The Best Window Replacements for Older Homes | Ep. 82

And old home with lap siding and old, worn out windows
There are more durable, energy-efficient alternatives to older windows like these.

Folks who want to update older homes often consider window replacements. That’s no surprise since many older windows aren’t as strong — and certainly aren’t as attractive — as newer ones.

But when you have windows that are old, ugly and inefficient, what can you do about them? It’s sometimes hard to know where to start.

Advice for Window Replacements

Pella windows are among the best in the industry, and they’re easily retrofitted on older homes. Best of all, you just need to give the company the window openings’ exact measurements and they’ll get to work on replacements.

Andersen is another good company, as is Jeld-Wen windows. You can’t go wrong with any of these top brands, but some are better than others when it comes to retrofit situations.

On that note, Andersen has a special plan for window replacements — Renewal by Andersen. That’s one way to go, and most of the windows would be wood with aluminum cladding. They also have fiberglass windows.

But vinyl replacement windows are increasingly popular. Many of them are reinforced with steel and have a lot of features you’ll want, such as energy efficiency.

If you want to spend a little extra money, go with the top brands. But you should also consider vinyl for window replacements.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [2:13] “I live in an older home that still has paneling in most of the rooms. What do you recommend: cover it or remove it?”
  • [9:23] “Our 40-year-old brick home has several spots where the mortar has cracked and fallen out. Is there an easy way to mix my own mortar and get it into those joints without making a huge mess?”
  • [10:58] “We have a mid-’60s home with old traditional lateral sliding windows and they’re not very efficient. We were considering [replacing them] with Pella … but we’re wondering if you have any recommendations.”
  • [14:34] “We have hardwood floors that are a little dirty and scratched, but otherwise in decent shape. However, the original topcoat finish is worn in spots. Is there a way to refinish the floors without sanding them down to bare wood?”
  • [17:22] Best New Product: Aqua-Seal Tape from Nashua Tape
  • [18:47] TH Radio Engineer Dennis talks about his current project of replacing fence boards — but he doesn’t want to use treated wood
  • [21:28] “I have a question about cleaning my walls. We have a wood furnace and wood stove, so I know they need washing. What’s the best thing to use?”
  • [23:33] “I have a question about a water heater in a home. We installed a brand new one, and for some reason it doesn’t seem to be making the water hot. Help!”
  • [25:19] Around the Yard, sponsored by Pavestone: Dealing with weeds — start with a soil test
  • [27:49] Simple Solution: How to keep a door from closing on its own
  • [29:05] Question of the Week: “I have a large front porch and it’s a concrete slab. It has a large crack down the middle, and on one end it has sunk about 5 inches, so when it rains, I have a pond I have to walk through. How can this be fixed?”

Question of the Week

Q: “I have a large front porch and it’s a concrete slab. It has a large crack down the middle and on one end it has sunk about 5 inches, so when it rains, I have a pond I have to walk through. How can this be fixed?”

A: Since the slab has fallen 5 inches, there’s a significant settlement issue. Hire a foundation expert to jack up the slab. Some use high-density foam; others use hydraulic jacks.

First, find out what that would cost. Then, if it’s too much for your budget, hire someone to remove the slab and pour a new one.

Like with the window replacement, get a pro out there — just make sure the job is done right so it never has to be done again.

  • [2:13] “I live in an older home that still has paneling in most of the rooms. What do you recommend: cover it or remove it?”
  • [9:23] “Our 40-year-old brick home has several spots where the mortar has cracked and fallen out. Is there an easy way to mix my own mortar and get it into those joints without making a huge mess?”
  • [10:58] “We have a mid-’60s home with old traditional lateral sliding windows and they’re not very efficient. We were considering [replacing them] with Pella … but we’re wondering if you have any recommendations.”
  • [14:34] “We have hardwood floors that are a little dirty and scratched, but otherwise in decent shape. However, the original topcoat finish is worn in spots. Is there a way to refinish the floors without sanding them down to bare wood?”
  • [17:22] Best New Product: Aqua-Seal Tape from Nashua Tape
  • [18:47] TH Radio Engineer Dennis talks about his current project of replacing fence boards — but he doesn’t want to use treated wood
  • [21:28] “I have a question about cleaning my walls. We have a wood furnace and wood stove, so I know they need washing. What’s the best thing to use?”
  • [23:33] “I have a question about a water heater in a home. We installed a brand new one, and for some reason it doesn’t seem to be making the water hot. Help!”
  • [25:19] Around the Yard, sponsored by Pavestone: Dealing with weeds — start with a soil test
  • [27:49] Simple Solution: How to keep a door from closing on its own
  • [29:05] Question of the Week: “I have a large front porch and it’s a concrete slab. It has a large crack down the middle, and on one end it has sunk about 5 inches, so when it rains, I have a pond I have to walk through. How can this be fixed?”


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