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Replacing Home Windows in Tampa, Florida
Tampa area residents purchasing new windows for their home must consider several factors before signing on the dotted line. It may be that your existing windows are no longer functioning as they should or you require windows for a room addition or newly constructed house. Whatever the reason, you will benefit by understanding how your area’s climate and regulations will influence the type of windows you choose.
How to Know When to Replace Your Home Windows
Windows endure a lot from the harsh weather in Tampa. But with proper maintenance, it can serve you well for a long time. However, keep in mind that windows are not immune to future deterioration. Even with the highest level of care, soon enough, the window’s life span will end and will require replacement. Now, How would you know if your windows are due for replacement? Here is a list of things to watch out for and see whether your windows need replacement.
You feel a draft coming from the bottom of your windows.
A slight draft, especially during winters, may seem like a small issue since it is something you can hardly feel, but such occurrence may affect and ruin the temperature inside your home. In effect, a light draft, when left ignored, will negatively affect your HVAC system. It will also cause your AC to work twice as much, causing higher consumption of energy bills. As a result, the comfort level of temperature indoors is not as good as with correctly working windows.
Your windows are challenging to operate.
Old window designs, such as single-hung and double-hung windows, eventually develop balance issues. It is the reason why it makes it difficult to open or shut. In addition to the imbalance, hinges that are exposed to rain and moisture can develop rust that can also cause and aggravate the problem.
Your windows are always foggy.
Windows rely on sealed-in-gas fills to create a barrier stopping the transfer of heat. When this seal is damaged, the capacity of a window to insulate is severely compromised. Moisture gets in between the spaces on the glass panes, which forms condensation. If this happens to your windows, then it’s time to replace them.
You hear a lot of noise outside.
Hearing a lot of noises from outside is also another indication of a broken seal. Noise transmission starts to become a problem, especially if you live along a busy street or close to noisy areas such as markets or airports. Once your windows lack proper protection against noise from the outside, this is a sign that you need to replace them.
The window frame is rotting
When you see such decays, severe rust, molds, and insect infestation may cause the damages on your window frame. Such decays, if they continue, will make your window frame brittle and make your windows look bad from the outside. This scenario means that your windows have reached their life span and they require immediate replacement.
Windows should be made out of quality materials and excellent quality. A windows lifespan extends for years if treated with the right amount of maintenance and care. Have a better assessment of the condition of your windows by scheduling a consultation with your local window replacement contractor. Their expertise will allow thorough inspection and precise recommendations on what treatment is best for your windows.
Best Window Types for Tampa Homes
Because Tampa is in a humid, subtropical climate zone, it would be wise to choose windows that are designed to stand up to these elements. The weather of Tampa is best described as hot and humid during the summer with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are mild and dry with freezing temperatures occurring about every two to three years.
Tampa Window Replacement Permits
Tampa has their own set of building codes, ordinances and permit requirements that will help to point you in the right direction when purchasing new windows. Property owners can contact the City of Tampa’s Construction Services division for all construction permit and inspection needs. Their contact info is 1400 North Boulevard, Tampa, Florida 33607. Office hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. 4:00 P.M. Telephone number 813-274-3100; Fax 813-259-1712.
Windows engineered for the Tampa region must stand up to the varied weather patterns that are tropical in nature and can include hurricane force winds. Properties lying in the new wind-borne debris region — Pinellas county, all of Tampa city limits and most of Hillsborough county — and valued over $750,000, or newly constructed homes, must have opening protection. Opening protection requires that all windows, doors and skylights be fitted with devices designed to protect them against hurricane force winds and debris. So windows must be hurricane rated/impact resistant.
Best Window Frame Types
Several factors must be considered when purchasing new windows, but none carries more importance than the frame material and its resistance to the applicable climate.
- Wood — Provides a unique appearance along with color versatility as it can be both stained and painted. Drawbacks would be that it is not as durable as other window frame materials, requires more maintenance and upkeep and subject to termite damage. Species of wood commonly used for window frame fabrication are fir, mahogany, alder and pine.
- Vinyl — A tough plastic like material that is sought after because of its durability, weather and insect resistance. Vinyl will not rot, peel or fade.
- Aluminum — This corrosion resistant metal is lightweight, strong and performs well in most climates.
- Fiberglass — Fiberglass provides a strong layer of metal covering the exterior surface of wood frame windows. The extra protection is beneficial in extreme climate zones. The benefits of a clad-wood window is that it provides the sought after appearance of wood to the homes interior while utilizing a tough outer shell to protect against the varied weather conditions found in Tampa.
How Expensive are New Windows?
Most property owners must work within their budget when replacing or installing new windows. In general, wood and fiberglass windows carry a higher cost than vinyl or aluminum framed windows. A single pane window is less expensive than an energy efficient double paned window. Hurricane rated impact resistant windows carry the largest price tag because of their improved strength and energy efficiency. Keep in mind that replacing old, broken and inoperable windows with new windows can significantly increase your property value and adds a useful marketing feature should you decide to sell your home in the future.
Tampa has many options to choose from when buying new windows. Of course, there are always the big box stores that have an ample supply of popular types and window sizes on their shelves. They also provide special order services for types and sizes they do not stock. You can purchase new windows through one of the many window supply companies located throughout the Bay area who also offer installation services.
It is to your benefit when hiring a window installation contractor that you validate their license, insurances and ask for references. Contractor referral services are a good place to obtain a list of reputable contractors in your area. The BBB “Better Business Bureau” is another valuable resource where you can determine if any complaints or lawsuits are pending against said contractor or window supplier.