Wednesday, January 23, 2008
One relatively simple way to increase the value in your home is to replace the windows. This not only improves your home's appearance, but it can add modernization and style as well. It's also a good idea if your home is older and you're looking to save on energy costs. If you do decide to replace your windows, choose a style that goes with the current look of your house and adds to its appearance. This is most important with vinyl/PVC and aluminum designs when you install them in older homes. Before you start, look at homes similar to yours in your area and determine which effect looks best for your particular type of home.
One important thing to keep in mind is the delivery time. You should always ask your windows supplier how long it will take to have yours delivered. To protect yourself, make sure this is stipulated in your contract as well. In addition, you should ask for an estimate of the work's duration once installers are on your home's site.
Unlike many other building projects, most window replacement projects do not require that you get a permit to do them. However, should you need to enlarge an opening and install a new header, you will need a permit. Another thing to watch out for is if a bedroom window has a change of style. The building department will require that the new style conform to the egress code. Many contractors will arrange the permits at additional cost to you, since this will consume more of their time. Some contractors will simply ask you to pay for the permits, which they will then arrange for.
Always ask your supplier how long the delivery will be. It's also a good idea to have this stipulated on your contract. Additionally ask for an estimate of how long the work will take to complete once they are on site. One major problem with the window, siding and roofing business is that anyone with a pickup truck and a ladder can easily call themselves a contractor. Many do not even bother to get a proper license. (Incidentally a license can easily be obtained by filling out a simple application form and payment of less than $200.00 per year). These contractors are not required to have an office, they can work out of their basement, back yard or just out of their pickup truck. It's easy to get into the business and it's even easier to get out of the business. For this reason in particular we only recommend you deal with established contractors who have a supporting infrastructure. Ask your contractor / supplier for a written lien waiver. Employees, subcontractors, and suppliers have the right in most jurisdictions to file mechanics liens against your property if the contractor does not pay them. Even though you may have paid your contractor for those materials or work, if he doesn't meet his financial obligations, the workmen or suppliers can look to you for payment. After you pay the contractor, make sure to get copies of lien waivers to protect yourself from having to pay for the job twice.
If you'd like to upgrade the appearance of your home, one good way to do it is to replace the windows. It may positively but subtly upgrade your home's appearance and may also help you with such things as energy costs. In addition, it will update your home's style relatively simply. If you have decided to replace your windows, be sure to choose a style that goes with your home's original appearance. The Andersen or Crestline replacement windows should not be so "modern" in a classically styled home, for example, that they stand out garishly; rather, they should blend in well with whatever style your home is. This is especially important if you choose vinyl/PVC or aluminum materials in older homes. Before you start the installation, go look at homes in your area that have had this type of work done and determine which style looks best for your particular type of home based upon what you see.