Dear Angie: What is the cost of installing new storm windows? — Carol V., Watertown, Mass.
Dear Carol: Any home with single-pane wood windows can benefit from the addition of storm windows, which add an extra layer of protection from the elements, reducing drafts and even offering some soundproofing.
The cost of storm windows, including installation, is about $200 to $300 each, depending on the window size and amount of prep work required around the opening.
Storm windows haven't been a standard part of home construction since the 1980s, when energy-efficient windows became the norm. Today, you find them on older homes whose owners haven't upgraded to modern windows. In some areas, local building codes prohibit new windows on historical structures, so storm windows are the only option to block bad weather.
Cost is a factor when deciding whether to buy new storm windows or invest in replacement windows. Depending on the size, a quality storm window can be more affordable than replacement windows, which can start at around $450 each.
Aluminum storm and screen combo units are the most common storm windows used on double-hung and sliding windows. These are typically installed from the outside, onto the blind stop (part of the molding in the frame) of the existing window.
To cover the outside of casement, awning and some picture windows, another option is removable glazing panels (RGP) with thin aluminum frames. Some installers use interior RGPs, but in colder climates, this raises a condensation concern. RGPs also add weight to the operating sash, which may require an upgrade to existing window hardware.
Storm windows are a custom product. You'll need someone to measure your windows and then construct the storms. It's important that whomever you hire has experience with storm windows, because a good fit will offer the best protection from the elements. Consider local window companies that have positive consumer reviews on a trusted site; are appropriately licensed, insured and bonded; and can confirm expertise with storm windows.
If you need help installing existing storm windows, or you want minor repairs, consider hiring a handyman service. To repair broken glass, take the storm window to a glass shop.
Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angieslist.com to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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