows open horizontally like a door, using a crank to open from the side with a hinge. Next to double hung windows, casement windows are the second most popular window design. That’s because the hinge allows them to open fully, so they are ideal for airflow and great outdoor views.
Plus, casement windows have a tight seal that makes them energy efficient. They’re also a much better option if you’re looking to bring plenty of fresh air into your home.
Casement windows come in various custom color and design options, so you can accentuate your home’s appearance and aesthetics without drastically altering the appearance. These windows are attractive and have a modern appeal that looks great when paired with many other window designs.
As their name indicates, sliding windows slide open horizontally from one side to the other. Sliding windows are renowned for their energy efficiency, typically with high-quality window glazing that provides ultimate thermal insulation, which can reduce your energy bill.
These windows were first popularized in midcentury homes due to their convenience and design simplicity. Like sliding patio doors, they can be a little more challenging to clean.
Bay & Bow Windows
Bay and bow windows extend beyond the walls to create visual interest. Rather than a single window, bay and bow windows are actually a set of windows. Whereas bay windows are more geometric, bow windows create a curved effect.
A bay window consists of three or more angled panes forming a bay by projecting outward. They’re highly recommended for adding more space to your living environment, providing a panoramic view of your immediate surroundings, and ideal for letting in more natural light.
Bow windows protrude like bay windows, but they form an arch rather than an angled bay. Bow windows will not stick out from the side of your home as far as bay windows generally do, offering less protrusion from your home’s appearance and more room to play with customizable design features.
These window configurations are typically seen in living rooms and dining nooks, but they can also make a stunning addition to a formal master bedroom. While bay and bow windows are a beautiful way to enjoy the view, they may not be ideal if privacy is a concern.
Awning windows are similar to casement windows. However, the hinge opens up and down. They tend to be more utilized in taller homes, as they can be safely installed higher on walls, as opposed to other traditional types of windows.
Awning windows are great for second or third-story rooms that want to capture more natural light and improve ventilation while also maintaining a sense of privacy.
When there’s a gorgeous view outside, you can’t beat a picture window. These are large pieces of glass that provide an unobstructed view – perfect for centering the family room or opening up a dining area to the outdoors.
Step 4: Customize Your Window Design
There are many things to consider when deciding which type of window and window design is right for your replacement windows. Some architectural designs simply look better with a specific type of window, and some rooms lend themselves to certain window designs. How you plan to use a room will also play a role.
With Window World, your window choice can be customized with the colors and textures that fit your lifestyle. Choose from an array of exterior and interior color palettes. Next, decide if you want to add a grid or cut glass. Finally, add a lite or two to complete the look.
Traditional vs. Unique Window Design
As you choose the right windows, you'll want to consider whether you want traditional or unique windows. Double-hung windows are the most popular option for most contemporary homes because they look sleek and are easy to clean. However, unique windows are necessary in some situations.
For example, a glass block window provides more privacy. Or, you can choose more modern windows with a beautiful design that fits your aesthetic.
Once you’ve designed your new windows, the only thing left to do is schedule your installation, prepare your space for the window installer, and then sit back and enjoy your beautiful new window design!
Step 5: Prepare Your Home for New Windows
Getting your home ready for window replacement might seem daunting initially, but it’s a fairly straightforward remodeling process. Follow the tips below to prepare your home, and the job will go as smoothly as possible!
Work With Your Window Installation Expert
Still have questions about buying the right windows and finding the right styles? In that case, you should work with the window contractor you’ve hired.
They should be there to help you every step of the way, advise you on the best windows to install, and help you settle on a design that fits your home’s architectural style.
Clear the Way
It’s essential to clear the way before the window installers arrive at your home. This requires the walkway leading to the installation to be cleared of furniture or other obstructions.
Especially if you’re installing a bay or bow window and double-hung windows, it’s recommended that you create more space to accommodate the size of the windows.
Remove Wall Hangings
It’s critical to safeguard your wall decor from harm in addition to cleaning the walkway area. During installation, there is a good chance of some vibrations in the walls.
To avoid any hanging objects falling or shattering due to vibrations, it is best to take them down beforehand.
Turn Off Your Security Alarm
Have your home security company deactivate any alarm systems connected to windows to prevent a false alarm. It’s a good idea to turn off the alarm completely when installing the windows.
Note: You and your alarm company should handle anything to do with your security system, as window replacement contractors are not alarm experts.
Call Our Twin Cities Replacement Window Contractors
If you’re ready to replace your windows, working with a name you can trust is important. We love helping homeowners through the design and installation process at Window World Twin Cities. We’re here to help you design your perfect window and trim combination!
Call our Window World Twin Cities window installation pros today at 651-770-5570. You can also contact us online for a free estimate!
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