Replacing windows for an entire home can feel overwhelming. I hear advertisements for windows that claim to be manufactured specifically for the Northwest to protect a home from damage due to our weather conditions. Consumers often feel confused. Windows are NOT confusing; sales tactics are. The goal of this blog is to simplify purchasing of widows for the consumer and to give a couple of websites that consumers can go to for more information.
What do most consumers want when replacing windows?
1. Energy Savings (This is very boring to describe, all of the details for energy ratings will be on our KOMO website). Most windows are now Energy star rated http://www.energystar.gov/. Another rating system is the NFRC rating, which is the most accurate description for rating energy efficiency. The details will be on our web site http://www.nfrc.org/about.aspx. Double pane vs triple pane? The energy savings for double vs triple pane windows is nominal. On our web site there is a table to help the consumer compare the actual energy savings, vs the cost of the window.
2. Aesthetics People want an improvement in the overall look of their home. There are really only 4 types of window materials available.
Clad windows (vinyl covered aluminum)
When replacing windows simply ask yourself what you want your windows to look like? Cut out pictures of windows and shop for the look for your home. The bottom line is that the majority of in home window sales are pushing vinyl windows. Vinyl is the least expensive and least desirable from the aesthetics perspective.
3. Increased value to a home. My advice is to drive around the neighborhood and look at the windows in your neighborhood. Note: look AT the windows not IN the windows! lol
In my opinion there are many good choices for the consumer. Never feel pushed. There is not a window that is superior to all other windows. Consumers need to remember what their goals are and determine if a product meets their objectives.
Finally, you should be aware that the tax credit for window replacement is $1,500. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=windows_doors.pr_taxcredits