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How to Tell If You Need New Windows or Doors

White Windows and Doors on Gray Beadboard Walls in Sunroom
By:Danielle Hanula| Last Updated:03/28/2024
Time to Read: 5 min

Signs You Need New Windows and Doors

When was the last time you assessed the condition of your windows and doors? When winter is right around the corner, it’s time to make sure your home is properly insulated.

Keeping your windows and doors in working order is essential for every homeowner, and checking them from time to time is always recommended. This is especially true if you plan on selling your home in the next few years.

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“If you are selling your home or considering selling it in the near future and have older, inefficient or poorly operating windows, it is a good time to replace them. Home buyers are increasingly drawn to homes with energy-efficient upgrades like new windows and doors.”
Michal Bohm, BM Windows


How Often Should You Replace Windows and Doors?

As your home ages, so does everything inside and outside of it. From the floorboards in your living room to the shingles on your roof, you will find yourself repairing or replacing a lot of things around the house as time goes by. While they typically have a lifespan of a few decades, there are often easy signs to spot to let you know when to replace your windows and doors.

Grey House With Black Front Door

4 Signs You Need an Exterior Door Replacement

1. Your Doors Are Lacking Curb Appeal

The front door is the focal point of a house, and it can either make or break your home’s curb appeal. If your door is outdated, it might decrease your home’s ROI when selling. From picking the right color to choosing the right door knocker, there are a lot of ways you can improve its look. Upgrading your door to new fiberglass or steel not only looks great, but it can also increase the value of your home.

2. You Feel a Draft

A front door replacement is absolutely necessary if you need to place a towel under it to keep the cold air from coming in. Gaps between the frame and door occur naturally over time, and a new door is the only solution. Upgrading will not only keep the draft out, but will also lower your utility costs long-term.

3. Your Doors Are Weathered or Cracked

Like any fixture in your home, front doors deal with wear and tear. Winters and other harsh weather can cause your door to warp and crack, which means that over time it will no longer function as it should. Any major signs of damage should be a signal that it’s time for an exterior door replacement.

4. You Don’t Feel Safe

If you don’t feel safe in your own home, it’s probably time to invest in a stronger door that is more resistant to forced entry. Some door manufacturers offer glazing that is designed to protect against break-ins.

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“If your door is older and somewhat dilapidated, you may want to consider a new one for security reasons. Older, flimsy doors can often be kicked in or pried open rather easily. Deadbolts can be added, but if the frame is cheap and the door structure isn’t very solid, the deadbolt won’t do too much.”
Phil Eby, Eby Exteriors

Large Wooden Window with Floral Curtains

5 Signs You Need New Windows

1. Your Energy Bill Has Skyrocketed

Older homes that have single-pane windows lack proper insulation, causing your air conditioning or heating systems to work harder. To save money and keep those drafts from coming in, opt for double or triple-pane windows. Newer windows are more energy-efficient and designed to help prevent air transferring in and out of your home.

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“If you notice air coming in from the seams of your windows, it is a good indicator that you’re wasting a lot of energy on regulating the temperature in your home, only for it to be lost. If this is happening, it is a sign that it’s time to consider replacement. Not only will you have better insulation, you’ll also get more noise control as well.”
Larry Greene, Worthington Design & Remodeling


2. Your Windows Show Visible Damage or Moisture

A very clear sign that you need new windows is if the frames are cracked or decaying. If you can wipe away moisture on the glass panels, see condensation build-up between the panes or hear the wind whistling on a stormy night, it’s probably time to replace your windows.

3. You’re Having Trouble Opening or Closing Them

Poor window operation can be caused by many things, including the buildup of dirt and dust, a spring that is too tight or a problem with the roller system. Your windows should easily open and close with a proper functioning lock, both as an added seal against air escaping your home and additional security.

4. You Want an Updated Look

Your windows are one of the most notable features of your home, so if you don’t love the way they look, you should consider replacing them. Energy-efficient and modern looking windows will add value to your home while also upgrading your curb appeal.

5. You’re in Need of Soundproofing

If your windows aren’t offering enough protection from outside noises, that’s often a glaring sign you need to replace them. Single-pane windows will transfer sound vibrations from the outdoors into your house more easily than double or triple-pane models. New energy-efficient windows will also help absorb sound waves before they enter your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Window and Door Replacement

How Long Do Windows Last?

Depending on the type of window you’re investing in, there are slightly different life expectancies. Double-paned windows can last up to 20 years, while fiberglass can last up to 40. Aluminum windows fall in between these ranges, with an average lifespan of about 30 years.

How long your windows last is largely impacted by how well you take care of them. However, even with appropriate maintenance and cleaning, once they approach the two-decade mark, it may be time to start evaluating their condition.

Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Are New Windows Worth It?

Replacing your windows boosts the overall value of your home, so you will most likely recover about 70% to 80% of your costs. Additionally, if you purchase Energy-Star certified windows, you can save anywhere from $27 to $465 a year on energy costs.

Should I Replace My Windows and Doors All at Once?

If the price is right for your budget, the biggest upside to replacing all the windows in your house at the same time is that you can create a cohesive interior style and upgrade your curb appeal at the same time.

How Long Does It Take to Have New Windows and Doors Installed?

You can usually have your new windows installed and a front door replacement done in just a day or two. The key to making the project go smoothly is to have accurate measurements of your existing windows and doors and have a debris removal solution on-hand to save time on trips to the landfill.

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