One of the most significant renovations you can make to your home is buying replacement windows. Many people think it is just a matter of calling a couple of local window dealers, getting estimates and then hiring whoever is the cheapest. There are, however, at least 4 critical mistakes you can make if you don’t do your homework properly before making any decisions. Do not leave this complex undertaking to chance—do what it takes to make a wise, informed decision.

1. Do I actually need to buy replacement windows?

There are several reasons to consider replacing windows. If your windows are broken or moisture has accumulated inside the panes, putting in new ones is obviously the best choice. However, if you have windows that are difficult to open but still operable, you may be able to have them repaired. If you have storm damage, replacement is usually a good idea, as attempting to repair them may only result in similar problems when the next storm comes through.

Another consideration is energy-efficiency—if your electric bills are high, you should have your windows checked to see if air is seeping in. Even if there is no leakage, older single pane windows may not have the proper insulation needed for optimum efficiency.

If you are selling your home or renovating it, this may also be a great reason to put in new windows. A home with new windows looks more up-to-date, adds curb appeal and home value, and provides an outstanding incentive for potential buyers.

Once you determine that you need to replace your windows, you have two choices: you can choose to just replace only the window insert or the entire window along with the frame. The problem with replacing only the window insert, even though you may save some cash, is that you may discover that you do not have the proper insulation around the window, and as a result, may not see much of a difference in your electric bill.

2. What type of replacement windows do I need?

There are many different types of windows and it is important to do your research. You may want to choose aluminum or vinyl windows, and double-paned impact resistant windows are always an excellent choice. But this is just scratching the surface. A professional window installation company can help you determine the best course of action for your particular lifestyle, climate and maintenance requirements, as well as your personal taste with respect to the look and function of your windows.

3. What window manufacturer will you use and who will handle your windows installation? Don’t skimp on your homework!

If you don’t research various window manufacturers and installers, you cannot make an informed decision. It is always wise to find a company that offers both window manufacturing and installation, and warrants both sides. You need to ask how long a company has been in business, how they hire and train their installers, read online reviews, find out what their BBB rating is, and ask about their warranties. It is also always extremely beneficial to be able to visit a showroom to see their windows. A business without a showroom can be a red flag for lack of quality or expert knowledge about their products.

4. Establish a budget and stick to it.

If you fail to set a budget up front, it’s easy to wander off track. The last thing you want to do is invest more than you had planned to and have regrets, later. Buyer’s remorse can be easily avoided by researching replacement window costs and choosing the company that you feel gives you the best value for your budget.

Your process for buying replacement windows should include figuring out the types of windows you really need, getting written estimates, comparing warranties and reviews and finally, checking replacement windows financing options. Some window companies offer special in-house financing for large purchases which may be a better option than using a high-interest rate credit card. HomeRite Windows and Doors offers a wide selection of fully-warranted, high-quality, energy-efficient windows and doors with professional installation and affordable financing. Our experienced team will help advise you on “The Rite Choice” when you’re buying replacement windows. First-rate, personalized customer service and your total satisfaction with every step of the process is always our goal. HomeRite Windows and Doors serves all of Greater Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, so call us today at (904) 292-2515 for more information.