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About Buying Windows in New York
Property owners in New York have several decisions to make when considering the installation of new windows. Whether you choose standard or energy efficient styles, before starting the installation process, be sure to have all necessary funding, permits, and a licensed and certified contractor in place. With an investment in new windows, you want to ensure you choose the windows that will provide the best job for your property.
Funding Options for Windows
New windows look good and make a difference in your monthly utility bill but the initial purchase price can be substantial. Having funding in place is the first step in new window installation planning. Several options are available. First, contact your local bank about a home improvement loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). Either option may provide a better interest rate than a regular loan or using a credit card.
Major retailers and home improvement centers usually have their own credit plan for financing your new window project. A private retailer is also an option. For a list of state programs offering loans, incentives, refunds, and rebates check the Department of Energy website for New York opportunities.
Choosing Window Materials, Types and Styles in New York
With the variety of architecture in New York, from high-ceilinged lofts and vintage Victorians to high-rise condominiums and new construction, it’s important to find the perfect fit for your property. There are a variety of styles to fit your property’s needs that include the best window type for the New York climate, the best efficiency ratings so you get your money’s worth from the investment, and eye appeal.
The following is a list of some of the types of new window styles available.
- Arch top windows are round top, flexible, decorative, windows available in small or large sizes.
- Bay windows enhance a room by adding a large window for viewing and an interior seating area.
- Double hung windows have an upper and lower sash that can be opened.
- Single hung windows have only one sash that opens, the other is fixed in place.
- Casement windows are two large pane glass windows that have no vertical post in the center and open outward like a French door.
- Picture windows are a solid fixed pane of glass. There is no opening or closing operation for these types of windows.
If you choose new windows from Energy Star, you will also be eligible for a federal tax credit. This added incentive along with lower monthly utility bills help recoup the initial cost of new windows.
Some materials used in new window frames are not as efficient as other types. The most common types of window frame materials are.
- Vinyl windows are at the top of the list in property owner preference. The durability of the material prevents fading, chipping, discoloration, and is a low-maintenance option.
- Aluminum is available but it is not as durable as vinyl. Keeping in mind the type of weather New York experiences, the frame material is very important when choosing new windows.
- Wood windows usually have a layer of material such as fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl to prevent damage and deterioration. The wood is the top layer that is there mainly for the classic appearance of wood windows.
- Fiberglass windows are durable and versatile. For property owners looking for frames easily painted and to add a positive exterior look, fiberglass is a good choice.
Whether you choose single, double, or triple-pane glass also has an effect on your window’s efficiency. Single pane windows work well but double and triple-pane provide better energy efficiency.
Window panes can also be coated with a glaze, or a tinting material much like what you see on automobiles can be applied. Both coatings are designed to filter out the ultraviolet rays that create hot spots within the structure.
- Single-pane glazed windows are just one layer of glass. A single-pane window provides clear visibility but isn’t as efficient as double or triple-pane windows.
- Double-pane glazed windows provide double the efficiency as a single-pane. The window is made up of two panes of glass. The pocket in-between the two panes is filled with a layer of gas or air. This creates an additional buffer to outside temperatures.
- Triple-pane glazed windows are the high-end in window efficiency. With three layers of glass, not only is the temperature better regulated to keep the interior at a comfortable level, the added glass also reduces the filtration of noise from the outside.
About Energy Efficiency Windows
When making your choice in new window types, material, and styles, consider energy efficient models. As noted above, single-pane windows do an adequate job but for the best deal for your investment and over time, high-performance windows are the way to go. These double and triple-pane windows have been certified by Energy Star and meet strict EPA requirements for energy efficiency.
Energy Star windows will have a label that states the product is certified along with all of the requisite ratings. If you have any questions about what the ratings mean, ask the retailer where you’re purchasing the windows for an explanation. The ratings of the windows you choose should coincide with the climate zone of your city so you receive the optimum in energy efficiency.
New York Climate and Windows
Because New York sits on the east coast and is subject not only to harsh winters with inclement weather and extreme temperatures, but also hurricanes coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Should a hurricane come ashore, windows will be subject to heavy rain, extreme wind, and airborne debris. For this reason, impact-resistant windows are suggested for new window installation if you live near the New York coastline.
When selecting new windows, you will want (within your budget) materials to be of the highest quality, offer the best in efficiency, and are the most durable to withstand extreme changes in weather conditions.
Windows Permit Requirements in New York
Different states and cities have certain requirements for their particular area. In New York, you will most likely need a building permit and a licensed contractor for new window installation. There may also be the option of not needing a permit for certain situations. This will be dependent on your city. For information about whether a permit is required, contact your local city or county government office to find out what you need to do.
If a permit is required and/or new windows must be installed by a certified contractor and you choose to ignore one or both requirements, you stand to pay a significant fine. New construction, remodeling, and renovations are usually monitored by mobile inspectors. They’ll also be looking for a visible permit displayed on the property letting them know the property owner has adhered to city/county building policy. Don’t take a chance. Call ahead and get the application process started, if required, so you don’t end up with fines and extra fees for non-compliance.
Where to Buy Windows in New York
The Internet has made window shopping a much easier process with a variety of businesses and window options just a click away. Major home improvement centers have an inventory of windows, and window installers or contractors available for your project.
Private companies also offer a variety of window brands and styles. They, too, have access to contractors or certified and licensed on-staff technicians to install windows. Large retail stores also have access to home improvement products that include new windows.
Tips for Hiring a New Window Contractor in New York
In New York, a licensed contractor is required for new window installation. It is to your advantage to select a reputable contractor with extensive knowledge in window installation. A window contractor will be certified in the field and will have the necessary insurance to cover the installation, materials and labor.
Unless you are a licensed contractor yourself, the job of installing new windows is better left to the experts. For any contractor you contact, request a written estimate that is inclusive of all the costs involved which includes removal and disposal of old windows. All estimates should be signed and dated so there is no question “after the fact” of what was and wasn’t covered. The estimate should clearly outline the contractor’s warranty in what is covered and how long the warranty is in effect.
It is recommended that you check with any local government office that has information about licensed contractors as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for contractors with past or current complaints filed against them.
While many contractors claim to have the necessary license, insurance, and certification, and the experience to install new windows, some may not meet the necessary requirements for completing the installation properly.
ROI for New Window Installation
New windows offer another plus to property owners, an increase in property value. Depending on the type of window you have installed – single-pane vs double-pane – if double-pane energy efficient windows are installed, you have the added bonus of having a “green” living space. This adds another level of marketing value to any property should it go on the market.
When a new window project is on the agenda, preparation is important. This includes having funding in place, selecting new windows that meet the requirements for the building code for your city, hiring a certified window installer, and applying for any permit needed. When all of these steps are in place, you’ll have a green light for new window installation.