HomeownerEducational: N-Z

Window & Door Replacement

Window & Door Replacement Educational Content

Energy efficiency. Nearly one-third of all residential energy loss occurs through windows and doors. The worst culprits are old windows, which are often drafty and lacking insulation. Doors that are not well insulated can also let heated or cooled air out of the house. Modern windows are more effective than ever at keeping heat inside during winter and outside during summer. Modern doors are also increasingly energy efficient. If one of your home improvement goals is lowering your energy costs, replacing old windows and doors is a wise move.
Attractive design. Replacement windows and doors are available in a variety of styles and colors. New windows and doors can make a huge difference in your home’s curb appeal.

Enhanced security. Some older windows and doors can be easily forced open, which offers an easy target for potential intruders. Modern windows and doors are more secure.

Wood windows are classic and elegant, and they’re available in many styles. Price varies quite a bit, depending on quality and design. Wood can be stained or painted to match your house. However, wood absorbs water. If wood window aren’t painted or sealed, they can rot or deteriorate. Wood needs regular maintenance to look its best. Look into aluminum-clad wood windows as an alternative. They don’t need as much maintenance as solid wood windows, and they come in plenty of colors and styles.

Vinyl windows never need painting and are almost maintenance-free. Vinyl windows provide good insulation and are cost effective. They come in a large selection of designs and colors. High-quality vinyl windows offer some of the best insulation on the market.

Composite windows are made of a blend of wood materials and plastics or fiberglass. They offer the look of real wood with the easy maintenance of vinyl. Composite windows are durable and insulate well. Unlike wood, they are resistant to moisture and do not rot. They can be painted and are typically priced between aluminum-clad wood windows and vinyl windows.

Aluminum and steel frames are impact resistant. This makes them a great choice for houses in hurricane-prone areas. They are also less susceptible to warping from temperature extremes than wood and vinyl. Both materials can be painted and are low maintenance.

Fiberglass windows are durable and easy to maintain. Another advantage is that these windows can also be painted.

Double- and triple-pane windows. Multi-pane windows are more expensive than single-pane windows. However, the energy savings over time with multi-pane windows typically outweighs the extra cost. Double- and triple-pane windows are made with multiple sheets of glass. An insulating glass fills the space between the glass panes. The insulating gas, usually argon or krypton, reduces the amount of heat transferred through the window.

Special coatings. Different coatings can be applied to the glass pane during manufacturing. These treatments further reduce the amount of heat transferred through the glass. Low-emissivity glass (or Low-E glass, in industry jargon) reflects infrared heat. This means that Low-E glass helps keep the heat out in the summer and in during the winter.

Tinted and reflective windows. Tints, films, and reflective coatings also increase the energy efficiency of your windows. In most cases, these coatings can be applied to existing windows. They’re often a more economical option than replacing older, less efficient windows.

Wood doors are traditional, and they have several advantages. They are elegant and do a great job at suppressing outside noise. They also can be trimmed to fit any existing door frame. Wood doors won’t rust and come in plenty of interesting designs. However, wood doors are heavy and tend to sag over time. They are also prone to warping and need periodic maintenance to keep them in good shape. If you choose a wood door, make sure it is a solid wood or solid-core door.

Insulated steel doors are filled with polyurethane foam and can have up to an R-15 value. They are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and great at restricting heat. Steel doors are a great option from a home security standpoint. One of the disadvantages of steel doors is that they cannot be trimmed to fit. This means that the door frame must be perfectly plumb in order for the door to be installed.

Fiberglass doors are growing in popularity. Fiberglass doors can have the look and feel of a wood door, and they come in many different designs. They’re also easy to paint or stain. The insulation performance of a fiberglass door can be up to four times greater than that of a wood door. Fiberglass doors won’t crack, warp, or rot.

Without strong doors and windows, storms and high winds can affect your home’s energy efficiency. Installing storm doors and windows can make a difference. A storm door goes in front of an exterior door to protect it from bad weather while still allowing ventilation. Glass and screen panels in the storm door can be interchanged depending on the season. Storm windows can be installed inside or outside. They are either temporary panels or sheets that are permanently attached to the window frame.

Installing windows and doors is a difficult job that is best left to the experts. Windows and doors must be installed square, level, and load-free. This means that they should not support the weight of the wall above them. When windows and doors have not been properly installed, they’ll be drafty. With a poor-quality installation, your new windows and doors will lose much of their value. Having a capable and qualified contractor matters when the windows and doors are installed as well as in the future. Years after the installation, a reputable contractor will likely still be in business if you need service.