Window Replacement Los Angeles, CA
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The Ultimate Guide to Window Replacement in Los Angeles
Postponing a window replacement may be costing you more than you think. Whether you are looking to replace new house windows or the ones at your place of business, there are many reasons you should do it right away. US Department of Energy estimates that 30% of the energy used to heat or cool a building escapes through the windows. The estimates hold true for individual houses which means that they are paying up to 25-30% of their energy bills just because of energy-inefficient windows.
When you think about it, the role of windows and utility bills becomes obvious. Windows control the amount of light you receive inside. Large, well-designed windows create more “open” spaces and make your rooms feel cooler. Also, naturally, well-lit rooms require less artificial light, which reduces your utility bills. Ventilation, neighborhood noise reduction, and protection against the elements are other functional benefits of windows that cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, your windows need to be in top shape, always.
The “right” windows can also transform how a space looks, functions, and feels. They are the most visible elements of your building’s décor. A good design embraces and uses them to elevate your space. Whether you are looking for residential windows, commercial windows, or mobile home replacement windows, it’s critical that your choice of windows resonates with your décor and works in synergy with the rest of the design rather than competing with it.
So, when it’s time for your windows to be replaced, whether it’s because of a mishap or just natural wear and tear, you should attend to it right away. Your window replacement must meet all your needs effectively – offer protection against the elements, allow plenty of natural light inside, and complement your décor seamlessly.
This detailed guide will give you all the information you need to get your windows replaced with high-quality windows quickly and affordably, including how you can order custom windows online.
How to Plan for Window Replacement in Los Angeles?
Planning for window replacement begins with understanding what you need. In Los Angeles, windows often suffer corrosion due to salty air, particularly in buildings near the beach. So, your windows should be capable of surviving the harsh LA air for years to come.
The second step is getting the specifications for your windows. Is it a full-frame window or an insert window? What are its dimensions? Do your windows have any special requirements? Asking questions like these beforehand prevents you from taking multiple trips to the store. Also, capture pictures of your home in daylight, especially near the window, so that you can compare the color with the options available.
You can make this step simpler by calling Clearmax Windows and asking us to take the measurements for you. The best part? It doesn’t cost extra!
The next step is the actual purchase. You can buy windows online or shop from a local retailer. Make sure that you use your specifications when browsing windows that complement your décor and meet your functional needs simultaneously. The good news is that there’s no shortage of options on either front. Therefore, it will take some time for you to figure out the best window replacements for your needs.
Sometimes, you may not need to change the window frame. If that’s not the case, then you may need special equipment to force out the window from the wall, and fix a new one in its place. So, plan every step carefully. Alternatively, if you are getting an installer to do it for you, then all you need to do is focus on choosing the right windows. The installer will take care of the rest. Although there’s a nominal window installation cost involved, the installers will do a professional job with it, likely extending the convenience and life of your windows.
Do you need a permit to replace windows in LA, California?
Yes, you need a building permit to replace windows in California.
Your window replacement, including design, installation, and features, must comply with the 2019 California Building Code, 2019 California Energy Efficiency Standards, and 2019 California Residential Code. A building permit is issued to you once you ensure that your window replacement project is entirely in compliance with these codes.
The permit application is to be submitted to the Building Inspection Section at the Development Review Center. For starters, you will be required to submit a floor plan of your building along with your application for the building permit. The plan should clearly indicate the location of the windows you are replacing and mark all the rooms in your building as bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc.
All specifications like the dimensions of windows, location of light switches (if your replacement includes doors), and so on must be detailed in the prescribed formats. You may even be required to provide electrical circuit details for the light switch in your application.
If your application is missing any relevant documents, you will be asked to submit them again, which will delay the process. So, talk to your window installer for assistance with the permit.
How Can You Pay for a Window Replacement in Los Angeles?
Well, if you are thinking, “With the credit card, silly,” then that’s now what we meant.
You can, of course, pay for your window replacement with money out of your own pocket, but if you are replacing windows for your house, you don’t have to spend your money.
Multiple government-sponsored incentives can pay for your window replacements partially or fully. You can avail these financial assistance programs to replace your windows at either reduced or zero cost.
Here’s an overview of all window replacement grant programs:
- The Los Angeles Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program is a Department of Energy initiative that funds home repairs for low-income families to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. These repairs include home replacements and repairs, among other energy-saving renovations to the house.
To qualify for the Weatherization Assistance Program, you must be a low-income family whose income is below the poverty line. Both state and federal governments distribute these funds.
- Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
The SHOP grant is available to low-income families who help build their own houses. Qualification to the grant is available to only the low-income families who can prove their low-income status. Additionally, they must make a strong case for needing financial assistance.
Although the program is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you may have to work with your regional or national nonprofit organization entrusted by the government with awarding the SHOP funds to qualifying families.
You can avail a maximum of $15,000 in windows replacement assistance grant, among other repairs.
- Home Repair Loan and Grant program
Firstly, the program offers an incredibly low-interest loan to homeowners to fund their home repair expenses. The interest rate is as low as 1% for the loan, which can be up to $20,000. As is the case with other grants, the loan is available for low-income families who cannot get funding from other financial institutes.
Interestingly, the program also offers a grant of up to $7,500 for window replacements to qualifying families that can demonstrate a strong need to replace windows for health and safety reasons.
- Energy Star Incentive Program
Unlike the other programs listed here, the Energy Start program is available to tax-paying homeowners. The program was established to make American homes more energy-efficient. Under this program, the homeowners get a tax credit on the expenses they incur on their window replacements.
So, it’s not an upfront cash grant but a tax credit you can avail at the end of the financial year when you pay your annual taxes.
Can You Get Custom Windows in Los Angeles?
Of course, you can get custom windows in Los Angeles for your property. Whether you want custom wood windows, custom vinyl windows, or just custom screens, you can get everything customized from various window retailers.
Here’s a quick list of the popular window types available in Los Angeles:
- Single Hung Windows
- Double Hung Windows
- Transom Windows
- Storm Windows
- Sliding Windows
- Skylight Windows
- Round Circle Windows
- Picture Windows
- Jalousie Windows
- Hopper Windows
- Glass Block Windows
- Garden Windows
- Egress Windows
- Casement Windows
- Bow Windows
- Bay Windows
- Awning Windows
- Arched Windows
Effect of Moisture, Salt Air, and Beach Sand on Your Windows
While it’s one of life’s joys to live in coastal areas – what with all the access to water, great views, and fresh breeze all year round – the ocean can be particularly harsh on your windows. Here are some ways the sea breeze affects your windows:
Proximity to oceans inevitably means higher humidity in the air, which translates to a high-moisture environment for your windows. Over time, the moisture accumulates and attracts mildew and mold. Without frequent cleaning, they can cause lasting damage to your windows. So, regular cleaning is required to maintain your windows in top shape.
- Salt Air
The air near coastal regions is full of tiny salt-water droplets, as the sea-spray travels quite a distance inland. These tiny droplets collect on your windows, doors, and even walls. As they do, the water evaporates, leaving behind a thin layer of salt. The process keeps repeating itself until you notice thick layers of salt on the exterior surfaces of your home, particularly the windows.
Besides affecting your house’s appeal, the deposited salts corrode your windows, make the paint chip off, and wreak significant damage on the windows.
The sand damage on your windows is more pronounced the closer you are to the beach. Sand caught in the wind acts as an abrasive surface. It’s like sandpaper rubbing against your windows round the clock, albeit with less strength. Even then, the damage becomes significant over the months, and you notice a scratchy effect on your windows.
How to Protect Windows Against Damage from Moisture, Salt Air, and Beach Sand?
There’s no 100% effective way of protecting your windows against damage from the ocean. However, you can significantly reduce the damage and extend the life of your windows for years to come by taking some precautions. Here’s how you can do it:
- Power-Wash Regularly
It’s the most effective way of getting rid of the mold and mildew that’s growing on your windows. While it doesn’t prevent them from reappearing again, just the periodic cleaning will minimize the damage they can cause your windows.
- Choose the Right Materials
Most metals corrode. Period. So, if you want to minimize salt air damage, the most effective way to do it is by avoiding metals altogether. For instance, wood, fiberglass, or vinyl replacement windows do not corrode easily. Metal frames can be replaced with something like fiberglass or wood. If you absolutely have to use metals, you can choose metals resistant to corrosion, like stainless steel.
- Use a Sealant
A sealant protects your window paint against the onslaught of sand, but remember, it’s not a lasting solution. So, you may have to reapply the sealant every few months to reseal the coating. But that would be a small price for a beachfront life.
What are the Effects of Cold Climates on Windows in LA?
Cold weather affects different materials in different ways. Severe cold, such as in the areas near Big Bear Lake, can warp the wood and damage the integrity of your windows. Therefore, pure wood is not a preferred material for windows in cold climates. Some manufacturers get around this problem by mixing proprietary materials, such as polymers, with wood to create window frames and other components. This offers enhanced insulation as well as prevents warping due to cold.
However, the more pressing issue with cold climates is the loss of heat from the house. Your windows should offer substantial insulation against heat loss during the winter months. Otherwise, it not only increases your power bills but also violates local building codes, which require windows to have a minimum insulation efficiency (energy efficiency). As you can imagine, although cheap windows save you money upfront, they end up costing you more in the long run. So, invest in high-quality, energy efficient windows.
Typically, double-paned or triple-paned windows tend to be the most energy efficient windows. And the window materials can be vinyl, fiberglass, composites, or wood-cladding. Avoid aluminum altogether because it is an excellent heat conductor, which makes it a bad insulator.
Also, the energy efficiency of windows is indicated by 3 factors, as follows:
It indicates the total efficiency of your window, including the glass and frame. The higher the U-factor, the more energy-efficient your windows.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient indicates the amount of heat that passes through the windows. Needless to say, the lower it is, the more insulating effect your windows offer.
Visible Transmittance indicates the amount of natural light that passes through the windows. The more it is, the less artificial light you need and less power you consume.
Where to Find the Best Windows for Homes in Los Angeles?
The easiest way to go window shopping, literally, is to buy windows online. Numerous retailers and wholesalers offer high-quality windows in California. Clearmax Windows is one of the more prominent names with a strong reputation for both quality of products and service. With a fully local presence, Clearmax Windows has established itself as the leading windows retailer in LA for both homeowners and contractors.Clearmax Windows allows customers to order windows online or visit the store for a more hands-on experience. Clearmax Windows offers the best of everything – from window measurements to best replacement windows to dependable window installation services. We are truly end-to-end and delightfully affordable. Book an appointment today!