Are you considering replacing the windows in your home? Maybe the ones you have are old and have lost their seal, or just weren’t installed correctly. It’s common for homeowners to want to replace their windows because they’ve become foggy from moisture between the glass of the insulated units. If the window frame is still good and they’re installed correctly, you may want to just have the glass replaced at a lot less cost and hassle.
There are a lot of options out there for windows—you can get low-E and argon-filled glass units and the frames can be wood, composite, vinyl, aluminum, etc. Just about all of these are good, efficient units—the main factors for your choice will be cosmetic for your home and, of course, the cost.
The outside covering of your home will have a lot to do with whether you go back with a new construction window or a replacement window. A replacement window does not have nailing fins and are fastened to the framing by installing screws on the inside frame of the window. Your original window is removed by removing the glass and crushing the frame in upon its self so that the wall covering on the outside doesn’t have to be removed. These are generally used when you have brick, rock, or stucco that’s butted up next to the window. In most cases, installing this type of window depends on the type of caulk used and the proficiency of the installer. I would recommend that you periodically check to make sure caulking has not failed. While I think using the new construction window is usually best, the cost and difficulty of matching brick, rock, etc., is sometimes formidable.
If you have wood siding you can use a new construction window and just remove the trim or cut back the siding to allow for the flange. With the nailing flange, the window is mounted from the outside without any nails or screws through the frame. We can also add tape, starting at the bottom with the side tape lapping over and the top piece of tape lapping over the top of the side pieces. This creates a system where if any water does get behind the trim or siding, it will not come in around your window.
Remember that if your window is not sealed properly it lets the hot and cold air in, and the air that you paid to heat and cool out. Also a window that is not installed properly could allow moisture into your home, causing mold or rot that will eventually turn into a very expensive repair.
Always used a licensed, reputable contractor who is insured and listens to what you want, then helps you make an educated decision on what will work best for you and your home.