Replacing Windows Pays Off for You in the Long Term

February 3, 2022
  1. Replacing windows reduces your energy consumption
  2. Replacing windows protects you from break-ins
  3. Replacing windows protects your night's rest
  4. Replacing windows brings more daylight into your home
  5. Replacing windows increases the value sustainably
  6. Replace windows with a renovation window
  7. Replacing windows: the right window frame
  8. Replace skylight: What you should know
  9. Replacing windows: Cost factors

Do you own an older house or apartment or are you considering buying an older property? Then you should take a close look at the windows. According to the lifespan table, wooden windows last 20 to 40 years and need to be serviced every 10 years. Plastic windows and metal windows last longer (30 to 50 years), but need to be maintained more frequently (every 6 to 8 years). New windows have great advantages: they insulate better and save heating energy, protect better against noise or break-ins, let more daylight into the rooms and increase the value of the house or apartment in the long term. Replacing windows is an investment that pays off sooner rather than later.

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New windows also improve the indoor climate and thus your quality of life. They minimise heat loss and draughts in winter and ensure cool interiors in summer.

Replacing windows reduces your energy consumption

Replacing doors or windows is one of the simplest and most effective measures to sustainably improve the energy efficiency of a house or apartment. The windows in older properties are usually double-glazed and have a U-value of plus/minus 3.0 watts per m2 Kelvin. The U-value expresses the thermal insulation of window glass: The lower the value, the less room heat is lost through the glass. Triple-glazed windows are standard today and have a U-value of 0.5 to 0.6 watts per m2 Kelvin - they keep the heat in the house or apartment just as well as a solidly insulated wall. By changing from double to triple-glazed windows, you can improve the thermal insulation value by around 80 % in one fell swoop with little effort.

Replacing windows protects you from break-ins

Burglars shy away from unnecessary risks and prefer to take the path of least resistance. In older houses or apartments, the windows are a major weak point in the security system. New windows significantly improve burglary protection. Seek advice from a window manufacturer and pay attention to the resistance class. The scale ranges from RC1 for schools or equipment rooms to RC6 for banks or jewellery shops. RC2 is standard for normal houses and apartments, RC3 for upscale properties. For a window with resistance class RC2, an occasional or experienced perpetrator needs simple tools and 3 minutes of time, for a window with resistance class RC3, an experienced perpetrator needs additional lever tools and 5 minutes of time.

Houzy Hint


In our article «Burglary Protection and Alarm System: How to Protect your Home» you will find many tips on how to easily protect your windows and effectively protect your house or apartement.

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Replacing windows protects your night's rest

Standard triple-glazed windows already provide much better protection against noise than double-glazed windows. If you are sensitive to noise, do not sleep particularly deeply or live on a busy road, improved sound insulation may be worthwhile. Modern soundproof windows are high-tech products and achieve sound insulation values of up to 44 %. This means that they protect you and your family up to 85 % better against noise than double-glazed windows.

Replacing windows brings more daylight into your home

New windows have thicker glass and vapour-deposited films or foils in the window structure and thus protect much better from the sun's rays than old windows. In addition, furniture, carpets and curtains fade less quickly. On the other hand, new windows let in 20 to 40 % less daylight. To partially compensate for this, window frames today are usually narrower than in the past. But that is still not enough. That's why nowadays people like to do without the window crosses that are common in old windows in order to increase the glass area. However, this is not always approved by the building authorities.

Replacing windows increases the value sustainably

New windows add value to your house or apartment. Many buyers are willing to pay more if the property is more energy-efficient, uses less electricity, is safely protected and its rooms look more homely thanks to more daylight. You can also change and enhance the image of the house from the outside. For example, with coloured window frames and narrow profiles that perfectly match the façade. Windows are often replaced as part of façade renovations.

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New windows are more robust and easier to maintain and therefore require less frequent maintenance.

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Do you own a listed house? The requirements for listed buildings also apply to window replacement. The challenge is to comply with the regulations and still use all the advantages of modern windows. It is therefore best to talk to an experienced window manufacturer.

Replacing windows
Investing in new windows pays off because you sustainably increase the value of your residential property.

Replace windows with a renovation window

The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to replace old windows with new windows is with a renovation frame. With a replacement frame system, the old window frames are used as load-bearing elements for the installation of the new windows. So-called renovation windows are simply mounted on the old window frames. Because there is usually no need to interfere with the masonry, the blinds or the roller shutters, you save a lot of time and money. Among other things, neither plastering nor masonry work is necessary and you can continue to use your old window ledges, roller shutter boxes or curtain boards. Experts reckon with plus/minus one hour of working time for each window. Renovation windows are therefore ideal for gentle window renovations.

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If the previous frame is no longer usable or you are having the windows extensively renovated, a window system with a full frame makes sense. Then the old window element is replaced by a new complete window.

Replacing windows: the right window frame

Modern window frames are available in wood, in plastic, in wood and aluminium or in plastic and aluminium. The frame materials are equivalent in terms of burglary protection, energy values, indoor climate and sound insulation. These are the most important differences between the frames:

  • Wooden windows are natural and therefore particularly ecological. Their surfaces can be painted with RAL or NCS colours or glazed according to the colour chart.
  • PVC windows are durable and inexpensive. They are reinforced by galvanised steel reinforcement in the frame and sash and can be painted or foiled, even in two colours.
  • Wood-aluminium windows are easy to maintain and technically up-to-date. Their surfaces and aluminium shells can be painted with RAL and NCS colours or according to the colour chart.
  • PVC-U aluminium windows are stabilised by galvanised steel reinforcement in the frame and sash. Their aluminium shells can be painted with RAL and NCS colours or according to the colour chart.

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New windows change the indoor climate. The tighter panes reduce air exchange, which is why humidity rises, especially in rooms with cooler exterior walls. Ventilating for five to ten minutes prevents mould and makes more sense than tilting the window all day.

Replace skylight: What you should know

If you have removed the attic and installed skylights or roof windows, you should check them thoroughly on a regular basis. Cracks and damage to the window frame, rotten wooden frames, gaps between frame components, misted-up panes and porous or even missing seals are an alarm sign. It also makes sense to replace the windows if you are renovating the roof of the house to make it more energy efficient or if you are replacing it completely, so that the roof surface is perfectly insulated from a building physics point of view and insulates as well as possible. The best thing to do is to look for a window manufacturer in your region who specialises in roof windows of your brand. The best-known manufacturers in Switzerland are Fakro, Roto and Velux.

Replacing windows: View through a skylight
Replace skylights if you discover a warning sign such as cracks or damage to the frame.

Replacing windows: Cost factors

The cost of window replacement depends on several factors:

  • For a double-glazed window, calculate with 350 to 500 francs per square metre.
  • Calculate 400 to 600 francs per square metre for a triple-glazed window.
  • Options such as improved sound insulation or safety glass cost extra.
  • Simple wooden windows are the cheapest, wooden or plastic-aluminium windows the most expensive.
  • Windows with two casements cost more than windows with one casement.
  • Windows with turn or tilt fittings cost more than simple casement windows.
  • Expect to pay 100 to 150 francs an hour for the window maker's work.

Houzy Hint


The more windows you replace, the less the square metre should cost, because the window fitter can divide his journey and travel time between more window area.

The figures in the last section are only approximate values for a simple double-leaf window without options such as sound insulation or security plan. Request three quotations from qualified window manufacturers in your region with just a few clicks. Free of charge and without obligation, of course.

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