Get the Right Windows
Three basic steps to make sure you’re up to date with the changing window market.
Whether you’re building or remodeling, you’ve got one good shot at getting the shell of the house right. In terms of energy efficiency, windows are always the weakest link in the building envelope. So it pays to make a wise choice. Windows also have a big effect on the way a house looks, feels, and functions.
Contrary to popular belief, your builder or local window dealer might not be the best source of information. Most builders’ main incentive is to keep things straightforward and minimize risk, so they tend to stick with the same suppliers. Window dealers also have established relationships, limiting your product selection. More than ever, it pays to hire an architect or designer, who will be open to a wider variety of solutions.
Window performance should be kept in proportion with the performance of the rest of the building envelope. With glass making up only 20% of the walls of the average home, and windows being a lot pricier per square foot than the rest of the shell, you should invest first in better-performing walls, roofs, and basements. But if you’ve already upgraded the rest of the house to better than average, you can take the comfort, efficiency, and functionality of your home to a new level with new window options. It takes just a little bit of inside knowledge.
Performance translates to comfort
While most homeowners think about price and aesthetics first, experts recommend flipping the script and focusing first on performance and long-term value. Energy savings add up quickly, and energy-efficient windows make a home more comfortable. For instance, the innermost pane of a triple-pane window is much closer to room temperature than the inner pane in a double-glazed unit, letting you sit close to the window without feeling heat or cold radiating…