Storm Windows vs. Replacement Windows

Choosing between storm windows and replacement windows can be a complex decision. Homeowners often talk to home improvement experts and they visit forums online asking for advice. They hear a variety of ideas that may or may not work for their particular situation. How can you go about discovering the best information and the best course of action when the time comes to make a decision about windows for your home?

Storm windows come in several different styles. Some are mounted on the exterior of the house and some on the interior. Exterior storm windows are the most common style, and frequently the focus of attention for homeowners considering storm windows versus replacement windows. New storm windows involve a financial investment that is lower than the cost of most replacement windows, and installation is also easier and less costly.

Besides the issue of cost, there is another issue that may take the lead in a decision between storm windows vs replacement windows. The primary issue may be the appearance of the home. Historic homes and other older homes that have wooden windows as part of their architectural integrity present a unique situation for homeowners who desire to increase the energy efficiency of the home without sacrificing the charm of times past. It is a big decision for owners of older homes, and it is one that can easily be influenced by architects, salespeople and homeowner’s associations.

So, what can you do to find the best solution for your particular home? Obviously, pricing replacement windows that preserve or enhance the exterior appearance of your home is a logical first step. There will be a lot of options to consider, so allow plenty of time to consider them. If you shop at a home improvement store for replacement windows, don’t fail to consider the additional costs involved in removing and disposing of your existing windows. There will be costs associated with demolition if you do the work yourself or if you hire a contractor to do it. Estimating the costs of demolition and disposal are an important part of determining the total cost of replacing windows.

With estimates in hand for removal of existing windows, for the cost of new replacement windows and the cost of installing the replacement windows, you are better equipped to make comparisons with the cost of new storm windows. Naturally, there may be some repairs needed to existing windows in order to assure the best installation and function of new exterior storm windows, no matter what type of storms you choose. But window repair costs will undoubtedly be less than the costs of removing and disposing of existing windows.

New storm windows are clearly the winner in the storm windows vs replacement windows arena if cost is the primary concern. Purchase of the best custom triple-track aluminum storm windows will be significantly less expensive than the cost of preparing your house and installing new replacement windows. And you may reach the same conclusion if the exterior appearance of your home needs to remain true to an historic time period. It is more cost effective to obtain and install new storm windows that provide insulation over existing wooden windows than to replace windows in an older home.

Another factor in the storm windows vs replacement windows decision is time. Perhaps the weather is changing and you want to get your home buttoned-up for the winter. Or, you may be looking ahead to air conditioning costs through a long, hot summer. In either case, you can usually order new storm windows and have them installed professionally, or install them yourself faster than ordering custom replacement windows and going through the process of removing and replacing existing windows entirely. From every standpoint, cost, appearance and time, new storm windows may be the best choice for your home now.