When it comes to the materials that go into new build homes, oftentimes homeowners don't have the specifics. Many people trust the builders to choose and assume that the materials that they use are of high quality, especially for the price they pay for construction and design. However, builders often err on the side of a lower price for things like windows, meaning that they might not be the best quality for long-term use.
But is there really a difference between so-called “builder-grade” windows and an upgraded version? Find out more about the different grades of windows that can be installed in a new build home and the benefits you can get from asking your builder to use upgraded windows.
Different Grades of Windows
Not all windows are created equal. There are differences in the quality of materials and the typical lifespan of windows based on what grade they are. Most homeowners aren’t aware of the differences, as new windows of any kind tend to look nice when they are freshly installed. However, after a few years, the differences in quality become much more apparent.
Builder-grade windows are the type of windows that are often used during a new home build unless the homeowner requests otherwise. These are simple windows with basic features, also referred to as “contractor windows”. Builder-grade windows are much less expensive than premium windows, and can be bought in bulk to be used in new developments.
While they might look great when you first move into the new build, these windows only have a lifespan of 5-10 years before issues start to arise. Builder-grade windows tend to lose their protective sealing early, and the hardware on them will rust and break down quickly, making them difficult to use after a few years and prone to drafts. They are also much less energy-efficient and offer limited UV protection.
Premium Grade Windows
Premium grade windows, on the other hand, are made to last for a long time. They have advanced energy-efficiency built in, usually as a result of thicker glass or more panes that help keep heat in during cold months and out during hot months. A premium window will also offer more varieties when it comes to customization, with additional glass patterns and designs, colors, and textures.
The Benefits of Upgraded Windows
While there is a higher cost associated with upgrading your windows instead of going with the standard builder-grade windows, there are many different benefits you get for the price. Those benefits include things like:
Increased Home Equity Value
Having premium windows increases the value of your home. Prospective home buyers pay attention to whether the windows are secure, look good, are energy efficient, and do not need to be replaced immediately.
More Home Security
Premium windows are less likely to rust and warp at the speed that builder-grade windows will. That means that in emergencies like a fire, builder-grade windows can be a potential hazard and slow down egress from the house. Premium windows have quality materials that improve functionality and safety.
Improved Energy Efficiency
As mentioned above, one of the major benefits of premium windows is the improved energy efficiency that they can provide. The materials used in premium windows help to reduce heat transfer and provide insulation. They help regulate temperature by keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter - which translates to savings on your energy bill.
How to Approach Your Builder About Upgraded Windows
If you don’t specifically request that upgraded windows should be installed, odds are your contractor and builder will use builder-grade windows. These windows can be purchased in bulk and easily installed by the construction crew. However, as the homeowner you have the final input into the types of materials used in the new home build.
The best bet is to approach your builder early on in the process. There might even be an option for upgraded windows as you move through the planning process for your build. If there isn’t a choice automatically presented to you, you can still request that premium, upgrade windows be used as long as you understand that there is going to be a price increase or upcharge in exchange for the benefits of premium windows.
High Grade Windows from ODL
At ODL, we want our builders to have access to the types of windows that homeowners want in their new construction homes. That’s why we provide exceptional window options like Blink with enclosed blinds, which grants all of the benefits of premium windows and the additional benefits for dust and pollen control.
Click here to learn more about Blink Blinds and discover why Blink can be the best window option for your new home construction projects.