Questions to Ask Prior to Replacing Your Windows

Jun 18, 2020

Questions to ask Prior to Replacing Your Windows


Which method of window replacement is most sensible for our home?

Generally speaking, there are two different procedures for window replacement – insert and full-frame.

With an insert window replacement, the new window is installed within the current frame, as only the old sash, hardware, and covers are replaced. The new window unit is placed in the existing frame where it is anchored, insulated, and sealed.


“This alternative is appropriate if you’re comfortable with the size and style of the current window, as using this method maintains the current interior and exterior trim. The cost is usually less, as the installation process is lessened, and this type of window installation is helpful for preserving certain types of exterior home materials, such as brick,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction Co. Inc. “In addition, it is imperative that the wood or aluminum frames are structurally intact, plus there may be a minor shrinkage of light entering the home.”


When selecting full frame window replacement, existing windows are entirely removed to the studs, as is the interior and exterior trim, along with a portion of the siding in some situations, with the new window positioned in the new cavity. “With this method, it is possible to evaluate and fix decaying materials and water infiltration within the home’s composition,” Scott said. “Also, this option is typically required if the current window has vinyl, if the frames are damaged, or if a larger-scale remodel is being done. ”


This option features a more wide-spread installation and is usually more costly, however homeowners can select a new type or size window for the space. “While using a different size window may impact the cost, staying within the height and width of the current opening will likely keep extra costs down,” he said.


Do all of my home’s windows need replacing or should I just replace one or two?

Ultimately, the decision to replace all of your home’s windows or only a couple will come down to cost, but other important factors include functionality and appearance. “If your windows are original to the home or are 20 years old or older, window replacement is strongly encouraged,” Scott said.


To confirm your windows warrant replacement, you can test their functionality. Are your windows difficult to open and close? Are they drafty? Does condensation regularly form in between the panes of glass? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then window replacement is typically recommended. “However, if not all of your windows have issues, or if you’re looking to only update the front exterior of your home to help attract potential home buyers, then replacing one or two windows may be a more practical,” he said.


Which window type do I choose?

There are a variety of window types to choose from, including awning, bay, bow, casement, double hung, single hung, and sliding windows. “Beyond the location of the new window and aesthetics, it’s important to understand window operation,” Scott said. “At its most basic, windows tend to either open outward with a push or a crank, which is often the case with awning, bay, bow, and casement windows, or they slide open vertically or horizontally on a track, which is typically found on double hung, single hung, and sliding windows.” It should be noted that some windows, such as picture windows, are fixed; in other words, they do not open.


Furthermore, different windows will have different benefits. “For instance, a double hung window has two movable sashes, which means that you’ll be able to feel a fresh breeze on multiple levels, while a picture window offers an expansive view and ample light,” Scott said. “So, remember to take location, operation, function, and benefits into account when selecting the type of window you want to install.”

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