Is it time to replace your windows? What you need to know first.

Like everything in your home over the years windows will become outdated and because of this replacing them might not be the only option. If you are considering and kitchen or bathroom renovation then windows will be on your radar. By replacing your windows you will have less drafts, the new windows will be easier to clean, lighter to open and close and the safety featured will be substantially improved. They will be more cost efficient as well. So what are some of the things you need to know before you make the investment.

Don’t expect to re-coup your money with the updated windows. The best double paned windows are about twice as effective at retaining heat and air conditioning as their predecessor the single-paned units installed just a couple of decades ago. But if those windows had storm windows with them, then the new windows are only 15% more efficient. Unless you have a home that has a large portion of windows this change will only produce only about 5% to 15% total energy savings.

Depending on the age of your home you probably have solid wood frames on your windows and probably love the style. Wood frames in rooms that have higher heat and moisture, such as your kitchen and bathroom, will definitely need to be replaced. However, the solid wood product sold today is not nearly as strong as the solid wood used to make frames 50-100 years ago. With that said, you will want to look into vinyl windows. If you still want wood window frames you can get an aluminum skin or clad to cover the wood. The cladding comes factory painted in your choice of color, and that finish is guaranteed for 20 years – a good three to four times longer than exterior paint applied to solid wood windows. You will pay on average about 15% to 20% more for aluminum-clad than unclad wood.

In some cases you might not even need to replace your windows. A contractor or window specialist can pull off the interior and exterior trim and insulate all the gaps eliminating the drafts. The specialist or contractor can also install a window insert, this is a smaller unit that fits inside the existing opening, without the need for removing the existing trim. The second option can save anywhere from $150 to $300 per window in labor costs, but it doesn’t allow for insulating the air gaps common around window openings, so inserts may yield far less in energy savings.

Windows are an important part of the house and should be considered with any home renovation project. If you find yourself thinking about doing something with your windows, head over to PlumbTile, where our expert employees will be able to answer any questions you have. Let us help you create the home of your dreams, one window at a time.