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Should I Repair or Replace My Windows?


June 2, 2016

The vast majority of homeowners (88%) across the U.S. see the exterior of their homes as one entity rather than a sum of its individual parts. So, when one part of your house is in disrepair, one may argue that your entire home is in jeopardy.

If you notice a problem with your windows, you may be wondering whether it is more effective and worthwhile to repair them or to replace them altogether. The answer will depend on the state of your windows and the rest of your home as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions About Repairing and Replacing Windows

  1. Can you repair rot and jammed sashes?
    The first thing you should do is to inspect your windows for decay. Are there signs of water around the frame? If so, the windows will need to be removed and repaired before rot develops and spreads. If the sashes are sticking, try rubbing the bottom of a candle against the bottom and sides of the window to allow it to slide more easily along the channel. If you notice that there is condensation between the layers of glass, you will certainly need to replace the sash or the window.
  2. Can I make my old windows more energy efficient?
    To reduce drafts and block cracks and gaps, use caulking and weather stripping. First, remove old caulk and replace it with new caulk. Weather stripping also helps reduce air leaks around sashes, but make sure you are applying it to clean, dry surfaces when the temperature is above freezing. You can also make your windows more energy efficient by using combination storm and screen windows. A tip: interior storms are more effective than exterior ones.
  3. Should I replace my historic home’s original windows?
    Replacement windows may lower your house’s value, particularly if the original ones were stained or leaded glass or they had decorative wood grilles. Ask yourself this: Will the new windows fit with your home’s style?

On average, homeowners will spend up to four percent of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs, which often increase as the house ages. Take window repair cost into consideration and keep in mind that replacement has an average ROI of 78.6%.