How to Inspect Window Features When Buying an Older Home

January 30, 2018



Window Features When Buying An Older Home - Clera Windows + Doors

There are countless things to consider when buying a home, especially if you’re browsing older homes. You’re probably getting swamped with conflicting advice from family and friends while feeling overwhelmed with all the information you encounter during the entire buying process. Of course, there is the usual excitement and anticipation of finding the perfect home and finally making it your own!

Older homes have a lot to offer and are great for a few very good reasons: They are likely to fit a first time buyers budget, the vintage charm, character, and well-made expert craftsmanship of old world techniques. While all of these characteristics are surely attractive, there are other important details to consider, square footage, cost, overall value, and other structural details that may cost you in maintenance and repairs in the near future if they are overlooked during the buying process.Here are some crucial aspects to consider before buying an older home:

  • Are there any apparent cracks in the foundation? How solid is the foundation?
  • Is the HVAC system functioning well? Has there been any major repairs on the HVAC system recently?
  • Does the septic tank need replacing?
  • What is the condition of the bathrooms, showers, and kitchen? Will it require renovations?
  • What is the condition of the roof? Will it need any repairs?
  • Are the windows and doors leaking air? Do the windows and doors function and lock properly?

Getting the answer to these questions before sealing the deal is imperative as it is likely that these are the costs that would most impact you in the future. While other minor repairs, renovations, and general maintenance tasks around the home are more reasonable in cost. A home inspector may cover all these topics however, windows and doors are often overlooked during the inspection process. Replacement windows and doors are an investment which is why it’s important to consider their value before going forward with the purchase of a home.

Become a 2-minute expert on how to inspect windows before buying an older home with these top 10 window defect identified by window experts themselves:

  1. Foggy windows - When the inert gas seal is broken, damaged or deteriorated, moist air and dust can make their way to the center area and condense on the interior surface of the glass, eventually building up a foggy haze.
  2. Damaged wood trim on the exterior of the house - When water is trapped and left on the wood surface that is not sloped downward away from the wall and allows rainwater to sit until it evaporates. These areas soon develop spots of wood rot and, if left unrepaired, allow water to enter the wall and begin to rot the wood framing.
  3. Cracked window pane - a pretty obvious defect, a broken window will serve no good purpose and it is also unsafe around children. It will need to be replaced immediately.
  4. Missing or damaged screens - You’ll want to ensure that all the screens are replaced on all the windows. Sometimes they are stored somewhere else in the home and just need to be installed again.
  5. Lack of exterior flashing - One main indication of a quality building contractor is a strip of metal flashing that covers the top of the window trim and is secured behind the siding directly above the window. It’s an effective deterrent to water entry at the top of the window. Some builders depend on a bead of caulk to seal the seam between the siding and top trim, but over time the caulk eventually fails.
  6. Window is not opening, closing, or locking with ease - There should be no difficulties opening, closing, or locking the windows with the exception that there may be furniture or other blockages in the way of testing the window. Report any issues if they are identified upon inspection.
  7. Evidence of water leak into the home - Water stains around the window is a clear sign of water intrusion from the windows.
  8. Broken lock - A broken lock on an older window could mean a misalignment of the sash or that the hardware on the lock is simply worn out and broken.
  9. Missing handles - The windows won’t be able to function at all without the operative handles!
  10. Air leaks - Feeling a cold draft coming through a closed window is not a good sign. Look for areas where the caulking may of failed or if the weather stripping is still in good condition.

If you’ve been considering replacement windows for your home, speak to a specialist at Clera Windows and Doors first. We’d be happy to provide our insight on different types of replacement windows that may benefit you or other options that might suit your home’s needs for added comfort and security. Clera Windows and Doors is family run company since 1978, you can be assured that we understand and appreciate the importance of any home renovation project to your family. We’re in the business of providing comfort and security for households across Canada, and we couldn’t be more grateful for all the homes and families that have entrusted us with such an important decision to improve their home’s functionality and security. All of our fenestration installation technicians are rated by the Canadian Standards Association and our products are all ENERGYSTAR rated as well, so you know our work can be trusted. We've also taken home the “Top Choice Award” and are so confident in our craftsmanship that we include a written, lifetime factory warranty on our products. Contact Clera Windows and Doors to find a specialist in your area and set up a free consultation today!

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