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Buying Windows in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
In the window replacement market, there are many possibilities to choose from. Windows are constructed in countless styles and a wide variety of materials are used to customize their performance. Choosing between the extensive options available isn’t easy, and requires a deep understanding of your home and the city where you live.
Windows perform an essential function in your home. They allow sunshine in and a view to the outdoors while protecting the interior of your home from changes in weather, including fluctuating temperatures and severe weather events. Since the weather in the United States varies greatly depending on your location, the windows you buy for your home should be uniquely suited for the climate in your region.
Additionally, each city has the power to create laws pertaining to home improvements and new buildings. Before you move forward with a window replacement project, it is important to education yourself on the permit requirements and building codes in your city.
If your windows are older than 15 years old, if they have become increasingly difficult to operate, or are allowing air leaks in your home, it is time to pursue a window replacement. When your windows are failing to do their job, your utility bills will increase and you may even experience weather related damage to the interior of your home.
In this Oklahoma City window buying guide, you will get the guidance you need to pick out the windows that perform best in your climate and comply with any city laws concerning window replacements.
Buying the Best Windows for Oklahoma City Weather
Oklahoma is located in the Midwest and, like much of this region, experiences weather on all ends of the spectrum. Oklahoma has four distinct seasons, with the average low reaching 29 degrees in January and the average high reaching 94 degrees in July. Oklahoma receives an average of 36.46 of rainfall each year and an average of 8 inches of snow.
Because of the extreme variances in weather in Oklahoma, you can expect to rely heavily on your heating and cooling system all year long. However, with the right windows, you can keep your home comfortable while avoiding paying outrageous energy bills each month. As you begin your search for energy efficient windows, start by referring to the National Fenestration Rating Council label placed on new windows by ENERGY STAR®. This label provides a set of ratings that indicate the overall performance of each window, helping you as you search for the best windows for your home.
On this label, you will find the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient Ratings. The U-Factor rating is a measurement of how much heat is lost from your home through the window while the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, rating, measures how much solar radiation passes through the window and passively heats your home. According to ENERGY STAR®, Oklahoma City is located in the South-Central Climate zone and all windows used in this region must have a U-Factor rating of 0.30 or less and a SHGC rating of 0.25 or less in order to be considered ENERGY STAR® compliant.
Beyond the energy efficiency ratings of a specific window, it is helpful to consider the materials used to the build the window. When it comes to window frames, wood is an incredibly efficient option but also the most expensive and highest maintenance material available. In comparison, vinyl and fiberglass also offer excellent insulation from extreme temperatures at a fraction of the cost and require very little maintenance. When selecting glass, look for multi-pane windows that contain an inert gas filling and low-E glazing, which are known to offer the most protection from both hot and cold temperatures.
Like much of the Midwest, Oklahoma experiences a notable number of tornadoes each year. Tornadoes are among the most powerful storms, capable of causing devastating damage to your home. If you feel your home needs additional protection from high winds and flying debris, considering investing in impact resistant glass for your windows or having storm shutters installed on your home.
Complying with Oklahoma City Window Replacement Requirements
Each city has the authority to create their own laws concerning new building and home improvements and repairs. Because of this, it is important to check with your local government in Oklahoma City before moving forward with any major projects in your home. In Oklahoma City, homeowners are asked to apply for a residential building permit before installing new windows. A permit application can be found online on the Development Services Department website and can be submitted in person at 420 West Main, 8th Floor, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. For additional information about the building permit application process, consult the department website or call (405) 297-2948.
According to the Development Services Department website, contractors are not required to carry a general contractor’s license in order to make improvements on a home. However, it is always better to work with a licensed contractor as this certification is indicative of extensive training and compliance with a minimum number of hours working within the industry in the state of Oklahoma. Additionally, always work with contractors who carry both worker’s compensation and liability insurance, which will protect you from the financial consequences if someone is injured on your property or damage occurs to your property while the project is being completed.
When you live in the midwest, and use your HVAC unit year round to keep your home comfortable, energy efficient windows can play an essential role in keeping your utility expenses within your budget. ENERGY STAR® compliant windows are estimated to reduce monthly heating and cooling costs by $90 to $266 over the course of a year. By following the advice given above, you can take steps towards your most energy efficient home by installing windows perfectly suited for your home in Oklahoma City.