What To Do About Old Windows

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What To Do About Old Windows


When it makes sense to repair your windows

With an older home, the debate over new windows is a constant one. Whether you're experiencing skyrocketing energy bills, jammed windows, or rotting frames (or maybe all three), you have two options: repair or replace.


There are some advantages to keeping your original window sets. Your home's older windows are far more durable (and sometimes cheaper to repair) than newer versions. Replacing them is an option, but there are a few reasons why keeping the originals may be a better alternative.

Many times local building codes restrict you from replacing windows in historic homes. In these instances, replacement obviously isn’t an option. If you can replace your windows, replacements are usually limited to historically accurate representations. As you might imagine, historically accurate windows aren’t cheap: Repair costs are usually $300 per window and replacement costs are $1000 per window. In this situation, repairing is obviously the most affordable option.

Also, repairing windows is more beneficial for environmental health. Keeping original windows cuts down on the waste and energy consumption associated with manufacturing newer models. If sustainability is important to you, repairing your windows is the greenest option.


The case for replacing your windows


Many homeowners wonder if a total overhaul is worth it. Consider a total replacement if health, safety or serious home maintenance issues are a problem.

For example, painted-shut or jammed windows present a serious safety hazard. Always make sure your windows open and close easily in order to protect your family against fire and other emergencies. Drafty windows also waste large amounts of energy and lead to wood rot.

How much can you expect to spend on window replacements? Assuming your window frames are intact, expect to pay between $300 and $700 per window. These prices include removal, disposal and installation for most standard window sizes. As you might imagine, custom windows are more expensive, often $1,000 or more per window. Keep in mind that these costs do not include replacing the window frame. Expect to spend up to twice as much per window if the frame needs replacing as well.

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