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The subject of whether or not old windows should be replaced wholesale, or if time and effort should be taken to repair them, can be a rather complex one. It’s a question that comes up, in my experience, with rather more regularity than one would expect.
When you see a window that’s rotted through, or where the sashes or other operating mechanisms just don’t quite work anymore, it’s often easier to just say to heck with it and go replace the entire thing. While I or any other contractor worth their salt might be willing to pronounce something to be as good as new, that fact is that “good as new” is still not new.
With newly-bought materials, you’re assured that the item is working, and works well. As applies to windows, this would mean that your window unit is able to open and close easily and—often the most important consideration of all—functions much more efficiently. Newer windows can be expected to help you lower your expenses by saving on your energy bills.
Energy expenditure reduction through the installation of new, energy-efficient windows is not limited to reflecting sunlight, and thus radiant heat, back out during the summer and trapping that same radiant heat in the house during the winter. Properly-installed new windows will also lack the kinds of gaps and dents and whatnot that older windows might have, which contribute to heat loss or gain by letting cold air in or out, depending on the season. Preventing warm air from leaking out during winter, and trapping cool air in during the summer, not only lessens the hurt to your wallet, but keeps you comfortable, too.
The Case For Restoration
It may come as a surprise, but replacing the windows on your home just might not be an option. To be exact, it might not be allowed. If you live in an older, historic house, or an area where the neighborhood agreement prevents it, then your only option might be a painstaking restoration of that older, historic window. It can be a real pain, especially when you’re faced with extensive damage or decay, but what can you do?
Modern craftsmanship, as well as modern materials, can make that older window perform at the level of newer windows. It’s not quite the same, but coupled with good storm windows, restored older windows can provide the same energy-efficiency benefits of modern windows. You’ll still have to take the time to put up the storm windows during fall, and then take them down after winter’s passed, but at least you know you’re not leaking warm air like water through a sieve.
Out With The Old, In With The New
With newer houses, especially those that were built in the immediate post-war period, replacement is just about the soundest decision. If the manufacturer is no longer in business, parts replacement is going to be a real hassle. Replacing older windows with newer ones is not just easier; it’s common, practical sense. Instead of leaving it to an unreliable patch job, it’s simply easier to replace the entire thing, and better in the long run, too. Replacing your windows guarantees that they work, and work well.
Lance Schepps is the President of Clark Adams Co., a window and door replacement company serving the residents of Los Angeles for over 30 years. His crew works with over 10,000 customers; and under his leadership, the team ensures that each client receives a rewarding home improvement experience.