Windows and doors are key to the financial—and emotional—value of your most important investment: your home. Trends change, but making a good decision about windows and doors adds lasting value to your home over decades.
1. What’s Your ‘Why?’
Do your windows operate poorly—or are they sticking, broken, drafty? Do they fog or ice up when the weather changes? Are you looking for tangible financial benefits such as lower heating bills and energy efficiency or an overall increase in your home’s value?
In addition to performance, aesthetics will also likely be a top priority. Is your home historically significant? Ultra-modern? Whether you’re installing new windows and doors as part of a project to replace exterior siding, remodeling or building a home, or if you want to re-design living areas to bring in more of the outdoors, the finished look of your windows and doors can play a significant role in the overall design.
Together, the design, consistency and proper installation of customized windows and doors help protect, maintain and increase the value of your home. That “je ne sais quoi” curb appeal doesn’t just happen: its magic lives in the details.
2. Imagine the Possibilities
A little research and a visit to a reputable dealer will help you understand the differences among the numerous types of windows and doors. Ask about function, ideal placement and the long-term benefits of materials – wood, aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and vinyl composite each have specific advantages, maintenance needs and life cycles.
Specialty designs—such as projection windows that look like traditional picture windows but may be vented on all sides, or tilt-turn European style windows—offer unique solutions. Custom windows and doors allow you to open up large scenic vistas to maximize indoor/outdoor living.
3. Define the Details
The vision for your home may be unfolding in phases over time, so windows and doors that arrive direct from the manufacturer according to your specifications (versus off-the-shelf models sold at Big Box stores) offer more options and consistency. Check to make sure that finishes, cladding, shades, stains and hardware—as well as the materials used to produce your windows and doors—are approved by independent testing and accrediting organizations. Look for certifications from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).
Fully transferable and non-prorated warranties protect your investment, even if your home changes ownership, and are only offered by highly accredited companies.
4. Be Prepared
Anticipate that there will be some variables along the way to project completion, so it helps to ask questions and be prepared before work starts. Find out what should be done before the installers arrive and make plans for how you’ll live in your space while work is being done. For example, if you have detailed, intricate trim, you may need to build in additional work, and you will need to consider possible effects on the exterior of your home.
The preparation phase is one area where consultation with your builder, architect, contractor and window/doors dealer can help you plan ahead for a seamless workflow. Your final checklist should include such questions as the following:
• Are the installer and supplier from the same company?
• How will replacing my windows affect living in my home?
• How should I prepare for installation?
• What type of post-installation warranty is in place for labor and products?
• How long should this project take? What variables might change this anticipated timeline?
• What decisions will I need to make—and when—to keep project on time?
• Will there be a walk-through and demonstration upon completion to explain how to properly operate and clean windows and doors?
5. Getting the Right Partners
Replacing windows and doors is an opportunity to protect your investment in your home. Regular maintenance and upgrades of your home’s exterior add value, and the decision to replace windows and doors is one of the most important ones you’ll make as a homeowner.
A visit to a showroom and an in-home consultation with an authorized replacement contractor or installer are key starting points. Depending on the scope of your project, bringing an architect, builder or contractor onboard—along with a trusted local window and door dealer—helps ensure a successful outcome. Reputable companies that rely upon good business practices are listed with your Better Business Bureau. An authorized window and door dealer can help you develop a budget and timeline to make your vision a reality. This pre-sales and installation guidance sets a reassuring and professional tone for all work being done.
The Marvin® Family of Brands is dedicated to creating products that make the places where we live and work more meaningful. Established in 1904, Marvin is a fifth-generation family owned and operated business that produces the finest customized windows and doors. Local dealers offer you the personalized attention you need to select, install and maintain the finest in windows and doors. To find your local Marvin dealer, please visit Marvin.com or call 1-888-537-7828.