The Ultimate Guide To Replacing Old Windows

Updated:  December 4, 2023

Although your old windows add character and charm to your home, they are probably not very energy efficient. If you’ve been putting off window replacement because you are worried new windows will ruin the character and curb appeal of your older home, it’s important to remember that a lack of energy efficiency does more harm to your house than good. Here we offer the ultimate guide to replacing old windows and explain the best way to undertake window replacement to maintain the look and charm of your home.

Why Replace Old Windows?


There are benefits of replacing old windows, including:

  • Increased home value with energy-efficient windows
  • Improved home security
  • Enhanced home comfort through energy efficiency
  • Reduced energy bills
  • Reduced neighbourhood noise
  • Enhanced curb appeal
  • Reduced window maintenance
  • Easier operation and cleaning

Today’s energy-efficient windows are designed to make life easier, keep your home comfortable and secure, and enhance your home’s curb appeal.

When To Know Old Windows Need To Be Replaced


There are a few signs that tell you it’s time to replace your windows, including:

  • Signs of wear and tear to the frame, hardware, or glass
  • Increasing energy bills
  • Declining curb appeal
  • Condensation, moisture, or frost buildup between or on the panes
  • Your windows are single-pane
  • Non-functioning or non-existent weather stripping
  • Cracked window panes
  • Drafts and/or leaks
  • Increasing disturbance from outside noises like traffic, neighbours, barking dogs, etc.

The more signs you can check off this list, the more urgent it is to call in the experts to assess your windows.

What To Consider When Replacing Old Windows


We understand your windows add charm and character to the curb appeal of your home. However, replacement windows are customized to ensure that charm is maintained. There are a few things to consider to help ensure your new energy-efficient windows match and enhance your home’s character:

  • Time Period: Each era has distinct window styles. For example, Victorian homes tend to have taller windows, gothic shapes, and intricate decorative glass features. This distinct look can be captured with custom window designs, whether your windows are circular, hexagonal, octagonal, or something completely unique.
  • Colour: Today’s window frames come in a variety of colours that make it easy to maintain the historical characteristics found on architectural detailing of older homes. In fact, windows come in a wide variety of historic colours such as burgundy, Wedgewood blue and forest green. Best of all, the frames are not painted, but instead the vinyl is tinted which means sanding and repainting is never required.
  • Wood: Although your current older windows might be wood-framed, today’s vinyl offers the look of wood without the high maintenance required to keep the windows looking their best. You also avoid the dangers of moisture that leads to wood rot and serious structural damage that impacts your entire home.

You don’t have to sacrifice the classic look of your home in order to enjoy the benefits of new windows. We can customize your windows to get the exact look required to complement the architecture and design of homes from any era.

What Types Of New Windows Are Available?

As mentioned above, windows can be customized to create almost any shape, colour, and size you desire. Replacement windows are made to fit your existing window openings and come in a wide variety of types, including:

Casement Windows

Image Of Casement Window

Casement windows have hinges on one side and open outwards like a door. You can choose the opening configuration to the right or left. They operate via a “crank” and are well-suited to more contemporary architecture. However, grilles can be added to create a less contemporary look.

Awning Windows

Kitchen Windows - Awning

Awning windows operate much like casement windows but are hinged at the top instead of the side. They open from the bottom up, so you can keep them open even on days when it’s raining.

Slider Windows

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Slider windows can have one or two movable window sashes. They operate easily by sliding along a track and are perfect for wider windows. Most sliders are easy to clean with panes that are adjusted to clean both inside and out.

Single-Hung Windows

A Dining Room With A Table And Chairs, Featuring Single Hung Windows.

Single-hung windows are the best choice for older homes. They maintain a traditional look with two stacked windowpanes. The top is fixed in place, and the bottom sash can be opened by sliding it up and down along a track on either side.

Double-Hung Windows

A White Room With Double Hung Windows And White Trim.

Double-hung windows are like single-hung windows in appearance, but both panes are movable. This allows you to increase airflow. When you open both the top and bottom, hot stale air exits at the top and cooler air flows in below.

Picture Windows

Picture Windows

A picture window is a fixed window used to capture impressive views. They do not open, so the view is unobstructed by hardware or hinges. They are very secure and also bring more natural light into the space. However, you can also add decorative window grilles to create more interest and mimic the panes of older window designs. They can also be customized in different shapes, sizes, and styles.

Bay Windows

Bay Windows

A traditional bay window extends out from the exterior walls of the house. It typically consists of a large center window flanked by two smaller angled windows, creating a feeling of spaciousness. You can customize the configuration with different types of windows. The most common design is a picture window flanked by two single-hung or casement windows. The extension feature creates an alcove ideal for seating, or a built-in storage area complete with a bench.

Bow Windows

A Living Room With A Couch And A Plant Near The Bow Window.

A bow window is also an extension out from the exterior walls, but in this case, the window panes typically are all the same size and create more of a rounded semi-circle as opposed to a sharp angle, providing a softer look than bay windows. Bow windows often incorporate as many as five individual panes to complete the look.

Best New Windows To Replace Old Windows

Replacing windows in an old house is an investment. Therefore, you should shop for windows offering a comprehensive lifetime warranty. This warranty ensures your windows last as long as you live in your home. It should cover all parts, including hardware, window frames and sashes, insulated glass, and accidental glass breakage.

Consider Government Grants

The Canada Greener Homes Grant allows homeowners to receive up to $250 per window with a $5,000 maximum investment. Windows must be ENERGY STAR® high-performance windows to qualify. You can review the grant application process here.

When you are ready to replace your windows, the team of experts at Weaver Exteriors can help. We provide free consultations and accurate quotes in hand with valuable advice to help you make the right decisions for your home’s style and character. Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation quote today.


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Weaver has over two decades of experience and provides comprehensive installation services for windows, doors, and aluminum in the Barrie region, making it a convenient option for all project sizes.