World of Windows

Danny Lipford examining window

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In this episode, Danny shares his insights on how make repairs to older windows and when to replace them.

Danny details how to replace window hardware, repair counterweights, free windows that have been painted shut, and even how to make windows more efficient by adding foam tape weather stripping. Also included is step-by-step guidance on replacing a broken pane of glass, re-glazing, replacing a full sash, and options in replacement windows.

Producer's Notes from Allen Lyle

I really anticipate this as being one of our more popular shows. Face it, if you have a house, you’ve got windows and, eventually, you’re going to run into some problems. You might be surprised at just how much square footage the windows in your home includes, and doors and windows are the major culprits for energy loss. In fact, the amount of energy loss is rather staggering. You might want to sit down for this one.

cross-section of a double pane window

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy lost through both commercial and residential windows costs American consumers around $25,000,000,000.00 every year. Yes, that’s twenty-five billion. A study by the University of California puts it into perspective by comparing it to the value of oil delivered by the Alaskan pipeline. Your best bet, if you have single-pane windows, is to replace them with the double-paned insulated models. Make sure they are rated as “low-emissivity” windows. This quality can further reduce energy lost by an added 35% over normal double-glazed windows.

Installing Windows

Removing a window

I don’t want to mislead you, though. Replacing your windows will be expensive. If you shell out the dough, though, you’ll recoup the loss in energy savings. Now, Danny mentioned that this is a job best left for the professional. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make the attempt. A big chunk of change is going to be for the labor of installation. If you’re a fairly handy person, why not do it yourself? The Kight Home Center, based out of Evansville, Indiana has a great web site that details a step-by-step procedure to replace windows.

Choosing Windows

When it comes to choosing a good replacement window, you need to do your homework, because not all glass is created equal. You need a good source for unbiased opinion, and the Efficient Windows Collaborative is the place to go. They have a ton of useful information on energy-efficient windows and what you should look for. One of my favorite tools on their site is a cost comparison of windows specific to your region of the country. You can even differentiate between new construction and remodeling.

Of course, you can also read Choosing The Right Windows, right here on this website.

Other Tips From This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Easy Workbench

Easy Work Bench

Create an easy workbench for your open stud wall garage or shop by cutting two 1×4’s and a 2x4diagonal brace. Join them together with drywall screws. Slip the 1×4’s around the exposed studs and attach them with drywall screws to the shed. Attach one long drywall screw into the bottom of the 2×4 diagonal brace. This will create an incredibly strong bench top workspace because all the weight is transferred to the diagonal brace. And, because there are no legs to the workbench there’s plenty of floor space for boxes and the like. Top the 1×4’s with a notched piece of plywood. The notches should go around the studs so there’s a nice tight fit against the wall. (Watch This Video)

Best New Products:

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
American Standard sink with Scotchgard Protector

American Standard sink with Scotch Guard Protector

With all the toothpaste, soap, shaving cream and make-up that’s used in a bathroom, a sink can become full of grime pretty quick. Several bathroom sinks by American Standard are taking the hassle out of cleaning with their unique Scotchgard surface protection. Supposedly, you could even write on the sink with a marker and it would still come off. Now that’s tough compared to toothpaste and soap stains so we’re talking a really easy to clean sink here. The unique finish not only makes it easy to wipe away grime but it also allows water to bead up and run off into the drain instead of collecting in the sink and causing water spots. The American Standard bathroom sink with Scotchgard is available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Landscape Barriers

Weeding stinks. And, how do you know whether to use plastic or one of those woven weed barriers?

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Landscape Barriers

  • Fabric weed barriers let moisture and air through, while plastic is able to keep water away from basements and foundations.
  • Fabric blocks sunlight from the weed seeds hiding in the soil so they have less chance of germinating, but still allows moisture and air to work their way to the soil and roots.

Using fabric: Make sure to cover the barrier with 3 to 4 in. of mulch; otherwise, weed seeds can find their way down to the fabric and actually take root through it.

Using plastic: Slope the soil away from your foundation 1 or 2 in. per foot, then install black plastic. Slit the plastic near the plants so water can penetrate to the roots. Gravel will keep things like mulch and wood chips in place or you can use metal staples to secure the plastic. (Watch This Video)


  1. I was looking for contact information on the people that drilled small holes in the double paned windows to remove the moisture and then cleaned it out and resealed them? I was not able to find this information on your website.


  2. I love your show. Today i missed it but came in just as you were saying how the show showed how to remove condensation from inbetween panes and this is a problem we have. Would it be possible for you to e-mail me the information? I would appreciate it greatly.
    Thanks so much.
    Marilyn Pinzone

  3. am looking to replace a wooden frame bathroom window, how do i measure it correctly to order a low e-glass replacement?

  4. I would like to get in touch with Crystal Clear Window works featured on this program. Can you give me an address for them? thanks Johanna

  5. I have a huge problem with leaky windows or with the way they are installed. The exterior rear wall of our home in the living area is almost all windows (french doors & six windows). The wall is two stories high. There is no overhang or covered porch; the wall faces east; and is covered with hardi board siding. When it rains really hard, lots of water comes into the house, seemingly from the top of two of the lower windows. Any suggestions on how to correct this problem?

    • Hazel,
      It’s hard to say without seeing it, but it could be a flashing problem where the window casing meets the siding. A metal drip cap that goes behind the siding and over the front of the window casing might help.

  6. how is the best way to seal up a metal door? there is an air leak at the bottom of each side. i can feel cold air coming in. is there a better way than the press on foam pads/strips?

  7. The best way to improve the performance of a single pane window is to install a good quality storm window. As you can see from all the posts about fogging glass, the problem with double pane windows is that they fail and usually in a very short period of time. Saving your old windows, maintaining them so the ropes work, the putty is in good conditon, and perhaps installing some weather stripping will result in a window that is every bit as energy efficient as a new window but will last another 100 years. The reason they call them replacement windows is that they have to be replaced every 10-20 years. What a huge financial burden for a homeowner. Fix your windows, install storm windows for a fraction of the life cycle cost and all of the benefit.

  8. Thought I should bring up the fact that this article describes replacing windows in an older home without any mention of lead containment which is now a EPA requirement for all contractors and builders. Prior to work like this on any home built before 1978 you will need to use surface protection products and safety apparel to properly work on an area which has previously had lead tainted paint applied.

    • Hi Contractorgal,
      You’re right, a lot has changed regarding lead containment in the years since this show aired. Thanks for the feedback.


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