Reconditioning existing windows

Economical and ecological!

Just as there’s no need to demolish a house simply because the exterior cladding requires redoing, windows don’t have to be replaced when one or more components are suffering from overuse or showing the effects of time. A growing number of homeowners recognize this and are choosing to renovate the windows of their houses when obvious signs of fatigue appear.

Economical or ecological motivation?

Cost is obviously a strong argument in favour of reconditioning. Specialists say windows can get a second life for about one-third the cost of replacing them.

But that’s not all. This option also has the merit of being more respectful of the environment. A much smaller quantity of debris will end up in the landfill, and not much energy will be consumed compared to what’s needed to produce a new window. Four aspects of renewal

1. Reconditioning a window first means restoring its operational and performance qualities. It’s quite possible to do this by adjusting or replacing one or more broken or defective parts.

  • For casement or awningSmall overhanging roof protecting an entrance from the rain. windows: compression weatherstripping, casement handle and arm, locking mechanism (latch), glazing (single or thermal), lubrication, sealingMortar, plaster, cement or other products enabling to weatherproof. jointsDevice or product for sealing a surface composed of several elements (brickwork). (sealant), etc.
  • For hung windows (two or four sashes): cord, spiral or spring balances for opening the chassis, slides, latch, glazing (single or thermal), lubrication, sealingMortar, plaster, cement or other products enabling to weatherproof. jointsDevice or product for sealing a surface composed of several elements (brickwork). (sealant), etc.

2. In some cases, reconditioning will also require repairing or simply replacing a window part. For a wooden window, a cabinet-maker could be called in to repair a section of the frame or a chassis, to rework ornate moulding or to redo it completely.

3. It is also possible to freshen up the exterior look of most windows in a house. For wooden windows, redoing the finish with a brush (paint, dye or varnish) is the way to restore its proud appearance.

4. This also provides a very good opportunity to fix the caulkingFilling material or filling the joints of an opening to make them air-tight. to block any air infiltration or leaks and to improve the window’s energy efficiency. In most cases, redoing the outside sealingMortar, plaster, cement or other products enabling to weatherproof. jointDevice or product for sealing a surface composed of several elements (brickwork). will do the trick. At worst, it will involve delicately removing the interior woodworkAny joinery work or wooden lining, in particular on the walls. framing and, if required, injecting low-expansion polyurethane foam or inserting insulating wool between the window frame and the house structure.

Not long ago, restoring windows was seen as a makeshift operation. Most people were unaware of the advantages of this option or simply rejected it. But mentalities have changed, perhaps because of the economic context but also because of ecological trends that attach more value to sustainability.

Does it look impossible at first sight to look after or save certain windows? Check first with a specialist to know what to expect.

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