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Buying Windows in Norfolk, Virginia
If you have determined that it is time to buy replacement windows, you have probably figured out that there are a lot of factors to consider before making a purchase. Windows play a big role in your home, protecting your family and your belongings from changing temperature and extreme weather while still providing you with the option of bringing fresh air and sunlight into your home.
When it comes to replacing your windows, either because you want to increase your home’s energy efficiency or because your current windows no longer work as they should, your location should be one of the primary factors taken into consideration as you select a window for your home. Since so many variations in climates exist, windows are also available in countless designs and made from a wide range of materials. In order to be sure you are finding the right window for your home, it is helpful to understand the climate where you live in Norfolk and which windows will perform best in your region.
In addition to the weather, your city has unique building codes and permit requirements that apply to major home improvements, including installation of replacement windows. Before moving forward with your project, it is important to understand these guidelines so you can be sure you are in compliance with your city’s laws.
In this Norfolk, Virginia window buying guide, you will find the location specific information you need guide you to the right windows for your home.
Finding Windows for the Climate in Norfolk, Virginia
Located in the southeastern corner of Virginia, Norfolk has warm and humid summers and mild winters. In July, the hottest month of the year, the average high reaches 87 degrees. In January, the coldest month of the year, the average low temperature is 33 degrees. Norfolk receives an average of 48 inches of rain each year, 11 inches more than the national average, and the wettest month of the year is August. However, your city only experiences 7 inches of snow, which is significantly lower than the national average of 25 inches.
Because of your location near the coast, Norfolk is more vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes. When it comes to protecting your windows from high winds and debris during storms, there are a few different options to consider. Window films can be purchased and placed over existing windows, and are one of the more affordable option for protecting your family from shattered glass. You can also choose to install storm shutters, that can be opened and closed in response to the weather. Lastly, many windows suppliers in your region manufacture windows with high-impact glass. At the minimum, these windows will be $50 to $70 more expensive than windows with traditional glass.
In addition to preparing for severe weather, you should also prepare your home for the changing temperatures throughout the year. ENERGY STAR® places labels on new windows called the National Fenestration Ratings Council label, outlining the performance of the windows using a few different ratings systems. When you live in Norfolk, which is located in the North-Central Climate Zone, your main concerns are the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient ratings of your new windows.
The U-Factor rating offers a measurement of how much heat can escape your home through a window while the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC rating, measures the solar radiation that passes through the window and passively heats your home. ENERGY STAR® requires replacement windows in your region to have a U-Factor rating of 0.30 or less and a SHGC rating of 0.40 or less.
Compliance with ENERGY STAR® guidelines is the perfect start to choosing energy efficient windows for your home. It is also important to select windows manufactured from insulative materials. Vinyl and fiberglass frames are an excellent choice in your climate, since they are highly efficient and weather-resistant. Additionally, multi-pane windows with an inert gas filling and low-e glazing have been found among the most efficient options for regions that experience high temperatures during the summer months.
Complying with Norfolk Window Replacement Requirements
As a homeowner living in Norfolk, you are only required to apply for a building permit for a window replacement if your project will require you to expose or change framing in your home. Typically, this is only necessary if you are installing windows that are smaller or larger than the previous windows. A permit application can be picked up in person at the office of The Development Services Center Monday through Friday from 08:30 a.m. to 04:30 p.m.. The office is located in the City Hall building at 810 Union Street, Norfolk, VA 23502.
If you plan to hire a contractor, it is important to know that the state of Virginia requires all contractors performing major home improvement projects, including window replacements, to carry a general contractor’s license. This law is for your benefit, ensuring that any contractor working in your home has had ample training and experience before beginning work on your home.
Additionally, contractors should carry both workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. If something unfortunate were to happen in your home, such as property damage or if an employee were to be injured while working on your home, this insurance protects you from potential financial consequences that could result from the event.
When you find the right windows for your home, models that are energy efficient and in full compliance with your city’s guidelines, you can feel confident in the choice you have made. ENERGY STAR® compliant windows will not only reduce your consumption of energy derived from nonrenewable sources, they can also save you between $59 and $446 on your utility bills each year.