Maryland residents number among the few in the United States that get to enjoy four distinct seasons of essentially equal length. While California and Florida experience spring-like temperatures except in summer and the south central states stay hot and dry, Maryland enjoys a distinct spring, summer, fall and winter. That means homes in Maryland need to weather any weather. It also requires air conditioning from late spring through summer and heating from late fall through winter. To lower costs and keep a home or business more comfortable year around, renovate for efficiency. Start with the windows.
Windows provide more than a view of the outdoors. They can make or break a home’s efficiency. They provide natural light. Ideally, they should keep a home cooler in warm months and warmer in chilly months. Properly fitted, properly functioning low-E windows provide energy efficiency that helps cut heating and cooling bills.
How to Tell It’s Time for New Windows
A home or business speaks, but it uses sign language. The following signs indicate the structure needs new windows:
• Warping or other damage, including the frame or sills,
• Cracks in the pane,
• Problems opening and shutting after lubricating and loosening,
• Presence of drafts or air leaks.
The flexibility of addressing windows as a renovation is its piecemeal nature. A homeowner may choose to replace one broken window, redo one room, or redo the whole house. A whole building window replacement may occur over time, as one’s budget allows.
Where to Buy Windows
Think global, but buy local. Installing the right windows lets one save on bills and use less energy while helping the environment. Shopping locally means supporting small businesses in the community, but when it comes to windows and doors, it also means obtaining products designed and built specifically for local needs. Maryland offers a number of established, experienced window firms that provide products specifically tailored to the climate and weather of the “Old Line State.” Contact a minimum of three to five companies before choosing window products and an installation contractor. Ask for the following from each:
• An estimate,
• The warranty offered,
• Proof of license,
• Proof of insurance,
• Before and after photos.
Use this short list of Maryland owned window companies to get started.
• Thompson Creek Window Company: This family-owned business based in Landover offers affordable, high quality vinyl windows designed to withstand winds up to 153 mph which means added safety during hurricane season. Based on several Thompson Creek Window Complaints their warranty on their products and installation is excelent compared other buyer protection guarantees.
• Wheaton Door and Windows: Established in 1945, Wheaton offers an extensive line of offers high-performance windows. Styles include numerous window choices, including double hung, picture and slider windows. Each design uses the Starmark advance heat shield coating to control heat gain/loss. The windows reduce interior condensation and frost.
• ClearView Door and Window Company: ClearView chose two window lines from more than 100 manufacturers to offer. It offers Marvin’s Infinity and Integrity window designs, and ClearView windows. Material choices include fiberglass, wood and vinyl. Some designs exceed the certification requirements for the Energy Star seal.
• HomeRite Windows & Doors of Maryland: Established more than 60 years ago, HomeRite serves the counties of Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, Harford, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Georges and Anne Arundel. The Better Business Bureau accredited company offers a large selection of energy-efficient vinyl windows and doors, including double hung, sliders, bay, bow, garden and picture windows.
• Kelemer Brothers Windows: The Kelemer brothers, established in 1999, use no sales people. One of the two brothers, Joe or Gabriel, meets potential customers to provide an estimate. They offer high quality products with a limited lifetime glass breakage warranty and a lifetime “worry free” installation warranty. Nicknamed “The Window Men” locally, the brothers have performed more than 50,000 window installations. They have won the Angie’s List Super Services Award five times. Kelemer Brothers earned an “A+” Better Business Bureau rating. In addition to Maryland, the company services Washington, DC and Virginia.
Window replacement improves a home’s comfort, adds to curb appeal, betters its energy efficiency and increases its value. Use home windows that are suited for Maryland seasonality to make this renovation work even harder.