Window replacement shouldn’t be done hastily, the repercussions from a “good deal”, fast installation, or the cheapest bid can be very costly in the long run. We have worked with dozens of home owners that had replaced their windows only to find that they have more problems now, than they had originally. And no matter how good the windows are, if cheap, fast installation methods are used you could end up with leaks. When choosing your contractor make sure they give you the manufacturers’ installation guide lines for installing the new windows and make sure that he follows them. Another good idea is to check with your local building officials to make sure that the contractor is meeting the wire lath and building paper overlap requirements.
Replacement windows add value from every perspective. If you’re thinking about replacement windows, there’s no reason to wait. The benefits start immediately. From enhancing your home’s interior to adding to its curb appeal, to increasing your home’s energy efficiency, new windows transform a home from ordinary to outstanding. What’s more, out of all the home improvement projects you could do, this is one of the few projects that starts putting money back in your pockets through increases in energy efficiency. New windows provide one of the best returns on investment of any home improvement project. Especially if there backed by a full lifetime guarantee, these are the lasting windows you’ll never have to buy again. Sticking. Sweating. Screeching and Fogging are some of the problems that affect older wood or aluminum windows. New vinyl or fiberglass replacement windows won’t be a problem now or even years down the road. They open when you want them to open. They lock when you want them to lock. They slide easily. They don’t need painting. They keep drafts out. And they do it forever, guaranteed. You can cut heating and cooling losses with Milgard SunCoat™ Low-E all climate, all-season glass. You’ll find it on all Milgard insulated windows. Not only does it make windows more energy efficient, but it also protects your carpet and furniture from fading. SunCoat Low-E blocks infrared light and reduces the effects of ultra violet rays.
- RAM Builders provides and installs most manufacturers vinyl, fiberglass, wood jamb aluminum clad framed windows. In a variety of window frame colors with the most energy efficient glass available.
- Should I replace my windows? You can’t go wrong replacing aluminum windows. They don’t open and close well, they seep heat and cold, water condenses on the frame and causes the paint on your blinds and window sills to peel off, and they’re drafty. Most homes, even the high end homes, are only built with “builder grade” vinyl windows. This means they have the thinnest frame out of the all the different grades of vinyl windows, which is not good. Windows with thinner frames don’t stand up to wind. Builder grade windows in large openings are probably not even rated for moderate winds, which can cause the frames of the windows to be compromised, which causes leaks at the window seals or the wall areas below the windows. Advances in low E glass, argon gas, along with lifetime warranties against breaking glass and against vapor condensation between glass, as well as energy rebates and more secure locking mechanisms are very good reasons to replace aluminum or builder grade vinyl windows. Windows with mullions (mullions are plastic strips used to connect two or more windows together) are notorious for leaking. Window manufactures have responded and now mull the windows at the factory and new windows now come with at least a 10 yr. warranty against leaking.
- A replacement window should be installed using the same building code requirements and methods that are used during new construction. This requires the removal of the home’s exterior cladding from around the window down to the “2x” framing of the home. This allows the new windows to be installed correctly; tying right into the existing building papers, behind the exterior, with the new window flashings. Windows installed without the removal of the exterior cladding is done to cut a corner, making the installation cheaper but will almost always cause the windows to leak. RAM Builders has worked on countless projects where home owners spared no expense on the best windows, but the contractor used poor installation techniques causing the expensive new windows to leak.
- Common Window replacement methods that will leak:
- Cut and caulk method is done by cutting around the frame of the existing window to sever the nail fin, removing the glass and collapsing the existing window frame, then removing the nail fin from around the new window, installing the new window, fastening the window through the side of the window since the nail fin has been removed and caulking from the window to the homes exterior cladding.
- At window replacement jobs on stucco walls the contractor will use a skill saw to cut the stucco from around the windows, cutting through the stucco, the wire lath and building papers, leaving no way to tie the new window flashings into the existing building papers, or for the new wire lath that’s placed around the windows to tie into the existing wire lath.
- Z bar or Flush Fin windows are not meant to be installed on walls that require secondary water management (stucco, brick, stone, siding all have secondary water management behind them). These windows were designed for block or cement walls, like a basement window. Contractors use these to cheat on the amount of labor it takes to install a window. They rely on caulking to keep a window from leaking short-term, and they don’t meet manufacturer installation guidelines, building code requirements, and more importantly they simply flat-out don’t work!
- Don’t replace your windows because you have a leak at the top of the window into the home. The window itself is often blamed for the leak but most times it’s coming from a deficiency above the window in the homes exterior cladding.
If complete stucco removal becomes necessary, as was the case in the home above, then it can be a good time to replace windows.
Sometimes brick or stone must be removed and then replaced in order for there to be a proper tie- in to the existing building components.
Commercial buildings can also experience window failure. The aluminum windows above were swapped out with high efficiency vinyl windows.