LESLIE: Richard in Illinois needs some help with replacement windows. What can we do for you today?
RICHARD: I wanted to find out what you think would be the best window to replace my existing windows and also find out if it’s a do-it-yourself project.
TOM: Can be, can be. It’s not a difficult project to do. I will tell you, Richard, that you really want to start by investing in the best energy-efficient window you can find: one that’s Energy Star-rated. And if you go to MoneyPit.com and click on the Book section, we have an entire replacement-window guide there that you can download. It’s actually a free chapter from our book, My Home, My Money Pit. And we walk you through everything you need to know about how to pick the type of frame, how to pick the type of glass.
But generally speaking, you want to buy an Energy Star-qualified window and you want to make sure that you compare apples to apples when you’re talking to multiple contractors.
TOM: And we tell you how to do that in the download because there’s a lot of numbers associated with understanding energy efficiency of glass. There’s measures that the National Fenestration Rating Council has come up with that measures things like thermal efficiency and how much UV gets through the glass and that sort of thing.
And so we’ll tell you how to read that label if you download the chapter. But conceptually, Energy Star-qualified windows and being careful to understand what you’re being promised in terms of glass, so that you can make a fair comparison between multiple bids from multiple contractors, OK?
RICHARD: OK. And how much work am I looking at to replace them myself?
TOM: How many windows do you have?
RICHARD: Five of them.
TOM: Oh, five? That’s a weekend’s worth of work. If everything goes well and if the window is properly measured – you need to be really careful on the measuring of the window. Because if you measure it incorrectly, then you’re going to have a big problem.
What do you have now? Do you have wood windows? Do you have vinyl windows? What do you have?
TOM: Vinyl windows. Do you have to tear out siding to get them out of the house or can you just move – remove the sashes and slip the new windows inside those?
RICHARD: No. I have to tear the siding off.
TOM: Well, it might be a little bigger project then. If you’re going to do a new-construction style window – which if you have existing vinyl, you may have to – what kind of siding do you have?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you want to make sure you get the flashing correctly.
TOM: Yeah, what kind of siding do you have?
RICHARD: Like a fiberboard.
TOM: So you can cut out the siding in pieces and get it out from around the windows?
TOM: OK. So, yeah, I think you’re – if you have to do it that way and if you’re pretty talented, you could probably spend a half a day on every window. So I would probably expand that estimate out to about two weekends’ worth of work.
TOM: OK? And plan the – plan around the weather, Richard.
TOM: It’s kind of hard to explain to the insurance company why your house got wet and damaged when you opened up a big hole in its house – in the side.
RICHARD: Yeah. Alright.
LESLIE: “It seemed like a good idea.”
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.