Replacing your windows could improve your comfort, reduce your energy bills, add value to your home and improve your family’s quality of life through better ventilation and more access to natural light. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your windows? Here are the 7 biggest signs that you shouldn’t be putting it off any longer.
How Long Do Windows Last?
Even the best quality windows won’t last forever and double glazed windows will last (on average) for around 15 – 20 years. This is obviously impacted by several factors such as how well they are maintained, the weather they have to withstand and the type of frame material you choose.
Some window suppliers offer a guarantee on their products which means they will replace faults for free during that time. However, when windows are beyond repair you need to replace them sooner rather than later.
7 Signs You Need New Windows
Windows are Worn Out: Signs of rot or warping on your windows or that the double glazing is failing are big indicators that you need to replace them.
Wooden window frames in particular can be tricky to keep in good condition. When installed they look great, but wever they will only last for ages if they’re looked after every year and that can be time-consuming and easy to forget about. The trouble is, once rot has set into the wood, it can be pretty hard to halt the decay and keep on top of it. Rain becomes a nightmare and you might find it’s just too difficult a job to fix the window so it still looks good and does its job properly. Of course, if you just leave it, the rot will just get worse, and it will become harder to open or close the window.
Poor quality uPVC windows may discolour over time and as they expand in heat they can become warped. If your double glazing is failing you may notice water leaks, condensation, cracks, chips, holes and scratches and difficulty regulating the temperature in your home
Energy Bills are High: Old or inefficient windows can have a significant impact on your home’s insulation and can lead to high energy bills. The more heat that is able to escape your home the more you will be using your central heating to compensate, and the same is true of using air conditioning. You can check this by standing next to your windows and seeing if it feels cooler than the rest of the room. If the glass is cold to touch then it’s highly likely you’re wasting energy. You should also look for gaps in the frame
Older windows are often single-paned and therefore more vulnerable to leaks. It’s a very good idea to invest in double glazing with argon gas and low-emissivity (LoE) glass to reduce heat loss.
Windows are Difficult (or Impossible) to Open and Close: This is one definite reason to replace the window, primarily because it could be a vital escape route in the event of an emergency.
There are plenty of reasons why the window has become impossible to open. A common one is if it’s been painted shut. It might have saved time on the decorating but it certainly doesn’t help the functioning of the window! Other causes of a stuck window are a warped frame such as uPVC windows which can expand and warp in hot weather. The uPVC should contract again when it cools but if this happening repeatedly the frame may be the wrong size for the aperture. Another cause could be that the foundations of your home have shifted and the window frame is no longer fitting in the space properly.
In all of these instances, a new window will solve the problem.
Windows Aren’t Soundproofing Your Home: Modern windows are designed to reduce sound transfer which can make a huge difference to your quality of life if you live near a busy road. If you can clearly hear noise from outside when you stand inside and the window is shut, this is probably an indicator that your window is quite old. So, if you want to enjoy the peace and quiet, new is the way to go. You can learn more about the best windows for noise reduction here.
Windows are Drafty: The important thing to consider with drafty windows is that your energy bills to heat your home will be higher – up to 25% more in some cases. So not investing in a new window because of the cost is likely to become false economy in the long run. New windows are also significant more energy efficient than old ones so you could end up saving quite a lot of cash.
Drafts can often occur when the window doesn’t shut properly. If the locking mechanism is not working any more, this can be the cause. And don’t forget that could give you a potential security issue too.
Windows are Leaking: Windows are there to let the light stream into your home, right? Well that wonderful effect can be ruined if moisture gets between the panes in double glazed windows, or you start getting a build-up of condensation on the inside.
Yes, condensation can be wiped away but this quickly becomes annoying and often means you end up with mould growing on the inside of the frame too. And mist or moisture inside the window glass can’t be resolved, it will simply sit there obscuring your view and blocking the light.
These issues usually occur when the seals have gone, or if the window hasn’t been installed properly in the first place. The worst-case scenario is when the window actually starts to leak and you end up with pools of water on the inside.
In all of these instances, it’s probably the most cost-effective option to simply replace the window as repairs can work out as expensive if the seals on other panes fail and the whole cycle starts again.
You Don’t Have Double Glazing: Take a good look at your windows. If you’ve always wondered why your room is always too cold in winter and too hot when the sun is out, it may be that you actually have single pane rather than double-pane glass. These are often found in old properties and can make your home quite uncomfortable because they’re simply not as effective or as efficient as a more modern, double-glazed window. Time to replace.
What’s the Average Price of New Windows?
The average cost to replace windows will be impacted by several factors including the material used for the frame, the type of glazing, the style of window and the company you choose to supply and install the windows.
Other factors which will impact the cost of replacing your windows include the type and style of window e.g. casement, tilt and turn or cottage etc. Double glazing is the most commonly recommended and most efficient glazing option but you also have the choice of secondary glazing which is cheaper. However, if you’d like to install the most energy efficient glazing and are prepared to pay more you also have the option of triple glazing and even sound reduction glass.
The complexity of the installation process will also affect the price. For example, any windows above the ground floor will cost more to replace as the window fitter will need to use scaffolding to access them. If you’re having several windows replaced at one time you may find that the installer will offer a discount which is why many homeowners choose to replace all windows in their home at the same time.
Find out more in How Much Do Windows Cost? or get free window quotes tailored to your home today by giving us a call.
Benefits of New Windows
Are new windows worth it?
The simple answer in the vast majority of cases is yes. Installing new energy efficient, high quality and attractive windows is a very wise investment for several reasons.
New windows should reduce heat loss and keep your home warmer. In addition, by reducing heat loss you will need to spend less on energy bills, particularly if you’re installing low emissivity (Low-E) glass which is the most energy efficient glass for double glazing on the market. You may be able to reduce the level of noise entering the home from outside and by blocking drafts and gaps in the frame you will have a more comfortable (less drafty) home. This should also help to reduce the build up of condensation.
It’s amazing what a difference new windows can make to the overall look of your property. If you want to give your ‘curb appeal’ a boost, replacement windows can be trans-formative.
It’s not just about improving the look or warmth of your home either; changing the type of window or the size can increase the amount of light entering your home and, when opened, can help to circulate fresh air and enhance the ambiance of your home. Replacement windows are well worth considering if you want to make some big changes to your lifestyle.
Check if You Need Any Specialist Windows
There are safety regulations about window installations and if the frame of your window is less than 5ft from the floor the glass will need to be ‘toughened’ or tempered. This means it is around 5x stronger than standard glass and if broken will break into large chunks rather than shattering into lots of pieces.
Choose Between Double Glazing or Secondary Glazing
If you find the cost of double glazing out of your price range, secondary glazing is the next best thing. This means a second pane of glass is installed on the inside of the window to reduce heat loss and noise pollution, but it isn’t as effective as double glazing.
Choose the Window Frame Material
Window frames can be made from uPVC, aluminium, timber or composite which is usually a combination of aluminium and timber. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and your choice will affect the cost of your new windows.
Choose Your Style of Window
Windows are available in a range of styles and opening mechanisms which need to suited to your home and lifestyle. You can choose from bay, casement, cottage, sash, tilt and turn or dual turn (to name just a few).
Get Replacement Window Quotes
To get accurate prices for your new windows you will need to let window installers into your home to measure up and recommend the best style and frame material for you. It’s worth doing your own research before inviting installers into your home so you have some understanding of your choices.
Remember: Never let any trader pressure you to agree to a quote based on ‘today only prices’. A reputable company will provide their best quote and leave you to consider it.
How to Get the Best Deal on New Windows
Having new windows installed is a long term investment into both your home and your family’s quality of life so it’s crucial to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Obviously, for most of us price is going to be a huge factor in our decision but remember that the cheapest option is not always the wisest when it comes to home improvements such as new windows.
Some window companies may offer cheaper deals than others but that may be due to the quality of the windows they’re selling. The best way to get the best deal on your new windows is to compare as many quotes as you can from different companies. If possible you should try to get quotes from both local independent installers and national companies so you can compare their product and prices like for like.