Installing replacement windows is a great way to save energy, enhance the appearance of your home, and in many cases, improve the functionality and security of your residence. However, whether you opt for wood replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows, or vinyl replacement windows, you are looking at a considerable financial investment.
Many homeowners, particularly those with many, many windows, know that they can’t replace all of the windows in their home at once. Finances dictate that the replacement window installation must be spread over several seasons.
The question then becomes: where do you start? Which windows are the best ones to replace first?
The first thing to take into account is the condition of your existing windows. Any windows that are damaged, with cracked or broken glass, rotten sills, or compromised frames, should be the first candidates for replacement. Damaged windows simply cannot offer the same energy efficiency as intact windows! You’d be amazed how much air and moisture can penetrate through a crack or hole.
Next, consider which rooms of the house you use the most. If you spend most of your time in the family room and a pair of bedrooms, there’s no sense spending your time and money upgrading the kitchen! Don’t forget the bathroom: most people use their bathroom regularly, and the moisture rich environment can really impact a window negatively.
Functionality plays a role in decision making. Patio doors, sliding glass doors, and French doors can enhance a home — but they can also leak a tremendous amount of energy. If you’ve got older, inefficient patio doors, sliders, or French doors, you may want to address those long before you replace any windows.
Many original construction windows do not open the way they should. Replacing non-opening original construction windows with fully functional replacement windows should be a priority.
Finally, consider size and cost. The larger the window, the higher the cost! Therefore, it may be more prudent to replace several smaller windows first, and then address the large window: incremental progress is progress just the same!