“Window replacement has a 200 to 300 year payback period”

That quote is from Michael Blasnik, who has been mentioned on this blog several times. The full article can be seen here.

I have the discussion with people all the time – people who insist that they’re going to save money over the long run by replacing their windows; people who insist they NEED to replace their windows. The reality, Blasnik says, is that payback is typically going to take 200-300 years.

Typical basement replacement window – 3/4″ gap between sill and window.

There are, of course, many times that replacement windows will pay back sooner. For example, if your neighbor’s kid sends a ball through a window, I strongly encourage you to do something about it. If you are de-leading a home and the windows must go then the windows must go.

However, if you are feeling a draft from your window – do NOT get a new window for $400 or more. Instead spend $10 on some good v-seal (good stuff can be purchased at the Boston Building Resources, formerly Boston Building Materials Center, in Boston.) If that’s too much work, then pay someone $100 to do the work for you – you’ll still save $300 and likely more.

Why likely more? I say that because of all the replacement windows I’ve looked at, I have seen exactly one home where replacement windows were installed properly with flashing, exterior caulk, weep holes and minimally expanding foam.

So instead of getting replacement windows, spend $10 and use the rest for a month of really nice dinners at fancy restaurants… or just pocket the savings.

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One Response to “Window replacement has a 200 to 300 year payback period”

  1. Jeremy says:

    The next logical question is “Who can I call to fix the windows?”

    For DIYers, the work isn’t difficult, but some tips will make it easier. The Boston Building Resources often holds classes that explain how to properly seal a window and, conveniently, sells the materials too.

    If you want to hire someone, here is a list of some window repair outfits compiled from various sources, including the Arlington List.

    These are NOT recommendations as I have no personal experience with these outfits, but hopefully it is a good place to start. If you have others to recommend (or if you’re a window restoration person/company), please feel free to add yourself to this list in the comments.

    Restoration Windows
    617 388-5809
    19 Carl Street, Newton Highlands, MA

    New England Window Restoration Alliance

    David Liberty, WindowRepair.com
    105 Bennett Street, Brighton, MA 02135-2621
    617 441-2022 ‎

    Cleary and Son

    Window Woman of New England
    44R Elm Street
    Amesbury, MA 01913

    Steve Gentile Arborway Window Restoration and Repair
    (617) 429-1761
    61 Endicott Street, Building 32,
    Norwood, MA

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