Home restoration can be a project, a challenge, and even a frustration but ultimately worth the effort and money in a variety of ways. The right home restoration can offer the homeowner the opportunity to customize their space to their exact liking, allowing them the chance to live in a home that they love and that completely reflects their personality and style. In addition, the right home restoration can increase the efficiency and, ultimately, the value of the home; as in the case of window restoration and replacement.
Windows are both an aesthetic and functional consideration and many, many homeowners make the decision to either restore or replace their windows – to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and overall make their homes more attractive. They have found, as so many before them, that the math makes sense; that putting the money into their windows is a solid investment on every level. Of course, entering into any type of home restoration project can be a challenge. Success comes with proper research and planning.
The following are the top five tips for window restoration and replacement:
1. To restore or replace; that is the question. When looking into putting money into windows, the first course of action is to decide whether it’s best to restore the existing windows or replace them altogether. In an older home with historical significance, it may be best to restore – rather than replace – windows.
New windows added to an older facade can look odd and out of place. Refurbishment can fix windows that have succumbed to aging and fallen into disrepair, while still maintaining the character and integrity of a classic home. In some cases – when windows have disintegrated to the point that they are beyond repair or in newer model homes when replacing windows may be more cost-effective than repairing them – window replacement may be the best course of action.
Frame decay, especially, can allow bugs and moisture to enter the home and may even inhibit the opening and closing of windows making them a safety concern.
2. Get educated! Just as with the purchase of any other product, the purchase of windows starts with knowing what you want; what will be the right fit for you and your home. If you choose to replace – rather than restore – your windows, make sure you understand the materials, styles, and colors available to you and the prices you can expect to pay. Educate yourself on window manufacturers and the warranties that are offered with various products. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that objectively evaluates windows, skylights, and doors based on their energy efficiency.
3. Set your budget. Repairing or replacing windows can be a sound investment for sure, but it doesn’t make short-term economic sense if you spend beyond your means. Set a budget that works for you and familiarize yourself with the options available to you within that budget.
4. It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Successful window restoration or replacement – as with any other home project – depends enormously on the people doing the actual work; and unless you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you should rely on the professionals to get the job done.
The market is ripe with so-called window experts and it can be confusing to find the right professional for a job, but it remains a crucial part of the process. The Internet is the most important resource available to homeowners today, as they can easily find reviews on window professionals.
Another way to go about it is to talk to friends and neighbors who have recently had work done on their home so that they can give a firsthand account of a professional’s work and offer their recommendation for a particular job.
5. Consider custom. While it is certainly far less expensive to buy standard-sized, pre-manufactured windows, custom windows will always offer the gold standard in terms of solid fit and subsequent energy efficiency and aesthetics.
Window restoration or replacement can make an enormous difference in the look, feel, and efficiency of a home. Whether you choose to restore your windows or replace them, you can be sure that the investment will yield you a more efficient home – in terms of energy conservation and noise reduction – as well as a home that looks great and shows every dollar of its value.