What Your Windows and Doors are Telling You: Repair or Replace?

What Your Windows and Doors are Telling You: Repair or Replace?
  • Opening Intro -

    If your windows or doors are showing signs of wear and tear, you're probably wondering if you should have them repaired or replaced.


At first glance, having the damage repaired may seem like the most economical option. The fact is, however, that replacing the window or door in question could, depending on circumstances, actually save you more money.

As a rule of thumb, if you can afford a new window or door,  investing in one would most likely be the best option. Modern doors and windows have a plethora of features and benefits, so if it’s an ideal time for you to make an  investment, you shouldn’t think twice.

However, if your budget is somewhat constrained, you’ll need to analyze the situation carefully to see which option would save you the most money. Below are a few tips that will help you decide whether to have your windows and doors repaired or replaced.

When to Have Your Windows Repaired or Replaced

Windows are usually made up of four basic components:

  • Glass Panels
  • Window Frame
  • Window Jambs
  • Mechanical Parts

A window with a broken glass panel will need to be replaced. Although it is certainly possible to have the glass panel replaced instead of the entire window, costs for replacing the glass panel will usually be almost the same as buying a new window.

windows and doors

When a window’s glass breaks, it might be better to have the window replaced entirely.

Window frames can be repaired, as long as the issues are minor–such as scratches, for instance. However, if the frame has been affected by decay or if there are cracks in it, then replacing the entire window would likely be your best option.

If your window jambs are made of wood, then you should inspect them for signs of rot and decay. If portions of the window jamb are starting to rot, then it’s best to have the entire window replaced. You should have the wall inspected for damage as well.

In most cases, the mechanical parts of a window can be repaired, especially if you’ve been meticulous about maintaining them. However, if the parts have been damaged beyond repair, then buying a new window is probably your best bet.

windows and doors


When to Have Your Doors Repaired or Replaced

Doors usually wear out faster than windows, which is why you’ll need to inspect them a bit more regularly. Overall, of course, doors are more durable than windows, especially those without glass panels. Since problems with doors are easier to spot than windows, it’s also easier to decide whether to have the door repaired or replaced.

If the main problem with the door is alignment, and there is no other visible damage, then it’s advisable to just have a specialist correct the alignment issue.

However, if the door itself has been damaged, is cracked or has decayed, then it’s best that you find a replacement as soon as possible.

In the case of steel doors, rust will likely be your main problem. If the door is rusting, and especially if pieces are starting to fall off, then replacing the door would certainly be the best option.

Other Situations When You Should Have Your Window or Door Replaced

Your windows or doors may seem to be in perfect condition, but we all know that they won’t last forever. There will come a time where you will need to have them replaced. So, do consider age when thinking about whether or not to consider replacement windows and doors.

Here are a few of the reasons to replace old units with new ones:

  • Energy Conservation – Modern doors and windows have energy conservation properties that can certainly reduce your energy bills. Doors have better insulation, and the glass panels of today’s windows have an improved ability to reduce the amount of heat passing through.
  • Better Designs – Door and window designs  change frequently over the years. If you haven’t replaced your doors and windows for over a decade, there is a good chance that the design is now outdated. If you intend to maintain or improve the value of your home, it’s best to have outdated doors and windows replaced with modern units.
  • More Durable Materials – There have been quite a number of technological advancements made both in the manufacturing and design of doors and windows over the years. These advancements have lead to better durability. For instance, window frames made of Fibrex® material, which is a relatively new technological advancement, are much more durable than steel, pvc or wooden frames.
windows and doors

Today’s windows and doors are more energy-efficient and stylish, so you might want to consider replacing your old ones.

How to Choose the Right Contractor

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Whether you decide to have your window or doors repaired or replaced, you’ll need to find a reliable contractor to do the job.

Unfortunately, this task could be a bit more difficult than it may initially seem, especially if you don’t have a contractor you’ve worked with before.

The fastest and easiest way to find a reliable contractor is to obtain recommendations from friends, family and other people whose opinions you trust.

If they have a contractor that they’ve had success with, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to rely on the same contractor.

However, if you’re unable to find recommendations, you’ll need to rely on your judgment when interviewing possible candidates. Here’s what you’ll need to look for:

  • A contractor with a local office – If a contractor has a local office then they have the necessary permits and licenses to operate in your area.
  • A contractor who is insured – Anything can go wrong during an installation job, which is why you’ll need to ensure that you’re protected. You should always check if the contractor has both liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • A contractor who can provide references – If the contractor has been around for some time, then they should be able to provide one or more references. Make it a point to contact the references they provide and ask how the contractor performed.

It is time-consuming finding a reliable contractor; just remember that it could cost you more than just time if you end up hiring the wrong one. Take all the time you need and use your best judgment when finding the right contractor for you.

About the Author
Larry Landes is the president and owner of Renewal by Andersen of Central and Northern New Jersey. With decades of experience in both commercial and residential property improvement, Larry attributes his success to working with “a great company that is about having caring, dedicated people and treating each customer as the unique and special person they are. Catch his updates by visiting their company blog.


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