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Your Guide to Window Replacement in Northern Virginia


Window replacement is not always a home maintenance task high up on most homeowner’s to-do lists. Reason being, it’s not really something most people think about until your window has become damaged beyond repair.

However, window replacement can have many benefits beyond replacing a broken window pane or rotting frame. There are many subtle signs that it might be a good idea to replace your windows, and a lot to consider when you finally do.

Additionally, replacing your windows can have multiple benefits for your home. You will be able to enjoy a new window that might be more in-line with your personal taste. Also, newer windows are made to be more energy efficient—lowering the cost of your utility bill, keeping your home comfortable and even protecting your family from harmful UV rays. Lastly, a window replacement project can increase your property’s resale value.

Continue reading to discover our comprehensive guide on what every homeowner should know about window replacement, and when you should call a professional Northern Virginia handyman.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Windows

Sometimes, it can be very obvious that you need to replace your window. Say your child accidentally threw a baseball through the window pane, or your home sustained water damage and the frame surrounding your window has rotted through.

However, there are other signs that it might be time to hire window replacement services. Additionally, your windows can greatly affect your environmental footprint and you might want to consider replacing your old windows with ones that are more energy efficient.

High Energy Bill

Speaking of energy efficiency, if you have exceptionally high energy costs it might be time to replace your windows. Windows that leak air cost money. This is because the leaking air affects the temperature of your home and causes your HVAC system to work harder to reach the targeted temperature.

Moreover, the type of window that might be installed in your home could affect your energy bill. Most older homes have single-pane windows. Single-pane windows do not do a very good job of keeping radiant heat out during the summer and keeping heat in during the winter. Once again, this causes your HVAC system to work hard to keep your interior temperature comfortable.

Drafty Windows

While drafty windows impact your energy bill, they can also be uncomfortable. In the winter, cold air will seep into your home and it can always feel cold—even with the furnace running. Likewise, in the summer, hot air and humidity can enter your home. Even with the use of an AC unit, drafty windows can make your home feel unpleasant.

Hot and cold air aren’t the only things that can come through your drafty window. Cracks, torn screens, and incorrectly fitting windows are an open invitation for bugs to find their way into your Northern Virginia home.

Cold Window Glass

Single-pane windows will always feel cold to the touch because they are less insulated than double-pane windows. However, if you have double-pane windows that are chilly, then it might be a sign you need to hire window replacement services. Double-pane windows are meant to keep the cold out. Although they may feel moderately cold to the touch on a particularly cold day, if your double-pane windows feel freezing when you touch them they are not insulating correctly.

Difficulty Opening and Closing Windows

There are a few issues that might cause your windows to not open or close properly—the kind of issues beyond a quick DIY repair. If your window won’t open or close because of the following reasons, it’s time to hire a window replacement service:

  • Your wood windows are stuck to the frame because of layers of paint

  • Your home’s foundation settled and caused your window frames to twist, preventing the sash from moving up or down

  • The hinges and latches on your casement window—a window that swings open and closed—have rusted

Excessive Damage

Sometimes, you may be able to repair damage to your windows without having to replace them. However, there are situations where the damage is too great and a repair will not cut it. For instance, if your windows have any of the following problems, you should consider hiring a window replacement service:

  • Cracked and peeling paint

  • Wood that has rotted through

  • Broken or cracked window panes

  • Can no longer hold up to the elements

  • Panes have moisture on them

  • Exteriors are chipped or faded

What to Consider When Choosing Your Window Replacement

As the name implies, replacing your windows means taking out the old window and putting in a new one. However, did you know that part of the original window is left behind? It’s very difficult to remove every part of the window that was built into your house. Generally, only the sash and a few other related pieces of the window will be removed.

That said, there are still many factors to consider when choosing replacement windows. Continue reading to discover a few key factors that will affect your window replacement.

Choose Your Frame

There are a variety of different window frames available to you. Each different type of window frame has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Vinyl: Vinyl windows can be a cost-effective alternative to other materials, such as wood. Vinyl windows can be very energy efficient with insulated glass and sealed construction that reduces air leakage. However, vinyl windows may have few color choices and the style of vinyl may not be to your taste.

  • Wood: Wood windows insulate better than other materials. However, wood requires a lot of upkeep to prevent rot. The key to having a long-lasting wood frame is the quality of the cut and species of wood used.

  • Wood-clad: Wood-clad window frames are a combination of a low-maintenance exterior like vinyl or aluminum and an insulating wood interior. Yet, wood-clad frames can rot if they are not installed correctly. Wood-clad window frames require a waterproof rubber membrane and a sill pan that catches water to prevent water damage.

  • Composite: Composite windows are made from scrap wood shavings and plastic resin. They look like wood but are nearly maintenance free. Since resins in the window-manufacturing process are often sourced from recycled plastics, this window frame variety is an eco-friendly choice.

  • Aluminum: Aluminum windows are not the best choice for heat insulation, but they do prevent water damage and keep the rain and humidity at bay.

  • Fiberglass: A kind of composite window frame, fiberglass is a mix of glass fibers and polyester resins. Fiberglass window frames are more costly than other materials. However, they are very energy efficient, strong, durable, and will not twist or warp like vinyl and wood frames.

Select the Glass

Your window’s glass is probably one of the first decisions you’ll have to make when choosing replacement windows. There are many different factors to consider for each variety of glass:

  • Float glass: Float glass is your typical glass. It’s made of molten glass poured into a tin to make a glass panel. Float glass is the base for other types of glass because on its own it is weak and prone to breaking.

  • Laminated glass: Laminated glass is made out of two pieces of float glass with a thin layer of PVB resin in between each pane. It’s very strong and less likely to shatter if it breaks.

  • Obscured glass: While light will still shine through obscured glass, the designs, etches, and bevels in this kind of glass make it impossible to see through it. Obscured glass is ideal for bathrooms and areas of your home that require privacy.

  • Tempered glass: After float glass is made, it generally undergoes a process called annealing. Annealing slowly cools the glass to keep it strong. Tempering makes annealed glass even stronger. Tempered glass won’t shatter the way float glass will and works well for large windows.

  • Insulated glass: Insulated glass is found in double-pane and triple-pane windows. The panes are separated by a space that contains argon or krypton gasses, creating insulation between each pane. Insulated glass is more energy efficient and blocks heat rays from the sun.

  • Low-E glass: Low emissivity glass was created to block UV rays from the sun. UV rays damage skin and fade fabrics. Low-E glass will also help keep heat inside your home during the winter.

Installation and Design

No matter how expensive or efficient your window unit is, it won’t perform effectively if it's installed incorrectly. It’s important that your window frames undergo pre-installation waterproofing to prevent water damage to the frame and your home. Flashing and caulking are an important part of ensuring your windows will be waterproofed. It’s important this process is completed with an attention to detail so that no leaks develop and create problems down the line.

There are also certain window designs that are more efficient than others. Common window designs that are efficient include:

  • Casement windows: Casement windows use a crank that swings the window outward to open. This feature also means casement windows seal very tightly when the wind blows against them. However, casement windows require regular maintenance on the hinges and seals to prevent rusting.

  • Double-hung windows: Double-hung windows are the most traditional window variety in the United States. The bottom portion of these windows slide up to open.

  • Picture windows: Typically, picture windows do not open but are a beautiful feature within your home. They come in many shapes and sizes. Glass choice is particularly important for picture windows as they tend to be bigger than other windows.

Our Window Replacement Services

Installing new windows can not only improve the energy efficiency in your home, but can also increase your property value. Whether you want to make the switch to lower your utility bill or your windows have seen better days and it’s time for a change, our technicians can help. Window replacement can be a tricky task that requires a lot of experience and attention to detail. It’s a project best left to the professionals.

Our window replacement professionals each possess an average of 10-years’ experience in the trades. We will arrive promptly to your scheduled appointment wearing the Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia uniform and driving a company vehicle, so you always know it’s us coming into your home. We promise that our technicians will respect you and your home. In addition to providing outstanding customer service, our window replacement experts will wear booties over their shoes to protect your floors, keep their work-area tidy, and clean up before leaving.

We believe in professionalism and dedicate our standard of excellence to every task we complete. We will efficiently and carefully install your new windows so that you can enjoy having energy efficient and beautiful windows.

We always offer our Done Right Guarantee. We know that hiring window replacement services can be a stressful time for you and your family as the process disrupts your daily life. While our handyman experts are confident that you will be satisfied with our services, if you notice a problem after we leave we will return to fix it at no additional cost. If we can’t solve the problem, we will give you your money back. Earning your trust and ensuring we stand behind our work is an integral part of our company’s values.

Our window replacement services include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Skylight installation/replacement

  • Casement window installation/replacement

  • Picture window installation/replacement

  • Insulated window installation/replacement

  • Bay window installation/replacement

Hire the Pros at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia Today!

Do you need help replacing your old windows? Get in touch with the window replacement experts at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia. Our skilled, accountable, and reliable team will work with you to figure out the specifics of your window replacement job. We invite you to give us a call at 703-621-4817 or to request a service online to get started today.