When Do I Need to Upgrade My Builder-Grade Windows?

When Do I Need to Upgrade My Builder-Grade Windows?

It’s always exciting to remodel your home. There’s a special delight in making your own choices about the big and small details instead of being stuck with someone else’s decisions. There’s one detail that needs special attention, though: when to do window upgrades.

If you didn’t choose to upgrade your windows during the building process, you’ll start out with builder-grade windows. If you’re remodeling a home where such upgrades have never been done, you may already see the long-term signs of that decision.

The simple reason for this is that builder-grade windows are usually picked with your builder’s profit margin in mind. You need to aim higher if you want quality in this key aspect of your home.

Signs That You Need a Windows Upgrade

Builder-grade windows look perfectly functional at first. They have glass, seem solid, and keep out the rain. The difference is that quality windows have a decades-long lifespan, while cheaper options will start to show their age much more quickly.

At first, wear will show up in little ways. Maybe the window sticks a bit: This is a seemingly minor annoyance that hints the frame is weakening. Hardware problems will start to show up with persnickety locks or windows failing to stay open.

At some point, the more serious consequences of frame and hardware problems will show up. The window will start to look foggy no matter how much you clean it. Condensation will turn up on its inner surface on humid days and frost on cold days.

When that point is reached, the window has basically ceased to function. It does little or nothing to contribute to the room’s comfort.

Why It’s Good to Upgrade

It may at first seem like a money-saving option to wait on doing upgrades, but a non-functional window will quickly impose other costs. Your heating bills rise as you have to crank up the thermostat to have some level of fall or winter comfort. Air conditioning becomes more essential in summer as you feel the lack of insulation from the heat.

Failing windows likewise get less efficient at blocking sound from outside. If you live on a busy block, this can have real implications to the overall peace in your home. Doing the math on energy bills and the costs of lost sleep will rapidly clarify the long-term value of an upgrade.

What to Look For When Replacing Builder-Grade Windows

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when you’re replacing faulty windows. Think about features that will save money and enhance your house’s appeal. It’s also a good idea to think through your choice of contractor.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient windows are a great way to bring down your energy bills. Energy Star-compliant windows bring together features like multiple panes, gas fills, and low-E glass.

Sound Shield Technology

Noisy environments become a lot more livable with windows designed to block external sound. Double-pane windows can help, but the gold standard here is Sound Shield absorbing glass.

Better Light, Views, and Curb Appeal

You can choose your new windows to maximize light and provide better views of your neighborhood. Visually pleasing windows can enhance your home’s overall value.

Finding the Right Contractor

If you want durable, high-quality windows, contact the professionals at Thompson Creek today and let us help you get the most out of your window upgrade.