Torn between fixing or replacing your sash windows? You’re not alone. Both options have advantages and drawbacks, and picking the right one depends on your windows, budget, and energy goals.
This guide will walk you through the pros and cons, along with key factors to consider before making your decision. We’ll even share tips on finding a qualified contractor to handle the job.
Understanding the Costs of Repair and Replacement
The cost of repairing or replacing sash windows can vary widely depending on several factors, including:
- The extent of the damage: Minor repairs like cracked glass or faulty locks are generally less expensive than major structural repairs or complete window replacements.
- The type of window: Timber sash windows typically cost more to repair or replace than uPVC or aluminium windows.
- The complexity of the design: Ornate or custom-made sash windows may require specialised skills and materials, driving up the cost of repair or replacement.
- Labor costs: Rates vary between window specialists, so it’s crucial to compare quotes from multiple providers.
Repairing Sash Windows
Repairing sash windows can be a cost-effective option if your windows are in relatively good condition and only have minor damage. Common repairs include fixing broken sashes, replacing cracked glass, and re-caulking around the windows.
Pros of Repairing Sash Windows:
- Cost-effective: Repairs are typically much cheaper than replacing windows.
- Preserves the character of your home: Sash windows are often original features of older homes, and repairing them can help to preserve the character of your home.
- Environmentally friendly: Repairing windows is a more sustainable option than replacing them, as it reduces waste.
Cons of Repairing Sash Windows:
- May not be suitable for all windows: If your windows are severely damaged or have major structural problems, repair may not be an option.
- Temporary fix: Repairs may not last as long as replacements.
- May not improve energy efficiency: Older windows are often not very energy efficient, and repairs may not do much to improve this.
Replacing Sash Windows
Replacing your sash windows can be a good option if your windows are in poor condition. However, if you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency, or if you want to change the look of your home.
Pros of Replacing Sash Windows:
- Long-lasting solution: Replacement windows will typically last much longer than repaired windows.
- Improved energy efficiency: Modern windows are much more energy efficient than older windows, which can save you money on your energy bills.
- Increased comfort: Replacement windows can also help to improve the comfort of your home by reducing drafts and noise.
- Improved appearance: New windows can give your home a fresh, updated look.
Cons of Replacing Sash Windows:
- More expensive: Replacing windows is typically more expensive than repairing them.
- May not be necessary: If your windows are in good condition, there may be no need to replace them.
- May not match the character of your home: Replacement windows may not look the same as your original sash windows. This could detract from the character of your home.
Additional Cost Considerations:
- Draught sealing and double glazing: These upgrades can improve energy efficiency and comfort, but add to the overall cost.
- Heritage considerations: If your home is listed or in a heritage conservation area, there may be restrictions on window replacements, influencing the feasibility and cost of the project.
Factors to Consider When Making Your Decision
The following factors should be considered when deciding whether to repair or replace your sash windows:
- The age and condition of your windows: If your windows are more than 30 years old or are showing signs of significant damage, such as rot or cracks, replacement may be the best option.
- Your budget: Repairs are typically much cheaper than replacements, so if you are on a tight budget, repair may be the only option.
- Your energy efficiency goals: If you are looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency, replacement windows are the best option.
- The character of your home: If you want to preserve the character of your home, repair may be the best option, especially if your windows are original features.
Finding a Qualified Window Repair or Replacement Contractor
Once you have decided whether to repair or replace your sash windows, the next step is to find a qualified contractor to do the work. Here are some tips for finding a qualified contractor:
- Get recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours.
- Read online reviews.
- Get quotes from several different contractors.
- Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
- Ask the contractor for references.
- Be sure to get everything in writing, including the scope of work, the price, and the warranty.
By carefully evaluating your options and seeking professional guidance, you can make an informed decision about whether to repair or replace your sash windows, ensuring your investment enhances the beauty, comfort, and value of your home.