The Aluminum Window Blues
From the very first time my husband and I toured our current home as prospective buyers, it was clear the windows needed to be replaced. The house was built in the early sixties when aluminum frame, single-pane windows were standard. After purchasing the house, however, other (more inexpensive) home improvement projects took priority over replacement windows.
We had a ballpark idea of what it would cost to replace the seven aluminum windows and three large sliding glass doors. At the time, it seemed astronomical. After three years in the house, we finally decided it was time to upgrade to vinyl windows despite the considerable costs involved. We'd completed many other home improvements and realized how much new windows would improve our home's livability. This was due to several reasons.
We live in a region with a mild climate, but the house was still perpetually cold in the winter and warm in the summer. We'd spent a good deal of money on a new heating and cooling system and wanted to maximize its efficiency while taming our skyrocketing utility bills. Single-pane windows are notoriously energy inefficient, allowing air to circulate between the outside and the inside of the house. This became evident on the windy day I glanced at our vertical blinds and noticed them swaying in the (outside) breeze!
Vinyl dual-pane windows also offer sun protection. Many companies apply a "low-e" coating to the glass, which blocks out a significant percentage of the sun's harmful UV rays. This protects your carpets and your furniture and, most importantly, your family from sun exposure.
Safety was another reason we decided to take the vinyl window plunge. The old windows had flimsy or non-existent locks and my husband had installed "turnscrew" locks on the window track as an added precaution. We knew this system was far from failsafe and that vinyl windows offered solid locking mechanisms and burglar-proof features.
In addition, another safety concern was for our rambunctious two-year-old who sometimes pushed/fell/banged on the wobbly single-pane windows and doors. With non-shatterproof, single pane glass, we were extremely concerned this could be very dangerous should the glass break due to a toddler accident.
Another key reason we decided to replace the aluminum frame windows was the noise factor. Our street is busy with commuter traffic in the mornings and afternoons and the traffic noise can be very loud. We also have noisy neighbors on both sides of us. Dual-pane windows provide a significant noise barrier that practically eliminate outside sound. Now we can actually sleep when the dog next door barks all night!
Of course, aesthetics is a major reason to consider vinyl replacement windows. They simply look better. In our case, the window frames were a hodge-podge of silver and black (someone had obviously gone wild with spray paint). Companies offer a variety of styles and finishes, from frames that look like real wood to flanges in a variety of sizes. You can often customize the window finishes to match your home's paint color scheme.
Finally, vinyl windows can add to your home's resale value. Unattractive windows can be a deal-killer for even the most beautiful home. It almost stopped us from buying our current house. Figures vary, but some studies show that new vinyl windows can add $20,000 - $30,000 to a home's asking price.
Call Kelemer Brothers Replacement Windows at (410) 299-0038 to help you with your next windows projects.