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Windows State Buying Guide for Arizona
With Arizona’s diverse climate and extraordinary landscapes, installing new windows not only allows property owners to visually enjoy the outdoors, but they also provide support in regulating indoor temperatures. Whether your property is in the dried desert climate or the cooler mountain regions, deciding on which type to buy is an important decision to ensure you get the best benefits from your investment.
From required permits and hiring a contractor to financial resources and preparing for installation, and more, each section covers considerations, tips, or the basic information necessary to help make the process easier. This buying guide is to help navigate the steps necessary for a successful new window installation project.
Types of Windows in Arizona
If you’re having windows installed to a new addition or changing the current windows to a new style, the following are some of the most popular for homes and businesses:
- Casement windows are equipped with a hinge on one side. The window opens using a mechanical crank.
- Awning windows have a hinge across the top and open from the bottom. This type of window allows fresh air inside even on days with rainy weather.
- Bow windows usually have at least five windows set side by side creating a visually appealing feature.
- Round windows are just that. Available with fixed panes or the ability to be open and closed, window frames are usually wood or aluminum.
- Bay windows are much like the bow. This window features one center pane with a smaller window on either side which can be a casement or double hung style.
- Double hung windows allow both the top and bottom panes to be opened. With a single hung window, only the bottom opens as the top sash remains fixed.
- Transom windows add an extra dash of exterior beauty that traditionally highlight the door. The transom resides over the doorway allowing extra light into the home or business but can be installed anywhere.
Window Frames in Arizona
Window frames are another topic to discuss with your contractor or sales representative.
- Aluminum frames are lightweight, durable, cost effective, and require little maintenance.
- Composite frames are constructed using a mixture of composite materials that results in a sturdy and durable material that is resistant to moisture and decay.
- Fiberglass frames are also cost effective, versatile, and durable.
- Vinyl frames resist moisture and require little maintenance.
- Wood frames can be problematic when it comes to absorbing moisture which leads to wood rot and decay. Adding vinyl or aluminum cladding can help.
Window Glazing in Arizona
There are basically three types of window glazing. The best is triple-glazing followed by double-pane glazing. The last, single-pane glazing, while available is not recommended for home or business installation. Discuss the type that will serve your Arizona property the most efficiently.
- Triple-pane glazing works well in cold climates. It is both energy efficient and cost effective and works as a solid buffer to outside noise.
- Double-pane glazing is also cost effective and energy efficient.
- Single-pane glazing does not promote energy efficiency. It is used mostly in outside storage buildings or garages.
Certification and Rating Criteria for Arizona Windows
When shopping for windows, you’ll see labels attached signifying rating levels and certification. Ask the sales person to explain the different ratings as, like most anything you buy, some products have better ratings than others.
Below is an example of what you’ll see on a label:
- Visible Transmittance (VT)
- Solar Heat Gains Coefficient (SHGC)
- Air Leakage (AL)
The NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) stamp certifies windows are rated according to the criteria above.
Arizona Climate Consideration for Windows
Arizona property owners are well aware of the state’s diverse climate which is relatively dry with minimal rainfall and temperatures that vary from region to region.
When selecting window styles, frames, glazing, and rating criteria, the climate plays a part in your decision. With a significant investment in materials, labor, and time, you want the windows that will do the best job in the Arizona climate. Talk over the options with the sales person where you purchase the windows and with your contractor to ensure you’re getting not only your money’s worth, but also windows that will last for years to come.
The different regions of Arizona have their own specific climates. In the southwestern desert region, temperatures range from the 40s to the 60s in January and 81 degrees to 106 degrees during the summer. In the interior, temperatures can dip to the mid-teens to the low 40 degree range in winter with summer temps from 50 to 81 degrees.
In the higher elevations, precipitation averages 30 inches per year graduating to 20 inches then down to 3 inches in the extreme southwest. Snowfall is rare in the lowlands but can reach as much as 100 inches in the high areas. Overall, Arizona receives approximately 80 percent of sunshine with the southwest receiving the most.
Selecting a Contractor for New Window Installation in Arizona
As with any home improvement project, having it done by a professional provides peace of mind that all steps are being completed safely, securely, and correctly. The first step in your new window installation project is hiring a contractor that has proper insurance and the experience needed to handle removal, replacement, and any unforeseen issues that may crop up during the process.
If you know someone who can recommend a window contractor, that is a good place to start. If you don’t, then searching your area for contractors on the internet or the Yellow pages are options as well as the company where you purchase the windows. They may have their own in-house contractors or can recommend area contractors for the job.
Whichever route you take to contractor selection you’ll want more than one estimate for comparison. Each estimate should include all phases of the project and include labor costs, transportation, if applicable, equipment, removal of old material, and clean-up of the area. Warranty for labor and installation should be included, as well as a definite start and completion date.
Do a thorough background check on potential contractors to ensure there are no issues, legal actions, or complaints. You can check with the Better Business Bureau for this type of information as well as read customer reviews.
To verify a contractor’s license, the state provides a free online service at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website. A very helpful link on the page is the unlicensed contracting violations list which has the names of persons doing contract work without a license.
Arizona Window Permit Requirements
For most home improvement projects, a permit is required. This holds true across the U.S. New windows are one of the exceptions if the new windows are being installed in the same location and do not require any structural change to the size of the window opening.
If the windows are being placed in a new location requiring the wall to be cut to accommodate, the windows will require a permit. If the new windows are larger than the existing opening and the structure must be cut to accommodate, the windows will also require a permit. If a new room addition is being constructed and the new windows are going to be installed, that also requires a permit due to construction.
To be safe and in compliance with your city’s building codes and regulations, a simple call or visit to the city office building where permits are issued is the best thing to do. By checking first with a city representative, you’ll know immediately if you can proceed with the project without the need for a permit or inspection.
There are consequences for not getting a permit when one is needed including, but not limited to, fines, citations, court costs, invalidating a warranty, and removal of the installation.
Arizona Financing Options for New Window Installation
For an estimate for replacement windows, use this free online cost estimator.
With a figure in mind, there are programs available to residential and commercial property owners from state programs, grants, incentives, and rebates from the federal government. Check these websites for more information.
Preparing an Arizona Property for New Window Installation
To save time and money, prepare your home prior to the scheduled date for installation. The more you can do to prepare your property, the less time it takes away from the contractor which could lead to their not making the completion date.
- Prepare each room by removing all window treatments from blinds and shades to valances. Also remove any curtain rods and hardware.
- The contractor and laborers will need clear access to each window. This means the contractor needs room to bring in equipment and move around without fear of damaging personal property. Move anything that blocks access such as desks, sofas, lamps, exercise equipment, tables, and chairs.
- Clear the way to the front or back door so workers have easy access without the need to navigate around obstacles.
- Any obstructions outside also need to be moved from their path. This includes any patio furniture, grills, flower pots, toys, or any other item that impedes progress or could cause them to trip and fall.
- You’ll also want to trim any landscaping under the windows that will interfere with installation and/or repairs.
- Ask if the contractor will be supplying drop cloths to cover furniture. If not, or you want to be sure all areas and items are covered, purchase several at the home improvement center. Drop cloths are used to protect furniture and carpeting and flooring.
- Keep kids away from the area while installation is taking place. Also, put your pets in a safe location during this time.
With new windows installed, your property takes on a fresh, new look that adds to its curb side appeal. Inside, new windows help regulate temperatures keeping interiors comfortable and energy efficient which can save you money in the long run.