I have only once replaced windows in a home. I kept putting it off as it seemed such a big job. The house was timber frame in very beautiful but damp Vancouver, Canada.
One dark and stormy night, rain was attacking the panes and the outrageous wind was strong enough to uproot trees. I was rudely awoken by the repeated banging of our bedroom window. The wooden frame was so swollen that the window didn’t close properly. The only way I could stop the clattering was to tie a scarf to the window handle and secure it to the leg of the bed to keep it shut. I realized something needed to be done!
WINDOWS ARE NOT WORKING
This is the most obvious reason and best not ignored. Are your windows warped and wedged in place? Do you struggle to open them? Is the wood rotting?
WINTER WEATHER UNWELCOME INSIDE
The only element you really want to welcome into your home is light. Rain leaking in around the frames or condensation dripping down the inside of windows can lead to mold and mildew. The bad combination of cold drafts getting in and warm air escaping will have a negative impact on your energy bills.
SINGLE GLASS PANES
Many older homes still have single pane glass. These panes will feel cold to the touch in winter and bleed heat. If the windows otherwise work well, you can always use thick drapes with a thermal lining to mitigate heat loss in the short term and upgrade to double glazing later.
NOISE IS DISTURBING
Rock solid seals and sturdy, tight fitting windows can do a wonderful job of shutting out the world. Noise reducing windows may be the answer if planes taking off, sirens wailing or children shouting in a nearby schoolyard are not your soundscape of choice.
HIGH ENERGY BILLS
Heating and cooling costs are always on the rise. New energy efficient windows offer insulating features such as heat reflecting low-E coatings and argon gas between the panes.
KEEP BURGLARS OUT
There is no point even thinking about window locks, alarms and sensors if your windows don’t close! Doors and windows are the weakest point of entry, so make it hard work for undesirables to pay an unwanted visit.
EASIER TO CLEAN
Our old window cleaner used to arrive on cue in the spring, whistling jauntily, his ladder atop his shoulders. It’s a fond memory. Older windows have to be washed from the outside. Newer windows tilt and turn so that the exterior glass can be cleaned from the inside.
New windows are like a facelift for your home. I chose vinyl windows for my Vancouver home because of their low maintenance and was thrilled with the result. They were replaced amazingly quickly and the mess was surprisingly minimal.