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Before you do anything, make sure you start this window or door project at the right time of year.

When trying to decide whether to replace the windows in your home, check to see if the whole frame needs replacing, or only the glass. The cost of the project, and the time involved will be much less, if only the glass needs to be replaced. If you only need new glass, this is a relatively reasonable and simple job.

What follows are some helpful tips to keep in mind when replacing windows.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, the safest route is to hire a reputable contractor or window replacement company to handle this project. If you make any mistakes, you can do damage to the windows or frames and then it will have cost you rather than saved you money. Furthermore, you have to consider how much time this project will take. Choosing the right company or contractor, on the other hand, presents a different set of challenges. You should look for a contractor who will give you a free consultation and estimate. It’s also best to use someone who’s been recommended to you by a friend or neighbor. Nowadays, you can also find customer reviews online for just about any type of service, so you can check to see if any contractors in your area have been reviewed.

Sometimes you can receive tax credits for using specific energy efficient windows. You have to check current tax laws where you live, and which brands are eligible for this benefit, but it can be an additional advantage to upgrading to windows that have a higher rating in terms of energy efficiency. If you are exploring windows in the U.S., the Energy Star program is one that authorizes energy efficient windows. Check into other tax credits while you are at it, like changing out the old doors for more efficient ones or adding insulation. This should benefit your wallet when it comes to your taxes and your monthly utility expenses too.

Warranties are an important consideration when you purchase new windows and/or hire someone to replace them. For example, if you’re getting both windows and frames, the length of the warranty may be different for these two components. You have to be sure to read all the fine print with such a warranty, and if you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. Before you sign any contracts or make any purchases, make sure you understand the warranty and are completely satisfied with its conditions. Once your new windows are installed, it’s too late to change your mind, so the time to do all the thinking and researching is now. Don’t be afraid to shop around, whether for the perfect set of windows for your home, or the best possible contractor to do the work. As long as you plan ahead, replacement windows can really add value, warmth and appeal to your home.