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Window Replacement in Mount Vernon, New York
When beginning a window repair in New York, there’s a lot to consider, especially in Mount Vernon. The city is an area with many historic buildings, and while older homes are beautiful, they can also be the source of massive energy bills due to construction inefficiencies and outdated materials. Modern windows contain technology that will keep your utility costs level, even during the winter, and make sure you meet energy code requirements, as well. If you’re thinking about upgrading your windows in your Mount Vernon home, here’s a guideline to the city’s building and product requirements, as well as some information about energy-efficiency.
Window Contractor Requirements in Mount Vernon
If you live in Mount Vernon and would like to replace or upgrade windows in your home by yourself, you have that option. All the city requires from you as a builder-owner is that you certify your ownership and can provide proof of your homeowner’s insurance, along with following the permit process you’d have to undertake for any construction. But unless you’ve done this kind of work before, it’s best to bring in a licensed contractor. A contractor can help you make the replacement safely and legally–as well as providing professional advice on permitting and inspections.
Applying for Window Permits in Mount Vernon
In Mount Vernon, the building code is very strict, so any improvements you make to your home beyond painting need to be covered by a Building Permit. A sample copy of the application can be accessed here, so you know what you’re dealing with, but you’ll need to file an official version from Mount Vernon’s Department of Buildings, located in City Hall, Rm 210, Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, NY 10550.
To complete your permit application, you’ll also need to sign a Letter of Authorization testifying that you own the property where the work will be done, as well as copies of your home’s deed and your homeowner’s insurance. If you’ll be working with a contractor, they’ll have to submit documents showing that they hold liability insurance. The contractor should be willing to provide you with this information, as well, and will often be instrumental in filling out the rest of the application.
Mount Vernon’s Window Requirements
All residential windows in New York need to conform to the state’s Energy Code, which dictates that homeowners meet certain energy efficiency standards when making changes to their homes. The most important of these measurements is the U-factor requirement, a rating that indicates how much heat flow transference your windows allow–in other words, how well they work to insulate your home. U-factor in windows can range anywhere from 0 to 1, but the lower the rating, the better they are at keeping warm air inside.
In the Empire State, the required rating is fairly low, which is good, since a poorly-insulated house is not fun to be in during a tough New York winter. To keep your windows up-to-code, make sure to select a model that has a U-factor no greater than .35. But for superiorly-performing windows, you should look for a model that has the ENERGY STAR certification on its labeling. ENERGY STAR is the EPA’s energy-efficiency incentive program, and windows rated according to its guidelines have been shown to significantly reduce energy costs–and may be eligible for rebates offered through the program.
After you make your final selection, you should make a copy of the vendor’s brochure, detailing the window’s specifications, and submit it to the city along with your permit application. This will ensure that your window has what’s called “product approval”–that it’s approved for use in Mount Vernon.
Window Inspections in Mount Vernon
Once the work has been completed on the window, it’s time to call the inspector. You can schedule an inspection by calling the Mount Vernon Department of Building at 914-665-2300. When the inspector arrives, the building permit should be clearly displayed on site–that way, you’ll avoid having to call for a second visit, and incurring re-inspection fees.
Insulation and Window Care in Mount Vernon
Glass with a good insulation rating won’t do you much good if your windows aren’t properly sealed. Due to Mount Vernon’s chilly winters, we recommend that you check your new windows to ensure they’ve been properly caulked and filled. This is something that often gets overlooked in the rush to install, but can make a big difference in your heating costs and energy consumption. All stationary joints should be smoothly caulked. And you can provide additional protection on moving parts, like the base, by adding a layer of weatherstripping.
After your windows are properly installed and sealed, all that’s left to do is maintain them. Cleaning is the biggest part of this–with energy-efficient windows, especially, it’s important not to wash them when the sun is shining brightly or to use harsh chemical cleansers in order to preserve the shading properties. Just soap and warm water should do it.
Rebates and Incentives for Mount Vernon
The City of Mount Vernon does not offer any efficiency incentives, rebates, or loan programs for window upgrades. However, you can still take advantage of a few state and federal options. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSDERA, has two different loans available to homeowners upgrading to ENERGY STAR products. They are:
- Home Performance with ENERGY STAR: Homeowners who apply this loan could receive low-interest rates, as well as a 10 percent discount on materials. To qualify, you’ll need to have an official energy audit performed on your house by a qualified contractor. You can read more about the program details here.
- Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR: This loan is specifically for low-income households, and offers a low-interest rates and a potential 50 percent of materials costs. More information here.
And, when you purchase ENERGY STAR-certified products, you may also qualify for a national rebate as well. You could get back as much as 10 percent of the amount you spent on the windows, up to $200. All you need to do is complete form 5695 along with next year’s taxes.