Don't ruin your home with replacement windows! 

     "Replacing windows is rarely cost effective based solely on energy savings."

                                     — US EPA and Department of Energy's Energy Star Program

In a cold climate, the best way to improve single-glazed windows is to install exterior storm windows with low-e glass.

On most houses we see the paint is stable.  Encapsulation with another paint will solve the so-called problem.  The lead-scare tactic keeps us from thinking about this clearly.  We aren't raising and lowering our windows hundreds of times a day.  Even if we were, the amount of dust would be non-existent or negligible, and is much less than a proper diet would take care of.  Unless the paint is so unstable it is peeling off in chips, you'll find infinitely more lead in the yard surrounding your house, and no one is recommending your lawn be dug up and hauled away.

Spread the Word!  POST FLYERS!

Print out this pdf on Alien Green Cardstock and post it in your neighborhood.

Replacement Window Ripoff Flyer.pdf Replacement Window Ripoff Flyer.pdf
Size : 29.155 Kb
Type : pdf


Is Restoration Really Cheaper Than Replacement?

     In virtually all cases YES!  In most cases you don't even need the services of a professional restorer.  You can add an exterior or interior storm window if you don't already have one for a much lower cost.  An exterior will protect your windows, an interior might preserve the look of a historic home.  
     Most homes will already have a storm window though, so all that is needed is some V-seal or spring bronze to seal drafts out of the tracks, foam weather strip to seal the bottom, and a sash lock that pulls the windows tight to seal the tops.  With these simple steps you have already met or exceeded the efficiency of replacements!  Replacing broken sash cords is a quick and easy operation that will get you set for the next hundred years.

     Even rotting sashes and sills can easily be restored with products like LiquidWood and WoodEpox.  All of these steps are something any handyperson can do and many people can easily do themselves, each for a fraction of the cost of replacements.  And your house painters should already be touching up the glazing compound each time they paint.

      You can go the professional restoration route, and even have the original glass routed out and replaced with double pane, insulated glass.  Unless you are absolutely opposed to having storm windows of any kind there is no reason for this kind of trouble or expense.  If you have a home that is a historical showpiece and need something museum quality, that type of restoration can be equal or even higher than the initial costs of a replacement window.  

     While the initial cost of this type of professional restoration might be higher, remember that replacement windows need to be replaced every 20 years.  Original heartwood windows can easily last 200 years or much longer!  So multiply the cost of replacements by at least 10 when comparing to the cost of restoration!

     With a tune-up or repair, whether done yourself or by a handyperson, the cost is a small fraction of replacements and still lasts many times longer.

     Only once in my life, after looking at hundreds of houses, did I ever see a single house that was a candidate for replacement windows. 


Articles updated.  Lots of new information on the articles page.


     If you own an older home with wooden windows be careful!  Many well-intentioned but misinformed people will tell you that you will save money and energy by replacing your windows.  You will save neither.

     Although many mean well, there is a reason why they have been given the nickname the "replacement window pirates."  As this site develops it will show you why.

The truth is coming out.

     If you are lucky enough not to have fallen victim to the so-called "replacement window pirates" thank goodness you are finding out the truth.  Your old heartwood windows, with their iron pulleys and cotton sash cords, can be maintained at a fraction of the cost of replacements and last 10 or 20 times as long, if not more.  A few facts to tide you over until our first draft of our feature article is ready.

     According to Co-op America replacement windows have a life expectancy of only about 20 years.

     According to Fine Homebuilding you will never find wood anywhere near as good as the heartwood in your original windows

     Only 20% of your home's heat loss is through windows, and 90% of that is through air leaks that are easily and inexpensively sealed.

     Even if there were an energy savings with replacement windows they will not last anywhere near long enough to pay for themselves.  Estimates are that these windows last as little as 20 years, but will take 50 years to pay for themselves if you do not have a storm window.  If, like nearly every home, you do have storm windows estimates for the payback period are from 222 years to never.

     How do replacement window companies show a "savings" with their window?  Creative measuring.  They measure at the center of the window, ignoring air leaks, ignoring that their windows don't hold up and may leak more, and pretending that your window is "single-pane" when your storm window actually gives you a dead air space large enough to insulate, unlike their windows.  In overall efficiency, the savings with replacement windows are negligible to nonexistent.  The unrecoupable costs of replacements are tremendous. 

     Once you replace your heartwood windows with replacements, you enter into a cycle of constantly replacing windows, a cycle that could be avoided with minimal upkeep.

     Once thought to increase the value of your home, those in the know are now avoiding homes with replacement windows.  Replacement windows will actually decrease the value of your home.  Replacing good windows can decrease the value of your home about four times what you paid for them.  So if you spend $10,000 on replacement windows, your homes value can drop $40,000, which puts you out $50,000 total, with no energy savings to speak of.

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More to come

We have stacks of information on the fallacies of replacement windows and the benefits of sticking with the higher quality and the high efficiency of your original windows.