LESLIE: Kim in California wants to talk replacement windows. How can we help you?
KIM: I was curious about replacing all the windows in my home. It’s about a 2,300-square-foot Mediterranean stucco home, double story, and it’s 15 years old. And of course I’m always deciding to either replace or just move. But…
TOM: OK, yeah.
KIM: And I got a quote from some local people. I live in a fairly small town in Northern California and we have a lot of local window replacers and they quoted me anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000…
KIM: … to do the whole house. I probably have about, on the average – as far as counting windows – probably about 14 windows.
TOM: OK, so you’re talking about – what? – $800 to $1,000 a window?
KIM: That sounds like what it would come out to.
TOM: Alright, so what’s your question?
KIM: Question is, what would be the best window and most cost-effective in case I want to get the biggest bang out of the buck…
KIM: … since it’s a large investment?
KIM: Are there certain brands, like off brands, that could be just as good as some of the major name brands?
TOM: There may be and here’s how you figure it out. First of all, you want to make sure that your window is Energy Star rated
TOM: So use that as the first qualifier. The second one is there’s going to be a label on the window that’s called the NFRC label. And this stands…
LESLIE: It’s the National Fenestration Rating Council.
TOM: Right. And on the NFRC label they’re going to have some numbers for different qualities. They’re going to have a number that tells you the UV resistance. There’s a number that determines how much light gets through. There’s a number that measures the efficiency of the gas seal between the panes and so on. And by comparing the numbers on the NFRC label as well as whether or not the window is Energy Star rated, this way you’re going to be able to determine which is the best window and make an apples-to-apples comparison with several different window types that you’re considering.
KIM: OK. That makes sense.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.