If you are thinking about replacing your windows, you will want to keep an ear out for any and all advice. We have compiled these 7 tips to help you make the best decision.
- Start by considering the building from the outside
First, try to picture the windows you want, consider the openability, colour, and glazing of the windows. Think about the wind and sound levels in the area, as well as the orientation of the windows. Assess the compatibility of the new windows with the rest of the building and any neighbouring buildings, because you might need permission from the housing cooperative and in some cases even the National Heritage Board.
- Determine the required characteristics for the new windows
Think about the purpose of the rooms where the windows are to be installed, and how often the rooms will be occupied, because modern windows are airtight. Before replacing your old windows, give some thought to how ventilation would be provided going forward and whether it is energy-efficient. Adequate ventilation is essential for the health of the occupants of the room.
How much sound insulation should the new windows provide?
If you would like the new windows to bring down your heating costs, you should consider windows with lower thermal transmittance, i.e. consider the U-values of the windows. Double-pane insulating glass units are becoming obsolete – the future of window design is triple glazing.
- Find out what the installation service includes
Window replacement is a dirty and extensive job, which is why you should know exactly what the installation service does and does not include. Does it include additional work, such as repairing and finishing the reveals, installing internal and external windowsills, etc.? Which of these are included in the price of the replacement of the windows and what is not? Perhaps replacing the windows in your building requires specific additional work?
- Consider the maintenance requirements and operation particularities
When replacing windows, it is also important to consider the ease of maintenance and operation of the new windows. Can they be opened? How? What kind of care do they need? Considering the maintenance requirements of the windows in the early stages will help you avoid issues such as the effects of intense sunlight on south-facing windows, etc. later on.
- Examine the warranty terms
Check the warranty period and whether there are any exclusions, whether you are buying the windows from the manufacturer or a distributor, and think about whether the vendor is likely to still be able to assume liability for its products in five years’ time. A window is a construction product and as such must be CE-marked and come with a user manual (including instructions for the installation and maintenance of the window). Windows are regulated by the European standard EN 14351-1.
- Establish the best time for replacing the windows
The preferred time for replacing windows is generally from late spring to early autumn, but modern installation foams enable windows to be fitted even in bitterly cold weather down to -10 °C. As the season is no longer a major factor in window replacement, you might wish to find out what your options are for replacing the windows at other times. You may find it more suitable for both you and your wallet.
And don’t forget to ask your window fitter how long the replacement will take, as this can vary between companies.
- Ask for advice from experts
This also comes recommended by the Estonian Association of Construction Material Producers (EETL) who have compiled a set of guidelines for window replacement. Do not hesitate to ask for or consult the manufacturer’s installation guides. Get multiple quotes from different companies for comparison and provide all the details you can when submitting your request for a quote. Do some research on the provider. A competent vendor will be able to inform you of the relevant options and risks. Before making your decision, see if you can take a look at previously installed windows.
Pay attention to how the provider communicates with you and consider the overall impression you get from them. The more informed you are about window replacement, the easier it will be to get a clear picture of the expertise of the company’s employees and make the final decision.