Retrofitting vs. full frame window door replacement: Saanich homeowner’s 2023 checklist

From energy efficiency to resale value to comfort, most homeowners understand there are many reasons to invest in quality windows and doors. But inflation has made many daily expenses less affordable, and replacing old windows & doors can be costly.

Searching “window replacement near me” will reveal dozens of window installation companies in the Victoria area, but you’ll find a wide range of service standards and product types. If you find a source for discount windows you may be able to save some money, or you may end up paying more in the long run if they’re improperly installed or of poor quality.

Another way to save money on window and door replacement is to make repairs. Fixing issues to frames or sealing is often cheaper than replacing the entire window or door, and may cost you nothing at all! If your window or door is still under warranty, costs will be covered by the manufacturer.

Pros and cons of window retrofitting and replacement

Window Retrofitting Pros:

  • Cost-Effective: Repairs and retrofitting are much less expensive than full replacement.
  • Minimal disruption: Retrofitting doesn’t require the removal of existing window frames, so there are less structural changes to your home or business.
  • Fast Installation: Your window project will be completed more quickly.
  • Maintain Appearance: Exterior and interior trim often remains unchanged.

Window Retrofitting Cons:

  • Limited Options: Retrofitting doesn’t address issues with the existing frame or structure, so there are limited fixes available.
  • Less energy efficient: Retrofits do not have the same energy efficiency benefits as full replacement.
  • Shorter Lifespan: Retrofits may not last as long as a full frame replacement.

Full Frame Replacement Pros:

  • Fix all issues: Full replacement addresses both the window and the frame, ensuring all parts are new and functional.
  • Increased Energy Efficiency: Newer frames and windows often have better insulation properties.
  • Flexibility: Full replacement offers the opportunity for structural changes if you’d like a bigger glass area, a different window style or type.
  • Longer Lifespan: Don’t worry about your windows for the next 30 years!

Full Frame Replacement Cons:

  • Cost: Full replacement is a larger investment than retrofitting.
  • Longer Installation Time: Replacement typically takes longer than a window retrofit.

5 window issues that can be repaired:

  • Hardware: If window handles and hinges are malfunctioning, you may able to replace them without replacing your whole window.
  • Caulking: This is the first line of defence against the elements. Check your caulking annually for cracks and gaps to reduce drafts and prevent moisture from damaging frames and walls. If the seal is broken, buy caulking at your local hardware store and apply it where your window meets the frame.
  • Weatherstripping: To prevent air leaks, weatherstripping fills the space between the window’s moving sash and a non-moving sash. Weatherstripping can wear out with regular sliding window use, and replacing it doesn’t require any special knowledge. You may be able to restore some energy efficiency and significantly delay window replacement.
  • Glass: If your window glass is cracked or has lost its seal, contact your window manufacturer. The window may still be under warranty, and even if it isn’t, you may be able to replace the glass for significantly less money than a total window replacement.
  • Condensation: Small water droplets between the panes of your window are a sign that the seal on your window is broken and no longer energy efficient. Contact your window manufacturer to find out if they’re able to repair the seal, especially if it’s still under warranty. Condensation on the inside of your windows is actually an indication that your windows are functioning well! Water droplets on the room side of your glass can be resolved with a dehumidifier.

Remember, just because it’s possible to repair these window issues, doesn’t mean it’s risk free. Many repairs are difficult, and can lead to further damage. Contact a professional like Ecoline Windows to consult on the issue and offer assistance.

Common issues with entry doors

Most issues with entry doors are caused by poor installation, but sometimes homeowners can avoid costly door replacement with DIY repairs. Again, consulting with a professional can help you avoid causing further damage or frustration.

  • Weatherstripping: Entry doors are high traffic areas, and over time your weatherstripping may become loose. Not only is this an annoying tripping hazard, it also reduces your door’s energy efficiency. Thankfully, replacing weatherstripping is fairly simple, and much more affordable than replacing your entire door.
  • Ground shifting: Changes to temperature and humidity can cause the ground beneath your home to shift, making it more difficult to open or close your door. This usually happens during the change in seasons. A qualified technician or confident do-it-yourselfer can adjust the door so it functions properly again. However, you will likely have to continue making adjustments as the ground shifts each season.
  • Sunlight through a closed door: You should never be able to see daylight through a closed door. It’s a sign of improper installation, and means drafts and moisture can easily leak into your home. Often this issue is caused when installers over-tighten door frame screws, causing the frame to bow. Contact your installer, as this issue should be covered by your warranty.

Rebates for window and door replacement

If you decide that repairing windows and doors is too risky or time consuming, replacement may be your best option. While replacement can be a significant investment, the benefits are immense, and government rebates can make you choice much more affordable!

The Canada Greener Homes grant helps Canadian homeowners improve their home’s energy efficiency, while also saving money. Alongside rebates for solar panel installation and heater upgrades, Canadians can receive up to $5,600 for windows and doors!

In British Columbia, the CleanBC Income Rebates can be combined with the Canada Greener Homes grant for even more savings. The CleanBC rebate helps low income individuals and families, offering rebates on windows and doors of up to $9,500. If your household income is below $147,943, you may qualify for this rebate.

Ecoline Windows offers door and window replacement in Victoria and the surrounding communities, and serves many communities across Canada as well. Upgrade your home’s comfort and efficiency, and transform your living space into a modern sanctuary. To find a cost-effective solution for your home, call (778) 653 5647.

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