Renovating your home is a time for making important decisions. You choose the colours of the walls, floors, furniture and re-plan the organisation of the living spaces. However, one key aspect of renovation that is often overlooked or put off is windows and doors. Is it worth replacing them during a general renovation?
Major house renovation and replacing windows and doors
Major house renovation involves a great deal of work, including renewing the façade or replacing gutters. When carrying out such advanced external house renovation, think about replacing windows and doors at the outset. Replacing them at the beginning stage will allow you to avoid additional cleaning work and re-proofing your surroundings against dust and dirt. You need to bear in mind that replacing windows often requires interfering with the construction of window recesses, e.g. fitting them or widening them for the installation of a window frame. This can damage parts of the walls, which then have to be plastered and repainted. This is why window and door replacement is best carried out at the external renovation stage, rather than interior work. It is also a good idea to schedule it before the façade is insulated to minimise the risk of damage to the insulation layer.
When is it worth replacing windows during a renovation?
Window and door joinery is an investment for years. Usually it is not replaced more often than every 10 years, and in some properties it serves much longer. However, even the best windows and doors should be replaced after a few decades. This is because even regularly maintained construction materials are subject to wear and tear and, over time, begin to give way to modern technology. What’s more, old joinery does not meet modern energy-saving standards and can therefore cause up to 30 % heat loss in your home. So if your property still has windows from the 2000s, take advantage of the major house renovation and replace them. You should also opt for it when the heating costs of your building have risen considerably in winter or the summer heat is becoming increasingly severe. Leaky or warped windows or high thermal transmittance are often the cause of these problems. Modern joinery increases the thermal insulation of the building and, thus, your comfort both in winter and summer. Keep in mind that new windows and doors do not only increase thermal but also acoustic comfort in your house interiors. Lack of air-tightness is another reason to replace joinery during renovation.
External house renovation is a good time to replace windows or doors that are damaged, e.g. with broken glass or cracked frames. Repairing such elements does not guarantee that the joinery will retain its original properties, so replacement is a safer option. There is also no doubt that a new window or door will be more aesthetically pleasing than a repaired one, and will therefore increase the value of the property.
What about doors, i.e. major overhaul should include the replacement of door joinery?
A major house renovation is a good “excuse” for both new window and door joinery. You should be prompted to replace it first and foremost by poorly fitting or installed front doors. They are not only an aesthetic problem, but also a practical one. Underneath wood, uPVC or aluminium, there are numerous mechanisms, layers of insulation, which are affected by weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. As a result of these, old doors lose their thermal insulation properties, which results in heat running away from the interior of the house. In autumn and winter, it causes penetrating cold and dampness to enter, which settles into the deep recesses of the walls and door frames.
When to plan the external renovation including window replacement?
Replacing windows and doors is a serious step and a major undertaking. Not only does it require the purchase or installation of new windows and doors, but often also the removal of plaster and the straightening of the frame. This is why the external house renovation involving the replacement of joinery is worth planning well. Optimally, it should be carried out in the spring or summer months. This will allow you to avoid overcooling of the rooms and will not reduce the quality of the new window frames installation. Installation work should also be carried out on a rain-free day, as increased moisture in the air can cause malfunctions in the functioning of the sealing systems.
What to look out for when replacing windows and doors?
Replacing windows and external doors means buying new ones. This investment involves a number of decisions. Among the most important ones, there is the choice of:
- windows and doors type,
- joinery dimensions,
- construction materials,
- the opening mechanism,
- technical parameters such as e.g. heat transfer coefficient,
- additional features, such as roller shutters or ventilation/intrusion systems.
However, the list of parameters that are important when purchasing joinery is much longer. To make sure you make a good choice, it is worth consulting an expert and getting professional advice. You will also need the help of a joinery specialist during fitting. A qualified team of professionals will not only replace the joinery efficiently, but will also ensure that the work is done safely and in accordance with building regulations. Remember that correct installation of window joinery equals proper warmth inside the room and the right amount of light. Mistakes at the installation stage, on the other hand, are a big problem, especially during the heating season when the heat collected in the room will start to run away through the untight joinery. Increased humidity levels in the building will also be problematic, and take a toll on your health as well as the condition of the furniture.
Replacing windows and doors during a major refurbishment is an investment that has a direct impact not only on the appearance of your home, but also on your heating bills and the soundproofing of your rooms. This is why it is best to entrust it to professionals, who will take care of the correct window and door installation. On the other hand, it is worth focusing on choosing the best joinery — tailored to the needs of the household members and the possibilities of the property. In these difficult choices, Fenbro experts will be good advisers, pointing out the best solutions and helping to make the dream of the perfect home a reality.