Things to consider when buying new windows

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Things to consider when buying new windows

 
June 1, 2011
 
Whether buying a new home or renovating a current property, homeowners could benefit from installing new windows. Financially, switching from older windows to new ones can save homeowners between 5 and 25 percent in energy costs, said CNNMoney. But even when not considering the financial benefit, new windows simply look nicer, they are easier to open and clean, and they block out noise and the cold better than older models. CNNMoney recommends a few factors to keep in mind when window shopping.
 
Consider your property's current style
 
Though a homeowner likely won't recoup the cost of replacing the windows when they sell a house, the report says new windows should fit cosmetically with the current property. The easiest way to avoid a style clash is to simply purchase the same type of window one had before. Vinyl windows should replace old vinyls, woods replacing old woods. The best compromise may be to buy clad windows, said the report, since they can be as classy as wood windows but aren't as expensive and don't require painting. They can also fit in with most architectural styles, one-upping vinyl windows.
 
Lean toward energy efficiency
 
Homeowners will only be doing themselves a favor by considering a window that saves money on energy costs. In addition, these windows are often most appealing to home buyers, giving homeowners a leg up if they choose to sell down the road. They can sometimes cost a little extra, said CNNMoney, but the costs are often mitigated by the savings in energy expenses.
 
Talk to a number of contractors
 
The business of replacing windows can get expensive, especially if one is considering a true replacement that removes the interior and exterior trim and insulates or seals gaps where air can escape. A window insert can be more cost-effective but may not fix issues of energy efficiency since poor insulation leaves air gaps open. CNNMoney suggests homeowners do their research and get quotes from a variety of contractors. They can explain costs and benefits to each method, and consumers can give themselves the option of picking the most inexpensive one. Additionally, if homeowners are handy around the house, they could save even more by performing a window insert on their own, though the more comprehensive option would require a contractor.