Replacing your windows is a worthwhile investment. Your home will be more comfortable, your energy bills will be lower, and your curb appeal will get a nice boost! However, there are so many questions that you might have about your replacement windows. Like, how will you know if your windows need to be replaced, how long should you expect your replacement windows to last, and what are the best windows for your home? We’re here to help!
How Will I Know If My Windows Should Be Replaced?
There are many tell-tale signs that your windows are past their prime and should be replaced. Warped windows, leaky windows, windows that allow condensation on the inside, and still having older single-paned windows are just a few.
Even without these obvious issues, if your windows are 20 years old or older, you should replace your windows before bigger problems begin to reveal themselves. Even if they seem to be performing as they should, older windows just don’t have the same characteristics and are made with new technology like modern windows.
How Long Do Replacement Windows Last and How Often Should Windows Be Replaced?
On average, the lifespan of windows is about 15 to 25 years, depending on the quality of the window and the quality of installation. Of course, if you’re having issues before then, don’t hesitate to replace them sooner. This is especially true if they are still under warranty, which will vary from maker to maker. Your professional window installer will also have their own warranty, so be sure to check in with them first if you’re having any issues.
The lifespan of replacement windows will also depend on the material of the frame. The glass and seals are likely to wear out before some window frames, which means you could get away with just a repair rather than replacing the entire window. Regardless of the type of frame, you should have a professional window installer inspect your windows to see if a repair or a replacement is necessary.
How long wooden windows, vinyl windows, and fiberglass windows last vary because of how they react differently to weather conditions and the sun. Wooden window frames, for example, are beautiful and perfect for older or historic homes, but do have a shorter lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. Vinyl windows, although not as charming, should last from 20 to 30 years. Fiberglass frames are the most durable and last the longest, from about 30 to 40 years.
For even the longest-lasting windows, you will still need to keep an eye on the seals and consider how the glass itself will age. Energy-efficient windows that are multi-pane and come with a Low-E coating will lose their effectiveness after about 15 years. So, even if your windows are in great shape structurally, your windows will begin to let in heat in the summer and lose heat in the winter due to the Low-E coating wearing out.
What Type of Windows Last the Longest?
The old adage of “You get what you pay for” definitely applies to windows. Skimping on quality will come back to haunt you and you might end up paying for repairs, shoring, and replacement sooner than you’d like. Saving money by buying cheaper windows won’t save money in the long run, and could end up costing you more if those windows fail and you have to repair your floors or walls from water and sun damage.
As already mentioned, the longest-lasting window frame material is fiberglass. This is because wood can deteriorate and warp over time and vinyl will eventually corrode, crack, and warp. Fiberglass is as durable as they come, resisting warping, cracking, and rusting.
What Should I Look for in Replacement Windows?
Modern windows are better than old, damaged windows, but they are certainly not all built the same and can withstand the same weather conditions or use. The type of windows to look for will depend on your climate, sun exposure, use, and placement on your home.
Of course, looks matter, too. You’ll want to choose the type of windows that are the best combination of durable and stylish, that will last you a long time and compliment the aesthetics of your home. If your home is a classic Victorian home, you wouldn’t choose vinyl windows. Wood can last a long time, depending on how they’re constructed and finished, and increase the value of your curb appeal.
Fiberglass is durable and some makers create fiberglass windows that mimic the texture of wood. They can be custom ordered in many colors, and will resist insects, moisture, and becoming misshapen.
As for performance, energy-efficient windows will prove to have the most benefits. Multi-pane windows with a Low-E coating will save you energy and will keep your interiors from becoming discolored from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
Should I Replace All of My Windows at Once?
There are benefits to adding windows to a house all at once. You won’t have to keep track of several warranties because they will all be on the same timeline. You also won’t have to remember the brand and type of windows in order to keep them consistent throughout your home. Also, having windows replaced can be disruptive, just as with a remodeling job. So, to have them replaced at the same time will reduce the amount of time, or times, you’ll need to adapt to installers needing access to your home.
Can I Replace My Windows Myself?
Replacing your windows is not a DIY-worthy project for many reasons, one of which is that installation is more complex than you might think. The slightest mistake upon installation can result in leaks and damage. Hire a professional window installation company to have your windows installed right the first time. They’re experienced in helping you choose the right windows for your home and installing your windows in less time than you might think.
Window and Door Showplace is a professional window installation company that has hundreds of years of experience across the entire team. We serve the Northern Virginia area and stand behind the high-quality caliber of the brands we carry. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or visit one of our three showrooms.
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