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Window State Buying Guide for Kansas
If you’re planning a new window installation project, you may, or may not know some of the basic information necessary to get the project started. While choosing the style of window you want is important, there are several other areas you’ll want to consider.
Considerations for Kansas Window Installation
Each section has information you may find helpful with your new window project:
- Permit requirements
- Contractor selection
- Frame information
- Window information
- Glazing information
- Certification and ratings
- Home preparation for window installation
- Rebates, tax credits, and incentives
- Benefits of installing new windows
Window Permits in Kansas
In many cities, permits are required for most home improvement projects. Windows usually are the exception but there are a couple of instances when they are not.
If the windows being installed are the same size as the current windows and no structural alterations are taking place, a permit most likely is not required. If the opening must be altered to accommodate a larger style window which means altering the structure, then permits are usually necessary.
If you’re adding a new addition to the property, again, most likely you’ll need a permit.
Since building codes and regulations vary from city to state, there is no “one answer fits all.” This is an area where you don’t want to make an assumption or guess whether or not you need a permit. Contact your local building and permitting office and ask for an official answer.
Hiring a Window Contractor in Kansas
An important step and one not to be taken lightly. While most contractors are reputable and have the necessary license and insurance, there are others that don’t follow the rules. Consider these tips when selecting a contractor:
- Get multiple estimates and compare.
- Ask for references or recommendations from prior customers.
- Ask for proof of a current license and insurance from each candidate.
- Do your own background check with your local city or county agency to verify the license.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau for information about any complaints filed against the contractor.
- Ask questions to ensure the estimate covers all parts of the project, not just labor and materials.
- Ask about the contractor’s policy on guaranteeing the work and installation.
- You’ll need a start and completion date.
- Do not hand over any cash.
- Paperwork must be signed and completely dated.
Kansas Climate and New Window Installation
It made seem odd to have a section on climate but it plays a role in the type of window glazing and framing you’ll want to consider. Some frame materials are better suited to arid climates versus areas with significant rain, sleet, and snow. Likewise, glazing is important for the climate you live in. Consult with your contractor before making a purchase so you get the best efficiency and longevity for your investment.
Kansas tends to fall under the national U.S. averages when it comes to rain and snow. On average, Kansas receives 32 inches of rain annually compared to the U.S. average of 37 inches. Snowfall averages 16 inches versus 25 inches in U.S. cities.
Temperatures run high during the summer with an average of around 92 degrees with sunny days around 230 days a year. Winter low temperatures average 18 degrees.
The comfort index for humidity is 31 out of 100. The U.S. average is 41 out of 100. In this case, a higher comfort index rating is better than a lower rating.
Window Types in Kansas
In case you’re considering changing the style of windows currently in place, this short list covers a few of the traditional window types:
- Single hung windows— commonly installed in many properties. Their main feature is one fixed window and one that can be opened up and down versus outward.
- Double hung windows– a convenient option to the single hung window is this style allows both windows to open.
- Bay windows– from the outside, these windows add a distinctive look to the property’s exterior. The window’s main feature is the large pane of class in the middle with a smaller window on either side. Inside under the window is usually a covered bench-type seating area that can also be used as storage.
- Picture windows– an expansive piece of clear glass that allows ample sunlight into the room.
- French windows– the casement window is a smaller version of a French door. Windows open outward versus up and down.
- Awning windows– this type of window pane opens downward, like an awning, allowing fresh air inside regardless of rainy weather.
- Box windows – this type of window is installed as a series of typically, 3 to 5 windows evenly spaced along a wall.
- Arch top and Elliptical windows– more for visual decorative effect.
- Round windows– add a different look to the property. They are available with either a fixed or movable pane.
- Transom windows– offer a nice touch to the front door. The window also allows additional light into the room.
Window Frame Types in Kansas
Frames run the gamut from inexpensive to expensive based on the material. With that in mind, you do need the type of material that will sustain the climate in your area. While some are strong against wind, rain, and decay, others are not. This is another area to discuss with a professional who can advise you on the best frame material for your Kansas property.
- Wood – looks good but does not work well in rainy areas as the wood tends to allow moisture seepage. This results in decaying and rotting wood. If you choose this style, talk to your contractor about adding vinyl or aluminum cladding to help prevent damage.
- Vinyl – a durable material that requires little to no maintenance. Its main features are its durability and its resistance to moisture.
- Aluminum – another is another low maintenance material. Although light in weight, it is sturdy and durable.
- Composite – the blending of several materials make this framing material very strong. It is cost effective, durable, and resists moisture seepage and decay.
- Fiberglass – this material is fast becoming a popular choice. It is versatile, durable, does not contract or expand, and it is considered environmentally friendly.
Window Glazing Options for Kansas
When choosing windows and frames, you’ll also be choosing the glazing for the windowpanes. There are three types, but only two are recommended for residences.
- Triple-pane glazing offers the most protection from exterior temperatures and is recommended for properties in cold climates. The triple glaze promotes energy efficiency. Because of the three layers, it also works as a very good buffer for filtrating outside noise.
- Double-pane glazing works with gas that resides between the two window panes. The glazing promotes interior temperature regulation and is energy efficient. Double-pane glazing also works well as a sound buffer.
- Single-pane glazing is not as expensive as double or triple-pane glazing but it is not energy efficient nor recommended for homes. It is used mostly for outdoor storage type buildings.
NFRC Window Ratings in Kansas
On many window products you will see the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label. It has a breakdown of these four ratings. Follow this link to the NFRC website for an explanation of each of the ratings.
- Air Leakage (AL)
- Solar Heat Gains Coefficient (SHGC)
- Visual Transmittance (VT)
Preparing a Kansas Property for New Window Installation
Prior to the installation date, talk to your contractor about any prep work the crew will do upon arrival. The following are things you can do to ensure the project gets started on time:
- Clear the way both indoors and outdoors for the pathway the contractor will be taking to access each room. This means moving things out of the way that could be a hindrance such as magazine holders, decorative floor accessories, foot stools, throw rugs, etc.
- Outdoors, the contractor needs to be able to access the windows without any obstacles in the way. Move patio furniture, barbecue grills, potted planters, window planters, or any other obstruction blocking access to the window.
- If you have tall shrubbery in front of a window, it may be necessary to trim the plants. Have the contractor take a look and let you know one way or the other.
- If the contractor is only using drop cloths to cover flooring, you may want to invest in your own so you can cover furniture to prevent potential dust, dings and damage.
- It goes without saying, the contractor and crew need to be able to move around within the room. Move furniture that is blocking the window, as well as remove window treatments and hardware.
- Whenever the contractor and crew is at work, secure your indoor and outdoor pets elsewhere for everyone’s safety.
- Children are curious but new window installation areas could be dangerous for inquisitive minds. Keep children away from the work area both indoors and outdoors.
Window Resources and Rebates for Kansas
New windows can be a hefty investment depending on how many windows are being installed, type of frame chosen, glazing options, and any repairs needed. Across the U.S., there are many programs available to help reduce the cost. These include a federal tax credit, loans, agricultural and small business funding, grants and incentives. The following list has information you may find useful:
Benefits of New Window Installation in Kansas
Below is a recap of the most common reasons your property will benefit from new window installation:
- Immediate curb appeal which is a good step for property going on the market
- Better energy efficiency resulting in lower heating and cooling costs
- Reduced outside noise
- Improved interior comfort
- Eco-friendly frames have a positive effect on the environment
Using this buying guide is a stepping stone to help make the process a little easier by providing you with information upfront that may save both time and money. With the information in hand, you’re in a better position to know what to look for ahead of time regarding the installation process, as well as knowing what questions to ask along the way.