7 Questions to Ask When Replacing Your Windows

new windows with flowers

Are you considering new windows for your next home upgrade? Replacing windows add a lot of practical value to a house—bringing in natural light, inviting better ventilation, providing improved security, and boosting indoor comfort and energy savings.

But how do you know you’re making the right choice in your new windows? These key questions will help you feel confident in your decision.

1. When Is It Time to Replace My Windows?

Depending on materials and maintenance, home windows last an average of 20 years. Typically, you’ll see signs of aging when it’s time for a replacement, such as:

  • Discolored glass that blocks refreshing natural light
  • Sashes that get stuck or don’t easily open and close
  • Broken glass or damaged frames
  • Condensation between the panes
  • Wood rot and moisture damage
  • Draftiness and rising energy costs because windows aren’t providing insulation
  • Dated appearance that has you dissatisfied

You might also desire a bigger home update. Elegant bow, bay or picture windows can help create the contemporary, luxurious feel you crave.

2. Do I Have to Replace All My Windows at Once?

The simple answer is—no. You don’t have to replace all your windows at the same time. But it can be advantageous to do so. You’ll only have the installation team on your property once, and you can achieve a cohesive look right away.

However, if you want to replace a few key windows, have a tight budget, or are doing several remodeling projects, you can do window replacements in stages.

3. What Window Frame Material Should I Choose?

There are three window frame materials—vinyl, wood, and fiberglass—and each has its pros and cons. Consider what factors are most important to you. For example:

  • Do you need to match a specific style? Historic homes may require wood frames, but note that wood needs constant upkeep.
  • Is the property a rental or a starter home? Vinyl windows are an affordable choice, though they tend to warp and get discolored.
  • Do you plan to stay in your home for a long time? Fiberglass is long-lasting and low maintenance, providing beauty and durable performance.

Click to learn about window styles popular in the Kansas City area

4. What Should I Know about Window Glass?

The glass makeup of your windows is one of the most important elements to weigh as you make your selection. Double- and triple-pane designs provide added insulation to keep your home more comfortable in any weather. Glass panes can also be selected with optional treatments, such as:

  • Low-E (low emissivity) coatings that help improve energy efficiency
  • Shatterproof glass that resists damage from windblown debris
  • Reflective or tinted glass to reduce sunrays from warming your home too much

5. What Other Window Features Should I Consider?

Think about your goals and preferences as you evaluate different window options.

  • If you are concerned about safety, advanced locking mechanisms may be worth considering.
  • Decorative grilles create a historic, traditional look, while a lack of grilles gives you modern style and unimpeded views.
  • Color schemes are also worth thinking about. White frames are classic, while black frames create a striking, contemporary look.

6. Should I Do a Full-Frame Replacement?

This is definitely a question to weigh with your installation team. The two common approaches are a retrofit or a full-frame replacement.


A retrofit is when the window is removed, while the old frame is left in place. It can work if your home is otherwise in great shape.

Full-Frame Replacement

A full-frame replacement changes out the entire window system, including frame, casing, trim, etc. It addresses wood rot, allows for better insulation, and updates frames to refresh your home’s overall style.

7. How Much Do New Windows Cost?

Window replacement costs depend on several variable factors, including the number of windows you’re replacing, style and brand, specialty features, and more. Plan to get 3-5 estimates from local window installation companies and compare prices, as well as how easy it is to communicate. Request references before deciding who to use.

Window Replacements that Give You Peace of Mind

When you’re ready to invest in new windows for your Kansas City area home, remember that choosing the right style and features is only half the story. It pays to select a contractor that cares about the quality of their craftsmanship.

At Smart Exteriors, we use top products built to last and do the work right the first time—so you can enjoy your beautiful, low-maintenance new windows for years to come.

Learn more about our window replacement services.