Tuesday, January 06 2009
Here we have an article that can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. According to C. Dwight Barnett, a Master Inspector and certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors, replacement windows add to the value of your home and will also contribute in additional savings on utility bills.
Replacement windows are an excellent investment
Every window I have installed or replaced has had an exterior nailing flange or wood rail behind the wall's exterior covering. In order to remove the original window's frame, the exterior wall covering must be removed.
If the home has vinyl or wood siding you simply remove the siding and replace it once the windows have been replaced. If you have to remove aluminum siding, brick or stone to get to the window frame, you may want to consider a replacement window.
Aluminum siding is easily damaged and difficult to color match for replacement. Brick and stone can be reset, but the new mortar joints may not match the original mortar color and the lines will be noticeable for years to come.
When choosing a window you need to consider costs, timing, convenience, looks and energy efficiency. Here are a few pluses and minuses for selecting replacement windows verses installing new windows. I've also thrown in the idea of using storm windows.
Costs: A replacement window will cost less than a new window and will be easier to install. You might consider adding storm windows to your original windows because they are easy to install and are cost- affective. Properly installed and sealed, a storm window will save you energy dollars and costs much less than replacement or new windows and there will be no need to remove exterior wall coverings.
Time: Replacement windows or storm windows can be installed in a day or two. Installing all new windows will take several days if not weeks.
Convenience: There is little to no damage to either the interior or exterior of the home with replacement windows or storm windows. New windows will require removal of some if not all of the home's exterior covering.
Looks: You will always be able to tell the replacement windows are not original. Storm windows are an addition, and you should consider how they would affect the overall appeal of the home.
Air leakage: Because the original frame is left intact, there are no easy solutions to sealing the nailing flange. Replacement windows are no better at insulating against the weather than a modern wood window.
There is a lot of air leakage around the frames of older aluminum and wood windows because they were simply nailed to the structure but never sealed. When a new window is installed it is now common practice to seal the nailing flange with caulk and/or metallic tape.
The only way you can be sure of air sealing an older window or a replacement window is to remove the exterior wall covering.