As you consider homes on the market in the Quinte area and Prince Edward County, paying close attention to every detail is essential. Just as the eyes are the windows to the soul, windows serve as the eyes of a house, offering insight into its overall condition and quality. You may be surprised at how much there is to look for in a window, but having the knowledge could save you a lot of money, and Quinte Living is here to turn you into a savvy buyer who can make informed decisions.

Window Costs and Lifespans

If you’ve never purchased or replaced windows in a house, we’ve got some bad news… they’re not cheap. Depending on the window type, size, quality, and more, a single window will run you anywhere from $300 to $3000. On average, you’re looking at $800 per window replacement.

It’s a lot of money, but it’s home maintenance to protect your investment, increase your comfort, and reduce energy costs in the long run. And sadly, even top-of-the-line windows don’t last forever. They have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, which is why you need to know what to look for at showings and open houses to anticipate extra expenses on a home purchase.

Determining Its Age

If you’re lucky, you can find out at a glance exactly how old a window is. Depending on the manufacturer and type of window, many have the production date etched somewhere inside the frame. Look at the spacers along the inside edges of windows for any manufacturer identification –  some will have the brand and date clearly printed. Others may require more detective work if the numbers don’t appear to correspond to a date.

If you see manufacturer information with strings of numbers that don’t look like a date, you still might be able to find out the production date by googling the brand and finding out how to decipher the numbers. You might not be able to tell at first look, but the numbers will still refer to production dates.

Regardless of a window’s age, there are also many potential warning signs of trouble to look for.

1. Condensation Between Panes

Start by inspecting the windows for any signs of condensation trapped between the panes. This could indicate a failed seal compromising the window’s insulation and energy efficiency. A foggy or milky appearance between the glass layers is a telltale sign.

2. Casing, Caulking, and Seals

Examine the casing, caulking, and seals around the windows, looking for any gaps, cracks, or deterioration. Proper sealing is vital for keeping out drafts, moisture, and pests. Pay attention to any loose or missing caulking, which can lead to water infiltration and subsequent damage.

3. Signs of Mold and Mildew

Inspect the windows’ interior and exterior for signs of mould and mildew. These fungal growths thrive in moist environments and can indicate underlying moisture issues. Check for discoloured patches, musty odours, or peeling paint, especially around the window frames and sills.

4. Wood Rot and Decay

Check for any evidence of wood rot or decay around the window frames, sills, and trim. Soft, spongy areas, crumbling wood, or visible signs of deterioration indicate moisture damage that will require immediate attention. Rotting wood not only compromises the structural integrity of the window but also poses potential health hazards.

5. Operation and Functionality

Test the windows to ensure they open, close, and lock smoothly. Windows operate differently and are made of different materials, such as aluminum, vinyl, and wood, but regardless, operation difficulties may indicate underlying issues with the window hardware or frame, such as damage or warping. Pay attention to any drafts or rattling noises when the windows are closed, as these could signify gaps or poor insulation.

A final critical point is to arrange for a thorough home inspection on any property that you’re prepared to make an offer on. Make sure that your real estate agent includes a home inspection in the conditions and that they can vouch for a qualified inspector who will perform a much more thorough examination than you’re able to without the proper training.

Assessing the condition of windows during showings and open houses tells you a lot that most other potential buyers will miss. If you identify potential issues, you can negotiate accordingly and potentially save yourself thousands of dollars and hours of headaches. At Quinte Living, we prioritize your satisfaction and aim to empower you with knowledge throughout your homebuying journey. Stay tuned for more insightful tips and guidance tailored to your real estate needs. Happy house hunting!

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