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So you want new windows

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There are a lot of decisions to make before you replace windows in your home. Do you know how to sift through all the information?

First, not all windows are created equal. Plus, there are window options that increase the cost, but do not deliver the same return on investment. The following articles do a good job of explaining the basics of windows and what you should look for.

Selecting Replacement Windows (the technical side)

Second, not all installers do an equally good job of installing your windows. The following articles talk about the basics of hiring a contractor and some of the basic questions you should ask about how they install windows.

Basic Checklist for Hiring a Contractor from National Association of Home Builders

If your home is built prior to 1978, here is additional information you need to know about your contractor.

A renovation contractor must be Certified as a Lead-Safe Renovator or must have a Certified Lead-Safe Renovator in charge of the work site.

A renovation contractor must work for or be a Certified Lead-Safe Company (including self-employed persons/sole proprietors)

Make sure your contractor shows you the Certifications from the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin has its own set of rules which differ slightly from the National EPA standards, so just having an EPA Certification does not make a contractor Certified to do work in Wisconsin. (Note: WI Certified Contractors do not also need to have EPA Certification).

Renovate Right Brochure for homes built prior to 1978

Third, there continues to be confusion about the Tax Credit. You can receive a 30% Tax rebate up to a maximum of $1500 if your windows are installed prior to Dec. 31, 2010. BUT, your windows have to meet some very specific values and the manufacturer has to be able to supply very specific douments. The following link will help explain the necessary paperwork.

Energy Tax Credit