Replacing windows and doors in your home may be inevitable over time. You will be able to tell when that time comes. The clues may be drafts in winter that cause your heating bills to rise or you might notice that sills, thresholds, casings, wood sashes, and frames have deteriorated from rot. Maybe it is an aesthetic decision to update the look of your home.
Let’s explore some options for window and door renovations and upgrades.
A good place to start with window replacement is to decide on the look you would like. Do you want divided lites with muntins (grilles) or do prefer unobstructed glass for maximum daylight? What color do you like to compliment your home? Do you prefer double-hung windows that slide up and down or casement windows that open out using crank handles?
After you get a sense of the design you are striving for, decide on how important energy efficiency is. There are double and triple glazed units where the cavity is filled with argon gas. Low-E glazing is coated to minimize heat loss from inside in winter and heat gain from the sun in summer. Some window sashes are insulated.
Maintenance is another consideration. You could buy wood windows that require periodic painting. Or, you could look for windows that are coated with vinyl. These come in a wide variety of permanent colors. There are also metal framed windows that come in colorful finishes that do not fade or require routine finishing.
As with windows, start with the look you desire to achieve. Will the door be primarily glass for more daylight, or will it be solid for privacy? Do you want a hinged door, or is there room for a sliding double or triple door at a patio or terrace?
Energy efficiency varies a lot with doors. Solid wood or fiberglass doors can be purchased with or without insulation. Glass doors will have the same properties and options as windows for insulation value.
Maintenance is a bigger issue with doors than windows. This is due to the fact that doors sit lower to the ground and the bottom rail is subject to more exposure to the elements, such as splashing of rainwater or snowdrifts. Vinyl-coated doors are a smart choice for this, as are fiberglass doors.
Renovating or upgrading windows and doors is a personal decision that asks that you think about curb appeal, energy efficiency, and maintenance. After you have decided on the essentials, shop around for the best price. There are plenty of available options and some reputable manufacturers that offer lifetime or limited warranties.