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Buying Windows in Virginia Beach, Virginia
As homeowner, the energy efficiency of your home is likely one of your top priorities. As we learn more about our world and how our actions affect the environment, more and more evidence is being shared in support of increasing the energy efficiency of your home. Energy efficiency means maintaining our household budgets and protecting the wellbeing of the environment.
This can be accomplished through regular upkeep and preventative maintenance of your home. Projects like regular maintenance of heating and cooling systems along with necessary repairs of roofing both play an essential role in preventing excess use of nonrenewable energy. One crucial task is occasional replacement of your home’s windows.
Window replacements are no small project, especially if all of the windows in your home need replaced. When making an investment as significant as replacing your windows, you will want to be certain you are choosing the right windows for your home. Living in Virginia Beach should be one factor that heavily influences the windows you choose for your home, since your windows should be built to protect your home from the weather conditions specific to your location. In addition to the weather, most cities also have specific building codes and permit requirements that should be considered before moving forward with major home improvement projects.
Using this Virginia Beach window buying guide, you can find the windows best suited to the climate in Virginia Beach and determine if your project is in compliance with Virginia Beach city regulations.
Finding the Right Windows for the Climate in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach has a humid subtropical climate, which means the summers are typically hot and humid while the winters are mild. July is the hottest month of the year with the average high temperature reaches 87 degrees. January is the coldest month of the year and the average low temperature reaches 31.9 degrees.
On average, residents in Virginia Beach can expect to receive 47.8 inches of rain each year, which is roughly ten inches more than the national average. Since the winters are mild, you will only receive an average of 7.1 inches of snow each year which is significantly lower than the average national annual snowfall of 25 inches.
This region of the United States is particularly susceptible to severe weather, specifically hurricanes. As a homeowner living in Virginia Beach, you can protect your home and your windows from storms by installing storm shutters, window films, or high-impact glass when you install new windows in your home.
Storm shutters can be opened during times of mild weather and then secured in the closed position if severe weather is expected. Windows films are among the most affordable options and are placed over existing window panes. Films do not necessarily prevent glass breakage, but they will prevent shattered glass from becoming a danger to your family. The last option for storm protection is high-impact glass, which has been made readily available by many of the window manufacturers in Virginia Beach. When budgeting for replacement windows, you can expect to spend between $50 and $70 more on these window panes when compared to conventional window pane options.
In addition to preparing for storms, energy efficient, climate specific windows are an important part of keeping your heating and cooling bills and energy consumption low. ENERGY STAR® has provided a set of guidelines for both homeowners and window manufactures that outline how you can find the most efficient windows for your specific region. According to these guidelines, Virginia Beach is located in the North-Central Climate Zone, an area of the country that relies heavily on both heating and cooling systems to keep homes comfortable.
Living in Virginia Beach, ENERGY STAR® suggests you concern yourself with the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating of your new windows. The U-Factor rating measures how much heat can escape your home through the window and should be no higher than 0.30. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, rating is a measurement of how much solar radiation can enter your home through your windows and heat your home. ENERGY STAR® guidelines require a SHGC rating of no more than 0.40 in the North-Central Climate Zone. Both of these ratings can be found on the National Fenestration Ratings Council label found on ENERGY STAR® compliant windows.
When it comes to preparing your home for the changing temperatures in Virginia Beach, complying with ENERGY STAR® requirements is an excellent start. You will also want to take into account the materials used to construct your window frames. When the temperature where you live is hot for a large portion of the year, insulative window frames made from vinyl or fiberglass play an important role in keeping your home cool. Additionally, multiple-pane windows with an added low-e glazing will also increase the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Complying with Virginia Beach Window Replacement Requirements
The city of Virginia Beach requires homeowners to apply for a residential building permit if they are making changes to their home that will alter the existing frames of the house. This means, if your replacement windows are the same size of your previous windows, you should not need to apply for a permit before starting your home improvement project.
If you find that your window replacement project will require you to obtain a permit, you can apply for a permit in person at the Permit & Inspections office located at 2405 Courthouse Drive, Building #2, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. If you have further questions about applying for a permit and gathering the appropriate paperwork, you can contact the department at (757) 385-4211.
When you purchase ENERGY STAR® compliant windows constructed from energy efficiency materials, you can anticipate seeing a drop in your heating and cool bills. If you have purchased energy efficient windows that are in full compliance with ENERGY STAR® guidelines, you can expect to save between $59 and $446 each year. Additionally, with a complete understanding of the permit requirements in Virginia Beach, you can rest assured that your project is in compliance with city building codes.