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How To Buy Windows And Doors

Updated on June 14, 2014

The most common signs that you need replacement windows and doors include drafts of warm or cold air, condensation, rotting wood, misaligned or split sashes, and difficult operation of the unit. Broken glass can be replaced or you can simply get a new sash or door panel. If neither of these seems to be an option, you'll need a new unit. Replacing units to match more recent additions is also common. If you are building your own home or taking over plans for a home that wasn't completed, some of these tips still should be helpful for you. If you live in a historic area, be certain to verify and adhere to the current regulations to avoid a costly replacement of your replacement.

For a replacement project, decide if you will simply replace the old unit or if you would like to change the style or function of the window or door. For instance, a casement (crank out) window could be replaced with a double hung window to provide a more traditional look or to provide a deterrent to small children and pets from falling. Out swing doors and casement windows are better at keeping weather out and should be considered when you need to buy one particularly if your project is located in windy coastal areas. For new construction projects you or your contractor should be able to provide a list or blueprints of the sizes that you will need to get pricing of the units.

Think about what material you prefer. Vinyl is a popular choice because it is energy efficient, low priced, and low maintenance. Wood windows offer you the ability to paint, increase the home's value, and wood is energy efficient. However, wood windows do require maintenance and tend to cost more than other materials. Composite windows offer the benefits of wood and vinyl at a price point between the two. With composite materials, you will not have to worry about insects destroying your windows and you will have a variety of colors to choose from. You may need to visit a store to examine the different materials before deciding.

Research prices in stores and online. Understand that some stores will quote you prices over the phone while others will not do so and you will need to have the sizes handy. They need the size of the rough openings for your unit(s) before they can calculate a price. If you have not decided who will be installing the units, please do so before you approach a store that only sells windows and doors.

If they provide installation and sell units to DIY'ers and contractors, it will be very inconvenient for them to give you contractor or DIY pricing only to find out later that you will need them to install. This is because the installation price can sometimes be several times more than the price of the units and you will be angry after hearing unit pricing only. Getting two different prices causes you a good deal of dissatisfaction and confusion, let alone distrust of the company even where this is not warranted. Decide who will be installing before you inquire at stores that sell windows and doors and nothing else.

Decide what options you absolutely must have and don't think twice about those you don't need. If you don't need shades or blinds between the glass to save these items from abuse from little ones, you will save a lot of money. When energy savings or infiltration of exterior noise is a concern, you may look into getting triple panes of glass. There are a lot of other options available such as remote controlled windows and shades. Before you think that these items are only for luxury or resort homeowners, think again.

In areas where the windows are just out of reach or completely out of reach, remote controlled units can be a necessity, not a luxury. If security is a primary concern, you will need a steel door. The most aesthetically pleasing doors typically have some amount of decorative glass in them. The most intricate designs or unique materials often send prices soaring but if you do more research, you will likely find a similar design that fits your needs and budget. I have seen grand entry doors that cost as much as a luxury car and similar designs for less than half that price that are made with high quality materials and craftsmanship. Shop around.

Looking for rock bottom bargains while getting doors and windows installed will likely come back to haunt you. If you choose to get someone to install for you, verify their license(s) and insurance. Do the same if your contractor hires a subcontractor because they will have access to your property and can do thousands of dollars in damage your home if they don't know what they are doing. Further, some contractors and subs are less than trustworthy around your belongings. Those who are not the most trustworthy typically don't have licenses or insurance. Check them out!

© 2012 Express10


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    • profile image

      Candice Harding 3 years ago

      This hub is a great starting place for people looking to replace their doors. Shopping around is definitely the best option. Most kinds of doors (even the patterned glass doors) have a cheaper, but still quality counterpart on the market.

      Candice Harding

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 6 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much again for something useful :) great Hub