Purchasing brand new windows can be a costly investment but repairs might bring more problems down the road that can lead to more repair work. So how do you know if it’s time to replace or repair?The answer depends on the issue you’re experiencing. Read on to find out when you should replace and when you should repair your windows. 

Common Window Problems That Can Be Repaired

There are a variety of problems that could occur with your windows. The first step to deciding between window repair and window replacement is to determine the issue. Once you know what you’re in for, you can figure out whether it’s something you can fix yourself.
Broken Window Panes

Broken Window Panes

Broken panes pose a potential safety concern to you and your family. They can let your interior heating and cooling out or allow the outdoor elements to seep in. During stretches of extreme heat or freezing temps, a broken window can increase your energy costs while decreasing your comfort.

Even if it’s a small crack or break, the whole pane may need to be replaced. That might be a weekend project you can handle. But depending on how the window was glazed, it could call for a lot more work. You may need to replace the entire sash or look into replacing the whole unit instead.

Windows That Won’t Open

A sticking sash or creaking crank often has a straightforward solution: clean your window. Dirt and grime can accumulate if you or the previous homeowner neglected window maintenance responsibilities. Returning to your routine maintenance may resolve the issue. If locks, hardware and other parts are broken or still impeding the function of your window, installing replacement parts may be the solution.

Windows That Won’t Open
Drafty Windows

Drafty Windows

A broken pane could be a reason for a draft or leak in your window. There are a variety of other potential causes too. Caulk and weather stripping are inexpensive items you can pick up at the hardware store and fix yourself. A sash that is warped, damaged or no longer fits properly can be replaced. To start, check if the window is plumb, level and square by using a level and a tape measure. You may find that the whole window unit was installed incorrectly or shifted as your home settled. In that case, it needs to be replaced or reinstalled.

Water Coming Through the Window

When water’s getting inside, it may be coming in somewhere around the window. That might mean the exterior window casing is faulty. Or it could mean you just need to clean your gutters. Once you find where it’s coming in and why, you can make those exterior fixes.

If water proves to be coming through the window itself or you’ve noticed signs of water damage – cracking, peeling and warping – you need to find out why. Inspect the window just like you’re looking for a draft. It could be a simple fix like adding some new weather stripping. Or it could be a major functional issue and you need to replace the window. 

Water Coming Through the Window
Foggy Windows

Foggy Windows

When your windows are all fogged up, it’s usually just window condensation. And that’s something you can typically reduce or completely get rid of yourself. It’s also something you will want to do because any moisture on your windows can lead to damage over time.

First, check to see where the window condensation is coming from: inside, outside or in between two panes of glass. The fix depends on the location.

How to Make the Window Repair vs. Replacement Decision

Each window problem has a different set of solutions. And there are a variety of factors that affect your decision. Each of them should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Given the same problem on two different windows, you may reach a different decision. Think outside the basic window repair or replacement costs and consider these three factors:

1. Labor Cost to Repair Windows

The cost of your time is a cost to consider. Sometimes repairing and maintaining old windows can be more trouble than proceeding with replacement windows. There’s always the extra hassle of upkeep that comes with old, worn products. You may need to constantly fix jammed windows, repaint them to improve their appearance, search for rare or discontinued spare parts or clean all the nooks and crannies of outdated designs. If you find yourself spending a great deal of time and effort on your windows, replacement may be the less labor-intensive option.

2. Window Performance

Energy efficiency and comfort are two things most homeowners value highly. Performance can decrease as windows age, causing drops in these two areas. If you find your heating or cooling bills higher than they should be and drafty, old windows are a culprit, it might be time to replace them.

3. Window Aesthetics

When it comes to your home, looks are always a factor. Properly maintained windows can last for years, keeping up both their performance and appearance. And you may be reluctant to replace windows, fearing that you’ll lose the charm or historic look.

New windows provide an opportunity to enhance your home by flashing your style, adding architectural interest, letting in more light or framing the scenery outside. You can find new windows that stick to the architectural elements of your home or update to a style all your own.


Sams Door and Windows Logo

We provide information about window and door replacement and installation service, as well as  latest tips and updates on home improvement and product performance.

  • Eldon Place, Bradford, UK
  • 0808 258 1495
  • james@storyteller.co.za
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google