Marvin Replacement Windows - Introduction
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Best Replacement Windows Buying Guide

Overview

With over 22 different brands of replacement windows currently available, it can be challenging to select the best window for your needs. There are many important decisions to be made when choosing new windows. There are a vast number of energy efficiency, style, warranty, and installation options to consider. Spending time to research these issues will result in the best replacement windows for your home, with the assurance that they have been installed properly, and will provide you with a good return on investment. Replacement windows are available in a variety of materials to suit your design and budget needs including: vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood.


Style and Feature Options

Before deciding on which window manufacturer to purchase from, it is important to think about the features that are most important to you. While energy efficiency is the best reason to replace your windows with new ones, many customers consider ordering additional features including simulated divided lights, etched glass, custom obscure glass, standard grids, v-groove, double locks and brickmold.

There are quite a variety of window configurations to choose from when deciding how you want your new windows to open and close. You can choose from sliding windows, picture windows, double sliders, casement windows, single hung and double hung windows, awning windows and half rounds to name a few. Usually, homes built before 1970 commonly have original single and double hung windows, while newer homes normally have sliding windows. Single hung and double hung windows are considered to be a contemporary old world style whereas sliding windows are associated with a modern conventional look.

Selecting the right windows and style options is a complicated and detailed process that requires a lot of decision making on the part of the homeowner. In the end, it will be well worth it since replacement windows not only have a return on investment of 91%, but they will both enhance the look and greatly increase the comfort of your home.


Energy Efficiency

Most new windows come with standard energy efficiency features that include double pane glass, lowe3 and argon gas. The lowe3 coating combined with the argon gas reduces the radiant heat passing through the glass and into your home, by up to 86%. This reduces the amount of air conditioning you need to keep your home comfortable during the summer months. Additionally, the lowe3 coating stops any UV rays from coming through the glass and fading your furniture and carpets. Since all replacement windows have double strength double thick glass, including Anlin, Amsco and Amerimax, this reduces the outside noise by 40%, and creates a more comfortable and quiet environment inside your home.


Pricing and Contractor Tips

A common mistake many customers make is going with the lowest priced window bid. In the short term you may think you saved money, but in the long term you will realize it was never worth the true cost. My best advice is never go with the lowest priced bid. Choose a company that will both sell and install your windows for you. Make sure they have a triple AAA rating from the better business bureau and an A rating on Angie's list. With so many competitors flooding the replacement window market, it can be difficult to choose the right company to work with. The best way to determine if the company is right for you is by checking out their credentials. Make sure the company you select has all of the correct licenses, insurance and permits necessary to complete your window replacement smoothly.


Warranty Options

After you have determined your preferred brand of replacement window and the stylistic choices you prefer, be sure to check with the window manufacturer regarding their product warranty. While most warranties will be limited lifetime warranties, other manufacturers may include glass breakage or screen replacement in addition to the standard warranty. The glass breakage warranty does not often cover acts of God like earth quakes, floods or hurricanes. This would normally be covered by your standard homeowners insurance.


Permit Requirements

Once you have selected your window manufacturer and are ready to move forward with the ordering process, be sure to ask your local building and safety department if a permit for retrofit replacement windows is required. Some cities will not require a permit; most cities will place the responsibility of getting a permit for replacement retrofit windows on the homeowner. If the homeowner decides not to get a permit and ends up getting caught without one on the day of installation, the building inspector will stop the window installation and fine the homeowner. This fine can be as much as $400, so be sure to find out the rules regarding permits for your city before moving forward.


Installation Choices

Never take short cuts by hiring your neighbor to install your windows, because in the end the money you save is never worth the potential trouble. If a retrofit window is installed incorrectly, it can leak both water and air. If water is able to get inside due to a poorly installed retrofit fit window, this can cause mold to grow inside your home. Mold is toxic and can spread both on the inside and outside of your walls and ceilings causing allergic reactions to those who occupy the home. Play it safe and make sure your windows have been installed correctly by Ahma certified installers.

While the installation of replacement windows often takes one or two days to complete, the manufacturing of custom sized replacement windows can take as long as 3-5 weeks. So be sure to consider this time frame when planning the remodel of your home. Once the windows are manufactured, they are shipped to the dealer's warehouse, at which point the customer is contacted to set up an installation date.

The installation of your newly purchased replacement windows is by far the most important issue that must be considered. It won't matter how energy efficient your new vinyl windows are, if they are installed incorrectly. Make sure to find out who will be installing your windows, what licenses the business has, and whether the installers are Ahma certified. Many customers try to save money by ordering windows supply only and attempting to install them themselves. This is never a good idea.