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Buying Windows in Kentucky
Whether you are building a new house or renovating your current home, picking the perfect windows is an important decision. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision making process- the style of your home, whether or not you’ll need permits to renovate your windows, and ways to winterize your home. Not to mention finding a contractor to install the new windows and dispose of your old ones. This can definitely seem overwhelming if you’ve never updated your windows before! Hopefully this window buying guide can act as a starting point to help you as you decide upon all that comes with new windows: designs, what is glazing, and window options that available for residential and commercial windows in Kentucky. You will also find suggestions on where to look for window permit requirements and contractors to get you the windows of your dreams.
Hiring a Contractor in Kentucky
The first step is to find a contractor you can trust to do quality work within your time-frame. Asking friends for recommendations is a great place to start. Reading online reviews for licensed contractors is an excellent way to see examples of their work and read different opinions. Don’t be afraid to request multiple quotes and talk to multiple contractors- you want to make sure your expectations are understood and that you’ll work well with them.
After you have found a contractor you’re excited to work with, signing a contract is the next important step. Be sure you read and agree with all points, as this is the document which will lay the foundation for the work on your windows project. Before you sign, double check that the budget and timeline written down are the same as what you discussed. Make sure you’ve left room in your timeline for preparing the window space for renovating, as well as for clean-up. Often times people fall behind their schedules because not enough (or any!) time is set aside for preparing the area to be worked on. When you feel like everything is ready to go, sign the contract. Congratulations! Now it’s on to permitting.
Do I Need A Permit in Kentucky?
Check with the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building & Construction for the most up to date information on window permits. Generally though, if you are replacing a window with another window of the same size you may not need a permit. However, if you have any questions, ask your contractor about your city’s permit requirements.
Taking the time to research permits in your area will save you a lot of trouble and money down the road. If you skip the permit in order to speed up the process, you could end up paying a large fine. Besides, you have more important things to think about than paying a fine: the types of windows you want in your home.
Energy Efficient Window Installation in Kentucky
You probably have a strong idea about the type of aesthetic you want for your new or renovated windows. But have you thought about how well they will work with Kentucky’s climate? When looking for a new window for your home, think about how efficient your house could be by making smart choices. For instance, glazing is a great option for increasing the energy efficiency of your home. This creates a watertight and airtight seal along the edge of your window. This is a great option for Kentucky windows, as it is flexible enough to expand with Kentucky summer weather and contract during Kentucky winters. By glazing your windows, you’ve taken an easy step towards winterizing your home.
Framing is also an important aspect to making sure your windows are energy efficient. Work with your contractor to decide upon the best frame for your windows and your home. Options include wood, fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages. Your contractor should be able to discuss the pros and cons of each, with respect to your new windows. Window frames can be overlooked when deciding upon your aesthetic, but it shouldn’t be. A good frame and strong seal limit heat loss during the cooler months, and keep the very important air conditioning in during those muggy Kentucky summers.
Your window contractor can help you make decisions to find the best windows for your house; helping you choose the window that not only fits the style of your home, but the type of windows that will increase the energy efficiency of your home. Talk to your contractor about the best options for the different rooms in your house. Don’t forget about sun rooms or basements! A lot of energy is potentially wasted here: drafty basements and sun rooms that trap heat can put a big dent in your wallet. When you’re buying new windows, you’ll see a label describing the properties of the window and how it handles air escaping from the home, how much light it allows, and how it blocks heat from entering or leaving your home. Look for the label on the window or skylight with the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) stamp and these ratings:
- U-Factor– This measures the indoor heat that can escape from the house. The lower the number, the warmer the home during the winter months.
- Visible Transmittance (VT)– This measures how much natural light will be let into the house. The higher the number, the more light.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)– SHGC measures how much heat from the outside can enter your home through the windows. The lower the number, the better protection you’ll get against outdoor heat gain. This is especially important during the summer months and on those south-facing windows.
- Air Leakage– This measures how much outside air can potentially enter your home. The lower the number, the lower the chance you’ll have drafty windows.
There are many window glass options that address a wide variety of concerns. Privacy, UV protection, and window glass with good energy ratings are all options for you. Take the time to talk with your contractor about your needs. This is an important decision– one that depends on the climate, your aesthetic, and the materials you’ll be using to frame the window.
Window Trends in Kentucky
Whether you’re updating your home or choosing windows for your new house, you have a lot of options. Think about what you’ll be using the room for: will you want to open them to enjoy the weather, or keep them closed and just enjoy the view? Will you want to install a window air-conditioning unit?
- Double hung windows are nice in that they give you options for ventilation. You can slide them open either from top to bottom, or bottom to top; as opposed to single hung windows, which can only be slid open from bottom to top.
- Slider windows slide open horizontally, from left to right and vice versa. These provide generally a more contemporary look and offer an excellent breeze.
- Casement windows are attached to their frames by hinges, and these open outward. They provide great ventilation and offer great views since the scenery isn’t broken up by a vertical or horizontal sash. These can be either pushed open, or opened with a crank.
- Picture windows don’t open but offer beautiful and unobstructed views. Perfect for hard to reach places. They are considered energy efficient because you don’t have to worry about drafty sashes or hinges.
The Price of Windows in Kentucky
Installing windows are an investment that will pay you back in the long-run. The large up-front cost of the installation and of the windows themselves can be daunting. If you don’t have the initial upfront cost, ask about what financing options are available to you. Especially when renovating and updating windows, the money put towards energy efficient windows and frames will most likely be recouped in the form of lower energy bills.