Considerations for Replacing Wood Windows
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Considerations for Replacing Wood Windows

Wood windows can be one of the most striking features of your home – they have a comforting, classic look and can last decades if maintained properly. However, when you’re in the market to replace wood windows, it’s important to keep several things in mind. In this article, we’ll look at some important factors you should consider before you replace your wood window, including cost and understanding what replacing wood windows means for your home.

Problems with Wood Windows

Photo by Inja Pavlić on Unsplash↗

Though wood windows have plenty of positives, their construction and materials can spell trouble down the line if they are not properly installed and carefully maintained. Proper maintenance for solid wood windows requires regular painting or staining and caulking. Neglecting your wood windows over time could make replacement inevitable. 

Drawbacks of wood windows: 

  1. High maintenance - requires regular painting or staining to protect against moisture
  2. Cost - wood windows are expensive and require regular maintenance
  3. Susceptible to insects, rot, warping, and swelling 

If you’re considering replacing your existing windows with new wood windows keep the cost of maintenance in mind. In addition to solid wood windows, window vendors also offer cladded wood windows. Cladded-wood windows tend to be more expensive than composite windows but they offer the luxury of wood windows with a durable exterior material like aluminum or fiberglass. 

How Much Does it Cost To Replace Wood Windows?

While there are less expensive options when replacing windows, wood windows are more of an investment for the future than anything else. The cost of wood windows vary↗, custom wood windows can easily cost at least $700 per window. The price of replacement windows depends on the size of the window, the glass package, the operation style and any other customizations such as color or grids. In addition to the cost of the window is the cost of installation which may include fees for removal, disposal, and inspection fees. 

Benefits of wood windows:

  1. Unmatched look and feel
  2. High insulating values
  3. With proper care, wood windows last a lifetime

These benefits, combined with the long-term energy savings make wood windows a good investment. 

Are Wood Replacement Windows Worth It?

Whether or not wood replacement windows are worth it to you depends on your needs. We recommend buying wood replacement windows if you can say yes to at least one of the following three questions: 

  1. Do you currently have wood windows?
  2. Do you reside in a historic or conservation district?
  3. Do your windows require customization?

Learn More: Should I Buy Wood Windows?

If you want to spend less money on your windows overall, you might not like the lack of more affordable options. However, if you view it as an investment in home improvement, your wood replacement windows could add value to your home years down the line especially if you live in a historic home. Properties with original architectural elements offer unique value, changing the materials used in the home can negatively affect the value of your home. Reach out to a professional in your area to ask whether your home is better suited for wood windows or another material. 

Can I Replace Wood Windows with Vinyl?

Yes, you can replace wood windows with vinyl windows. In fact, vinyl windows cost significantly less than wood windows so if cost is a concern vinyl is an option for your home. Vinyl windows are energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and durable but often aren’t as customizable as wood windows and they lack the aesthetic appeal that wood windows offer. Though vinyl replacement windows tend to cost less than wood windows, there are other factors to take into consideration when switching out one type of window for another. 

Wood Windows vs Vinyl Windows

Wood is best for

Vinyl is best for

Historic homes




Bright colors

Easy installation


Higher ROI

Additional considerations when choosing a different window material include the width of the rough opening and potential changes size to the glass surface. Depending on the material and window you choose you may be getting more or less glass than the existing window has. Like many other decisions concerning wood windows, this one goes more smoothly with prior research.

Can I Repair Wood Windows?

The possibility of repairing  your home’s original wood windows depends on the condition of the window unit and surrounding frame. Often wood windows can be repaired but the cost and time involved in repairing them can outweigh the cost of installing new replacement windows. Restoring your home’s original wood windows can be a valuable investment but if the windows are beyond saving replacement is always an option. 

Replacing wood windows can seem complicated but with the right research and a good team, tackling your wood windows repair or replacement can be easier than you imagine. Custom wood windows present the opportunity to make your house one-of-a-kind and can be one of the most attractive features of your home.

February 27, 2020
July 13, 2021


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