When you invest in a new home, you would expect the builders to use high-quality materials and skilled installation techniques, right?

Unfortunately, this isn't always the case — especially with your home's new windows. You may discover your windows aren't protecting your home like they should, resulting in damaging leaks, uncomfortable drafts, high energy bills, and more.

Builder-grade windows are likely to blame for your newly constructed home's faulty performance. Keep reading to discover what builder-grade windows are — and learn why you should replace them as soon as possible.

What Are Builder-Grade Windows?

Simply put, builder-grade windows are an inferior, low-quality product installed in new homes. While most builders offer upgrade options, many homeowners choose standard windows to save money on construction.

Additionally, home builders often speed through the installation process to get the job done, leaving your new windows with cracks, leaks, and other troublesome issues.

As you can imagine, these faulty windows aren't a long-term option for your home. Fortunately, top-notch replacement windows offer a reliable solution.

Why Should You Replace Your Builder-Grade Windows?

If you can relate to one or more of the following signs of faulty window performance, it's probably time to replace your builder-grade windows with a high-quality alternative.

1. Frequent Leaks

If you notice water entering in around your windows, it could be a sign the window is faulty or it was installed improperly, leaving gaps where outside weather can enter your home.

It's important to replace leaking windows as soon as possible—otherwise, you leave your home vulnerable to further damage.

2. Cleaning Challenges

Since many builder-grade windows are single-hung, you can't open the top sash, making these windows difficult to clean—especially on the second floor. Since high-quality windows are usually double-hung where the top and bottom sash open, close and tilt in, they are much easier to clean.

3. Foggy Panes

Foggy glass is caused by 'seal failure.' Double pane windows have two pieces of glass that are sealed together. When this seal between the two panes of glass has become compromised, moisture enters in between the panes and causes condensation, or this foggy appearance. Double pane windows cannot be re-sealed, and once the window problem has appeared, it will likely become an issue throughout the house.

When you invest in the right type of replacement windows, you can see the beautiful view outside your windows during every season!

4. Frustrating Operation

Does it take all your strength to open or close your windows? If so, that's not normal!

You should be able to operate your windows with ease. Unfortunately, inferior products and low-quality workmanship can make builder-grade windows challenging to pry open and shut. Replacement windows are an excellent alternative because they come with top-quality features, making them easy to operate.

5. Draftiness

Homes with builder-grade windows are often drafty due to faulty weatherstripping or your contractor's failure to install the windows correctly.

Drafts are uncomfortable, but they also increase your energy usage, causing your utility bills to skyrocket. It's wise to invest in replacement windows to keep your home at a comfortable temperature and to reduce unnecessary spending on utilities.

Builder-grade windows require extensive maintenance, exhibit diminished durability and don't have the highest insulating values in terms of:

  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

  • Visual Light Transmittance (VT)

  • Air Leakage (AL)

  • U-Factor (Thermal conductivity)

This information is found on the label attached to products by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) for new home windows. Another label you will want to look for is one from Energy Star that verifies if the window meets the appropriate ratings listed above.

6. Security Risks

Builder-grade windows typically don't offer your home much protection against intruders. Since these windows are made from a flimsy hardware system, they can be pried open easily, leaving your home vulnerable to burglaries.

When you invest in the right type of replacement windows, you can enjoy newer security features and locking mechanisms that provide your home with enhanced protection.

7. Poor UV Protection

Low-quality windows offer the minimal level of protection against ultraviolet light that is required by building codes. When exposed to your furniture, carpet, and flooring, ultraviolet rays can result in fading.

When you invest in the right type of replacement windows, you can choose options with added UV protection, so you can let natural light flood your home without worrying about collateral damage.

8. Outdoor Noise

Can you hear your neighbor's barking dog and lawnmower, even when your windows are shut? If so, you likely have builder-grade windows. These products don't include noise-reducing features, so they can make your home an unbearable place to live.

Alternatively, the right type of replacement windows that are installed properly are sealed tighter, allowing for greater sound reduction. Plus, there are optional glass upgrades that provide more noise reduction to help make your home a quiet, peaceful oasis!

9. Short Lifespan

Builder-grade windows aren't meant to last a lifetime. At best, they'll last a decade. If you don't notice any apparent problems with your builder-grade windows right now, it's inevitable issues will occur eventually—likely sooner rather than later.

It's wise to replace your builder-grade windows as soon as possible so you don't have to deal with frustrating (and expensive!) problems, like water damage, uncomfortable drafts, and high energy bills down the road.

Click here to learn how to prevent and fix wood rot problems with your windows.

10. Limited Warranty Coverage

Since builder-grade windows are only projected to last for ten years, they usually come with a meager ten-year warranty or less, and most only have a one-year warranty. If you'd like your windows to be protected with valuable, lasting coverage, you'll need to invest in replacement windows.

Replace Your Builder-Grade Windows with a Top-Quality Solution

You don't have to live with the frustrating effects of subpar builder-grade windows any longer. Instead, fall in love with the beauty, durability, and energy efficiency of your new fiberglass replacement windows, by North Georgia Replacement Windows!

Discover the benefits, styles, and features of our Infinity from Marvin replacement windows.