Knowing when the right time to replace your windows it tough for most people. Should you do it now or give them a couple more years? Do you do it before you put the house up for sale or let the buyer worry about it? Should I wait for warmer weather? We’ll give you some tips on signs to look for and give you some answers to your most common questions.
Windows no longer open, close, or lock properly. Not only is this an annoyance when you can’t use your windows, but it can also be a safety hazard in basements or bedrooms. This is an issue that can’t usually be repaired and can hurt your home’s value.
Your windows are 20-30 years old or more. This is the general lifetime of most windows, especially ones sold in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. They’ll have poor energy efficiency compared to new windows and usually start breaking down and having other issues with hardware or rot by this point.
Frame has rot. If your windows have soft spots or are breaking down then that is usually the number one sign that they need to be replaced. There’s no repairing them at that point and it can lead to further wall damage if left unchecked.
Water damage below windows. We want to be clear, water damage below or around your windows does not always mean you have a window problem, but when it happens when your windows are older and hadn’t had that problem it’s more likely to be related. Like we said above, when rot gets extreme water can get through and begin to rot out the framing in the wall. This at least should require someone to inspect the issue and determine the best way to fix it.
Windows are making your house ugly. More of a personal preference here, but if you hate the way your windows look then changing them can really improve your home’s curb appeal.
- You can feel a draft. This doesn’t mean you definitely should replace the unit, but it does mean something is wrong and needs attention. It could be as simple as needing a new piece of weather stripping, or it could mean the window is faulty, it wasn’t properly installed, or other things that would require a full replacement. Leaving this alone can cost you hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs.
At the end of the day, it still comes down to your personal judgement and what you feel is worth the money you’re going to spend. We do have a few tips to help you decide what to do in certain situations:
If you’re selling your house. If your windows are so bad they’re noticeable and bringing your home’s value down, replace them. If they’re passable and just have some minor issues, leave them. On average you’ll get 75%-90% of the value back that you spend on windows in your home’s value, but it does depend on how much you’re improving it.
If you’re staying in your house for the foreseeable future. If you have window issues like the ones listed above and aren’t moving anytime soon, it’s time to consider replacing your windows right away. Obviously you want your finances in order first, but you’re missing out on immediate savings to your energy bill and windows will only increase in price year over year.
If you have cracked glass or condensation. Call around for someone that will replace just glass, do not call a window replacement company. Our service department will perform this type of work, and it might cost a few hundred dollars versus a few thousand to replace the whole unit.
If you’re waiting for the weather. Most people wait to call about their windows until spring or summer, so call to get a quote in the late fall/winter when things are less busy. You’ll be able to get your windows faster, and installing in colder weather has its benefits, like you won’t deal with bugs getting in your house while it’s open.
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