There are many reasons as to why you may be considering replacing the window and door systems of your home. It could be to improve insulation and lower energy bills. It could be to eliminate draughts and to help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It could be to improve the look of your home. Or it could be to replace existing worn, faulty or damaged fittings.
Whatever your reasons, there are five things you really need to know before you embark on this project if you want to avoid costly mistakes and regret down the line.
1. Are replacements really the best option?
Replacing your doors and windows is one of the more costly renovation projects you can undertake, so before you commit, you need to be certain that it is truly necessary.
Consider whether replacing hardware elements or individual panes may be more cost-effective, even if they need replacing in large numbers. Some older homes have incredible windows that are well worth restoring rather than replacing, too. If you’re looking to slash energy bills, consider alternative ways such as insulating attics and basements.
2. Are you able to maintain or improve your home’s beauty?
Doors and windows are a hugely important architectural feature of your home and they play a huge part in its curb appeal. If you are considering replacing your doors and windows for whatever reason, will your proposed replacement maintain or improve the look of your home?
If you replace your doors and windows with a less attractive replacement, the whole look of your home will definitely be affected. This can decrease its value and would certainly put off potential buyers. Replacing your doors and windows with a superior, better looking product can, in turn, increase your home’s value.
3. Know whether you need new construction windows…
There are two types of replacement window: new construction and retro-fit. And you need to be sure of the one you need as this decision will seriously affect the work required and the cost. New construction window replacement involves removing the entire trim around the window, taking it right back and replacing the whole unit, before reinstalling the trim and sealing the gaps.
This option is essential if the area around the window is rotted out, but regardless of whether this applies, it has the advantages that your new windows can be identically sized to the previous, and that any draughty gaps are taken care of.
4. … or whether you need retro-fit windows.
For retro-fit windows, the perimeter frame of the old windows is not removed and a new window is fitted inside the old casing. The main advantage of this installation method is the significant difference in cost, but a minor disadvantage is that the new window will need to be fractionally smaller than the old (although this is often not particularly noticeable).
5. Know which material your current windows are made from.
This final detail makes a significant difference if you are installing retro-fit windows. Replacements for metal windows come with a flange that conceals your existing frame, whereas replacements for wooden windows are specially designed to cope with the slope of the wooden sill. This sill can be wrapped in aluminum, although the most aesthetically pleasing option is often to paint the sill.
Carmen Vellila is an experienced Brand Manager currently overseeing the strategic development of multiple brands as part of the Epwin Group. She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (ACIM), specialising in Corporate Communication and Digital Marketing.
She works with directors and managers at companies across Europe, utilising her ability to speak four languages, and works extensively with professionals across a range of industries to drive and deliver leading-edge strategies.