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Когда оправдано решение менять окна

It just so happens in Russia that renovation of an apartment or house means replacing everything with a new one: not only wallpaper and laminate, but also the ceiling, glazing and even furniture. The reasons for a large-scale upgrade are often not that the old one is out of order. When asked why you decided to change wooden windows to plastic ones, approximately half of the clients of window companies answer: “we are changing them because all the neighbors have already changed them, we are the only ones left in the house.” Psychological balance and self-confidence when being in society is also a significant factor that cannot be ignored. However, there are more objective reasons for switching from wooden frames to PVC or replacing an old PVC window with a new one.

In what two main situations should windows be replaced?

There are at least two situations in which it will not be possible to do without replacing the window. We are talking about the initially low quality of the structures installed by the developer and the obsolescence of windows that served the owner faithfully for a long time and earned the “right to rest.” In most other cases, repair is a profitable alternative to dismantling (both from a financial point of view and in terms of saving such important resources as time and nerves).

Window replacement from the developer

From the developer due to their poor quality

Developers, when glazing apartments, install low-grade plastic windows – no one doubts this for a long time. There are exceptions, but they mainly concern luxury homes. The apartments in them cost incredible amounts of money, so everything is done to the highest standard. And in mass budget high-rise buildings or pseudo-elite residential complexes, in order to save money, construction companies install the cheapest window structures. Therefore, when residents move in, as a rule, there is no doubt that the windows should be replaced. And this needs to be done as quickly as possible, since there are no comfortable living conditions in the room – there are drafts, heat escapes, the glass sweats, the slopes and window sill get wet, and there’s nothing to talk about sound insulation.

Replacing old windows with new ones

Structures that are obsolete morally and technologically

When we replace something old that has lost its aesthetics and has ceased to perform its function efficiently with a new one that is beautiful and in good working order, this is understandable and does not raise any questions. The same goes for windows. For example, wooden frames installed back in Soviet times, even with proper care, have definitely worn out over 3-4 decades of service. In addition, they are morally outdated. Among the realm of plastic and mirror glass, simple wooden frames look like a dinosaur skeleton in the middle of the street.

At a certain period, it is time to change plastic windows. This may be due to mechanical damage, the desire to make the room warmer, and technological obsolescence of the structure. Yes, plastic windows came to Russia only a few decades ago, but this is a considerable period of time for progress. Especially when you consider the pace at which well-known companies (for example, Rehau) release new and improved models.

And if you remember those first plastic windows, installed “by acquaintance” and being a sign of “special privilege”, then the question of whether they are worth changing disappears by itself. This is necessary because those “PVC windows to Europe” were the simplest designs. At that time, what mattered was the fact of their installation, and not the quality of the profile, the properties of the double-glazed window, or the physical or other characteristics of the window. Against the background of wooden frames, they looked solid, but cannot be compared with modern models.

Replacing old windows

On thematic forums they often ask: “After how many years is it best to change plastic windows?” But the question is posed incorrectly. The main thing is not the amount of time that has passed since installation, but the current state in which the window is currently located. The design is changed if one or more signs appear indicating the failure of structural elements. Sometimes problems can be eliminated by repair, “spot” replacement of parts or their adjustment – this is the preferred solution, as it is less resource-intensive.

Signs that an old window is not doing its job and needs to be replaced

Which windows change by default? Those that, due to age and natural wear and tear, careless handling, which happens very often, mechanical damage and other negative factors, have ceased to cope with their task. The fact that a plastic window is “tired” and needs to be replaced is indicated by the appearance of such signs as:

  1. Accumulation of condensation on glass. This means that the window “does not breathe,” in particular, a wooden one. The appearance of moisture accelerates the process of wood destruction.
  2. The appearance of fungus and mold, which in PVC windows is a consequence of poor-quality sealing and moisture condensation. With wooden frames, this happens when the paint is not painted regularly, when the paint peels off and exposes the wood.
  3. Penetration of street dirt and dust into the glass unit or into the room, which is a consequence of a violation of the tightness of the structure due to improper installation or natural aging of polyurethane foam and other insulating materials.
  4. Distortion of the valves and their cracking. If the wooden frame is warped, then it is useless to restore it. The same applies to metal-plastic profile systems. If cracks appear on them or a distortion is noticeable to the naked eye, then the only correct solution is to replace the structure with a new one.
  5. Failure of fastening and locking elements. Fittings installed in windows are usually designed for long-term use. It fails very rarely, especially for those hinges, latches and handles that were installed on wooden frames in Soviet times. If the sash does not turn, does not open or close, most likely. The reason is the frame, not the fittings. It is warped, dry or damaged – it requires dismantling.
Mold due to poor quality windows

Replacing plastic windows is mandatory in cases where the profile has noticeably yellowed, turned gray or began to smell unpleasant. These signs indicate low-grade materials used in production, which can slowly but surely “poison” the residents.

It is better to replace windows at the same time as updating the entire apartment. In this case, you will have to endure the abundance of construction waste only once, when the old structure is dismantled and the opening is prepared. The window is replaced at the first stage of repair or after carrying out any rough work (leveling floors or walls, applying plaster). Otherwise, you can damage the final finish (tear or stain the wallpaper, scratch the laminate).

Change or repair

The properties of the window no longer satisfied its owner. Does this mean that you need to immediately run to the window company to exchange it for a new one? Yes and no. It’s worth going to professionals, but first call them to inspect the “offending” structure. A number of common problems with uPVC windows can be eliminated with minor repairs, adjustments or re-installation of the same frame. For example:

  1. Drafts appeared. Possible reasons are a loose fit of the sash to the profile frame due to loose fittings or natural wear of the sealing rubber. Both are easily eliminated.
  2. The window has become unsightly. If you can wipe off the dirt from the frame, polish the glass, replace the handles with shiny ones, update the slopes and window sill, returning the structure to a decent appearance, then why spend money on replacing it.

There are many situations when repair is preferable to dismantling. Replacement is definitely required if the profile frame itself is damaged (cracked or warped).

Replace the windows with plastic ones at the dacha

Is it worth replacing wooden windows with plastic ones?

Why are wooden windows, if they are still in good condition, replaced with plastic ones? The main reason is obsolescence. The desire for something new is determined by a person’s desire to make life more comfortable and easier. And is it worth leaving something that has not performed its function properly for a long time? Of course not. Wooden frames initially have low thermal insulation values ​​- 0.40-0.45 m2°C/W, while the simplest plastic models have a resistance to heat loss of 0.60-0.65 m2°C/W. Other characteristics are also significantly inferior. Plus, it is extremely difficult to care for wooden window structures, but a PVC frame is as easy as shelling pears. Therefore, definitely, change it and the sooner the better.

What does the customer get by installing a new window?

A new PVC window installed to replace the old wooden frame, in addition to aesthetics and moral satisfaction, will bring the following bonuses to the owner:

  • Preserving heat in an apartment in winter and saving the family budget in a private house, where you can regulate the heating intensity.
  • Keeping cool in hot weather by reflecting the sun's rays.
  • Silence in the rooms contributes to increased productivity during the day and quality rest at night.

In addition, there is no need to wash the plastic window several times a year, paint the frame and cover it with masking tape for the winter so that the apartment is at least a little warmer.

Replacing windows in a new building

Why is it that such low-quality PVC windows are “traditionally” installed in new buildings that they have to be replaced immediately after moving in? Developers do this for the following reasons:

  1. The lower the cost of housing, the more profitable the offer on the real estate market will look among its competitors.
  2. The funds saved on construction mean increased income for the company, and in some cases for one “particularly cunning” manager. If you consider that in a two-entrance nine-story building there are 74 apartments, which on average have three or four windows, from each of which you can put a “left” coin in the safe, then the amount accumulates is considerable. So what can we say about multi-entrance and high-rise buildings?

In addition, the design, although inexpensive, is of decent quality; installed askew into the opening will not have the physical and technical characteristics required for comfortable housing. Why should builders worry about this? It is important for them to deliver the project faster in order to receive a bonus for fulfilling the plan. So it turns out that the first thing happy new residents do is change the windows, and only then think about the decor.

What kind of windows do developers install and what do developers save on?

The total savings of developers leads to the fact that new buildings often have the lowest standard windows made of cheap PVC profiles with thin glass. Sometimes, according to documents, one design is declared, but completely different ones are installed, suitable for glazing only non-residential premises. Do they need to be changed? Definitely yes.

Profile, reinforcement, glass, sealant, absorbent, insulating layers, polyurethane foam, fittings – the quality of all this in the windows of new buildings leaves much to be desired:

  1. A thin three-chamber profile will not protect residents of central Russia (and even more so northerners) from the cold in winter, and a window made from it will not withstand wind, operating loads, or its own weight. This frame sags quickly and cannot be repaired.
  2. Glass that is too thin, only one chamber in a double-glazed unit, poor-quality absorbent in the spacer frame, or poor sealing of the frame due to savings on insulating tapes and foam will lead to the window fogging up, and mold and mildew will appear. In addition, heat will escape from the room, since the double-glazed window is the largest component of the window structure.
  3. The sealing circuit is responsible for heat retention and sound insulation. If low-grade rubber is used, the window will lose its properties within a few months.
  4. Choosing low-quality fittings will lead to the fact that the doors will be difficult to open and close, stick in some position or creak when turning. A cheap handle most likely will not withstand even five hundred turns, breaking or becoming stuck in one position.
Windows in a new building

In this regard, a reasonable question arises: is it possible by law to change windows in an apartment? In a new building or secondary housing – it doesn’t matter. The answer is yes, since the window belongs to the owner of the property. But you can’t expand the opening. This reduces the load-bearing capacity of the walls, which are common property of the house.

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