At what point does it make sense to replace my windows???

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At what point does it make sense to replace my windows???

#1 Post by mugsy101 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:24 pm

I have read over this board recently as I have considered replacing my 36-37 year old original windwows with new vinyl replacement windows.
But I have to wonder, at what point does it really make sense to replace my windows?

Over the last 24 months my heating (gas) and cooling costs in Atlanta have averaged $157/month. Recently, I have had to upgrade both my gas furnace and AC units that were both 16-17 years old with more efficient units.

So I am wondering, at what point does spending anywhere between $12,000 and $15,000 to replace old windows make sense?

Also, given the climate that I live in, and the fact that I can not really expect to receive substantial costs savings via reduction in utility costs, should I be considering windows in a lower price range. For example, should I be looking at lower-end windows, professionally installed vs high end windows professionally installed.

I ran into this same issue when replacing my old furnace, because we do not have brutally cold winters, the heating specialist reccomended buying a less efficient furnace because the greates savings is realized when the furnace runs at the highest level. Do replacement windows follow a similar thought process given where I live???

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Re: At what point does it make sense to replace my windows??

#2 Post by Tru_blue » Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:05 pm

mugsy101 wrote: But I have to wonder, at what point does it really make sense to replace my windows?
There are many possible reasons for replacing windows; energy-efficiency in a brutally cold climate is only one of them. Only you can decide if it's time to replacement them. Even in a warm climate, you may wish to replace them for any combination of the following:
1. Existing windows are difficult to operate, won't open, or stick
2. Better sound attenuation (Oberon, that means noise reduction)
3. Peeling paint/get low maintenance on exterior
4. Rotted wood
5. Missing parts
6. Damaged glass or screens or poorly fitting screens
7. Poor performance: worn weatherstrip, air/water infiltration, drafty
8. Ability to wash windows from the inside
9. Warmer more efficient window in Winter (for cold climates) or better heat blocker (for warm climates)
10. Resale value
11. Appearance - clean, new, low maintenance look, possibly different color or style
13. A new look - such as bigger windows, a bay window, a patio door, arched windows, divided lites, more light in a darker room, etc.

If people replaced windows for energy efficiency alone there would be a lot less windows replaced. Replacing windows is not only a home improvement, it can also be a lifestyle change.

The above addresses "should I replace," and again the answer is "That's up to you and your reasons and motivations." The 2nd issue, "Should I use high-end products in a warm-weather climate," that's hard to say. I'd prefer "Yes" to higher end brands (but without the high end options), because they work the way they're supposed to and presumably have good service to back them up. But you wouldn't need high-end bells and whistles, such as triple glazing. A lot more could be said on that issue, hopefully others will jump in.

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#3 Post by researcher » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:30 pm

Nice list of 13 reasons you may want new windows True_blue. We replaced our windows for 8 out of the 13.

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#4 Post by mugsy101 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:48 pm

True Blue

our windows work pretty well, they operate fine, they are not damaged in any way and for all practical purposes they are fine. The screens are not the best, but they are not terrible, and for the most part they are OK, although I will be honest, new 1/2 screens is one feature that I do like.

Out house is located in a neighborhood that thanks to calming road devices does not get much traffic and noise. Since I work out of my home, I know very well how much noise is here, plus our house sits about 30 feet up and well back from the street, so noise reduction is not an issue.

We are in the process of looking at getting our house painted, which was one of the reasons why we're considering windows. The cost to paint a house with some 27 windows can certainly add to the price. Also, we have no intentions of moving so resale value or appearance don't really factor in. But aas always, the cost of windows will only go up, so for me and my wife, we always consider doing things we know we will want done sooner rather than later.

I guess one of the reasons I'm apprehensive is the 1st sales person I talked to automatically started quoting $600 per window average. That just seemed very steep and was a bit of a shock.

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#5 Post by Window4U (IL) » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:58 pm

$600 a window may or may not be steep.

For wood clad windows, you may not even be able to buy the window itself for that uninstalled.
On the other hand, a builders grade vinyl window might be way overpriced at that cost. For a premium vinyl window, $600 is not out of line at all. Medium grade windows should be available from $350-$500.

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#6 Post by Tru_blue » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:29 am

I completely agree with Window4U. His price ranges are dead-on. 8)

It is possible to get windows (vinyl) installed for $300 or less, but they would not be the same quality in terms of both the windows themselves and (potentially) the quality of the labor/installation. Medium grade windows between $350-$550 are worth looking at.

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