“Why can’t I just head over to my local home improvement store for new windows and do it myself?”
This is a question I hear from time to time and it’s one with important answers. Everyone these days is looking for both convenience and savings, which I completely understand. Whether shopping for athletic shoes, groceries or new windows, people want to feel like they’re getting exactly what they want and need and that they’re making a smart investment too.
Replacing the windows in your home IS an investment. It’s one that can pay you back in the long run in terms of heating and cooling savings and re-sale value, but only if you do it right.
Sometimes, what appears to be a “great deal” and “easy choice” ends up a disappointment with unexpected costs. This can be the case with pre-built standard measurement windows. Too many homeowners try to save money by purchasing “stock” windows (with standard measurements) from a big box home improvement store. They take this on as a DIY project and come away with major hassles and headaches– the decision does not benefit them over the long haul.
Windows need to be personalized. No two homes are exactly alike and this is also true for the window openings in your house. A window needs “wiggle room” to allow for the home to settle as it ages, so you need a replacement window that’s smaller than the window opening. But if the window is too small, you’ll have unmanageable gaps to deal with.
For instance, if your window measures 30” by 60”and you go with a pre-built, standard measurement window, you’ll probably leave the store with one that’s 28” by 54.” This means there are a lot of inches you’ll have to fill in or you’ll have a lot of airspace for drafts. This also creates a very wide exterior wrapping which can look unsightly…not the pleasing and seamless aesthetic you’re probably going for!
The drawbacks of standard measurement “stock” windows include:
- More likely to have to patch, fill and trim to get the window to fit properly.
- Possibility of having to add brick or siding to the exterior.
- More prone to drafts due to ill fit.
- If they aren’t installed correctly, the warranty is void
The benefits of custom windows include:
- A significant reduction of drafts & heat loss in your home.
- Ability to accommodate irregular-sized window openings.
- Increased energy efficiency which is easier on your wallet and the environment.
- More choices in the actual window design and features: stained glass, grilles, privacy glass and more.
- Professional installation to ensure the best fit.
- Worry-free, life-time guarantee.
I encourage you to do your research when selecting replacement windows and consider both the short- and long-term as you decide what’s best for your home.