You know the advantages of new windows and you have a good idea of the cost. So, how do you decide when you should try to repair and when you should replace the windows in your home. Here are 6 common problems and what to do.
Your windows are old; they’re single pane. They’re downright flimsy. When your windows are letting the cold in and the heat out in the winter and vice versa in the summer, they can be affecting your energy bills by 25% to 40%. They aren’t protecting your furniture, rugs and art from fading. You want dual-pane, low-E windows because, in this case, you’ll reduce your energy bill and protect your things. It pays to replace.
The window glass is fine and dual pane, but the window doesn’t open smoothly. Or, it doesn’t open at all. If the window is just painted shut, use a sash saw and cut through the paint. Just put the teeth of the saw along the edge of the seam and slide. One pass should do it. No paint? It could just be an accumulation of dirt and grime in the track – clean it. If the hardware is broken but still available, do it yourself or hire a handyman.
Your window frames are wood and they’re rotted and decayed in large areas. Your frames are aluminum or vinyl and they are cracked or broken. They’re even out of square. The frames are an important part of the insulation of your home. Time to consider replacement windows.
Your caulking is peeling or cracked. Your weather stripping is old. You can feel a draft, but the window glass is newer and in good shape. This one is a no-brainer. It costs as little as under $2 to buy a tube of painter’s caulk to seal those windows back up. Weather stripping is probably going to be less than a dollar a foot – so get to the hardware store and get busy.
There’s condensation between the panes of glass. This is a sure sign that the seal has broken on your windows. Your first move should be to check your warranty – this defect may be covered. If it’s not, the only choice you have is to replace.
• Maybe Yes, Maybe No.
This one is going to take some work on your part. If you own a historic home, the design of those old windows is an important part of your homes appeal. Replacing them with a more modern window may not just hurt the style of your home; it could also hurt the home’s value – especially if you’re talking about stained glass or leaded windows. Talk to your local window replacement company and get their suggestions for making the windows more energy efficient while keeping the architectural integrity. They may have new windows that will work with the historic look. A preservation commission may also help. It is possible to improve and, even, replace the windows, but go slow and research all your options.
If you have decided that your windows are much more replace than repair, here’s one final tip. Work with a licensed window replacement company. They’re going to be able to answer your questions and help you decide on the right windows for the style of your home. Working with a company that is registered with the governing areas of your location, like the Registrar of Contractors, is your assurance that you are working with professionals who will do the job right.