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Window Replacement in Cincinnati, Ohio
Hello, Cincinnatians! Ready to finally get started on that window replacement project you’ve been dreaming up? Well, get ready–window replacements don’t just give your home a pretty face. When done right, they can also help you save hundreds in your utility bills.
However, selecting the right window for your climate can be a little tricky. This guide will walk you through the specifications you’ll need to understand, as well as take you through the city’s permitting and inspection process.
Window Contractor Requirements in Cincinnati
While you’re not required to use a contractor to make your window replacement, it’s not a bad idea to hire an experienced worker to complete the job for you, especially if you’ll be altering walls and making changes to the existing window’s size.
Picking a contractor can be difficult, but you can save yourself some heartache by verifying your contractor’s standing. Ask the city some questions about their background–specifically, are they licensed and bonded? Do they have any outstanding debts due to the Building Department? These things will tell you a lot about what kind of business they run. Lastly, you can also ask your contractor to provide you with some references. A contractor worth his or her salt will be happy to oblige.
Applying for Window Permits in Cincinnati
Most window projects larger than repairing a pane of glass require a permit. In Cincinnati, you’ll have to verify that you own your home and that you agree to abide by the city’s building code by signing an affidavit attesting as much. A copy of that form can be accessed here.
But truly, the best place to start is at the Cincinnati Business Development and Permit Center. It’s located at 805 Central Ave., Suite 500, Cincinnati, OH 45202. A permit center employee can listen to your plans and determine whether or not you’ll need a permit, and what other supporting documentation, like drawings and plans, you need to complete your application. But if you’re just itching to get started now, you can view the application here.
Window Requirements in Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s unique mixture of cold winter temperatures and hot, humid summers mean that you’ll need to look for balance when selecting your new windows. This essentially boils down to two industry measures that will be listed on the manufacturer’s brochure when you’re shopping for windows. The first of these is the U-factor–it tells how well your window’s glass insulates your home. The lower this measurement, the less heat you’ll lose in winter. But you’ll also need to take a look at the window’s solar heat gain coefficient–that’s how much solar radiation it allows in when the sun is shining brightly. The ideal ratio between U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient will depend on your home–do you live in a shady home that tends to run colder in the winter? Or are you blasted by sun all year long? While the perfect formula will vary from house to house, generally a good rule of thumb is to choose windows with a U-factor no greater than 0.30, and a solar heat gain of no greater than 0.40. For really superior energy performance, however, look for the ENERGY STAR certification label on the windows you’re looking at. That means the product has been rated by the EPA for efficiency in your climate.
Cincinnati Window Inspections
Once your window has been installed and your project completed, there’s one last thing you need to do before you can close the book on your window replacement. You’ll need to have a city inspector make a visit to approve the work and verify that it was done up-to-code. When the inspector arrives, make sure to provide access to your permit and any supporting plans or drawings that were included with the application process.
Insulation and Window Care for Your Cincinnati Home
Selecting an energy efficient window isn’t the only way to reduce your heating costs. You can also manage your utility spending by checking the sealing on your new window–the caulk should be applied in a neat bead around the glass and frame. Meanwhile, you can also install weatherstripping to the moving parts of the window to keep things toasty warm inside.
Rebates and Incentives for Cincinnati
The City of Cincinnati doesn’t offer any energy efficient incentives for windows; however, if your electricity is provided by Butler Rural Electricity Cooperative, then you could be eligible for a rebate that will net you up to 400 dollars for efficiency upgrades your perform around your home.
There are additional programs through the state. If you’re making many efficiency upgrades to your home, you could qualify for loans with reduced rates through the state’s ECO-link program. If eligible, the state will lower your bank loan’s interest rate by up to 3 percent. You can find out more about ECO-link here.
Lastly, you’ll also save money with the federal government when you purchase and install ENERGY STAR labeled products. The EPA offers a rebate of up to 200 dollars for residents installing qualifying products. Just file form 5695 along with your taxes.