Do you agree that the eyes are the windows to the soul? Some say that if you want to read people’s minds you need to look into their eyes. It certainly seems to be true that peoples eyes are one of the most important features of someone’s face and the dimensions are linked to attractiveness.
If that is true, perhaps it can be said that the windows of your home are a major eye-catching feature on the “face” of your house and say much about who lives inside. Beautiful windows enrich a house and offer a wealth of practical benefits including energy efficiency, blocking outside noise and making your home more sellable.
If you are thinking about replacing windows you are going to need help. There is no shortage of choice, design and different material types. This is all good for the consumer but it can be overwhelming.
Read on to learn 5 top tips on how to choose the perfect windows for your home.
1. Don’t Be Fooled By Price
The general adage is that you get what you pay for. However, when it comes to buying new windows that is not always true. Price and performance are not always closed matched as you would expect.
The other surprise is that just because a window may be effective at keeping out the rain, it does not guarantee the same window will effectively keep out cold air or the wind. This is bad news and good news for the consumer.
The bad news is that you set your budget higher because you want quality you could get caught out if you don’t know what you are looking for. The good news is that you don’t have to spend top dollar to get replacement windows that are excellent value and quality. Either way, you need to read on to make sure you know what to look for.
2. Know Your Weather
Some say that when selecting a dog the most important variable is to match the breed’s energy level to your lifestyle. Get that right and everything else will follow.
What’s that got to do with windows? The principle of a matching environment is true for selecting windows. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to select windows that are designed for the climate your home is located in.
3. Know Your Numbers
You need to know your numbers and window ratings. Here are some basics to get you started…
This is the measure of light that comes through the window into your room. 1 is the highest and indicates a high level of light being transmitted through the window. As the numbers go down towards 0 the level of light gradually reduces.
Solar Heat Gain
This is a coefficient value that operates on the same principle as visible transmittance. 1 is the highest and indicates a high measure of heat being transmitted through the glass. As the number reduces down to 0 the heat transmittance is gradually reduced.
It stands to reason in a hotter environment or south-facing walls you want to cut out as much heat as possible and in colder environments, it is advantageous to have windows with a high solar heat gain coefficient.
This relates to the insulating properties of the window. The range starts around 0.2 and goes up to 1.2. The lower the number the more the window will keep the heat in the room. Once again, this is desirable for colder countries and climates.
Many windows come with a rating system that follows the Energy Star rating which is based on the above measures.
4. Know Your Materials
Modern windows are made from many different materials and this among other things is a big factor in influencing the pricing point. Consider some of the materials below.
- Vinyl – cheapest and offers good value and is a good insulator. The downside is that it is not the most attractive.
- Fiberglass – middle priced and durable with very low maintenance needed. the downside is that it is more expensive. In fact, you could pay double than that for vinyl.
- Aluminum – higher price but attractive. The downside is that it is not as efficient as other cheaper materials at insulating.
- Wood – Can be expensive but can look naturally gorgeous. The downside is that wood needs constant maintenance.
Depending on what your reasons are for replacing windows is also a big consideration in choosing the material. If it is because you are going to sell your home you need to think about what a ‘potential buyers’ expectations are. Check out this great article on preparing your home for the sales visit.
5. Break the Mold
Windows are a vital part of your home that is beyond question. Still, that does not mean you have to accept convention and go for something that everyone else has and says is “practical.”
Modern windows offer alternatives that you may not have thought of. Yet if you know their limitations you can quickly work out whether some of these ideas are suitable for you or not.
For example, consider Awning style windows. These are like windows that you may have in a caravan. They allow you to open the window wide and give plenty of ventilation while also offering protection from the elements. They also close tight and seal very well. These can be a really nice option depending on your room.
Another nice idea is louvered windows. These are like shutters made from glass. They look really good and offer something a bit different. Be aware, sealing them completely can be challenging.
Replacing Windows – One More Thing
With these 5 tips, you are well on your way to making the right choices when replacing windows. As said at the outset, the appearance of your windows has a major effect on the overall look and style of your house.
If you plan to sell your home you will want to make sure your home has a “curb appeal.” That includes your windows. Learn more about curb appeal here.