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Denver Window Replacement Guide
There is always a litany of repairs that a homeowner has to manage, some requiring constant maintenance while others require virtually none for years. Windows certainly fall into the latter category with most only needing to be replaced every 10 to 40 years. Because of this, many homeowners are at a loss for where to start when it comes time to upgrade their home’s windows. These renovations aren’t inexpensive either. In fact, the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors found that window renovations in an average 2,450 square foot home will run around $15,000; making it all the more imperative that you understand which window materials and glass coatings will best serve your home before beginning your renovation project.
It does behoove you in the long run to tackle this task. From increased property values to decreased utility bills, virtually all homeowners report being more than satisfied with their window home improvement. Plus, windows in Denver need to be able to withstand the heat of summer as well as the blizzards of winter, all while maintaining optimal energy efficiency.
This Denver Window Replacement Guide will help you navigate the window renovation process by examining how to recognize when a replacement window is necessary, the different materials that are available, and all that is required to perform the job legally.
How to Know When a Window Replacement is Necessary in Your Denver Home
If your windows have begun to show obvious signs of damage, like leaks or rot, then it is definitely time to have them replaced. When these issues are ignored for too long, water damage within the structural walls of your home can occur which will result in far higher repair bills. Also, if your windows no longer open and close easily or at all due to warping, then you have a serious safety hazard on your hand were an emergency to arise. It’s easy to see how such deterioration can happen since Denver can swing from freezing temperatures with 6 inches of snow to the upper 70s in the course of a week.
Energy efficiency is another important quality that virtually all older windows lack, causing inflated utility bills and lower property values. The National Association of Realtors states that when replaced with energy efficient alternatives, a homeowner can expect to recoup about 80 percent of their renovation expenses in increased property value alone. Add in that a poll done by the Efficient Windows Collaborative reported a 15 percent drop in utility bills when homeowners replaced single-paned glass windows with energy efficient rated substitutes. The savings alone are enough to warrant a renovation budget of this magnitude.
Window Materials Matter in Denver
When considering which type of window you would like in 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.
In terms of window frame materials, your three main options are wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Denver’s climate dictates the best frame materials are those that block out thermal energy like vinyl and wood. Solid wood frames are usually coated in vinyl or fiberglass to increase durability and decrease maintenance, rather than being bare wood like you might be accustomed to; however, this option is usually going to be the most expensive. Vinyl, on the other hand, tends to be the least expensive option with similar low maintenance requirements, though it does almost always have fewer color options than wood.
The more energy efficient your windows are, the more materials and labor were necessary in their manufacturing. Accordingly, as efficiency increases, so does the price. Windows that meet a high enough energy efficiency standard will have a designation from the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Energy Star. There are three specific qualifiers to look for on a window of this type: 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 other alternatives will certainly be an improvement, the absolute best windows for Denver’s climate will be a gas-filled, double- or triple-paned window with triple-glazed glass that has a U-value less than 0.22, a SHGC sub 0.25, and a spectrally selective low E coating.
Permits, Inspections, and Fees in Denver
So long as you are exchanging like size windows so no structural changes to the walls of your home occur, then the City of Denver does not require you to have a building permit.
However, if you are planning on altering any exterior walls, then you can find an incredibly informative manual on the City of Denver’s webpage that will provide you with application instructions, fee estimates, and inspection schedules.