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Windows State Buying Guide for Indiana
New window installation in Indiana provides many benefits to your home. Not only does it enhance your home’s exterior and interior beauty, but also shields you from the interference of outside noise. In addition, since new window installation also reduces drafty areas around your home, you can expect increased home comfort and a small, monthly savings on your energy bill due to increased energy efficiency. The following window buying guide will highlight important aspects of new window installation you should consider before starting the project.
The list below is a quick reference guide to information within the article:
- Selecting Window Frame Materials
- Selecting a Window Type
- The Cost of Window Installation
When Permits Are Required for Window Installation in Indiana
While permits are required for most home improvement projects windows can sometimes be the exception. However, there are times during new or replacement window installation when you will need a permit.
Installing replacement windows in existing openings when no alterations or modifications are necessary usually do not require a permit. If however, the original opening is modified — installing a larger or different shaped window — you will need to obtain a building permit. This may seem like an inconvenience, but the permit and inspection process are in place for your protection to ensure that structural modifications are performed according the state building code and safety standards of Indiana.
Building codes, regulations, and permitting vary between localities in Indiana, so you must do your due diligence before starting your project to avoid fees and/or fines and a stop work order in the middle of your window installation project. Contact your local building and permitting office and ask for an official answer.
Contractor Considerations in Indiana
While property owners possessing a moderate skill set in construction practices can certainly install their own windows, most hire a local contractor for the project. Hiring the right contractor for your home improvement project is a major decision requiring careful thought, consideration and a little investigative work. To start, get multiple estimates so you can compare prices. During the estimating process, ask each potential contractor for references and/or recommendations from prior customers. In addition, ask for copies or proof of their license along with proofs of insurance coverage. Contractors are required to carry both liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance. A couple of quick phone calls can verify insurance coverage and you can validate the status of their license by visiting the Indiana Online Licensing website or by clicking here.
In addition, ask potential contractors to explain their estimate thoroughly and verify that the estimate covers all areas of the project including labor, materials, debris removal, any warranties, and a start/completion date.
Climate Considerations in Indiana
Climate considerations play an important role in the type of window glazing and framing you will need in Indiana. Some frame materials are designed for drier climates while others are better suited for rain, sleet, and snow. Likewise, glazing is important for the climate you live in. Your contractor should use climate and weather information along with the style and construction type — frame, block, and modular — of your property to determine the best window type for your application.
Indiana falls into the hot summer, humid continental climate category. The average annual rainfall is 40-inches with a few inches more in the southern regions of the state. Snowfall totals vary significantly however with about 15-inches in the southwest to over 70-inches on the shores of Lake Michigan. Temperatures in mid January average in the middle 30s with lows dropping into the teens. During the summer, residents can expect average temperatures in the low to mid 80s with overnight lows in the 60s.
Indiana Window Frame Materials
Window frames are an important component of your window assembly. Not only due they support the window, but also contribute to its overall energy efficiency and window opening support. You must consider the type of frame material suited for your climate designed to withstand the outside elements. While some are strong against wind, rain, and decay, others are not as effective. Your contractor should recommend the best frame material for your window purchase and installation.
- Wood – attractiveness adds to its wide appeal but does not hold up well in rainy climates, as the wood tends to allow moisture to penetrate. Wood frame windows require the most maintenance, as they need periodic painting, staining and/or sealing. Neglected wood frames are very susceptible to rot and decay, which causes major damage to the window and its opening. If you choose this style, talk to your contractor about adding vinyl or aluminum cladding to help prevent exterior damage.
- Vinyl – is a durable material that requires little to no maintenance. Its resistance to chipping, peeling, cracking as well as its improved energy efficiency lend to its overall popularity among professional builders.
- Aluminum – is a lightweight, strong and durable window frame material. It was the material of choice for decades until vinyl’s versatility reigned supreme.
- Composite – blends several materials to make this framing material very strong. It is cost effective, durable, and resists moisture seepage and decay.
- Fiberglass – frames provide the most energy efficiency of the types mentioned here due to its insulating properties and reduced expansion and contraction. Since Indiana can experience some frigid temperatures during the winter months, fiberglass window frames might prove to be a wise choice for folks living in this area.
Common Window Types Used in Indiana
The window types listed below are some of the most common used in residential applications in Indiana and will introduce you to the many choices available.
- Single hung windows— allows the lower sash to open.
- Double hung windows– allows both the upper and lower sash to open.
- Bay windows –the window’s main feature is the large pane of class in the middle with a smaller window on either side. A covered bench-type seating area usually occupies the additional space in the home’s interior.
- Picture windows – a fixed piece of clear glass that highlights scenic views of the property and/or to utilize natural light to brighten a room.
- Casement windows – incorporates a cranking mechanism to open vertically hinged windows.
- Awning windows – utilizes hinges mounted at the top of the sash. This allows the window bottom to swing out when open. A crank or handle located at the base operates the window.
- Box windows – this type of window is installed as a series of typically, 3 to 5 windows evenly spaced along a wall.
- Geometric windows– fixed panels of glass that do not open or shut. They are available in many shapes and sizes and are commonly used over entryways, stairwells or any other area where natural light is desired.
- Skylights— fixed or operable windows installed in ceiling areas. Their main function is to allow natural light to enhance interior areas.
The Cost of New or Replacement Windows in Indiana
To obtain a general estimate for a new or replacement window purchase, Indiana residents can use this free, online cost calculator.
Where to Buy New Windows in Indiana
You can purchase new or replacement windows for home improvement retailers, window supply companies or individual window contractors with each having its benefits and drawbacks. Home improvement centers such a Lowe’s or Home Depot provides attractive financing options but you lose control of who shows up to install them.
Indiana Window Resources
Resources are available that can help to reduce the cost of your new windows when you purchase a qualifying, energy efficient window. While your contractor should be up to date on any money-saving rebates or incentive programs available to you in Indiana, the following websites can help you find them on your own:
Energy.gov — provides a searchable list of state government agencies, utilities and others that offer a variety of tax credits, rebates and other incentives to support energy efficiency.
Energy Star — apply for tax credits on Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency — provides a comprehensive database of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency.
Rural Energy for America Program — provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small business.
U.S. Department of Energy — a searchable database allows you to access thousands of rebates, grants, loans, assessments and other incentives for commercial and industrial facilities.
Installing new or replacement windows will provide you with many benefits in the years to come. You can expect increased energy efficiency, easier window operation and greater home comfort levels after window installation. Another benefit you can expect from a new or replacement window installation is improved exterior and interior appearance. Not only does this home improvement project carry the potential to raise property values, but also provides an upgrade you can highlight should you decide to sell your home in the future.