Modern replacement windows are a good idea for old country farms and cottages often need to have their windows replaced to keep out the weather, improve the look of a property and even add value. The idea of the replacement window is to replace most, but not all elements of an existing window. So long as your property is not restricted by a preservation order these days you can purchase new replacement windows that will match existing windows in almost every instance. Replacement windows  look good, are energy efficient and maintenance-free.

When replacement windows are installed the existing window frame is retained so that the replacement window is fitted within this frame. This means that the glass area of the replacement window will be slightly smaller than the existing window. Vinyl replacement windows are some of the most popular, because they are generally maintenance-free and cheaper than wood replacement windows.

Before installing new windows do your homework first and shop around to make sure that you don’t spend lots of money on windows that will not perform well over time.

A good rule of thumb is to always buy the best quality replacement windows you can afford and make sure that they match the architecture of your home.

Window companies brought in to do the job can usually finish your house in a day or two. In is worth bearing in mind that since the replacement window industry is highly competitive you may be able to do a deal on the price of your windows.

Many people prefer wood replacement windows as they feel that although they are more expensive they are also more traditional, as there is nothing like the look of a nice clear-coated wood window and wood is a wonderful natural insulator.

However wood replacement windows need regular painting or sealing on the inside throughout their lifetime although most wood windows now have exterior cladding so you don’t need to paint them.

Vinyl-framed windows are very acceptable these days as they not only look good but and are an excellent cheaper option especially for those who want to avoid maintenance costs since they never need painting or sealing. Also vinyl replacement windows have a quicker turnaround time than wood windows as most window companies can most probably give you an earlier start time when you order vinyl rather than wood windows.

It’s sometimes tempting if you get a high quote from a window company for installing replacement windows to assume that you can save a high proportion of the costs by installing them yourself. While this is true be aware that it takes a certain amount of practice to get window installation right and you can’t always buy your choice of replacement windows off the peg.

However, in more recent years, some window manufacturers have been responsive to some homeowners’ desire to install their own replacement windows and now offer a wider selection.

Another problem can be the exterior cladding. Specialist window companies will wrap your exterior trim with aluminum that it matches the colour of the windows and provides a tight seal against weather. You will need specialist tools to form the cladding, and it isn’t always an easy task to perform.
Also some makes of replacement windows are easy to install while others can be a challenge even for the professionals. If you are determined to have a go yourself start with smaller windows on the back or side of your home that are not in view from the street.

Do read ALL of the written instructions before you start the job to ensure that you know exactly what you are doing and be sure to have all the necessary tools and materials onsite before you start the job – you do not want to have to leave a window half in place while you take an unexpected trip to the DIY store!

Do make sure the windows are square within the window frame – this is the key to a successful installation. Always look at the gap between the window sashes and the window frame to ensure the gap is the same and when installing fasteners that hold the widow in place, try to not fully install them in case you discover the window is in a bind or does not operate smoothly. If the window works and seals well, then you can drive or screw in the fasteners completely.

If you have any doubts about fitting replacement windows yourself it is advisable to seek expert advice or better still leave it to the professionals. Windows are such a vital part of the structure of any property that unless you are fully competent it is wise to call in a reputable window replacement company rather than try to save money and possibly ruin your home.