House windows are so much more than just a cosmetic decoration for your home. They are part of the structure which determines how much money you will need to spend to keep your family warm through the winter or cool in the extreme summer heat, as well as a vital part of your house security.
You can completely replace your existing windows with new materials, fit storm windows inside to add extra protection, or completely rebuild your walls to accommodate a completely new type of window. It can be difficult to know exactly when to replace residential windows. Obviously, if the existing frames are rotting or damaged, you will be losing money consistently through increased fuel bills, and you will also be making it easier for an intruder to gain entry to your home. Replacing your windows will then be essential, and the problem will not get any easier the longer it is left. If the basic structure of your windows is sound, you have many more choices. A replacement can still pay for itself over time, and it can certainly allow you to realize a higher price should you sell the property. The one time outlay will be enough to put many people off, and there are other possibilities.
If your only concern is energy efficiency and heat loss, you can consider fitting storm windows to the inside of your existing windows. It is usually best to fit storm windows inside , because it preserves the outer appearance of the property, it avoids the need to leave gaps for rainfall to drain away, and it makes maintenance of the storm windows so much easier.
Storm windows can only achieve so much, however, and there will be times when a full replacement will allow you to get a much better result from your house windows. If you are building a family home for your future, or if you are planning to sell a basically good property which has poor windows, you will definitely find the initial expense worthwhile. The choice of materials is an important one, and needs more thought than it did in the past. Traditional wooden windows can certainly look the part, but modern fiberglass, aluminum, and polymer windows offer greater levels of insulation.
Choosing a tougher material for your windows gives you more than just increased insulation, because it will be harder for an intruder to enter your home. A wall is only as strong as its weakest component, and that is typically the window. If the window is large enough to be broken and to allow an intruder to climb in and enter the property, it will be sensible to consider building bars on the inside of the windows. If you do this, make sure you consider the implications in the case of a fire, as the window will no longer provide a potential exit.
If you are determined to save money on your new windows, one possibility is to carry out the installation yourself. This is strictly for those with the right knowledge and experience, and incorrectly installed windows can be a lot more than just expensive and wasteful. If you are the right type of person, and you want to invest sweat equity into your home, installing your own windows can be an extremely satisfying way of increasing value without breaking the bank. If you are on a tight budget, it can even let you install windows you otherwise would not be able to afford.
In most cases, though, house windows are best fitted by qualified professionals, and finding the right people for the job is becoming easier than it one was. In days gone by, the Yellow Pages or the local newspapers were the obvious place to find window installers, and when you found them you would have no knowledge of their levels of competence and dedication. The only way you could gain prior insight was if you happened to know someone who had recently had their own windows installed by the same business.
Now, installers of residential windows are easily found using the Internet, and there are often independent reviews of the business from people who have used it in the past. It is far more difficult now for a company which is not doing a good job to stay in business, and you will find it easier to locate businesses who can give you the right advice and exceptional service. Even so, it is worth taking the time to research the subject to find out exactly what is available, so you can have the right informed conversations with the installers. Knowing what you want helps you get the best from your house windows.