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You’ll get an instant estimate, broken down for both labor and materials. You can even adjust your results to see how different frame materials and window qualities affect your overall costs. Save and share your estimate to email it to yourself or a friend, or click Connect With a Local Pro to get started on your replacement project today.
Buying Windows in Louisiana
Making the decision to upgrade your windows at home, or create a new window for more natural light can seem daunting. But rest easy, because Louisiana has many options when it comes to the right windows for your home. Use this guide as a starting point to finding the best contractor and best new windows for your home.
Hiring a Window Contractor in Louisiana
The first step to renovating your home is to find a contractor you can trust to install the windows of your dreams. Asking friends for names of contractors they have used is an easy way to start the search. You can count on them to give you honest opinions about their experiences. Looking at online reviews for licensed window contractors in Louisiana is another way to see recent examples of their work and read different opinions. Don’t hesitate to request multiple quotes from different contractors. The more options you seek, the better the chances of getting the best contractor for the job. Just make sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many choices!
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 everything in the contract, as this is the document which will lay out the plans for the work on your windows renovation. Before you sign, double check that the budget and timeline written down are the same as what you discussed in the estimate. A knowledgeable contractor will be able to take you through the contract and will answer any questions you have, as well as help inform you about necessary tasks like getting a permit.
Louisiana Window Permits
Your contractor will probably tell you to check with the permit division for your parish for the most up to date information on window permits. Due to the historical nature of so many Louisiana homes, it is very important to make sure you get the required permits. If you have any questions or can’t find the necessary information, ask your contractor about your parish’s permit requirements or how to find them.
While it might seem easier to skip the permit and start renovating your home, you could end up paying a very large fine. After you pay the fine, you will still need to apply for the permit, so you pay for it in the end.
Preparing Your Windows For Renovation
Preparing your home for window renovation takes a little bit of time and should not be forgotten about. While it may seem simple, make sure you’ve left enough room in your project timeline for this step. You don’t want to delay the start of the project!
- Remove window coverings: curtains, curtain rods, blinds, and shutters
- Remove any furniture and wall hangings from around the area
- If you have a carpet that can be rolled away, do so. Otherwise make sure a drop cloth is put down on the floor under the window.
Choosing Your Windows and Frames
There may be codes or requirements about the type of windows you can install, especially if you live in a historic neighborhood. Be sure to check with your parish about any aesthetic requirements. The most common types of windows are single hung windows, double hung windows, slider windows, casement windows, bay windows, and picture windows. Of those, picture windows are the only ones that don’t open. There are several window frame types to choose, depending on your needs and the look of your home.
- Wood frames– Window frames made out of wood are the most traditional frames. Typically these perform well in keeping heat from escaping the house during cooler months. While not as durable as metal frames, when wooden window frames are well built and maintained, they can last a long time.
- Fiberglass frames– These are considered high performing frames and are very energy efficient. Fiberglass window frames can be insulated as well, keeping drafts out and your air conditioning in.
- Vinyl frames– Vinyl window frames are the easiest to maintain, as there is no paint or finishing to be damaged. Vinyl window frames have very good moisture resistance, which is beneficial in Louisiana’s climate. They perform as well as wooden window frames in terms of keeping heat from escaping your home when it’s cool outside.
- Aluminum frames– These are light, durable and can fit a wide variety of windows. However, they are not as energy efficient as most and can let indoor heat escape.
Choosing the frames is just as important as choosing the windows, even though it may seem like an afterthought. You will hear the terms below, or see stickers with ratings, describing window ratings and terms that describe a frame and window’s energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Windows
- 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.
In Louisiana especially, choosing a window that is able to resist heat penetration is important. That resistance is referred to as a window’s R-value. The higher the value, the lower the cost on your energy bill. Double and triple paned windows offer good insulation, which can be improved upon by adding a low emittance (low-E) coating. A low-E coating is a very -think microscopically- thin metallic coating added to the spaces between the windows. This coating increases the energy efficiency of your home– and insulation properties of your windows– by reflecting heat away from the home during the summer months, and towards your home during the cooler months.
Another benefit of windows with low-E coating is that it protects the materials inside your home from fading. Things like the fabric on your couch or chairs, wall paper, and paintings fade over time due to the UV light that comes in through your window. Windows with low-E are especially beneficial as Louisiana is generally warm most of the year.
Louisiana Weather Considerations for Windows
Louisiana weather can wreak havoc on windows and homes. It is a good idea to look into any flood proofing requirements for your home. Your contractor will probably know. Of course, making sure your windows are properly insulated and your window frames fit tightly into your home, will greatly decrease the chance of excess moisture leaking into your home.
Certain companies are now offering impact resistant glass, which can be used in windows for your home. This would potentially increase protection against strong storms during hurricane season. As a bonus, during the rest of the year, with UV coatings and good insulation, your home will still be energy efficient. If you’re interested in this, talk with your contractor to explore your options.