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Windows – Replace or Repair

Part 1 – Identifying the Problem


From a broken window to a broken seal, a rotted sash to a rotted sill – knowing what to do can save you thousands.


     Anatomy of a Window

3 Common Window Problems


Broken Glass/Seal

These are two different problems with the same answer – glass replacement. The cost and ease with which this can be done will largely depend on the window type and style. Single or double pane glass can easily be purchased in most areas as well as getting glass from the original manufacturer. We suggest going through the manufacturer whenever possible, especially for gas-filled insulated panels.  In most cases this problem can be fixed with moderate cost, without replacing the entire sash.




 Broken or Rotted Parts

Where the rot is occurring and how extensive it is plays a large role in how to go about repairing it.  In many cases a total replacement is not needed.  Casings, brick moulds and jambs are often made of lumber that should not be used in an exterior application, such as radiata pine or poplar.  When seeing this it can appear that all is lost when in reality, the window is perfectly fine and you may only need some trim and caulking.

Sills and stools are another place we see replacement when a repair would have worked.  These parts are inexpensive to buy and should not be an overly expensive repair.  I would suggest for the sill using a manufactured product such as Azek or Fypon.

Rails and stiles essentially make up the sash. Replacing parts of the sash can quickly get expensive and in most cases are not a cost efficient way to fix the problem, however a sash replacement can be and it will be much less expensive than replacing the entire window.



Inoperative/Defective Mechanics

Cranks, latches, weather stripping and jamb liners can drive people to quick replacement decisions out of sheer frustration.  Having a window that won’t open and shut is maddening – having a window that lets in air or water is costly. Both need to be dealt with.  A simple jamb liner replacement can make you feel like you have a brand new window and, in a lot of cases, replacement parts such as latches and cranks are easier to find than you might expect.  These can be simple to moderate repairs that are not too costly.





* Coming soon Part 2: Comparing the Costs