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Omaha Window Replacement Guide
With over 200 sunny days a year, it’s easy to love life in the River City. However, if your home’s windows let in a little too much of those hot summer rays or cold winter breezes, it might just be time to replace your old windows with a new–and much improved–option. Technological advances have done wonders to improve the overall energy efficiency that a window can provide for a home, making for far more comfortable living environment and cheaper utility bills.
If you are considering upgrading your home’s windows, this Omaha Window Replacement Guide will assist you in understanding when a replacement is necessary, what materials will best suit the Omaha climate, and what municipal regulations there are to ensure that the job is performed to code.
How to Know When a Window Replacement is Necessary in Your Omaha Home
As windows age, their protective coatings begin to deteriorate, leaving your window’s frame open to an assault from the elements which can result in swollen, warped, and rotted casings. If you have noticed that your windows no longer sit flush when they close, or they are unable to operate fluidly, then it is likely that your window framing is no longer structurally sound. Although you can add inexpensive weather stripping along any open edges, a more permanent solution is a far better choice. If your windows’ main issue are smaller patches of rotted wood, you can extend their life by patching the damaged area with epoxy. However, if your windows have warped or rotted enough to cause cracks that allow moisture to enter the walls of your home, it is imperative that you replace them as soon as possible. Delaying this could result in your home’s structural integrity being compromised and dangerous mold beginning to grow.
The National Association of Realtors reported in their 2015 Remodeling Impact Report that 47 percent of homeowners chose to replace their windows in an effort to increase their energy efficiency. By doing so, these same homeowners were able to recoup upwards of 80 percent of their renovation budget in increased property value. Honestly, any new window will be an improvement if you currently have single-pane windows in your home, and when you do, expect to see your utility bills drop by 12 percent or more a year. When you combine these savings with any state or federal incentives, it’s easy to see why most homeowners opt to say goodbye to their draft old windows.
Window Materials Matter in Omaha
If energy efficiency is at the top of your list, too, then you should definitely choose windows that have met the strict parameters set by Energy Star and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Because of these organizations, windows are now rated to determine how well they are able to resist transference of a home’s internal temperature through the fenestration (U-value), block solar heat from ever entering the home in the first place (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, SHGC), and how well they can stay insulative with changing air pressures and temperatures. The lower the U-value, the better your window will be at maintaining a constant temperature within your home. As for SHGC, the optimal range is going to be dependent on your home’s specific orientation and level of shading, with some homes needing a greater level of defense than others. Virtually all windows that have Energy Star and IECC’s approval, also, come with a low emissivity (low E) coating that blocks varying levels of solar radiation from entering your home. Like SHGC, your home’s particular needs will determine whether you need a low-, medium-, or high-solar-gain low E finish. Nothing can insulate a window better than additional panes of glass. Because of which, you should look to replace your windows with gas-filled, triple-pane windows that have a U-value of 0.22 or less, a SHGC of 0.4 or below, and either a low- or medium-solar-gain low E coating.
Being Energy Star certified is equally as contingent upon the window’s framing materials as well. So long as you opt for a nonmetal material, like wood or vinyl, that has been thermally improved or insulated, then you certain to be on your way to exceptional energy conservation. As to whether wood or vinyl will best suit your home, most of it depends on your budget, personal aesthetic, and desired longevity.
Omaha Window Permits, Fees, and Inspections
Your contractor will usually take over the responsibility of securing a building permit for your window replacement renovation, but in the unlikely event that this falls on you, the City of Omaha has a step-by-step guide to help walk you through submitting an application online. If you would rather apply for your permit in person, you can do so in Room 1110 on the 11th floor of the Omaha Civic Center which is located at 1819 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68138 from 7:30 to 4:00, Monday through Friday. So long as you are not making any structural changes to your home, then you will only need to submit a completed application and a fee in order to be granted your building permit.
Once work has been completed, you will need to have a city official inspect the work to ensure that everything was done professionally and safely. You can find your assigned inspector and their contact information by entering your address here.