Windows are not a replacement-level household item, like a smoke detector or air filter. You can’t just go grab any old generic window off the shelf, swap it out, and call it a day. No, replacing windows takes more thoughtful consideration.
And that process can take a bit longer than you originally anticipated. You quickly learn there are a lot of options — different styles, materials, features, and benefits. If you don’t take the time to understand your options, you could make a costly mistake.
Common mistakes in the window replacement process
It might overwhelm you at first, but getting started with window replacement can be quite simple. With a little patience and education, you can quickly get to know your options and make the right decision for your home. Spending that time up front helps you avoid some of the most common pitfalls people fall into when they make quick decisions on windows.
1. Doing it yourself.
Amateur DIYers need not apply. Only the most accomplished upgraders should take on a window replacement project. Even then, you need the skills, experience, tools, and time to get the job done right.
But a properly-fitting and energy efficient window starts long before installation. You need an accurate measurement to begin with. Any slip-up in this step can affect every part of the process. You may end up with the wrong size of window or damage your wall or siding. A poor fit may even force you to replace your new windows far sooner than you’d like.
For most homeowners, it’s best to rely on the pros for an accurate measurement and proper installation. Another perk of hiring a pro: the warranty. Pella window warranties cover both the product and its installation, protecting your investment.
2. Relying on price alone.
Every decision you make factors into the price of a window. Long for black frames? Want to save on energy costs? Hate cleaning and maintenance? There’s a window to fit all your needs, but it might cost you a little extra.
The same applies to the quality of the window. Not all window manufacturers and products are equal. Bargain windows may sacrifice things to get that low price. They may lack the same quality of materials and craftsmanship as other windows on the market.
Remember, you’ll likely only go through the window replacement process once, maybe twice, in your lifetime. So think of it as an investment, not an expense. It might be a significant upfront cost, but think about the potential energy savings, time savings on cleaning or maintenance, and resale value. If you’re able to place monetary value on the happiness and enjoyment of windows that fit your style and needs, figure that in, too.
SEE ALSO: How to Choose the Best Window Replacement Company
3. Getting an exact replacement.
Did you really love your old windows? Unless you picked them out yourself, you can probably find some room for improvement. When you replace with an exact replica of your existing window, you can miss out on the latest styles, innovations, and trends.
You might feel the pull to match your existing window style to make your home consistent — especially if you’re replacing a single window. But it’s okay to mix and match styles, colors, and designs. So look at all your options, whether they’re similar to your current windows or completely different.
4. Failing to consider your climate.
Designs have improved and adapted to the point where there are windows and features created specifically for various climates. Whether your weather is hot, cold, or both, you can find windows fit for your local conditions.
Your choice of materials, glazing, and style would likely change if you switched ZIP codes. Choose the technology that matches your local climate and the functionality to keep your home comfortable through extreme temps.
5. Ignoring aesthetics.
With all the other decisions in the window replacement process, it’s easy to gloss over arguably the most critical one: the look. Windows are durable and can last for decades. You might be happy with your choice from a financial standpoint, but will you feel the same way years from now when you drive up to your home or admire your landscaping from your living room?
Think of aesthetics for your own personal enjoyment, as well as for others. Beautiful windows boost curb appeal and can add to resale value. So choose the look you love, but consider other potential owners if you’re not already in your forever home.
Windows are custom-built to your specs. There’s no out-of-the-box answer and no quick fix. But if you do your homework, you can actually save on time, stress, and unexpected costs down the road.