With energy efficiency at the forefront in the new home construction and renovation markets, the functionality and aesthetics of windows has evolved over the years to provide superior performance and beauty. Windows can create interesting focal points, allow natural light into your home and establish a welcoming environment for you and your family to enjoy.
Though not as glamorous as other home improvement projects like kitchens and bathrooms, window replacement is truly a solid investment and a somewhat unique home improvement because in addition to boosting the resale value of your home, homeowners will save money on a monthly basis by reducing energy consumption and lowering heating and cooling bills. Here’s how and what you need to know before you contact window professionals.
Windows aren’t just for functionality
Of course every home needs windows, but today’s designs are built to be maintenance free – that is the exterior frames and window sashes do not require regular maintenance such as painting. The window frames also come in a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, vinyl and fibreglass or a combination thereof, and in various colour options to co-ordinate with your home’s colour palette.
So, why is this important?
New windows can add depth and complexity to your home, reinforce your personal style and make a visual statement. In other words, they’re like the new accent wall.
They can be stylish – and improve your comfort
There are a number of glazing options to choose from that may differ depending on the exposure, size and purpose of each window.
FACT: Most new windows come with a Low-E coating and argon gas. The Low-E coating helps cut down on heat and cold transfer through the glass. The argon gas within the thermopane (two pieces of glass sealed with a spacer bar designed to minimize conductivity of heat or cold) also helps cut down on heat and cold transfer because it is less dense than regular air. Triple pane glass is also available to maximize efficiency even further. The window professionals can give you more information!
Typically, we relate high-performance windows with keeping the cold out, but it’s equally important to consider your glazing options for the summer months. High-performance windows can significantly cut down on solar heat gain particularly through south- or west-facing windows, helping your home’s air conditioning run more efficiently and maintain the indoor temperature consistently throughout your home.
Why you should be replacing old windows
One of the advantages of hiring window professionals to replace old windows with new windows is that it provides an opportunity to seal around the window frame. In many older homes, there was little or no insulation in this area. Now the common practice is to fill this space with urethane foam that creates a very effective seal. It’s also important to ensure that the caulking seal around your windows is in good condition, so that there isn’t any water penetration into your home.
New windows are available in a variety of styles, including single hung, double hung, casement, pictures and awning. They can be single units or mulled together to create large expanses of glass. In the past, windows were only available in standard sizes. Nowadays, window manufacturers offer custom sizes and shapes that are available with relatively short lead times.
Older home, older window style? No problem!
The window industry has also responded to the increased demand to conserve and renovate heritage and older homes by developing windows that replicate the style and proportions of the past while maintaining current energy-efficient standards. Simulated divided lites not only convey the original architectural aesthetics and historical style, character and proportions of these beautiful homes, but also increase their energy efficiency.
What’s the point?
Good quality windows will do the following for you and your home:
- improve energy efficiency;
- reduce outside noise transmission;
- increase curb appeal;
- add value to your home.
Don’t believe us? Listen to this expert:
Window replacement is an excellent investment from both an aesthetic and functional standpoint and one which instantly improves the value of your home.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your windows, take a look at our directory of window professionals. They’ll help you decide which windows are right for your home.
About the Author: Ted Melchers is vice-president at Melchers Developments Inc., and currently president of the London Home Builders Association.