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Everything You Need to Know About Buying Replacement Windows

Are you looking at your home’s windows and asking the age-old question: to replace or not to replace? If you’re considering buying replacement windows for your home, you may have a lot of questions.

While buying replacement windows may seem like a large investment up front, it’s often a wise decision that saves you money in the long run. Buying replacement windows is a purchase that quickly pays you back by increasing your home’s value as well as your comfort and the quality of life inside your home, not to mention the savings on your energy bill.

If you’re considering buying replacement windows, here’s what you need to know to determine if the time is right. When you’re ready, Weather Tight’s friendly product experts will help you choose the best replacement windows to suit the look of your home (as well as your budget).

Is It Time for Buying Replacement Windows?

White Double Hung Windows with Grids

There are a few areas to consider if you’re thinking of buying replacement windows for your home. The first step is to check out the condition of your current windows.

To assess the condition of your windows, take a look at the following:

1. The Windows Themselves

First and foremost, look at the windows in your home. Are there cracks? Do they leak? Does a great deal of moisture accumulate in between the panes (different from the natural phenomenon of window condensation, which is generally harmless)? If your windows are broken, very old, in poor condition, or the glass is damaged, it’s definitely time to invest in replacement windows. New windows will improve the value, livability, and look of your home.

2. The Condition of the Pane

Next, examine the window pane. Is the paint on the window sill flaking off? Does the wood appear cracked? Has the stain faded? These are telltale signs your windows are no longer properly keeping heat inside your home in the winter and outside your home in the summer. While cracking wood and paint is often seen in older homes, it’s not uncommon to see poor window pane conditions in houses built in the last 20 years. Why? Because the materials used in many mass construction projects and planned communities are often not the highest quality.

3. Hardware and Casement

The next area of your window to examine is the inside casement and hardware. Is the window difficult to open? Does it stick or does it feature a crank that’s challenging to maneuver? Not only are hardware and casement issues frustrating to deal with, but they contribute to safety and security issues as well. It’s important windows open and close easily to let in fresh air and for ease of cleaning. It’s also imperative windows lock tightly when you need them to.

4. Air Loss

Do you have air leaks around your window? Use a simple damp hand test around the window to see if you’re getting air loss. Simply wet your hand and hold it near the perimeter of the window. If you feel any cool air, it’s a big sign you’re experiencing air infiltration and air leakage.

5. Your Heating Bill

Another sign of faulty windows is a high energy bill. It’s difficult to tell if your bill has simply slowly risen over the years due to increasing energy costs or if it’s related to air leakage, but when you invest in quality replacement windows, your energy bill will almost certainly go down.

6. Your In-Home Comfort

Do you wear socks in your home all the time? Do you put plastic on your windows in the winter? Do you need a blanket whenever you’re enjoying movies on the couch? These little inconveniences may seem small, but they add up to less satisfaction and comfort in your home. Your home should be a place you relax and feel comfortable without reaching for a sweater.

7. The Curb Appeal of Your Home

Does the look of your windows enhance your home’s curb appeal? Even if you don’t plan to sell your home or move, new windows are an excellent investment to increase the value and look of your house. Nothing brightens up a house like fresh, new windows, especially when Weather Tight will ensure your replacement windows blend seamlessly with your home.

Ready to Buy Replacement Windows? You Have Plenty of Options

There are many replacement window options out there, but it’s Weather Tights’ dedication to customer service and the Wisconsin community that’s made us Wisconsin’s Most Recommended Home Remodeler. Our replacement windows are backed by a lifetime transferable warranty to give you peace of mind in your investment.

If you’re ready to replace your windows and give your home a facelift, Weather Tight is ready to help. We offer a free in-home assessment where we’ll look at the performance of your current windows and discuss the possibilities as well as options, so you can make an educated decision regarding this household purchase.

As you look into buying replacement windows, you’ll find you have many choices. With Weather Tight, every window is custom manufactured to fit the look and style of your home. An expert will work with you to come up with a plan for your home and design your windows around your needs.

Get to Know Weather Tight Replacement Windows

At Weather Tight, we offer beautiful energy-efficient replacement windows with endless options for customization to fit the look and style of your home. Using patented designs from Restorations, our replacement windows offer minimal frames to enhance your view by up to 30%!

For durability and reliability, there’s no better window pane material than vinyl. The amazing aspect of vinyl is it’s both strong and flexible. Replacement windows of the past often included heavy, bulky frames to hold the panes of thick glass in place. Now with modern technology, windows are lightweight, and frames no longer need to be bulky. With fusion welding, each piece of vinyl is fused together, creating a frame that won’t leak or wear out. This ensures high performance and reliability for the life of your window.

The frames are also insulated with environmentally-friendly, CFC-free polyurethane, making them the most energy efficient windows on the market. Our airtight windows protect against the worst of weather and keep your home dry, temperature controlled, and comfortable (not to mention the savings on your energy bill).

While function is important, of course, customers are often concerned about the aesthetics of window replacement as well. After all, you want windows to fit the look and feel of your home. If you’re only replacing some of your windows or including exterior updates, you want windows to blend in and match the rest of your home design.

Weather Tight windows are available in a variety of different color combinations and woodgrains to ensure each window matches your homes exterior and blends seamlessly with the look of your house. Choose from window options including double hung, full frame, sliding, casement, bow, and bay windows. We also can work with condo & homeowner associations to color match your window needs.

Thanks to the energy efficient triple-pane glass in our sliding and casement windows, Weather Tight vinyl replacement windows offer the best air infiltration rates available. Our windows offer convenience, easy cleaning, and updated hardware for improved security. Select windows with specialty tempered safety glass or glass to prevent UV rays from fading furniture and carpets. Thermal pane windows are filled with noble argon gas, which improves thermal efficiency and lasts for many years.

Are there windows in your home you’re not so fond of? The options for customization are endless. We can resize your windows, change the type of window, and ensure the trim fits perfectly with the look of your home. There are also many ways to reduce the cost of window replacement. In the long run, it’s a sound investment in the value, security, and enjoyment of your home.

So, if you’re considering buying replacement windows, there’s no better time to explore your options. Reach out to one of our friendly Weather Tight customer service representatives today to schedule your free consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

How Manufacturers Prevent Air Leaks Around Window Panes

We get some wonderful questions from our customers, who often want to know more about the latest improvements in windows and window manufacturing. Recently, we received this great question regarding the steps manufacturers are taking to prevent air leaks around window panes—a common concern for any homeowner.


Dear Todd & Tod,

I know that double hung windows are only as good as the seals around them to prevent drafts and air leaks. What improvements have manufacturers made lately to create better seals and prevent air leaks around window panes?

–Edward


First of all, we want to thank Edward for this excellent question! Here in Wisconsin, air infiltration around windows in your home is a big problem, especially in cold weather.

At Weather Tight, we have over 30 years of experience battling these cold winter months. During that time, we’ve seen many changes and improvements in window manufacturing. Here’s how manufacturers are designing better seals to prevent air leaks around window panes.

 

 

 

What’s So Bad About Air Leaks Around Window Panes?

We all know windows are designed to keep the warm air inside and to keep the cold air out during the winter time. Without proper sealing solutions, the windows become less effective. Cold air seeps into your home and can greatly impact your comfort and wellbeing.

Air leaks are a huge worry and expense for homeowners. Much of the heat loss in your home stems from drafty windows (as well as through a roof that may need a replacement) and as the heat goes out and cold comes in, your energy bill continues to skyrocket. This not only means extra blankets and socks when you’re watching a movie on the couch, but it means spending extra money to heat your home as you turn up the thermostat.

Here in the Midwest, we often see homeowners getting out the plastic and tape to prevent dreaded window drafts in the winter. There are a number of reasons why plastic on the windows isn’t an effective or long-term solution. If you can feel the cold air leaking around your window panes, chances are you need window replacement, not plastic and tape!

Of course, the question on every homeowner’s mind is: are new windows really worth the investment? If manufacturers aren’t taking steps to improve the seals and design of the windows, are you doomed to replace them every decade as the seals wear out?

The good news is that over the last decade, window manufacturers have made huge improvements in airtight features of their windows. Today, windows hold up to cold weather and keep your house safe and comfortable for years to come. Here’s what manufacturers are doing to ensure your new windows will prevent air leaks around window panes.

Improvement in Modern Window Seals and Design

There is a great deal of new technology used in window seals and design. Even in the last 10-15 years, great strides have been made to prevent air loss around window panes. Older homes and even homes built in the last few decades may need window replacement, especially if the original window panes were made with materials like aluminum, wood, or steel.

With these improved window sealing and design features, you can rest assured that your new windows will remain tightly sealed for years and years to come. Here are the best features in new windows to prevent air leaks around window panes.

Quality Weatherstripping

If you’re concerned about air leaks around your current windows, the first step is to check the weather-stripping. The stripping should be in good condition, not folded down or damaged.  Stripping should run all the way around the perimeter of the window, as well as across the center.

Double weatherstripping is the most effective way to keep windows sealed tight

Most weatherstripping features a raised point or “fin” in the middle of the strip. This is called the Mylar fin. It makes the stripping stand up stronger and taller as it compresses against the window frame. This Mylar fin is key in helping to prevent air leaks around window panes, keeping the window airtight.

The mylar fin makes window weatherstripping stronger, ensuring a tighter seal

These days, window manufacturers are using double and even triple weather-stripping for the lowest air infiltration rates. Weather Tight replacement windows, such as our full-frame windows, feature this unsurpassed air leak prevention. The more weather stripping the manufacturers use, the better off your window will be in terms of air leaks and air infiltration.

Bottom of the Window Sealing

If you look along the bottom of most new windows, you’ll see what’s called a bulb seal. This is a rounded rubber seal that keeps the window tightly sealed and prevents air leakage. This seal should also be in excellent condition—free of cracks or damage. If your bulb seal isn’t in good shape, this can often be the source of window air leakage.

Bulb seals help prevent air leakage and should be kept in good condition

Think of the window’s bulb seal as being similar to the seal around your refrigerator and freezer door. It keeps cold air from leaking out of the fridge and ensures your food stays a consistent temperature. Similarly, the bulb seal keeps your home at a consistent temperature and prevents air from getting in and out under the window.

Many new windows now feature a double seal. While one seal is good, two is, of course, better. When you close your window, the cold air is completely sealed out, allowing almost nothing in across the bottom and side of the window. This keeps your home warm and comfortable in the cold months when your windows are closed.

Special Tapered Locks

Older homes may feature windows with simple metal locks and even clamps, screw-in, and squeeze-locks that keep the window shut and locked.

While these locks are an important security feature that prevents the window from being opened from the outside, they don’t effectively seal the window and prevent air leaks around window panes. They can also be difficult to open in an emergency situation (or for simply cleaning the window).

Newer windows, however, feature special tapered locks. When you close the window and lock it, the window sashes are tightly squeezed together. This tight closure holds the weather stripping exactly where it needs to be to stop air leaks and cold air from sneaking through.

Strong Fiberglass Frames

We think of windows as solid structures that don’t move at all. The truth is, when the wind blows hard against window frames, they can bow and move. This is called deflection and it happens in almost all homes.

When this occurs, the movement and pressure alters the window frame, which can eventually become loose. The weather stripping will then no longer create an effective seal against the window and window pane and unfortunately, you will start to see some air infiltration.

Newer replacement windows remedy this problem by using a number of reinforcement materials. Some are made of wood, aluminum, or steel. None of these materials are nearly as effective as fiberglass, which has the tensile strength of steel but is a non-conductive material (which is why fiberglass is also used in home insulation).

With non-conductive fiberglass, the cold won’t seep in through the window frame and get into your home. Fiberglass also prevents the sash from misshaping and stays strong in all types of weather. This is a cutting-edge solution for strong, airtight windows.

So, if you’re experiencing air infiltration with your windows, take the plastic off your winter prep list. Chances are, it’s time to look at installing replacement windows to prevent air leaks around window panes.

If you’re ready to install new windows and improve the comfort, livability, and look of your home, Weather Tight is here to help! Contact us today and we’ll talk you through the process. We’re happy to visit your home and assess the effectiveness of your windows. Call us today to learn how affordable new windows can be. You’ll save the discomfort and high energy bills that come with leaky windows in the winter.

 

 

When is the Right Time to Replace Old Windows?

Is it time to replace old windows in your home? Not only do new windows add beauty and value to your home, they also increase safety, security, and energy efficiency. There are few better investments than beautiful new windows for your house. If you’re wondering when to replace old windows, here are some questions to consider:

  • Are your windows stylish, up-to-date, and in excellent condition?
  • Do your windows ventilate air properly (but remain airtight when closed)?
  • Do your windows open and close smoothly, without extra effort?
  • Are your windows accessible and easy to clean?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then chances are you’re not completely satisfied with the current windows in your house. If it’s time to replace old windows, we’re here to help.

With over 30 years of experience in the window business, the window experts at Weather Tight know how to help you through every step of window replacement. Our high-quality products, smooth installation, and phenomenal customer service are guaranteed to make you extremely happy with your decision to upgrade and replace old windows within your home.

 

Time to Replace Old Windows in a West Allis Bungalow

Weather Tight recently worked on a 75-year-old bungalow-style house in West Allis. This was a perfect example of a home desperately in need of brand new windows. Typical of the age and style, the home featured a large picture window with two surrounding double-hung windows. While the look of the windows fit the home, the old windows had presented several issues for the homeowners.

Bay window with prairie grids, golden oak interior stain and laminated seat in Franklin, WI

One of the main issues was air infiltration in the winter from the leaky windows. We all know Wisconsin winters mean drafty windows and cold air leaks. As is often the case, the homeowners saw condensation in between the panes of glass in the windows. This condensation was a sure sign that air and moisture were making their way inside the bungalow.

Like many Wisconsin homeowners, these folks relied on plastic shrink wrap covering their windows, as an attempt to solve their leaky window problem. This temporary winter window fix is common but leaves residents with more disruption than satisfaction. The unsightly plastic wrap on windows is hard to apply and rarely creates a tight seal. The plastic blocks outside views, sun exposure, and warmth.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this annoying eyesore is that the plastic wrap on the windows must be replaced every season (so windows can be cleaned and opened in the summer months). This means more wrestling with a blow dryer and double-sided tape for a winter window solution that’s both ugly and ineffective. Not to mention the damage double-stick tape can do to beautiful woodwork. When we arrived at the bungalow, we could see it was definitely time to replace old windows and improve everyday life for this family.

Weather Tight experts quickly identified ventilation as the biggest issue in this case. As indicated by the moisture in between the panes, as well as the drafts, air was getting in despite the homeowner’s best efforts. The smartest option was to replace the old windows with three beautiful new double-hung windows. The new windows blended perfectly with the historic style of the home, increasing curb appeal and adding value to the property.

Best of all, the new windows allowed the homeowners to better control the temperature of their space all year long. No more drafty Wisconsin winters, plus great cooling airflow during the dog days of summer! Installing windows with double ventilation capabilities, from both the top and bottom, was the best fit for this home and would serve the client for years to come.

With so many window options out there, window selection may seem overwhelming. Trust experts familiar with the unique needs of Wisconsin homeowners so you can find the perfect replacement windows for your house. You want the highest quality windows to beautify and protect your home, but to also fit the look and style of your property.

Protecting Woodwork During Window Installation

With this West Allis home, the right window installation process was particularly important, especially due to the special woodwork surrounding their windows. As is the case with many of the beautiful bungalows, flats, and cottages here in Milwaukee, the craftsmanship is second to none. Preserving woodwork and brickwork is an important part of the window replacement process.

Due to Weather Tight’s experience with the historic and beautiful architecture of Milwaukee homes, we know how to protect craftsman features. We ensure our new windows enhance the look and function of the home rather than detract. The result is seamless, efficient, and a strong improvement that compliments the craftsmanship.

For our West Allis bungalow windows, we decided on a pocket install for the new window installation. Pocket install is a simple process in which the existing window frame is left intact. New windows are measured to fit within the given space perfectly. This procedure leaves the wood trim and features untouched and preserves the finish.

New Windows Vent in the Summer and Stop Drafts in the Winter

Another big concern for our West Allis family was the fact that their old windows didn’t open easily to let in the fresh air.

Older windows become sticky and stubborn. As the seal and pane erode over time, the window shifts and no longer opens with ease. Often the glass either becomes loose in the pane or the window requires brute force to open. The result is a window that’s tough, loud, and frustrating. Wrestling to open the window is more trouble than it’s worth, and of course, windows that won’t open (or feature loose glass) are a major safety concern.

The double hung replacement windows selected for the bungalow open with ease. These new windows feature screens, which provide ventilation from both sides. In the summertime, a natural breeze will easily flow into the house, giving it an open, airy feel. Of course, the screens efficiently block any outside bugs and serve as a protective shield for the room without sacrificing any airflow.

While cool breeze in the summer is important, it’s also important to protect against drafts and heat loss in the winter. After a careful installation and a lot of precision, the new windows are insulated around the edges to ensure all surfaces are airtight. Using the latest in window sealing and insulation technology, Weather Tight windows ensure there’s no cold airflow in the wintertime. Our windows are equipped with a maintenance-free exterior and fuel-efficient glass.

Fuel-efficient glass is important for many different reasons. According to the Department of Energy, it’s imperative to replace old windows with energy efficient glass because of the significant impact on both heat gain and heat loss throughout your home. Windows are accountable for 25% to 30% of the temperature energy. Replacing old windows with new energy-efficient windows with fuel-efficient glass will result in a lower heating and energy bill.

Beautiful Replacement Windows & Happy Customers

The last part of the window replacement process is installing brand new trim on the outside area surrounding the new windows. We take a great deal of pride in the appearance of our windows, always adding top-quality aluminum trim to finish.

Ready to replace old windows? Try a beautiful bay window from Weather Tight!

With the West Allis bungalow project, our team was also installing new siding for the homeowners to complete their full home makeover. The window trim was added as part of the final siding process, giving the home a polished update with plenty of curb appeal!

Maintaining their new, beautiful windows won’t be a problem for this West Allis family. The cleaning process is simple with Weather Tight installations. Keeping your windows sparkling is never a concern for our customers!

Our windows are engineered to tilt inside. This ingenious feature allows homeowners to clean both the inside and out easily (without climbing a ladder)! Simply open the window to the inside and shine them from the comfort of your own home. Cleaning our windows is simple. We keep our customers happy!

Our expertise has made us Wisconsin’s most recommended window installer and remodeler. We’re constantly striving to please our customers and give them the home improvements of their dreams. Windows are a sound investment and an important way to update your home. Now is the perfect time to replace old windows with new and improved windows from Weather Tight.

Window updates are surprisingly affordable. Visit our Weather Tight contact page and fill out the online form to receive a free no-obligation quote. Schedule a free appointment with a windows specialist who will come to your home and assess your needs!

Hear from Tod and Todd

Tod Colbert, President of Weather Tight, and Todd Schulz, Vice President, enjoy giving their customers the best advice on all home improvement aspects including windows, siding, doors, roofing, and gutters.

To learn more about the window improvements made to the West Allis bungalow house, visit Tod & Todd’s Home Improvement Tips and to learn how Weather Tight was able to successfully replace old windows and transform the problematic double-hung picture window into a beautiful three double-hung set.

 

 

Weather Tight $25k Home Makeover Sweepstakes- A Winner Every Month!

But did you know that in addition to entering our yearly sweepstakes – you are also signed up to be in the running to be selected as a monthly winner? Well, just in case you didn’t, let me tell you how it works!

6 Signs it is Time to Replace your Entry Door

An entry door on our home acts as the first line of defense for safety, privacy, security, efficiency & curb appeal! But just how efficient is the current entry door on our home? If you have ever found yourself uncertain about ‘if’ & ‘when’ you should replace it, look no further! Not knowing what signs to look for can be a costly oversight for a homeowner. There are many important factors to consider when looking to replace our old entry door with a new one.

Energy Efficient Windows- Zany Ways They Give You More for Less!

The windows of our home play a very significant role when it comes to Mother Earth! When you choose to purchase energy efficient windows you are getting the added bonus of passive solar energy! Energy efficient windows mitigate solar gain during the hot, humid summer months. During winter months, energy efficient windows work to harness the solar gain. We offer you the windows of opportunity! It’s all in the name… energy efficient! When something proves to be efficient we know that means it works & that it works well. Weather Tight firmly believes your windows should work the same, with efficiency!

Multi-Point Lock System-The upgrade you shouldn’t close the door on.