Should I Replace My Windows
Should I replace my windows? Windows should be replaced:
- In any residential tract home built with aluminum, vinyl, or wood windows that are now 15 to 20 years old.
- In any residential tract home built with single pane windows (1 piece of glass).
- When remodeling a kitchen or bathroom.
- When replacing the house siding.
- If there is condensation between the glass panes of the window.
Benefits of Replacing Windows
Provided you use a reputable, lifetime warranty manufacturer and an experienced installer like DAD’s, you will enjoy the following top 5 benefits:
- Immediate savings on your heating and cooling bills (especially with single pane windows).
- Immediate reduction in outside noise (especially with single pane windows).
- Increased security.
- Increase your home’s property value.
- Makes your house look great from the inside out.
When replacing your windows, consider that larger clear glass windows bring the feeling of the outdoors indoors. This adds a sense of warmth, openness, and calming tranquility. The positive impact a large outdoor window has on your emotions is remarkable.
Most clients are unaware there are two different types of windows when asking “should I replace my windows?”. Virtually all of the replacement window companies in Orange County sell replacement or retrofit windows. Throughout my entire remodeling career (over 44 years), no client ever knew what the difference was. They only knew that they had “some company” install new windows.
There are basically two types of windows: Retrofit (also known as replacement and insert windows) and New Construction (also known as nail fin and full frame windows). Almost without exception, window replacement contractors are always referring to retrofit windows. A retrofit window is installed over the outside surface (stucco, wood, brick, etc.) and is affixed using two to four screws and caulk. A new construction window is installed into the original opening using galvanized nails, sealant, flashing, and new outside surface (such as stucco). Both Retrofit and New Construction windows should have a lifetime manufactures warranty.
Retrofit or Replacement Window
- Less expensive to install in the short term, but usually significantly more expensive down the road.
- Installed over the outside surface using a few screws on the inside and caulk around the outside perimeter of the window itself. The 1” inside gap between the inside jam and the window (red circle) is covered by a piece of plastic with self-adhesive tape.
- You lose at least 1” of opening because retrofit windows are installed over the old window frame after removing the glass; reducing light, air, and egress (which could make it impossible to escape during an emergency, such as a fire).
- Tendency to leak inside the wall when it rains. The damage is not usually visible for years after the leak starts. When discovered, there is typically mold, mildew, insect, and rot damage to the homes structure, requiring expensive repairs. I have seen this with every Retrofit window that I have removed.
- Whenever Retrofit windows are installed over tile in a bathtub, shower, or tub/shower combination area, the Retrofit window must be removed prior to removing and replacing the tile. Failure to remove the window will result in water getting behind your new tile and destroying your homes structure. As a side note, all windows installed over these areas must be tempered. Without tempering, you are at serious risk for injury or death if the window breaks while you are bathing. Less than 20% of the bathrooms that I see have tempered Retrofit windows. Why do replacement window companies not install tempered windows? They cost about $12 to $15 more per square foot. Is your life worth another $12 to $15 per square foot? Apparently, window replacement company’s do not think so.
New Construction Window
- More expensive to install in the short term, but typically significantly less expensive down the road.
- Installed into the original opening after removing the entire old window (glass and frame), flashing, the surrounding outside surface, and some inside jam & wall surface (such as the drywall).
- Installed as a new application with new adhesive flashing, sealant, outside surface (such as stucco), and new inside jam & wall surface (such as drywall) – not pieces of plastic.
- This type on installation has a lifetime warranty and should never leak under normal conditions, saving you expensive repairs to your homes structure.
- Does not have that overbearing, thick, masculine outside frame. The window looks like it was part of the house when originally installed. Aesthetically, a new construction window looks much better and provides a nicer curb appeal.
- I highly recommend Milgard windows for South Orange County. They have a lifetime warranty (See Milgard Lifetime Warranty) and their quality is unmatched. For more information on Milgard windows, see Milgard Windows or contact DAD’s Construction directly at Contact DAD’s Construction Today!
Side-by-Side Comparison – Retrofit/Replacement Window vs. New Construction Window:
|Retrofit Window||New Construction (Nail Fin) Window|
New Construction (Nail Fin) Window
I hope this information is helpful when asking yourself “should I replace my windows?”
DAD’s Construction has installed hundreds of windows and doors throughout Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Irvine, Portola Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Foothill Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo, San Clemente, and other South Orange County California communities. We have never received a complaint nor has any window or door ever leaked or caused damage to a home. Now that is a record to be proud of! So, when you are asking yourself “should I replace my windows?” and the answer is “yes”, call DAD’s!