Replacing windows in your property can make them more energy-efficient, better insulated, and less noisy. It is one of the upgrades that has immediate benefits for the tenants, and long-term benefits for the landlord.
First, you need to navigate the maze of choices, including glazing, insulation, frame, and style. A general decision to go with cheap and basic won’t work when it comes to windows. The best method is to match your windows to your property, and then look at cost. Here is a look at two critical questions you need to ask before installing new windows.
What About the Weather?
The weather is the major determiner of what type of windows you choose. Let’s take a closer look.
What kind of storms do you experience?
In areas like the Carolinas or Florida, you are required by law to install windows that can handle the force of hurricanes, with glass that is shatterproof. Areas prone to tornadoes and other types of weather extremes have their own legal requirements.
These regulations take into consideration wind load, pressure, and speed.
When you choose a contractor experienced with the many variables involved in window installation, he or she can guide you through the legal requirements.
How does high temperature affect the window? I
In areas with high temperatures during the summer, local regulations may specify the window solar heat gain coefficient. SHGC is a rating used by the window industry to measure how much heat from the sun that the window lets into the interior of the dwelling.
How does cold weather affect the window?
If the temperatures gets mighty cold in the winter where you live, you will probably need to deal with rules governing glass and insulation qualities. In many localities, you will be required to install double- or triple-pane windows.
Are you in an earthquake zone?
In regions with lots of seismic activity, windows, as well as glass doors, must be heat-tempered, making them resistant to shattering.
What about utility bills?
Even in temperate parts of the country, it makes sense to install energy-efficient windows. The best use low-emissivity, called Low-E, glass. Beside keeping your tenants more comfortable, these can significantly reduce how much they pay for utilities, making your units more attractive. It has major benefits for you as the landlord as well. Your expensive HVAC equipment doesn’t have to work as hard.
What About Your Budget?
If you check out the prices and start balking at paying for new windows, look to the future. By choosing energy-efficient windows, you are making your building stand out with savings on power bills. When you select attractive windows that add curb appeal, you can usually increase rents quickly, covering the cost in a short time.
Look for a Good Deal
You can reduce the price you pay for your new windows in two ways:
- Bulk reduction. Ask for a bulk reduction if you buy windows for several units at the same time. Sales reps like people who purchase a large number and most will definitely consider a discount.
- Incentives. Municipal governments and local utilities are trying hard to convince property owners to switch to energy-efficient windows. To that end, they often offer rebates and low-interest loans to help you buy them.
Here are two ways to save money long-term:
- Older frames. There are advantages to upgrading from wood and aluminum to vinyl, which is more efficient and durable.
- Flush-Fin or Z-Bar framed windows. Though they cost more, they offer benefits for the future. You don’t have to pull frames off of the building’s exterior to replace them. Next time you want new windows, it will be a simple matter of swapping out the old and inserting the new.
Do I Need a Contractor?
Working with an experienced contractor is one of the most cost-effective strategies for window installation. He or she can help you get the best deal because they will be current on the most affordable places to buy windows, current government regulations, and available incentives.
The right contractor will help with selection, know what to do about permits and regulations, and install the windows right the first time. Doing the job yourself or working with an inexperienced handyman can be dangerous. If the windows aren’t installed correctly, they can be a safety hazard for tenants. The cost of re-doing the work can wipe out the profits you were working toward.
If you are thinking about replacing or redoing the windows in your rental property or apartment complex, contact the experts at G&C Construction today to find out what the best option for you is!