Five Signs That Your Home Needs Replacement Windows

Five Signs That Your Home Needs Replacement Windows

Five Signs That Your Home Needs Replacement Windows

And Why Waiting Could Cost You More Money

Large brick home with multiple replacement window installations

Windows are one of those home features that you never think about until you have to, and then it’s no fun at all. You’re faced with a sudden and unplanned repair bill at what always feels like the worst possible time. But, had you been paying attention, you could be almost a year into easy payments for replacement windows that slipped into your budget without a hitch. So, we’ve gathered for you the five most important signs that it’s time to replace those old windows with new ones.

Sign #1: Rising Energy Bills

Your windows are responsible for nearly half the heat loss in your home, be that heat leaving in the winter or hot air moving in during the summer. If your energy bills have taken a jump in the last year, the chances are good that your windows are to blame.

Modern double-pane windows have an efficiency rating against heat loss of 90%, which jumps to 97% for triple-pane replacement windows. Those ratings come from more than just superior glass technology. There is also a lot more insulation in modern window systems, and they are better designed now to prevent temperature transfer through the framing materials.

Sign #2: Sticky Windows

It seems everyone has that one window that you don’t even bother trying to open. It’s been stuck for years, and there’s nothing you can do. Unfortunately, stuck windows are an indication of swelling, and swelling doesn’t happen without moisture.

If you have a stuck or difficult to open window, your issues are much more serious than whether or not you can get that window to move. For all that time you’ve been living with that stuck window, moisture has been seeping into your walls and wreaking havoc. You should never just live with a poorly functioning window.

Sign #3: Noisy Neighborhoods

Maybe the neighborhood is getting louder, maybe your window frames are breaking down, or maybe you’re just getting less forgiving? All you know is that the noise coming through your closed windows is driving you wild.

The double-paned windows available today can cut noise down by up to 20% or more. That’s a level of peace and quiet that you just can’t get out of your old windows.

Sign #4: Condensation

Moisture is not supposed to get through a closed window. Period. It especially shouldn’t be showing up between the panes or on the interior glass or frame. When condensation shows up between the glass panes or on the interior side of your window, you’ve got a problem.

The most likely culprit is worn-out seals within the window system, but it can also happen from old, poorly installed insulation around the window. But once you’ve reached enough temperature bleed-through to cause condensation on the inside areas of your window, then that window is working against your HVAC system and is little better than an open hope in your wall.

Sign #5: Peeling Paint Or Decaying Wood

Most window systems hold paint quite well and don’t need any more maintenance than does your siding. But as windows age, temperature extremes and moisture can work their way into your window frames and start breaking the bond that keeps your paint in place.

These changes will show as peeling or bubbling areas of paint around your window glass. The same is true of wooden frames, except the wood will show signs of rot instead. Once this process begins, it is difficult to stop, especially in wood windows, and requires expensive refurbishing efforts to turn back the clock.

Replacement Windows

Today’s replacement windows are far superior to the windows sold even 20 years ago. Materials science has been going through a revolutionary phase, and the window industry hasn’t been idle. Almost every portion of modern window systems is vastly improved over earlier versions.

Replacement windows are also much easier to operate, with well-designed track systems that you’d have to damage on purpose to get them to stick. Several features are available, such as internal blinds and windows that can integrate with your security system. The number of choices now available is nothing short of amazing.

Planned Expense

One of the best parts of replacement windows is that you can finance them over time. That way, you just have to deal with one easy monthly bill that you have budgeted for instead of some crazy emergency expense when the temps are dropping to single digits, and your window won’t close.

If you think it’s time to replace the windows on your Chicagoland area home, contact us at Krumwiede Home Pros for a free quote.

Are Triple-Pane Windows Really That Much Better For Chicagoland Homeowners?

Are Triple-Pane Windows Really That Much Better For Chicagoland Homeowners?

Or Is It Like That Thing With The Razors?

Images showing the inner workings of a triple-pane replacement window system.

While certain aspects of triple-paned windows aren’t much of an improvement over double-paned windows, it absolutely isn’t the same thing as slapping eight blades onto a razor and calling it a revolutionary idea. There are real and tangible results from adding a third pane to a window, and we’re glad to go over them with you here. But first, a brief overview of window construction.

Replacement Window Basics

We’ve come a long way from the days of using translucent horn to cover the holes in our homes. Now what we consider windows was once a carefully formed system requiring the work of several master craftsmen to create. Today, it’s all packaged as a single unit light enough for two people to lift into place easily.

Replacement windows cover every aspect of your window system, from the sill to the sash, and are all highly efficient. Even your most basic double-pane window is around 90% efficient at keeping heat either in or out, depending on the weather.

No, we aren’t trying to say that they magically decide which direction to control the temperature; they simply don’t allow much heat to pass through them at any time. The phrase of keeping the heat in or out is based on our perceptions, not the window’s function.

Multiple Pane Windows

Single pane windows are more heat transmitters than insulators, and the same goes for the amount of noise they pass through into your home. Once double-pane windows worked out their bugs, single-pane windows went the way of the dinosaurs, and deservedly so.

Though forms of double-paned windows came out long ago, it wasn’t until the 70s that double-paned windows became a standard feature for modern homes. Unfortunately, the aluminum frames and metal separators for the panes didn’t perform as well as expected. It wasn’t until vinyl and fiberglass came into vogue that double-pane windows were accepted for the superior window design they are today.

Emphasis On Insulation And Strength

As the glass portion of replacement windows became more efficient, the frames and fitment became more important as the remaining source of drafts through your walls. Different levels of foam infusion in the structure of the windows and the strength of the design became the main basis for quality levels beyond the simple aesthetics of the window itself.

Double-Pane Windows vs Triple-Pane Windows

The differences between double and triple-pane windows go deeper than just an extra pane of glass in the center. The heat loss and security factors have been greatly enhanced in triple-pane window technology, though the noise levels do remain roughly the same as it is with double-pane windows.

Heat Loss

Modern double-pane windows prevent an impressive 90% of heat loss on average, but triple-pane windows take that number up to 97%. That is close to achieving a near elimination of all heat loss through that window. The greater efficiency comes from the additional insulating layer of inert gas created by that third pane. That efficiency can translate into significant energy savings if your home has a lot of windows.

Security

While double-pane windows will slow an intruder down, having to break a third pane of glass makes it much more likely that they will be heard. It isn’t easy to get through three layers of insulated glass in one blow, and most criminals won’t even know that they need to until it’s too late. And those extra seconds they need to break through could make all the difference in the world to you and your family.

Noise Barrier

The noise insulating qualities of double-pane windows are already exceptional and, while triple-pane windows are a touch quieter, the difference isn’t noticeable to the human ear. If noise is your main concern, then double-paned replacement windows will do just fine.

Ambient Light

Either type of window can be treated to keep UV light out, so neither has an advantage over the other there. Triple-paned windows do let a little less natural light into your home, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on your tastes. However, for folks with sun sensitivity issues, that extra bit of protection from a triple-pane replacement window could become a blessing.

The Verdict

The only thing more efficient at combating heat loss than a triple-pane window is a well-insulated wall, and even then, it’s a close race. If comfort and energy consumption are your main worries, then triple-paned windows are the way to go. There’s simply nothing currently made that does the job better.

And outside of security glass, no other window will do as well at keeping the bad guys outside than a triple-pane replacement window.

If you’d rather save your money to spend on a little extra energy use, and all you want is to stop having to hear your neighbors at night, then a double-pane replacement window is the one for you.

Triple-pane windows are undeniably an advance in window technology; you just have to decide if the pluses are worth the additional investment. For many, that answer has been an enthusiastic yes.

If it’s time to replace the old windows on your Chicagoland home, contact us at Krumwiede Home Pros for a free quote.

Kitchen Remodeling vs Refacing

Kitchen Remodeling vs Refacing: Which Makes More Sense For Chicagoland Homeowners?

And What Is Refacing,

Anyway?

Refaced kitchen with white cabinets and dark counters

Many Chicagoland homeowners are, right this second, looking at their kitchens and thinking, “Meh.” They’re unhappy with the tired, drab look of the room and really wouldn’t mind a more modern feel to the space. Most would make the mistake of thinking that only a full remodel will give them the kitchen they want, and most would be wrong. You actually have two choices: a full remodel or just refacing the kitchen.

The Full Kitchen Remodel

A full kitchen remodel is an extensive reimagining of your cooking space from the ground up. Your kitchen is stripped down to the subfloor, and all new cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, and appliances are installed in a new, modern floor plan for maximum efficiency. The process can take over a month, during which you won’t have access to your kitchen.

Kitchen Refacing

Refacing is about a lot more than just your cabinet doors. When your kitchen is refaced, you keep the shells of your cabinetry and give them a new look with modern DuraCore doors, fresh hardware, and new features like soft-close rails or slide-out shelving. You can also rearrange your cabinetry to create a better flow to your kitchen and even install new counter space and new countertops. This process can be accomplished in as little as three days.

Comparing Kitchen Remodeling With Refacing

We’re the first to acknowledge that a full kitchen remodel can yield amazingly beautiful results, but so can refacing your kitchen. In terms of practical, day-to-day usage, most homeowners wouldn’t notice much difference between the two methods.

Before we get into the differences, let’s talk about what’s the same with either option. In either kitchen remodeling or kitchen refacing, you can:

  • Pick from a wide array of colors and styles
  • Replace the flooring
  • Add modern conveniences like a lazy susan or slide-out shelves
  • Rearrange the cabinetry
  • Change the location and type of appliances
  • Add an island
  • Replace the countertops
  • Improve the flow

All of the above changes are possible no matter which method you choose to update your kitchen. Now, let’s look at some of the differences between remodeling and refacing.

Kitchen Remodeling

With a full kitchen remodel, you may have to live without your kitchen for up to a month or even longer, and the cost is up to twice the cost of refacing your kitchen. There is also a good chance that you will have to deal with multiple contractors throughout the process with such a major undertaking.

Also, the cabinet materials, unless you have them custom-made, will almost always be of a lower quality than what you had removed. New cabinets just aren’t as durable as the ones they made even as little as 20 years ago.

However, you can completely change the floor plan of your kitchen, even moving your plumbing to accommodate a modern flow. You can even include things like new windows in new locations if that’s your desire.

A kitchen remodel is a blank slate with only the shape of the walls and the size of the space hemming in your imagination. And, in truth, walls can be moved, too. It’s just a question of how much money you want to spend and how long you can stand to be without your kitchen.

Kitchen Refacing

Kitchen refacing can create just as dramatic a change in your kitchen as a remodel will, but without throwing away those old, better-built cabinet shells. The only place a refacing falls short is that most contractors don’t want to do any serious plumbing or electrical work, which takes moving your sink out of the equation.

During the refacing, your cabinet doors will be replaced with DuraCore doors that are remarkably strong and almost impervious to heat and grease. While you get to keep the old, better-made shells, you don’t need to keep the old tech that came with them.

Modern tech, like soft-closing glides for the drawers and other easy-access features, can be added to your old cabinets to go with their new, modern look. Also, all the hardware can be replaced, and you can even change from visible to hidden hinges if you’d like. In short, you get all the looks and modern conveniences of brand new cabinets, but without their high price tag and lower build quality.

The top two features of kitchen refacing are the short build time – as little as three days – and the lower cost – from 30-50% cheaper than a remodel.

So What Does It All Mean?

All of the above comparisons offer us a few conclusions.

  1. If you are looking to move windows and get rid of walls, remodeling your kitchen is the way to go.
  2. If you don’t mind that the sink, windows, and walls will stay where they are, refacing is worth serious consideration.
  3. If time and money are important factors in your decision-making process, then refacing your kitchen is the way to go.
  4. The end result of refacing or remodeling your kitchen will provide a dramatic and beautiful change and will feel about the same in function.

If you think refacing the kitchen in your Chicagoland home is the choice for you, contact us at Krumwiede Home Pros for a free quote.

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