Usually, when you buy a new construction home, you don't have to worry about things like windows because the home builder takes care of it for you. However, if you're handling the design and construction of a new home yourself, you might find that shopping for new construction windows is a much bigger and more complicated task than you might think. Here's what you need to know.
The good news is that there are plenty of great choices when it comes to new construction windows. There are also some great brands and designs available.
What you really want to look for in windows for new construction are options that are low maintenance and that are energy efficient. The former will ensure you don't spend time and money every few years maintaining your windows, and the latter will ensure that you save on your utility bills.
Window type is a big factor in choosing new construction windows, and there are many different styles and types to choose from. Some are better suited to certain kinds of home design, and some work better in specific areas of the home. Some of the more common window types you might consider include:
Picture windows are large, fixed-pane windows that don't open - they're perfect for areas where you want a lot of light but don't need your windows to offer ventilation.
Bay windows are three-dimensional windows that extend out of the home and are often used to create nooks for dining or breakfast or for window seats in living rooms or library spaces.
Casement windows are also known as crank-out windows, and these are one of the more common opening window styles you might consider for your new construction home. Because they open, they're great when you need ventilation.
Single and double panes are also common styles of window that offer a wide variety of size and style options.
Once you've chosen the size and style for your new construction windows, it's time to consider the window material. Once again, you've got a lot of choices.
Vinyl (or PVC as it's also known in the construction world) is a very popular choice for building materials these days. These windows can be produced in a huge variety of colors, and they will never require any painting or staining. Look for UV-stabilized vinyl windows for your project, as these will resist fading and wear from the sun.
Wood is a classic choice for your new construction window frames, and it looks warm and stylish. Good quality wood windows will last a long time, but you will have to do a fair amount of maintenance over their lifespan. Wood also might not be the best choice for very dry or very wet climates simply because of how wood weathers.
Fiberglass is a newer window material choice, and like vinyl, it's available in a range of colors. Fiberglass windows are also lightweight and very strong, but they can be a little more costly than some of the other options on this list.
The last window material on our list (although not the last one available!) is lightweight, durable aluminum. As you can imagine from this hardwearing metal, aluminum window frames are very strong and long-lasting. However, they're not the cheapest option, and they do require more maintenance than some of the other options on this list.
One of the best ways to keep your new construction window budget down is to choose standard window sizes. These vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and style to style, but if you choose standard sizes from a window catalog, there won't be any special carpentry or manufacturing required to make your window choices work.
If you are choosing new construction windows for a home you're building, the best thing you can do for yourself and the planet is to look for energy-efficient windows. These modern windows are designed to be air and watertight, but also to insulate homes against heat and cold.
There are several benefits to choosing energy-efficient new home windows, including:
When you are shopping for new construction windows that are energy efficient, there are several things you should look for, such as:
If all goes well, choosing your new construction windows will simply be another milestone on your new home construction schedule. However, there are several key points during the process that could cause bottlenecks if there's a delay. Let's look at some of the more important factors in installing your new construction windows.
There are two main lead times that might influence your new construction windows: manufacturer's lead times and installer lead times. Custom windows or windows that are not stock items can take longer to manufacture and ship, which could result in delays. Most good window installers also have an order book of clients that get their windows installed in sequence. Additionally, the time of year and other factors might cause this to increase or decrease. So, always ask how for an estimate of how long it will be before they can be on site.
The good news is that once installation day for your new construction windows does roll around, things will move quickly! A two-man window installation crew can install up to ten windows per day, so most homes will only take two or three days to complete. This does not account for potential issues like framing mistakes - so make sure that your home builder knows exactly what size windows will be installed and where!
Most new construction home windows will be paid for in two parts: one when they are ordered and the other when they are completed. When they are completed, you will probably be asked to sign off on the installation, and at the same time, you will probably get your warranty and other paperwork related to your windows. If you are using a home builder or contractor to complete your new build project, you will probably get all of this at the very end of the project.
The amount of maintenance and aftercare your windows will require will depend a lot on the type of material they are made from. Some, like vinyl and fiberglass only need to be cleaned from time to time. Others, like wood, will require more frequent in-depth maintenance. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for window maintenance to extend the life of your windows and maintain your warranty.
With so many variables, it's impossible to say how much you will pay for your new construction window package. The best advice is to contact several different, reputable companies in your area, provide all the information, and ask them to quote. This will give you the best price comparison.
There are several places you can buy new construction windows. If you have standard window sizes and need fast turnaround, big box stores are one option. Or you could go direct to a window distributor or manufacturer. Finally, you could also opt to have your window installer quote for supply and installation.
We don't currently serve your area but do want to help you plan your project. Try our Build & Price tool to get an idea of window & door costs within DFW. Your area may be higher or lower but at least you'll have some idea of the price.
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