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4 reasons it makes sense to repair rather than replace windows

Many homeowners don’t realize the wooden windows in many old homes were made to last many decades. If your home has older windows, choosing to repair them, rather than replace them when they’re drafty, damaged or deteriorating, can bring your home—and your wallet—major benefits.
Having windows repaired rather than replaced can save a homeowner thousands. (Source – depositphotos)

Sponsored Story By Window Makeover Inc.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of windows in any home. In addition to being a critical component of the appearance of your house, windows help protect your family and your belongings from outside elements.

When older windows deteriorate or start leaking outside air, many homeowners believe their only option is to replace old windows with new. What they don’t realize is the wooden windows in many old homes were made to last many decades. The original craftsmen created windows that could be easily fixed when component parts of the window wore out.

In contrast, modern windows made from vinyl or aluminum are created and installed as a unit. The expected life span of most is less than 40 years. Other than broken glass replacement, they are difficult or impossible to repair.

If your home has older windows, here are some reasons to consider a window restoration instead of a replacement.

Save money

While new windows can lower your energy bills, it will take years to recoup the thousands you'll spend on new windows and installation, according to Consumer Reports. In many cases, repairing and upgrading your existing windows is an acceptable and far less expensive alternative.

Older windows can usually be restored to a like-new appearance for much less money than replacing them, explains angieslist.com. According to Window Makeover—one of the top window restoration companies in Indiana—choosing to restore your windows can save you up to 70% of the cost it would take to replace them entirely. There are also options that can help make those windows more energy-efficient, such as caulking, weather stripping, awnings, films and blinds or draperies. The best solution is to contact an experienced, highly-rated window company like Window Makeover to discuss your window options. Consultations are free.

Preserve architectural integrity

If you have an older home with original windows, repairing them is likely the best option. In fact, if your home is in a historic district, replacing them with something more modern might not even be allowed.

“The aesthetic pleasure gained from restoring — and even salvaging — windows is a clear reason for using old windows,” explains Lindsey Roberts, who writes about design and architecture. “Rotted frames, deteriorated sashes and leaking air can generally be fixed in window restoration.” Windows help define your home’s look and can be an important architectural detail. Consumer Reports says there are times when replacing windows can lower a home’s value, especially if the windows have stained or leaded glass or decorative wood grilles.

Comparable performance

The National Trust for Historic Preservation researched how retrofits for historic windows performed compared with new replacement windows. The conclusion was that almost every retrofit option offers a better return on investment (at a fraction of the cost). The study also found if energy usage were the driving consideration, there were usually steps homeowners could take that offered a better return on investment. For example, in places like Chicago that rely more on heating, insulating cellular shades significantly reduced heat loss (even more so if the window also had exterior storm windows).

It’s green

Keeping existing windows saves the energy and resources needed to create new windows, the National Trust for Historic Preservation reports, reducing the production of carbon dioxide and other environmental hazards from the extraction, manufacture, transport and disposal processes.

Repairing or retrofitting windows typically requires fewer materials, so the environmental impact is less than an entire window replacement.

Before you decide to replace the existing windows in your older home, please take the time to get a free consultation from an experienced, highly rated window company to find out whether repairing your windows is a viable option. Choosing to do so can offer you a huge payback.

Flint Stephens has a master's degree in communication. He writes regularly on business, financial and medical topics.