Professionals give advice for replacing, updating windows in style

Universal Windows Direct

By Kaitlyn Finchler

Most homeowners want to have their own flair displayed in their homes, whether in terms of design, functionality or decorations. Windows are a large part of a home that can be overlooked, but they can change the layout, design and mood dramatically.

Mike Kovach, president and co-owner of Crooked River Building Supply in Warrensville Heights, says when it comes to updating windows it’s better to replace them entirely rather than refurbishing or fixing up.

“We sell Marvin (brand) here, we’re the leading Marvin dealer in Northeast Ohio,” Kovach says. “Marvin is a top-of-the-line window. I feel it’s the best window out there, but it depends if somebody’s looking for (a) wood-clad window (or) if someone’s looking for fiberglass.”

Depending on location, some residents have to get approval from their city ahead of window updates, depending on whether their home is deemed historical or not, and then choose windows accordingly. And, some windows are built to last more so than others, he explains. 

“You either keep them or replace them, or you have to replace them because they’re bad,” Kovach says. “Vinyl windows are not made to last, you’d be lucky to get 10 years out of them. That’s not to say people won’t keep them longer than that.”

Specifically, sunshine is a large issue for maintaining windows, Kovach says, because sun damage can diminish the quality. However, wood-clad or fiberglass windows can eliminate these problems.

As far as what’s fashionable, Anne-Marie Colant, digital marketing manager at Universal Windows Direct in Bedford Heights, says the “classic” style is popular in a majority of homes.

“People also tend to love casement-style windows to preserve that mid-century modern look and feel,” Colant says. “White windows (are) a timeless classic and it goes well with any interior or exterior. (It’s) really fresh and really clean.”

Grid patterns are also a popular new trend, Colant says, for an extra “pizzazz.” Windows that allow more light in are also popular, she adds, and can increase the property value.

Both Colant and Kovach say it’s better to replace entire windows than doing individual repairs because that’s only a temporary fix.

“There’s no sense in putting a Band-Aid on something just to put off the inevitable,” Colant says. “It’s better to just do the replacement up front and ensure that you’re going to make an improvement to your home that’s going to make lasting improvements.”

Even though it’s better to replace damaged or old windows, Kovach says there are ways to keep windows in good condition to make them last longer.

Crooked River Building Supply

“Caulking, because every window has caulk on the outside,” Kovach says of the sealing process. “A lot of people think when they caulked 20 years ago, (windows) never need to be caulked again, but that’s not true. If you start seeing any type of moisture, those are things that need to be addressed right away.”

And, when selecting windows, both Kovach and Colant say the customer’s wishes are a top priority.

“(Universal Direct) is fully customizable,” Colant says. “We want to make your dreams come true (and) we want to give you that dream home. Typically, we do everything we can to try and get that project done and make it work for that homeowner.”   

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