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Hartford Window Replacement Guide
Homeownership comes with a multitude of demands that must constantly be managed in order to maintain not only the house’s structural integrity, but also, its property value. Having well-functioning, undamaged windows is a definite necessity in upholding both of those criteria. Thankfully, windows are designed to operate for 10 to 40 years before a replacement is needed; so most homeowners only have to go through the process of replacing their windows once or twice over the course of their life. Though this is a solid perk, it does mean that most people are novices when the time does arise. Considering that the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors found that window renovations for an average 2,450 square foot home typically cost roughly $15,000, it is imperative that the homeowner fully educate themselves so that no costly errors occur.
Though a renovation of this magnitude does require a lot of planning and a significant budget, it is well worth the time and expense because in the end, you are virtually guaranteed to increase your property value and decrease your monthly utility bill. With Hartford’s vast climate extremes, your windows need to protect your home from the heat of the summer sun equally as well as block the harsh winter snowstorms, all while making your home as energy efficient as possible. The City of Hartford does have stringent laws in place regarding renovations of this type in order to ensure that the job has been done safely.
This Hartford Window Replacement Guide will help you understand when a replacement is needed, which window materials and design are best for the Connecticut climate, and the municipal requirements to ensure that the job is performed legally.
How to Know When a Window Replacement is Necessary in Your Hartford Home
If your windows are more than 20 years old and not made with a solid hardwood frame, there is a high likelihood that the time has come to have them replaced. Over the years, older windows take a beating from the elements. On average, Hartford has 118 days of precipitation and temperatures that range from the low teens to mid 80s throughout the year, and all that moisture mixed with such extreme temperatures can easily cause window frames to rot or warp over time. Any level of rot has the potential to allow rain and snow to seep into the walls of your home, resulting in serious damage to the structural integrity of your home or hazardous mold growth. Warped windows that do not open or close easily⎼ let alone at all⎼ can seriously endanger your family if ever an emergency like a fire were to occur, as well. If you notice any damage of this nature, then it is time to start planning to renovate.
Another aspect to scrutinize is how energy efficient your current windows are. When single-pane windows are replaced with an energy efficient alternative, the Efficient Windows Collaborative reports that a homeowner should see upwards of a 15 percent drop in their utility bills, translating to hundreds of dollars saved a year. When you add in that the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that a homeowner could expect to recoup roughly 80 percent of the renovation expenses in increased property value, most homeowners realize that a window upgrade is well worth the time and money.
Window Materials Matter in Hartford
When considering which type of window will best fit your home’s needs, you will have to decide on what material the window framing is made from, single versus multiple-paned windows, and any sort of specialized energy efficiency coating.
Window frames are available in three main materials: wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Due to the climate in Hartford, any non-metal material that will block out solar heat in the summer and lock in warmth in the winter like vinyl or wood is your best choice. Solid wood frames are going to stretch your budget since they are the most expensive material on the market usually, but they also have incredible durability and longevity. Vinyl is another strong alternative since it, too, is quite durable and is one of the least expensive materials. Don’t expect to have as many options when it comes to color, though, and once a decision has been made, it is forever since vinyl cannot be stained or painted.
As you can imagine, the more energy efficient a window is, the more expensive it is going to be due to increased labor and materials necessary in manufacturing. Energy Star and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have created a list of criteria that rank windows on their energy performance, and those that do will be clearly designated. With Hartford’s climate, there are several options that will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Any gas-filled multiple-paned window with triple-glazed glass that is registered with a U-value of less than 0.22, a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) value of 0.4 or below, and spectrally selective low E glass. 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 covered with a thin metallic coating.
Permits, Inspections, and Fees in Hartford
The City of Hartford does require either the homeowner or the contractor to acquire a building permit with any residential window renovation. They have an application available to print on their website, though you will need to go into their office in order to file it. Their office is located at 260 Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103 and are open for application submission Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 12:30. So long as you are not making any structural changes to your exterior walls, all you will need to provide is the application and a fee of $25.26 per every $1,000 of the total renovation price.
Once your renovation has been completed, the work must be authorized by a city inspector. Either you or your contractor can schedule an inspection by calling the Office of Licenses and Inspections at (860) 757-9200.