Windows come in all styles, shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and more, and they are usually predetermined. Read more about popular windows styles advantage and disadvantage on this site here. You can purchase them from your local shops or online platforms, and the dimensions are more likely to fit on the hole on the wall.
Of course, there are exceptions, as many homeowners would want the custom-made ones. They may decide that the original windows in the old home are inappropriate for the renovations, or they notice that the materials are not energy-efficient. Others would want to add a family room at the back of your home where it would be acceptable to add a different material because it’s not visible in the front.
Whether you choose custom-made or stock windows, you still need to decide on a lot of factors. From maintenance, costs, and energy-saving features, here are some of the things to consider when replacing your windows.
One thing to focus on is glazing because it’s related to the energy-efficiency of the home. Most of the houses that are considered energy-efficient are those with double panes or two layers of glazing. You can check replacement windows with triple glazing and other energy-efficient features from your local shops in your area. The small gap in the layers of glass creates a more barrier against heat flow.
The triple-glazed varieties enhance the barrier by separating the insulation chambers into two. The gaps between the layers are often filled with a particular gas to reduce heat flow by conduction. The gas fills used commonly are Krypton and Argon.
Tints and Reflective Films
There are low-emittance films, tints, and coatings made by manufacturers to make the windows more durable and have improved performance. Some of them are the following:
Tinted Glasses – There are gray and bronze tints that reduce the cooling load and reflect the sunlight to decrease the heat that enters the home. Visual transmittance or VT factor of about 60% is very common in tinted ones versus clear glass’ 90%.
Low E-Coatings – These are more versatile, and they are invisible. The metallic oxide particles or microscopic metals can suppress radiant heat on a sunny day out of the rooms. Many homeowners can formulate their allowed degrees of solar radiation, which is ideal in areas where the winter is too cold.
Low e-coatings prevent the heat out of the house while allowing high solar heat gains. They are versatile because you get the heat that you want in varying degrees, according to whether it’s summer or winter in your area.
Reflective Films – These block a lot of radiant energy that strikes a windowpane. This keeps the residents inside the home cooler. However, the films may block visible light from entering, and the occupants may need to turn on the lights even if it’s daytime. They give a mirror-like appearance, and the need for electric lighting in compensation to the decreased sunlight may not be ideal for some.
The materials that you use for the frames will significantly affect a window’s lifespan and efficiency. There are fiberglass and vinyl frames that are well-insulated. These materials tend to perform better than their wooden counterparts. Steel and aluminum are not usually recommended because they are not well-insulated.
You can choose from insert windows, sash-only, and full replacement options if you plan a home major makeover. Read on to find more.
Insert Windows – These are called retrofit, and they can fit inside the existing frames. You only need to remove the old sashes and window stops while leaving the existing moldings intact. Installing the inserts is a great option if the frame is square and is still in good shape.
Sash-Only Replacement Kits – This includes replacing newer jamb liners and new sash for more improved performance and efficiency. They can be easily installed, but they should only be used when the panels and frames are in good condition. You can learn more about the installation of sash replacement kits here: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/doors-and-windows/how-to-install-a-window-sash-replacement-kit.
Full Replacements – The construction process for the total replacement is to remove everything, including the old sashes, frames, casings, and exterior trims. This method is used by experienced contractors, especially if the old structure has already deteriorated or a new size is desired. The replacement can result in better energy-efficiency, and the experts can apply the spray closed-cell foam insulation method if you want.