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Springfield, IL Window Replacement Guide
Considering most windows have a lifespan of 10 to 40 years, it is unlikely that the average homeowner has gone through the process of replacing them more than once or twice. It is understandable, then, to feel overwhelmed by the task. Between the various window materials, glass coatings, and permit regulations, there are many options that must be given proper weight before a final selection is made. Add in that an average 2,450 square foot home window renovation will run around $15,000 according to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors, and it is all the more imperative to understand the full scope of a renovation project.
However, this venture does have its rewards in increased property value and almost always decreased monthly utility bills. With Springfield’s vast climate swings, your windows need to be able to withstand the intense summer heat as well as any sudden snowstorm, all while being as energy efficient as possible. In certain circumstances, the City of Springfield has strict guidelines for building permits and inspections to which the homeowner must adhere.
This Springfield Window Replacement Guide will help walk you through the process by examining how to recognize when a replacement 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 Springfield Home
If your home windows have begun to leak or rot, then it is definitely time for a window replacement, and quickly. When these windows are left unattended, they can begin to cause structural damage to the walls of your home which will require a far costlier repair. Also, if your windows have warped and no longer are able to open or close easily (or at all), then you have a serious safety hazard on your hands were an emergency to happen. Considering that Springfield, can rocket from an average 19 degrees in the winter to almost 90 in the summer, it is easy to see how this type of damage can happen over the decades.
Older windows, also, lack energy efficiency across the board. The Efficient Windows Collaborative says that you can expect to see a 15 percent drop on your utility bill where you to replace single-paned windows with an energy efficient alternative. Additionally, the National Association of Realtors states that about 80 percent of your renovation expenses are usually recouped in increased property value. From the savings alone, most homeowners find that a job of this magnitude is well worth the expense and effort.
Window Materials Matter in Springfield
When considering which type of window you would like in your home, you will need to decide on the window framing material, single versus double pane glass windows, and any sort of specialized energy efficiency coating.
In terms of window frame materials, your three main options are wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Due to Springfield’s climate, materials that block out thermal energy like vinyl and wood are going to be your best choice. Solid wood frames have gotten an upgrade in recent years and are now usually coated in vinyl or fiberglass in order to increase durability and decrease maintenance; 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 carry the downfall of fewer color options than wood.
You can expect your price per window to increase as their energy efficiency increases, which makes sense considering the supplementary materials and labor involved in their manufacturing. Windows that meet a high enough energy efficiency standard will have a designation from the 2012 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. The absolute best windows for Springfield’s climate will be a gas-filled, double- or a triple pane 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.
Window Permits, Inspections, and Fees in Springfield
Count yourself lucky for living in Springfield because the city does not require you to have a building permit unless you are making structural changes to your home.
If you are changing the size of your windows during this renovation, then you can obtain an application for a building permit on the City of Springfield’s Public Works website. This application and a small fee (Residential Fee Schedule) are all that is necessary for a permit to be granted, and you can expect to receive your permit in 7 to 10 business days. Once the work has been completed, you will need to schedule an inspection by calling 217-789-2171.