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New or Replacement Windows – What You Need to Know to Budget Wisely

When building or remodeling a home, there are certain projects that can cost a lot, plain and simple. Windows are one of the core elements of a home that are considered a big investment. It’s important to know what your window costs will be upfront so that you can decide what kind of investment you’re willing to make in this area of your build or remodel.

The good news about windows is your return on investment – according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, Phoenix area homeowners should expect to recoup at least 70% of the cost of replacing windows.

Thinking About Your Budget

Before beginning the project, you’ll need to determine how much you are willing to spend. Window costs can vary greatly depending on quantity, size, materials, labor, etc. Here are some things you should consider when planning a budget:

  • Your budget should consider value and not just cost. Invest in quality windows as much as possible to avoid having to replace windows again later on.
  • Windows don’t have to be an all or nothing deal. If you are replacing windows but don’t have enough money up front, break the project into more manageable stages Replace essential, leaky or more frequently used windows first and tackle the remaining windows at another time when finances allow.
  • Window framing materials can include wood, aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl. If you are working with a limited budget, vinyl generally costs less.
  • If energy efficiency is a major goal, choose double or triple paned windows. They cost more but will save on energy costs on the long run. At the very least, consider energy efficient windows for those areas in the home (rooms with poor insulation or especially sunny rooms) that are prone to leakage.
  • Consider your existing window frames – are they damaged or rotted out? If so, plan on paying more for new construction windows.
  • For new windows, decide on what shapes you’d like. XO Windows carries standard windows as well as triangle, octagon, arch and full circle windows, each of which has different pricing– make sure you factor that into your budget.
  • Look for a window installer who will install the windows, remove the old ones (if applicable), and provide basic cleanup and disposal.
  • Get an estimate from a reliable window distributer and ask what the estimate includes (cleanup, removal of old windows, enlarging openings to accommodate non-standard windows, etc.). XO Windows offers free estimate to all of our clients.

When creating your budget, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How many windows do I need to replace or install?
  • What size are they?
  • What shape are they?
  • Do I have any doors or patio doors that need replacing or installing?
  • Is energy efficiency important?
  • What materials do I want (vinyl, aluminum, wood, etc.)?
  • What’s my time frame for window installation/replacement?

Financing, Discounts and Rebates

Many companies offer financing, including XO Windows, to help with the purchase of new or replacement windows. You may also want to look into a home equity line of credit, which in some cases includes tax-deductible interest. If you are considering purchasing Energy Star Certified windows, you may qualify for government incentives like rebates and tax deductions that can compensate for the initial cost of the window.

You may be tempted to purchase windows from an outlet or big-box store and hire a handyman to install them or even install them yourself. However, window installation is a tricky process and there is a lot of room for mistakes. You may save a few bucks but end up with windows that are leaky, not well-sealed, or prone to dry rot down the road.

With such a critical component of a home or building, think long-term. Use a professional to ensure your investment is properly installed and will last. If you need help deciding on windows for your project, XO Windows can help. Call us or fill out the form on our website for a free estimate.

3 Helpful Tips for Window Replacements

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then windows are definitely the soul of the home. We cannot imagine a house created without them and yet they are an understated part of our everyday lives; until they are broken or stop functioning properly.

When it is time to replace your windows due to: age, a remodel or a wayward soccer ball, many consumers are not aware of their options and do not know where to start or even if their windows need replacing.

Here are 3 commonly asked questions and helpful tips about replacing your windows.

1. Why are my windows foggy and weeping? If you have double paned windows, some homeowners have the problem of water gathering in between the glass. This makes your windows look like they have a film on them, a film that you cannot wipe away. Most people describe this as foggy windows. Windows can also weep in between their panes, so that it looks like it is raining within the glass layers of your window.

These view-disturbances are both caused by the same reason.Double paned windows have gases in between the glass layers that are denser than air, designed to prevent fogginess and weeping, but over time the seals can break down. Fixing a foggy window is purely for aesthetic reasons, but windows contribute exponentially to the beauty of our homes. If you can’t see out your windows, then what are they good for?

2. What are the products out there that I should be aware of?You are going to want to get windows that are Energy Star certified. Windows that are Energy Star certified should save you around 7-24% on your energy bill. They are more expensive than an average window, but they help save you money every month. Products that have Low-E reflective glass and dual panes are also a good option. Low-E stands for low-emissivity and this microscopic coating on the windows helps reflect light and heat back to its source. This coating also impedes a considerable amount of radiant heat and helps decrease heat flow through the window.

Dual panel windows are pretty much the standard for the industry, but if there is a side of the house that is positioned to take a lot of direct sunlight during the heat of the day, especially if you live in a city like Phoenix in the Southwest, you might want to consider triple-pane windows. Flush Fin vinyl windows are another option. These are pre-made windows that allow for easy installation and in some cases work well for quick builds or remodels; click here to learn more about window options.

3. Where can I get the best deal on my window replacement? A window replacement company should come to your office or home, measure your windows and give you an estimate free of charge. If the window is broken, they should be able to replace it that same day. If not, you should move on because broken glass and damaged windows are hazardous in any situation. At the very least, if your windows are especially unique and need to be ordered, let the window company professionally secure the area so that no harm will occur to you or your property.

You should treat your window replacement as any other investment and give yourself options and shop around. You just have to do the leg work. Gather 3-5 estimates on your windows from venders in the area so that when you do decide on a window replacement company you will know that you got the best product for the best deal.

Curb appeal is very important when it comes to selling homes or getting a good return on your investment. Windows are very impactful to the aesthetics of a home and one of the first things potential buyers notice when they are looking for a home. So whether your windows are old, broken or just in need of an upgrade, these 3 tips will get you on your way to the perfect window replacement for your home or project.

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