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Buying New Windows in New York City
If you’re considering a home improvement project in New York City that includes installing new windows, there are a few simple steps to consider. New windows can turn your property into a more comfortable and energy saving property while also adding value. But new window installation can be costly, so following a few tips and planning ahead can help make the project run smoothly.
New York City’s Climate
You may not realize it, but the climate plays an important part in new window selection. As New Yorkers are well aware, the months from November – March experience the coldest weather, and July – August, the hottest. Choosing windows such as a double-pane window or a triple-pane window will help regulate those temperatures better than single-pane, keeping your properties interior at a pleasant level of comfort. Double and triple-pane windows help reduce the additional wear and tear on the HVAC system and results in lower utility bills.
Funding Options for New Windows in New York City
Purchasing new windows can run into the thousands of dollars depending on the number of windows being installed and the type of window selected. Plan ahead by having your budget and financing options in order. While paying with cash is usually the best option, this may not be possible for all property owners.
Using a credit card is convenient, but you may end up paying significantly more due to a high interest rate. So, consider applying for a home equity loan from your lending institution. These generally offer a much lower rate. A standard loan is also an option. And if you purchase windows from a major retailer or home improvement center, these businesses often offer credit cards and financing.
For New Yorkers, there are also opportunities for financial help from a list of lenders, grants, and incentives and rebate programs from the U.S. Department of Energy. With new windows installed, depending on the type you choose, you may qualify for a federal tax credit.
Permits for Window Installation in New York City
This is one step you don’t want to miss as there are guidelines for when you do and do not need a permit for new window installation. In one situation, installing new windows where there currently are no windows requires a permit. Yet, replacing a current window does not necessarily require a permit, just that the replacement be done by a licensed and certified home improvement contractor.
Before beginning any work on your property, contact the local New York City office responsible for building codes and permits. A representative will give you the official word whether or not a permit is needed, the cost, how to apply, and if there will be an inspection of the property to ensure state guidelines for new window installation have been followed.
New York City Window Selection
There are several areas you need to pay attention to when buying new windows. First, is the type of window frame. Vinyl frames are the most durable as they don’t fade or chip. Aluminum frames are budget-friendly, but rate low on providing efficient insulation. Fiberglass frames are sturdy and provide the option of filling an air cavity with insulation resulting in better thermal performance. Wood frames look good and insulate well; however, wood does expand due to weather and requires the most maintenance. Fiberglass frames are also sturdy, provide better than normal thermal efficiency, and resist moisture and decay.
Next, consider glazing or glass, including gas fills between panes, heat-absorbing tints, double or triple-pane glass, reflective coatings, spectral coatings and low-emissivity coatings. For energy efficient windows from Energy Star, read the label that shows the product is certified as energy efficient along with the window ratings which include the U-factor, Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), Visible transmittance (VT) and Air Leakage (AL). All are important when selecting windows.
Choosing a Licensed Home Improvement Contractor in New York City
Last but not least is hiring a contractor who will take care of the installation process from start to finish. As noted in the permit section, only licensed home improvement contractors are eligible for window installation. For researching contractors, New York City provides a license check option. With the search tool, you can ensure the contractor you hire has a license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). If the contractor does not have this license, he is not legally licensed to operate in the city of New York.