Performing new window installations—whether you're doing so at a brand new house or one you intend to remodel—is one of the better ways to put your stamp on your residence. There are, however, a number of practical factors that matter in this process. Working from this list, you'll have a chance to get the most out of your window installation effort.
If you're performing new construction, you should have all the permits you need to also put in windows. Folks find, though, that getting permits for remodeling is a hit-or-miss issue, as sometimes they're required and sometimes they're not. The general rule of thumb is that you'll have to get a permit for a new window installation if the project involves cutting a new hole in the house or expanding an existing one. It's always a good idea, however, to contact your local compliance office to ask what the rules are in your area.
The ability of any product to provide insulation is referred to in the building and renovation trades as the R-value and the U-value. R-value refers to the material's resistance to conducting heat. A high R-value is desired, and a rating of five or above should deliver a high level of performance. U-value, which refers to the insulating factor, goes the opposite way; lower values are preferred. You want to find a product with a number between 0.17 and 0.39.
In order to streamline the process, you can also hunt for products that bear the Energy Star logo. There will be a label, usually bright yellow, that gives you the previously mentioned R- and U-values.
Dealing with Frames
Framing for a new window installation is often one of the bigger challenges. Foremost, you want to know that everything will fit. This may lead to having to tear out the existing frame in order to get your windows in. Secondly, there are concerns about the R- and U-values of the frames, too. In order to address this, you'll need to talk with your installer about different types of insulation that can be utilized. The important thing is to not waste the value of a window by having a frame that leaks air.
Product type will be the driving factor in the cost of a new window. Vinyl products will run between $450 and $600, including installation costs. Wooden windows will likely run closer to $1,000.