This is the second installment of the great window adventure.
You can read all about where we started here.
When we left our heroine she was sharing what lurks behind the shades in the family room.
To catch you up to speed, her hair was amazing.
The windows were not.
Enter the hero of our story, Window World. I’m partnering with them on the adventure to learn all about the window ordering process and what to look for and how to figure it all out and I have to start this episode by saying thank you to all of you. On the last post you gave me some of the best advice in the comments. You can read all that advice here. I was so inspired by you that I put on my investigative hat and took notes and did some research and had lengthy conversations and texts with the owner of my local store and came up with a list of what I’m thinking about for the space.
I started by learning from all the mistakes of those that had gone before. Sometimes before you know what you want, it’s important to figure out what you don’t want.
So here’s my list.
Here are the eight mistakes not to make when buying windows (accompanied by some pretty pictures to add a little inspiration to the subject).
8. Don’t forget the importance of material
What do you want your window to be made of? It’s a great place to start. Because sometimes what you thought you wanted isn’t what you really need.
For example, I was going with wood. I live in an old house. My current windows are wood, so that’s what thought I needed. There are dozens of options with wood. You can choose vinyl-covered wood or wood on the inside, vinyl on the outside or even just simply wood.
Then I researched the upkeep.
And the energy efficiency.
Vinyl windows were easy to maintain and the energy efficiency was off the charts. I also have vinyl siding on the house, so vinyl windows would fit with the exterior styling of the home. But here’s the thing. I wouldn’t have known any of this unless I had done the research. Don’t make the mistake of just choosing a material without making sure it fits with your needs and your home.
7. Don’t forget to match the frames to the existing windows
This was one of my favorite tips from a reader. I’m just getting windows in a few rooms, so it’s important that they match the other existing windows. When you are looking at them in the showroom, you are viewing them independently from the house. So it’s easy to overlook the frames.
Until you have them installed.
You don’t want black window frames or with all the other white window frames.
Make sure they all match.
6. Don’t forget the view
I know this seems obvious, but what are you framing?
What is the view that your window overlooks?
If you have a beautiful view and the grid on the window will distract from the view, choose windows without grids. On the other hand, if your window faces the trashcans, a grid will break up the view. Or maybe some curtains.
5. Don’t be intimidated by the terminology
One of the first things I noticed when I started talking windows were all the words I had never heard of before. Like astragal or brikmold or egress window or jamb.
It was all a little overwhelming.
Until I found this.
If you are shopping for windows or thinking about windows or just want to drop general window talk into a conversation, you can download this definition list of industry words.
It makes you feel so much smarter.
4. Don’t forget about cleaning
The number one tip you gave me was to look at windows that tilt. Especially if you have a two-story house. Here’s the cliff note version on windows.
Single hung windows are fixed in place. Double hung windows have two operating, vertically stacked tilt-in sash.
The better to clean with.
3. Don’t forget about how the windows will look from the outside
I found the BEST solution for this. One of the readers suggested it and I followed up with Window World to see if they could do it.
You can send them a picture of the house and they will show you how the new windows will look in the space.
You can see an example of the process here.
I’m sending them a picture of my home so we can see the new windows and I’ll be sure and post the process here in a later post.
2. Don’t forget the energy efficiency
All glass is not created equal.
I would have never even thought about the glass and energy efficiency until a reader mentioned it.
You could get insulated glass, a combination of two or more panes with glass sealed in the air space between panes, or Krypton gas (hello Superman) between the panes or Argon gas between the panes. There’s also low-e glass, a low-emissivity glass with a transparent coating which acts as a thermal mirror.
Bottom line: do your glass research.
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of working with a reputable company
I cannot overstate this enough. So many of you left this advice in the comments (along with so many awesome words about Window World) to be sure and research the company you are working with. My experience so far with Window World has been amazing. I’ve talked to the manager personally on the phone and he’s answered a zillion questions and even gave me his cell number to contact him with any other questions I had. He told me he will guarantee the windows and parts and labor and here’s my very favorite part.
He sent me a video of him and the team.
Just so I would know who I was working with.
Can you even believe it?
I’m going to visit the store next month and I’m bringing you with me just so you can meet him, too.
PS If you have any other mistakes you encountered when you shopped for windows, I’d love to hear them.
I can always add a few to the list.
This post is sponsored by Window World.
All opinions are completely my own.
Please see my disclosure page for more information.