Are you facing the dilemma of whether or not to repair the windows you have or splurge and buy new ones? offers some suggestions to help you decide. First, give yourself the following quiz:

  1. Do you hesitate to open the windows you have because they don’t lift or slide without major effort?
  2. Does condensation build up often, blurring your view and dampening the window trim?
  3. Is washing your windows a chore you try to avoid?
  4. Do your single-pane windows keep your rooms cold in winter and warm in summer?
  5. Can you spot fog between your double-pane glass?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions can mean the time has come for new windows. They offer energy savings, trouble-free washing, easier opening and closing, but they are also costly. You need to decide whether or not your old windows are worth fixing.

In the following scenarios, replacing windows may be your best bet:

  • The wooden frame doesn’t show any signs of rot
  • You can readily find the right replacement hardware needed
  • They keep the air temperature at a comfortable level
  • You have the time and knowledge to do the work

Should you choose new windows, look for the following:

1. Safety Features

Install tempered glass near any doors or adjacent to a bathtub or shower. Should the window break, it shatters into tiny, rounded pieces instead of shards, so if someone steps on one the injury won’t be as serious.

Tempered Glass

2. Energy Efficiency

Based on your climate and home’s design, look at the different energy performance ratings to find the best one for your situation.


Thermal Image Window


3. Look Into Triple Panes

These supply substantial energy savings that gives you a jump on your heating and cooling bills fairly quickly. Gases like argon or krypton are usually between the panes, which aids with insulation.

Triple Pane Window Samples

4. Coordinate Windows with Your Climate

Consumer Reports tested various types of windows for cold, rainy and warm climates.

Window Four Seasons

5. Tread Lightly With Options

Only upgrade with features that add value. Low-E coatings increase effectiveness, screens with a smaller mesh let in more light than standard screens and windows that tilt facilitate cleaning.

Tilted Window

6. Choose a Style

The most common styles include single or double hung windows, open or close by sliding. Double hung work best in homes with small children as the tots can’t crawl out the bottom window. Casement windows open by swinging out, the awning type tilts out from the bottom and slider windows open from side to side.

Casement Windows

7. Pick Frame and Sash Materials

Wood looks beautiful, but requires frequent maintenance. Vinyl doesn’t require much care, insulates well and is moderately priced. Vinyl clad gives the look of wood with all the positive features of vinyl.

Choice of Windows

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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.