New windows and doors provide a rather impressive face-lift to the facade of a tired home, and they also offer improved security. The old windows on your home might have a cool, vintage look, but they could also represent an easy way for thieves to break into your home.
When It’s Time to Replace
A number of factors influence whether you might need to replace your windows and doors. Older homes with solid wood construction often feature hardy windows that stand the test of time; however, windows from homes built in the 1970s and 1980s might be nearing the time at which replacement would be best.
According to “This Old House,” exterior doors made of steel and wood can last as long as the house stands while other types of doors may need to be replaced sooner:
Exterior fiberglass, steel and wood doors will last as long as the house exists while vinyl and screen doors have a life expectancy of 20 and 40 years, respectively. Closet doors are expected to last a lifetime, and French doors have an average life of 30 to 50 years.
Further impacting these timeframes are environmental factors that may reduce the security granted by old windows and doors. Houses often settle over time, and if the foundation isn’t straight, gaps might start to appear at the edges of windows and doors. These gaps represent a serious security issue.
Deciding on Glass for Your Door
If you’re particularly concerned with the security of your home, you’ll want to consider doors without windows. Window panes in and around the door are often an aesthetic choice, but any glass around a doorknob is a security risk.
However, avoiding glass entirely isn’t absolutely required. You may choose a door with intricate ironwork in which glass has been inserted. Some security doors even feature glass that’s strong because it’s incredibly thick and impossible to break without some serious tools.
A new door and newly installed windows will offer improved security for the home simply because they’re made of new, strong materials. However, a few installation decisions can make those doors and windows even stronger.
Additional Tips to Improve Home Security
Using a security door and installing double-paned glass in the windows improves the security of the home, but all the security in the world won’t help if the doors aren’t kept locked and the occupants of the house are careless with simple security matters.
For example, one of the most popular areas of the home for burglars is the garage. Thieves love entering through the garage because homeowners routinely forget to lock the interior door that leads from the garage into the home.
Remember to keep doors and windows locked as standard practice, even if someone is at home. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and their National Crime Victimization Survey, about a million burglaries in 2010 occurred when someone was at home.
Need New Windows and Doors?
Don’t take the risk of living with old windows and doors. Contact Builders & Remodelers today for information on how you can improve the security of your home through exterior renovations.