Storm windows are essentially inserts that are placed on the outside of your existing window to protect them from severe weather and storms. They are a much less costly alternative to hurricane windows, which are full replacement units.
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Storm Window Basics
Storm windows are placed over the existing window as an added layer of protection for the existing windows. They are often a single pane of glass with an aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl frame. In some cases, they are placed on the inside of the windows, usually if the homeowner wants to improve the look of the existing windows, but doesn't want the cost of hurricane windows.
Storm Window Pricing
Storm windows will run $75 to $300 fully installed for a standard sized opening and installation. The installation is relatively simple, but should be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Storm windows placed on the outside need to actually allow moisture in and out of the space. If they are completely sealed, they can lead to condensation issues and eventually rot and mildew. Storm windows are a great low cost alternative to full impact windows. Impact or hurricane replacements will run $500 to $1500 fully installed, compared to the much more reasonable cost of storm windows.
Storm Window Advantages
The cost of the window is by far the biggest advantage. The other advantage is the flexibility, since they can go either on the inside or outside of the window depending on the homeowner's need and the current set up. For instance, if your home has beautiful or historic windows, but are not very energy efficient and not super strong, then the storm window will be placed on the outside. If you want to improve the look of the windows from the inside, then you would want to look at interior inserts.
Storm Window Disadvantages
The big disadvantage is that they don't always look exactly right with your existing windows. Well made storm windows that fit into the current opening do look very nice, but they can look a bit funky if the fit isn't right. Lower end vinyl storm inserts can be somewhat flimsy feeling and might be a decent temporary fix, but may not be a good long term solution. In addition, your current windows must be okay shape for storm windows to be an option. If the contractor sees significant damage to the sill or frame, they may recommend a full replacement. This is one area where getting a few estimates can really help.
Storm Windows And Replacement Windows
Hi Dane, I’m going with the Oknas. Does everyone discard their old storm windows when getting these replacements? It seems to me they having that extra layer of protection in the winter would be beneficial. Would it cause fogged windows all the time?
[Site Editor's Answer]
Joe, I don't live an an environment that gets a lot of rain, but I don't see the harm in leaving the storm windows up. The only issue is ventilation/air flow in the summer for the movable windows. In terms of fogging, you may get some, but give it a go at the beginning and see how it works. If you don't like them or need them, you can always sell or donate the storm windows.
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