We're thinking about replacing windows in our home near Albany, Georgia and have been surprised by how expensive they can be, even at home improvement warehouses. If we decide against replacing all of the windows in our house, how can we prioritize which to replace and which to leave?
Pat ~ Albany, Georgia
I would first replace the windows that you feel might be allowing water intrusion. Water getting into your home can damage the framing, insulation, and sheetrock. It can also lead to mold problems. Take a look at the area around each window inside your home. Look above the window, on both sides, and below the window for water marks or water damage. You may also see damage to the trim or the window frame, if it is wood. A window that shows any evidence water penetration should be replaced.
The next area I would consider, if your budget allows, is air infiltration. Carefully inspect each window on a windy day, and feel around the frame to see if any air is getting through. Check where the sashes meet at the center of the window, and at the top and bottom of the window, as well. Make sure the window is locked while you are doing this, as an unlocked window can allow some air to get through.
The last thing I would check for is cosmetic damage, such as broken areas of a frame, or a broken seal allowing some condensation between the panes of glass. These are the types of issues that can wait until your budget allows replacement.
If you do choose to replace selected windows at various times, be sure to discuss this with your window salesperson. Ensure the window company has been making your chosen model of window for a long period of time, without any major changes, and will likely continue to do so. You don't want to replace half of your windows, and then find the window model is no longer available when you are ready to replace the others.