The Biggest Replacement Window Myths Explained

There is no question that products catered to home improvement like to sell the importance of investing in replacements as opposed to repairs. Window replacements are more financially lucrative to people in the business of profiting off home improvement.

window replacement myths

However, that doesn’t mean replacements are your best alternative. In many cases, the problems you have with doors, windows, siding, or roofing can get addressed with basic repairs. In other cases, replacements truly are the most appropriate option.

In this article, we will examine the biggest replacement window myths and how you can become smarter than the average consumer. We will teach you when to avoid the hype of buying into window replacements, and when it actually is your top option.

Wood Windows are the Best Replacement

Though there’s nothing wrong with wood windows as it’s very aesthetically pleasing and has a long history, modern technologies have actually proven that it’s not the most practical replacement solution for most homeowners.

In fact, you’re much better off going with vinyl windows or aluminum windows, or if you really have some money – fiberglass. All three materials are more long-lasting compared to wood and require less yearly maintenance.

However, most salesmen will attempt to upsell wood windows because they stand to profit more from making the sale. Try not to buy into the hype. Vinyl is superior to wood in several regards and costs much less.

Wood is prone to swell, rot, crack, or grow mold – all common issues that don’t plague vinyl. Meanwhile, vinyl is constructed with PVC which is very water-resistance, safe for the environment, and durable. There also isn’t the need to repaint or stain them every 5-10 years.

Only Replace Windows in the Summer

Though it seems logical that you would only replace your windows during the warmer months, kind of like how people only repaint their exteriors during the summer, it’s actually narrow-sighted thinking.

Windows can get installed at any point in the area. Veteran, knowledgeable installers will know what precautions to take in order to keep your home protected even if they’re installed in the thick of the winter.

Furthermore, you may get a better deal by deciding to install new windows in the offseason. Why? Window companies can get desperate to drum up business during the offseason so they may offer limited time promotions or other special offers which will save you money.

You Need to Replace All Your Windows at the Same Time

While it’s always nice to get a full renovation completed at the same time, it isn’t always practical. Window replacements are costly and some families that just make ends meet have trouble investing thousands of dollars for a complete makeover.

Therefore, you have the option to consider replacing all your windows in stages, despite what a salesperson will tell you.

There is no rule as to how many windows you must replace at once. If you want to focus on only one room or one story of the house at a time then it’s perfectly acceptable. The value of your home will not shift dramatically just because you didn’t replace all of them at once.

Window Replacements Have Little Effect on Energy Efficiency

Are you disgruntled with your current energy bill? A lot of homeowners refuse to make the connection yet windows are the primary contributor (or source of the problem) regarding energy efficiency. In fact, experts estimate that as much as 30 percent of energy is lost through windows and doors. 90 percent of the heat loss occurs where glass is installed.

Window replacements are costly yet in the long-run they lower energy costs. New windows feature low-E technology as well as argon gas added between window panes for energy efficiency. Anyone that tells you replacing old windows with new windows won’t make a noticeable difference in your energy costs is misinformed.

It is a Bad Idea to Change Window Styles

If you’re already spending a lot of money to replace old windows you should finally get what you want. There is nothing wrong with going with the same style as the old ones. However, it doesn’t mean you are confined to those limited choices.

The best part of shopping for new windows is you are in charge. You have the freedom to decide what style of windows you want and where. There is no wrong choice, only your personal preferences and budget.

The Window is Maintenance-Free

Window types like vinyl, fiberglass, and aluminum are all considered very good for durability. There is no such thing as a “maintenance-free” window design.

You will still need to spend a little time with upkeep each year. Windows need to get periodically cleaned and wiped down. The exterior caulking and other seals may need to be replaced. It is just a part of owning a home.

Ratings of a Window Installer Do Not Matter

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when buying window replacements is investing a lot of money on high quality, highly rated new windows only to skimp out on installation.

window installer measuring and replacing a window

Big mistake. The installation of your new windows matters just as much, if not more, than the actual product. Poor window installation is a frequent nightmare for homeowners that invest in new windows yet notice very little difference.

Needless to say, there’s a lot that could go wrong during installation. It is why studying the reputation, ratings, and reviews of window companies is important. You should shop around and gather an assortment of quotes and estimates. It is not always recommended just to settle for the cheapest company. Instead, go with the most reputable.

Window Replacement Takes Weeks

It is completely understandable that homeowners don’t want to feel unsettled in their own home. Unfortunately, home improvement projects usually create that feeling because there is building material everywhere and some rooms may be temporarily inaccessible.

Consequently, some homeowners delay or completely ignore window replacements because they are fearful it will take weeks to complete.

The reality is that high quality, knowledgeable window installers should only take a few days. Of course bigger homes with an unusual amount of windows can take slightly longer, but the average completion date for the best window installers is usually 2-3 days.

It is important that you ask window installers about the expected timeframe for completion. All the good companies should give you a timeframe.

Replacing a Window isn’t a DIY Project

There is a reason why DIY projects have become popular. It helps homeowners save money on tasks they are capable of doing with a little research and handyman skills. However, installing new windows is not one of them.

It is a complicated process where a lot could go wrong during installation. If the new windows are installed incorrectly, they won’t fulfill their entire purpose. It may not reduce heating costs like you expected, and cause other issues like window condensation and air drafts.

In the end, window installation is best left to the expertise of the pros. They earn their money for a reason.

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