A Homeowner’s Checklist for Installing Windows

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What to look for in a Window Contract

You have made the commitment to replace your homes windows, some windows, just one window? It doesn’t matter. The process is the same. Only the cost will change.

Develop a Window Budget

How much money will it take to replace your windows? It’s important to establish a  budget for a window project. Lots of people go online and check window prices at the local hardware store. Online prices range from a few hundred dollars to several hundred dollars per window. It’s not a good way to figure out a realistic cost.

I recently installed 14 aluminum impact windows on a single story home for $14,000.00. An average 2 story home would probably cost $20,000.00 to $25,000.00. One window might be $2,500.00. It’s hard to say. Every home will be different.

Select Your Type of Windows

I’ll be brief here because this is a blog. If you want more information go to my full window web-page.  You can have aluminum or vinyl. They both meet the requirement. Vinyl will be more expensive but more energy efficient. There are all kinds of glass configurations. Thick glass or not so thick. Insulated (double panes) or not. Insulated will be more energy efficient. There is a bunch of other options like stainless steel hardware, color and style.

Choose between Impact Windows or Non-impact Windows

You may be able to install non-impact windows if you already have hurricane shutters. This will be a cost savings. However, your building authority may want you to upgrade the shutters. It’s not that common but, it does happen. You should probably call and check.

Installing non-impact windows and hurricane shutters will not save you money. The additional cost for the shutters will be greater than the saving on the window. There is one important point to consider here. The fasteners that secure hurricane shutters are problematic. They tend to leak. I see home owners every week with leaking windows they cant stop from leaking. They caulk and paint the windows, but the windows don’t stop leaking. They are surprised when I tell them it’s the shutters. They are also shocked when I tell them that caulking them wont help and that the windows needs to be replaced. Consider that if you choose to install hurricane shutters

How to Select Your Window Contractor

I have another blog titled “How to Hire a Contractor” that you might want to read. So I will leave all that stuff out and go right to the type of instillation you should look for. First, you want all new bucks. A window wood buck is the 1” wood strip installed in the rough opening. The window is fastened through the buck and in to the wall. Its a problem to try and reuse the old buck. Just ask for new ones. You want the contractor to  seal the buck with window wrap. You can see more on this page. And finally, you want your window contractor to re-apply stucco around the window when finished. It’s hard to believe, but some window companies don’t install stucco.

Do you need a Permit to Install Windows?

Yes, you most certainly do. There is no scenario under which should not have a permit when installing windows. The building department and your insurance company are very strict on this. Your windows are part of the building envelope. Poor instillation's leak. In terms of water and mold, and air-infiltration and energy efficiency. But most importantly they are your first line of defense for life safety in a high wind event. Always hire a licensed contractor and obtain permits.

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