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Upgrade Your Windows and Save

Replacement WindowsAs much as 30% of your home’s energy energy loss can be due to older single pane windows. If they are drafty and leaky the loss can be even more. So replacing older windows is a project that can easily pay for itself. If you live in a place that requires both heating and cooling new windows can save you money year round. But replacing windows can offer other benefits as well.

In addition to energy saving new technological advances have made replacing windows more advantageous than ever. Some new windows are treated with special coatings to reflect heat reducing your cooling load, some offer things like tinting or UV protection which protects furniture, walls, fabrics, and flooring from fading due to the sun’s UV rays. Most new windows have tilt in features allowing you to avoid using a ladder to clean them. Simply release a latch and the window opens so you can clean both sides while standing comfortably inside. Some new windows have grilles or blinds inside the glass allowing you to clean them quickly and easily without any interference.

New windows rarely need painting. Unlike older wooden sashes new windows are “clad” with vinyl or other material so they don’t require painting.

New windows can refresh the look of your house and increase your property value. Often you can recoup 70% of the cost of the windows when you sell. Add that to your energy savings and window replacement can be a good investment.

However, at first glance new windows can be expensive. But there are several tricks that can help you save on those great new windows.

Shop Around

Never settle for a simple trip to your local big box store. They may have the best deals on individual windows, but installation fees are often enormous. Also, big box home improvement stores often rely on freelance contractors to do installation work. The quality of these contractors can vary. You can eyeball some prices at big box stores, but make sure you check out professional window dealers. The people there will have far more expertise.

The one advantage of a big-box store is if you decide to do the job yourself. Doing so can save you a lot on upgrading your windows. There are two types of replacement windows i.e. “new construction” and “replacement windows”.  New construction windows require that you remove all the old window and sash and can result in some difficulties due to damaged trim or siding. Replacement windows are much simpler and save you on installation time and trim costs.

Size Matters

The best way to save on a replacement window is to buy “standard size” windows. If you can walk in to the store and find your size it will cost much less than having the windows custom made. However, this might result in your having to modify the opening, or widening of an existing hole. It’s significantly more labor-intensive to widen an opening than to reduce its size. This is especially true if your home has brick, stucco, or another type of siding that isn’t easily modified. So you have to weight the cost of stock windows vs. the labor required to change an opening when you choose what size windows you will use. And if you change the opening size you will need to use “new construction windows” instead of  “replacement windows”.

Off Season Deals

Unless there is an accident in the home, few people are looking to install windows during the winter months. This means many window dealers offer great deals this time of year. If you are willing to wait a bit, you might be able to save big simply by purchasing your windows in January instead of July.

Know Your Panes

Windows are often available with one, two, or three panes. Usually, windows with two panes are your best bet. These windows provide excellent insulation. Windows with three panes may provide a bit more insulation, but their primary focus is to reduce outside noise. If you want the most bang for your buck, select windows with two panes. Another option which can help reduce both noise and heat transfer is Argon gas. Some windows have argon gas between the panes which is denser than air and thus reduces both noise and heat transfer.

Know Your Architectural Options

If you are looking to replace a series of windows, don’t be misled into thinking you need to replace your windows with identical ones. For example, a long series of individual windows on a porch might be able to be replaced with only a couple of larger windows. Always ask to examine all types of windows that can fit in an available space. You will open yourself up to more options.

Avoid Interest Payments

If you can arrange to secure zero percent interest on your purchase, find a way to make that happen! If you can’t, you might be better off installing your windows in phases as you can afford them. If you choose this route you can replace the windows on the front of your home and then do the other sides in phases, perhaps spread over a couple of years. You don’t have to replace all your windows at once. If you choose the phases option, remember that the overall cost of the project may increase, you’ll just be paying for it in smaller chunks. So compare how much of a discount you will receive by getting the project done all at once, compared to the cost of the interest. Also, be sure to select a well established brand and style of window that will still be available when you need them .

Purchasing windows doesn’t need to break the bank. Use these tips above to get a spectacular deal the next time you need to purchase some windows for your home.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+