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Phoenix, Arizona Window Replacement Guide
Most residential windows have a lifespan of 10 to 40 years. It’s not unsurprising, then, that most homeowners are novices when it comes time to replace their home’s windows. Considering that the average 2,450 square foot home’s window renovation expense will run around $15,000, with most new windows costing $300 to $700 and up according to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors (NARI), it is imperative that anyone starting down this renovation path to fully understand the full scope of products available and which will best suit your city’s climate.
Yet, this undertaking is always well worth the learning curve and expense. The NARI, also, found that 61 percent of homeowners who have upgraded their home’s windows have a “greater desire to be home since completing the project.” Add in the increased property values and decreased monthly utility expenses, and few can find reason to not go through with a full renovation. Due to Phoenix’s climate, your windows need to be able to withstand the long months of intense heat, all while being as energy efficient as possible, too.
This Phoenix Window Replacement Guide will assist you in knowing how to evaluate when a replacement is needed, which window materials and design are best for the Arizona climate, and any municipal requirements.
How to Know When a Window Replacement is Necessary in Your Phoenix Home
The two most obvious signs that your old windows need to go are if they are rotting or if they have warped. When your windows deteriorate or crack, it is easy for bugs to infiltrate the walls of your home. If these bugs happen to be termites⎼which tend to run rampant in Phoenix⎼ then the likelihood of your home’s structural integrity being compromised is greatly increased. Warped windows, on the other hand, pose a serious threat for you and your family were an emergency to take place. Were a fire to break out, everyone needs to be able to evacuate as quickly as possible, but this cannot happen if your windows are difficult to open or cannot be opened at all. Considering Phoenix’s intense summers can linger in the triple digits for months on end with hardly any rain, it’s easy to see how a home’s windows could begin to warp and crack over time.
Across the board, all older windows are also incredibly energy inefficient which translates into high utility bills for your home. The average homeowner, however, can expect to see a decrease of 15 percent in their utility bills when single-paned windows are replaced with an energy efficient alternative according to The Efficient Windows Collaborative. Add in that NARI assessed that homeowners recouped about 80 percent of their renovation expenses in increased property value, and you can easily see how a renovation project of this magnitude is well worth the expense.
Window Materials Matter in Phoenix
When considering new windows for your home, you will need to decide on the window framing material, single versus multiple-paned windows, and any sort of specialized energy efficiency coating.
Although the market is flooded with various materials and combinations of products, your three main frame component options are wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Due to Phoenix’s dry, hot climate, nonmetal materials that block out solar heat like vinyl and wood are going to be your best choice. Vinyl is usually going to be the least expensive while still boasting incredible durability. However, the color options available tend to be limited. Solid wood frames, on the other hand, are built with durability and reliability in mind with most lasting 30+ years. Because of which, you can expect this choice to be at the top of your budget.
As labor and materials increase, so does the expense. Accordingly, the more energy efficient a window is, the bigger the sticker price will be, but so will the rewards to you monthly budget and comfort. Energy efficient windows that have earned a designation from the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Energy Star will always have three main qualifiers: U-value, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and low E. The U-value and SHGC amounts measure the rate at which a window is able to conduct heat and solar radiation flow respectively from the exterior of your home to the interior and vice versa, while the low E represents how effectively the window can reflect heat when coated in a thin metallic covering. Although your home’s energy efficiency is almost always guaranteed to improve with the installation of any new windows, the absolute best quality window for Phoenix’s climate will double-pane, gas-filled windows that are registered with a U-value of less than 0.3, a SHGC below 0.25, and spectrally selective low E glass.
Phoenix Window Permits, Inspections, and Fees
The City of Phoenix does not require a building permit or any inspections of the completed work so long as the windows being replaced are of like size without any structural changes to the exterior walls.