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5 Ways to Update Old Windows in Your Home

 Entry #1892, December 1, 2012

They say the windows are the eyes of the home, and if your eyes are starting to look a little tired, it may be time to update the old girls. You can do this in several ways, through cosmetics, selective surgery, or an outright facelift. And even if you don’t perk up surrounding areas, these changes are sure to brighten up your home. So if your windows are making the house look a little rundown, here are just a few solutions to perk them up post haste.

window ideas repairing

Tips for repairing your windows

Image via: Anne Gummerson

1.     New framing.

If your window frames are cracking, sagging, rotting, or letting in outside air, it’s definitely time to consider replacing the frames. In some cases you can save some money by reusing the panes of glass that are currently in your windows, especially if they are custom sizes, shapes, colors, or types of glass (leaded, for example). But if you want an allover update you may end up replacing the entire assembly. Although this update is probably the most pricy option available to you, it will result not only in cosmetic improvements, but also a likely reduction in your energy bill when air is no longer seeping through the cracks. Plus, it can add to the value of your home if you’re looking to sell in the near future.

2.     New glass.

If the frames are still in good condition but you’re having problems with high energy bills and noise pollution from outside the house then the glass in your windows could be to blame. This is a big problem in both older homes and low-cost housing, where single panes are most common. Luckily, modern advances have provided you with a slew of options that can help to insulate your home as well as cut down on energy consumption. Both double- and triple-paned windows are an option (although new framing could be required to accommodate the additional panes), or you could simply opt for a higher grade of single-paned glass that will help to reduce noise and temperature fluctuations.

3.     Energy-saving film.

As it turns out, you don’t actually have to replace your windows if saving energy is your main concern. Instead, you can get the eco-friendly upgrade you seek by applying low-E coatings to your window panes. This invisible film goes right over your existing glass to bounce the rays of the sun and keep your home significantly cooler during the summer months. You can even get products that let you see out, but obscure the view into your home (like a 2-way mirror). And it’s a lot cheaper than replacing windows.

window ideas for your home

What is the condition of your windows?

Image via: Kathy Corbet Interiors

4.     Power wash and paint.

Perhaps your windows are in relatively good shape but over the years they’ve seen some surface wear and tear. If you just want a cosmetic fix to get rid of cracked, peeling paint on the frames and stuck-on grime on the glass, simply rent a power washer (try your local hardware store) and get to work blasting the windows. After that a couple coats of paint will make your windows look good as new.

5.     Window treatments.

If you just don’t have the cash on hand for major upgrades when it comes to your windows, at least you can mask any problem areas with some ready made curtains, blinds, or shutters. Insulating panels may even help to reduce energy drain and outside noise.

For more home maintenance tips on Stagetecture, click here.

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