Window installation: Materials, design, and energy efficiency
Window installations should let natural light into your home or facility, while insulating against high and low temperatures, as well as wind and moisture. Commercial and residential window replacements are often performed to enhance the energy efficiency of a building, or when windows are rotting, won’t close or are cracked.
Quality windows should be able to save you money on heating and cooling your facility or home. For increased energy efficiency, you should look for Energy Star certification, and for recommendations from the National Fenestration Rating Council. These organizations rate windows based on energy efficiency and quality.
If you’re considering a window installation or window repair in St. Louis, here’s what you need to know.
Window material, design and terminology
Wood window installations are a popular option for their durability, though they are prone to rotting if not maintained. Vinyl windows are cheaper and require less maintenance, but come in fewer colors and design configurations. A qualified window contractor will help you navigate these options, as well as other materials such as aluminum or fiberglass, to find the best option for your replacement windows or window installation.
There are also a wide variety of window designs. If, for example, you’d like more light in a room, but don’t require air circulation, then a fixed window—or one that doesn’t open—might work. Double hung windows have two tiltable sashes, making them incredibly easy to clean. The most common type of window—the single-hung window—has a fixed top sash, and a mobile bottom sash. Single hung windows are cheaper than their double-hung counterparts, yet still provide great ventilation and are easily cleaned.
The ability of a window to retain heat, most commonly referred to as the ”u-value” of your window, is also an important consideration. U-values range from 0.2 to about 1.2, with lower numbers indicating better thermal resistance. Other things to look for are low solar heat gain coefficient—which measures how much heat from the sun is allowed into your facility or home—and high visible transmittance. Skylights, for example, need to have a high visible transmittance rating to provide more natural lighting for your building.
Your window contractor will help you do a cost-benefit analysis of these—and other—window configurations, finding the best window for your facility or home’s structural, light and ventilation needs.
Window installation best practices
Window installation is highly technical and, to maximize a window’s service life, should only be done by a seasoned professional. They will know industry best practices to prevent against premature failure, such as proper preparation, insulation and installation techniques.
Your window contractor will begin a window installation by measuring the window opening’s height and width. They will measure each side at three points, to ensure there is no bowing or warping. The sides should be perfectly plumb to ensure the replacement window fits perfectly into the opening. They will then install a waterproof membrane so that the finished window installation will be watertight.
After the replacement window has been placed into the opening, your contractor will make sure the window installation is level, and then make sure the sides are perfectly square—this will prevent undue pressure from being placed on the frame or glass panes. After sealing the seam between the opening and the frame, your window contractor will place metal flashing around the perimeter.
Do you need a window replacement or window repair?
Perhaps you need an upgrade, or you need to fix a small crack. A trustworthy window contractor will evaluate your windows, working to give you the most value for the lowest price—sometimes, especially if your window frame is still in good condition, a simple window repair by a St. Louis window contractor will provide the same results as an entire window replacement for a fraction of the cost.
Wildwood Roofing & Construction has been replacing, repairing and installing windows in St. Louis for years. Over the years, we’ve mastered installation technique. But, because we hold ourselves to a higher standard than other window contractors, it’s not enough to just be the best—we want to exceed each of our client’s expectations from the free quote to the completion of the window installation. That’s why our clients have such good things to say about us.
If you’re thinking about a window installation or repair, give us a call and set up a cost- and obligation-free consultation.
Drop us a line to tell us your project goals. We’ll tell you how we can exceed them.