Prioritizing Window Replacement vs Repair

By Joe Mand

Deciding to take care of a window issue with a home can be a challenging decision. Here a few important questions to address if you are concerned about the condition of your windows.

When is the right time to replace windows?

Many homeowners look to replace their windows for at least one of three reasons: they don’t look good, they don’t work right, or they’re not very energy efficient. Rotted wood, windows that won’t open and close properly and/or drafty windows are all indicators that it may be time for new home windows.

The next question that you might ask is “When should I replace my windows?” There are plenty of things around your house that need fixing up, and everyone’s priority list is a little different. The important thing is that you understand the condition of your windows to make a good decision about how to remedy a concern.

 Should I Repair or Replace My Windows

Sometimes the most expedient and least expensive way of taking care of these issues is repairing your windows. Repairing or replacing rotten trim pieces, replacing a worn out balance system on a window that won’t open properly or caulking around your windows are potential solutions that can help in the short-term.

In many cases, however, the repair is a band-aid, and is treating a symptom rather than an underlying issue. Having a trusted home improvement professional in your area assess your concern is a great starting point.

Should I Replace My Windows Myself

So, you’ve made the determination that getting new replacement windows for your home is the proper path. The next question is “Should I install my own windows?” Undoubtedly a way to save money, installing your replacement windows yourself can save about 10-15% on your project.

Be advised, however, even the most passionate DIY’er will tell you how important the installation process is for performance of your new windows. The best replacement window available is worthless if improperly installed.

Another consideration is warranty. The manufacturer covers the product, the installer covers the installation. Oftentimes the most prudent decision is to let your local window installation professional handle, and warranty, this work.

How Much Will Replacing My Windows Cost

You’ve determined it’s time to replace your old, defective, inefficient windows with new replacement windows. You’ve talked to a local home improvement professional with excellent reviews about the install. It’s time for the moment of truth…how much should I expect to spend to replace my windows?

The answer is, “it depends.” There are several factors that figure into this equation. Architectural style, home setting, window types, and options are just a few of the variables that affect overall cost. As you are doing your research a great resource for determining costs for this, and many other home improvement projects, is Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report. This source looks at specific projects, their average costs by region, but also how much a window replacement job can affect the overall value of your home.

One thing to look at is the cost of replacing all the windows in your home versus only doing a few. Taking care of everything at once has the benefit of your window installer being able to pass on economies of scale for only having to send employees out once, as well as taking care of all problems at the same time. If you are in position financially to do this, it’s always the best way to go.

If your budget won’t allow, or you don’t want to take advantage of financing programs that your home improvement dealer offers, doing a partial replacement can have the benefits of saving some money, as well as taking care of specific, pressing issues, like replacing all the windows on the sunny side of the house, etc. You can then replace the rest of your windows in stages as finances and other circumstances allow.

Maybe it IS finally time for you to replace your windows.