December 9, 2022

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Which Should You Replace First — Windows or Siding?

Which Should You Replace First — Windows or Siding?

Pella windows being installed on a home

When your home needs several upgrades, it can be a challenge to decide where to begin—especially if time or budget mean you have to be choosy. If both your windows and siding are looking the worse for wear, you may need to pick one or the other to do first. 

If that’s you, we recommend getting a window replacement before siding. Here’s why.

Replacing Windows Can Require Cutting into Siding 

When you get new windows, a moisture barrier is installed around the window frames. This barrier reaches underneath the surrounding siding. This can require your replacement crew to remove or cut into the siding to ensure your windows have the moisture protection they need to prevent costly leaks

You don’t want to risk having new siding damaged during this process. And even if the siding doesn’t get damaged, the removal and reinstallation of it can increase the window replacement crew’s labor costs.

Window Capping Needs to Be Replaced after Siding Installation 

Your windows’ exterior wood frames are surrounded with a protective capping that seals the gap between the window and the wall to prevent leaks and moisture damage. This capping material, made from vinyl or aluminum, tends to get marred when siding is replaced. 

The siding installation team will usually replace it, but if you’re getting new windows soon afterward, that capping will need to be replaced yet again—costing you several hundred dollars extra.

The Type of Windows You’re Using Matters 

Today’s replacement windows can often be installed from within your home, and when that’s the case, your existing siding may not have to be touched at all. This can create some flexibility in how you plan your home upgrades.

If you’re having new construction done, however, with brand-new windows, it’s better to install them first and leave the siding installation for the very end of the project. This lets your siding be an attractive finishing touch.

The Problem You Want to Solve Also Matters 

Depending on your goals, siding and window replacements can both be handy. But by and large, most homeowners want to accomplish improvements that are better addressed by new windows.

Exterior Appearance

If your number one goal is to upgrade curb appeal, then siding and windows may feel about even in their practicality. Super-old windows with extremely worn, outdated frames will age a home, and so will damaged siding. Both are useful options.

Energy Savings

But if you’re looking to create a more livable home, with a more comfortable interior and better energy efficiency, then window replacement is usually the better investment to make first. Drafty air intrusion occurs way more often due to old, worn windows than from siding. Today’s windows add superb insulation.

Comfortable Living Spaces

You’ll also enjoy a brighter, more welcoming living space with new windows that allow in more sunlight and greater views. And windows like Pella have laminated glass that effectively blocks noise, so your home is quieter and more relaxing.

Security

Plus, new windows with the latest safety features can dramatically improve your home’s security. This is one benefit of installing Pella replacement windows—they offer hurricane-proof, impact-resistant glass that resists break-ins, even if the glass shatters. Talk about peace of mind

Does It Ever Make Sense to Replace Siding Before Getting New Windows? 

The main reason to choose a siding replacement first is that you need to repair serious exterior damage, such as rotted wood, cracked siding, or missing boards. These issues mean that your home’s overall structure could be at risk of moisture damage that grows worse—and more costly—the longer you leave it unaddressed.

Can You Replace Siding and Windows at Once? 

Yes! This is an excellent approach. It ensures that installing moisture barriers and window capping can be done just once, avoiding extra charges. Plus, your home gets disturbed only once, making renovations easier on the whole family. Many homeowners save up their remodeling budget so they can do both siding and windows together.

Get Peace of Mind with New, Trusted Siding & Windows from John McCarter Construction   

When your Michigan home is in need of a welcome facelift, the John McCarter Construction team is here to help you plan it from start to finish—answering your questions and offering great materials (like Pella windows!) to give you lasting, lovely results.

Contact us to receive a free quote for your next window or siding project—and fall in love with your home all over again.