We should have changed our windows rather than simply replace them when we had the chance.
We’ve all heard this lament at sometime from a homeowner who completed a major remodeling project. Today, more than ever, homeowners contemplating a window replacement or general remodel project need to listen to this cautionary tale. When it’s time to replace your windows, seize the opportunity to enhance the look of your home, do not just replace your windows.
It’s likely that 75% of the windows in your home as they were originally installed are still functionally adequate for your lifestyle. However, it’s likely that there are rooms, which could be visibly enhanced with a different style window. Consider casements to replace double hung windows, so you don’t have to climb on your kitchen counters to open a few windows over the sink? Maybe, the stationary transom window above the entry door could be replaced with an awning inviting fresh air to flow through your home? Or maybe it’s time to update your home’s curb appeal with a more contemporary look by selecting new windows that have minimal detailing and integrated window coverings?
Simple changes can yield dramatic results.
Enlarging or changing a window style is likely going to cost more than simply replacing the exact window, but don’t be afraid to know the facts. Ask how much it would cost to modify a window opening and compare the price of the window you want versus an identical replacement to the ones you have now. Could you replace a non-operable bathroom window with the same size awning window fitted with privacy glass? Or could you replace an old double hung with a tilt-and-turn window? With a side hinge, tilt-and-turn windows lets the sash swing horizontally and with a bottom hinge that permits the window to be opened like an awning window are ideal for maintenance and increased air flow.
The more you understand your options, the better decisions you can make. Let’s say you want to make the window opening bigger. If your window is in a wall that’s not masonry you can make changes pretty easily. If you’re remodeling, including replacing the homes siding, you may have the option of using new construction windows in addition to replacement windows, opening up a wider selection of prices and styles to choose from. Additionally, understand that it’s usually easier to enlarge the window opening vertically, by cutting downward because it enables you to use the existing header. With a little understanding and planning you may be able to avoid custom sizes by enlarging the space to fit a standard window of your choosing.
Make a Budget
As Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat said, “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.”
When it comes to home improvements the cardinal rule to remember is to have a budget that gets you to the end of the project you envision. If you follow the simple formula above you’ll get the windows you want at the price you can afford. Begin with a clear strategy outlining the kind and number of windows to be replaced. Refine your list based on the construction feasibility; weighing the cost versus the return and you now have a plan. With your plan in hand, visit window showrooms, home shows and the Web to see what products are available and the cost of those options – you can now build a budget.