That might be something you haven't thought of in a while, maybe ever! The reality, though, is that your exterior doors and windows play an important role in your homes building envelope. They are the weakest link in your homes insulated shell, and in London Ontario, we all know what our winters are like! What are some warning signs that you might need to replace your existing doors or windows?
Many older style doors and windows had everything made from wood. including the threshold. Often times, this threshold has water sitting on it for long periods of time. This speeds up deterioration greatly, and its effects could leave you with gaps under your door.
In windows, the same logic applies. Old windows typically had storm windows in front of them to protect them from the weather. But often times, homeowners didn't bother to put these storm windows back up every year. The result is rotten windows. The sashes, sill, and brick-molds are all susceptible. This, again, can result in gaps where air can go right through.
This one is kind of a no-brainer. If your glass is cracked in a window or door, it's no longer accomplishing the airtight seal that you want for insulation value. It could also indicate that your door is warping, which would also impact airflow, and security.
Torn or missing weatherstripping.
This symptom may not be as telling as you might think. Sometimes it's possible to simply replace the weatherstripping around a door, and leave the existing door as is. However, if your weatherstripping is falling apart, it might be a good reminder to see if your door is truly giving you the thermal protection it needs to.
All of these points aside, the most common reason I find that people want to replace their windows and doors, is simply for aesthetics. And that's nothing to be scoffed at. Fresh windows and doors make a huge impact on your homes curb appeal.
Now, what if you have an older home with a really nice antique door that has a lot of character?
Do everything you can to keep that door!
Doors like that are becoming more and more rare, and expensive. Often in a case like that its possible to restore these doors to their former glory by replacing the existing door jambs, threshold, and trim. Then by sanding down the door, and replacing weatherstripping, you can often remedy any insulation concerns you may have.
The only caveat to that, is many of these doors have a window in them, and often times, these windows are just a single pane of glass. This means condensation could be an issue, as well as lower insulation, or "R" value.
A simple fix for that, could be to simply add a screen door.
Now, all of that is great, but is it really going to be worth the trouble of replacing? Is your home going to be unlivable while this work is being done??
No! windows and doors are actually one of the easiest things to replace in a home. Often times they only take a few hours each.
For windows, there is also the option of doing a "retrofit" installation.
No it has nothing to do with disco.
If your exterior window trim is in good shape, a retrofit installation is possibly the easiest and cleanest method of getting your windows replaced. Window sashes are removed as well as any trim holding the sashes in, until all that is left is the outside frame of the existing window. then, your new windows slides right in that opening. It is then insulated, sealed, and trimmed. The best part? You rarely have to remove the existing casing, or exterior trim. No paint touch ups or drywall filling.
All told, your doors and windows make a statement for your homes curb appeal, as well as greatly impact your energy costs. The job may be easier and cleaner than you think!