If your old windows are starting to allow too much outside noise to enter your home or are literally falling apart, it’s time to consider getting new replacement windows. The same goes for your doors, too. Don’t wait until they fall off their hinges before you dispose of them—not only is it dangerous, but you also leave yourself vulnerable to natural elements.
Replacing your old windows and doors after years (or even decades!) of service is a good move if you want to make your home more energy-efficient. That way, you cut utility bills while beautifying your home.
But what should you do with the used doors and windows afterward they’ve been replaced? This article explores several options homeowners should consider when removing, recycling, or repurposing old windows and doors.
Let’s get started!
Can Glass Be Donated?
The glass portions of your windows and doors are likely made of tempered glass and manufactured with special tints, laminates, and coatings to make them energy-efficient. This means they have a complex chemical composition that makes them difficult to recycle, unlike glass bottles.
However, some private companies work by melting recycled glass windows and turning them into fibreglass. You can also make a few calls and get in touch with local artists in your area, see if they work (or want to work) with glass, and donate your used windows to support their trade.
3 Places That Accept Used Doors and Windows
1. Local Solid Waste Facilities & Drop-off Depots
First, it’s important to learn what you can and cannot recycle.
According to the ENERGY STAR website, if you own a home built before 1978, there’s a huge possibility that a part of it contains lead-based paint, which is the primary cause of lead poisoning in children.
In this case, your recycled windows and doors would be classified as hazardous waste and turned over directly to your local solid waste facility for proper handling and disposal. Ideally, your door, skylight, or window replacement provider should give you adequate information on this matter.
2. Building Materials Reuse Centres
On the other hand, if you have used doors and windows that meet the following conditions, consider donating them to Building Materials Reuse Centres:
- Are made from timber or other sought-after natural materials;
- Are guaranteed free of lead paint; and are
- Still in decent working condition.
Doing so saves your used doors and windows from ending up in landfills already brimming with construction and development waste.
Research if a “Building Materials Reuse Centre” or a similar organization in your area accepts recycled materials from residential properties.
3. Habitat for Humanity ReStores
Another excellent way to repurpose your old windows and doors is by donating them to Habitat for Humanity ReStores, a home and building supply establishment that resells high-quality used building materials.
Donating to or shopping at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a socially and environmentally conscious decision. You help the environment by breaking the vicious cycle of hoarding things and throwing them away—but more importantly, you help generate funding for your local Habitat for Humanity to build decent homes for less fortunate families.
Aside from used doors and windows, you can also donate lumber, lighting fixtures, hardware, tools, furniture, and appliances. Find a local ReStore near you and contact them in advance to check out other acceptable items for donation. Don’t forget to request a receipt so you can write the donation off your taxes by the end of the year.
Get Creative and Upcycle Used Doors and Windows
Before tossing or dismissing them as waste, look at your windows and doors from a fresh perspective. It’s time to put on your creative hat and your “DIY home projects” board on Pinterest to good use.
Here are some ideas that will inspire you to repurpose your used doors and windows and add a rustic vibe to your space:
- Decorate your walls, patio, or garden with a vintage window as an accent piece;
- Use old doors as a rustic headboard for your bed;
- Use old French windows as one-of-a-kind collage wall frame;
- Repurpose old windows and doors made of wood into bookshelves, flowering plant racks, or hanging wreaths; or
- Transform doors into a long table where you and your friends can have an al fresco dining experience.
Build An At-Home Greenhouse
Recycled windows and doors can also be used to construct a greenhouse. Naturally, the number of materials you need will depend on how large you want your greenhouse to be and its specific design.
Have you always wanted a dreamy arbour to set the mood in your garden? What’s stopping you? Now, you can create one using your used doors and windows.
Related article: How To Build An At-Home Greenhouse.
How to Know If It’s Time to Get Replacement Windows or Doors
If you are uncertain about disposing of your old windows and doors, here are some signs that will tell you it’s time to upgrade:
- Original windows and doors from homes built in the 1970s;
- Rotting frames and sash of wooden windows and doors;
- Malfunctioning in terms of opening and closing mechanisms;
- Fogginess or condensation appearing between the panes of the glass;
- Structural damages (e.g. weathered, warped, or cracked);
- Poor heat insulation during winter;
- Expensive energy bills for heating and air conditioning caused by window or door gaps; and
- Incidents of water damage or insect infestation caused by faulty windows or doors.
Look No Further Than Clera Windows + Doors
Clera Windows + Doors offers stylish windows and doors made of premium-quality materials that will serve your home for years to come. Our products are ENERGY STAR Certified to ensure lower energy bills and a lower carbon footprint for eco-conscious homeowners.
We take care of everything for you—from custom designs and manufacturing all the way to installation. Our team can also assist in connecting clients with non-profit institutions if they wish to recycle windows and old doors.
Give your home a stunning upgrade today. Contact us to get a FREE estimate!