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Replacing Doors and Windows

A quality, well-constructed door should last a minimum of 10 years. Many last far longer than that, even 20 years or more. Windows, on the other hand, may need to be replaced a bit sooner. This may be especially true if your home was built before the 1990's, or you live in an area with extreme weather conditions (excessive rain, frigid winter temperatures, or very hot summers with cold winters).

Since replacing windows can be costly, homeowners tend to put this off as long as possible. Not replacing faulty windows though can actually cost more money in the long run. If you're not sure whether it's time to take out the old and put in the new, it will help to ask yourself the following questions:

How to decide whether to replace doors and windows

  • Is there condensation around the window, or in between the panes? This is a sure sign of a faulty seal. If left for too long, mold problems may develop. Black mold poses a number of health risks, so this kind of a situation is best dealt with sooner rather than later.
  • Are your windows double-paned? If the answer is no, replacement is probably a good idea. You'll almost always fare better with double-paned glass. Most homes built in the last 10-15 years or so likely have double-paned glass. In fact, some areas require it in their building codes. Older homes are more likely to have single-paned windows, at least in some parts of the house. Double-paned glass is much more efficient at keeping weather out, and heat or air conditioning in. Installing new, double-paned windows will likely save you in energy costs.
  • Are your windows leaky? If you can see light passing through any part of the frame of the window, this indicates a leak. Even a small breach means that air is also getting inside, and heat is getting outside. This can represent hundreds of dollars in energy dollars going (literally) right out the window.

Door and Window Security is a big issue.

Are your windows secure? Security is a big issue. Think about the last time you lost your house key. How easy was it to get inside your house through a window? If you can do it, so can an intruder. Older windows tend to have poor security features, like locks which fail to latch properly or are easy to jimmy. New windows have better security features. It may also be a wise idea to consider security bars, especially for basement and/or first floor windows. Don't worry, your home won't have to look like a jail. Security bars can be fashioned to look very artistic. You may also want to consider security glass, which has a thin layer of wire mesh between two sheets of glass. This is an especially good option for those who live on a golf course and have windows which are regularly exposed to the possibility of breakage.

When you do decide to replace your windows, you should strongly consider replacing your outside doors as well. Often, you can find better deals when you purchase doors and windows at the same time. You'll likely save on installation costs too. Buying doors and windows at the same time also allows you to match colors and styles easier than if you try to buy a matching door several years after installing windows. Having uniformity between doors and windows means better security too. The result: a home that looks impressive and serves your best interests.

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