850 Building Group

Replacing your Windows Along the Gulf Coast

The environment along the Gulf Coast can be severe and our excessive rain, humidity, sun, salt, and wind are constantly pushing the design capability of all windows and doors. There are so many levels and grades of windows and doors and the same is true for the installation.

Some older, cheaper products just won’t hold up very well in our harsh environment. Installation can vary widely also, with manufacture specs and local building code requirements usually being pretty minimal and not considered best practices. Proper, high level installation can really help extend the life of the window or door but also the life of your structure around the openings.

Problems caused by failing windows, doors or their installation:

Poor window or door operation – They can stop working properly – not opening and closing – not latching good – doors won’t shut tight or lock easily.

Energy draining – weather stripping break down can cause quite a bit of air leakage and humidity intrusion – cold air getting out, warm air getting in, working your AC units more, making the home less comfortable.

Wood rot in the wall – water can make its way through failing parts of the window or door and around the failing caulking around the exterior trim – this can lead to substantial damage to the structural wall around the opening – enough years of this can result in major repair costs. Also, moisture in a wall is all termites need to make that a new home and do further major damage.

Wood or Wood Clad Windows

The deterioration we see in wood windows every year is significant. Generally, the water will eventually find its way to the wood, often in the bottom portion of the window sashes and in the bottom frame portion of the window or door. Preventative maintenance every few years can prolong the life of the window, but this will be a constant battle and one that most homeowners lose. What’s the solution? Some communities require these wood and clad windows, and the only solution there is to maintain the windows as much as possible and replace them when necessary. When possible, it is recommended to replace them with high-quality vinyl or aluminum windows and fiberglass doors with a composite jamb – no wood to rot. These will have a much longer life and need much less maintenance. But, don’t forget to maintain the caulking and paint around the window and trim – failures in these areas can cause great damage in the structure around the window requiring very costly repairs.

Older Aluminum Windows

These windows could be older single-pane or more recent double-pane. Often these cheaper windows have some air leakage, may condensate a good bit, have fogged up glass, and just look old and out-of-date. Changing out to new quality vinyl or high-end aluminum windows can help with energy efficiency and look and operate much better. A high-quality installation is the most important factor to get you a long life with few if any issues.

How long do windows and doors last?

Several factors go into the lifespan of doors and windows. Including location, type of product, the installation, maintenance, etc. Assuming everything is done correctly, they should last you 30+ years.

How do I know what kind of windows to get?

All window manufacturers and windows are not equal. There are undoubtedly some issues with quality and efficiency and how long it takes to deliver product. A good contractor will know the better brands and which windows to use.

What is the most critical part of getting new windows or doors?


Proper professional installation is the most critical factor to get the designed operation and longevity out of the windows and doors. The best installation will not only meet the manufacture’s specifications but exceed them, with proper weatherproofing to stop air and water intrusion. This is not easily accomplished and must include an experienced contractor with knowledge of the latest products and install methods for all types of wall applications.

The framing around the window opening needs to be protected with a waterproofing barrier just in case water does make it to the wall cavity. Any water that gets trapped in the wall can wreak havoc over a few years and lead to serious repairs. Older traditional installation methods are out-ofdate and should not be accepted today.


• The window & framing must be waterproofed properly

• Installed ABOVE manufacturer specifications

• Flashing above the window properly

• Air seal the cavity between the window and the wood framing properly from inside and out, to ensure there is no air or water leakage between structure and window

All of these things will make for an airtight window installation and reduce energy bills.

How much would it cost to replace a window or door?

Like any kind of remodel project, cost depends heavily on many factors. While new windows and doors themselves can range very widely in cost, the installation circumstances can be an even larger component. Here’s some examples to help you determine your budget range:

Example #1

Window – Impact Vinyl windows (PGT), white both sides, no grids, LowE, standard 36”x72” size Wall – Ext is Wood or Hardi siding & wood trim, Int is drywall with window stool only Other Factors – access is easy, single story, disposal of old windows, cleaning new window glass Cost per window – $2,200-$2,500

What could make this price go up?

Changes in window specs like grids, colored vinyl, larger size. Two- or three-story house, difficult access, heavy landscaping, stucco exterior, extra trim detail around window in or out, shutters to remove and re-install.

Example #2

Window – Impact Wood windows (Marvin), primed wood, grids, LowE, standard 36”x72” size Wall – Ext is Wood or Hardi siding & wood trim, Int is drywall with full window casing and trim Other Factors – access is difficult, three story, disposal of old windows, includes removing interior and exterior trim and replacing & painting, cleaning new window glass Cost per window – $4,000-$5,000

What could make this price go up?

Changes in window specs, larger size. Two- or three-story house, more difficult access, heavy landscaping, stucco exterior, extra trim detail around the window in or out, shutters to remove and re-install.

For all of our window and door replacements, we use the same reliable carpenters, including Ron with R&R Trim (850-259-5866), who has been our go-to installer for many years.

Call Ron 850.259.5866

WWW.PROWINDOWANDDOOR.COM 9998 Hutchison Island Suite B, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407(850) 588-8295 FREE QUOTES IN-HOUSE SERVICE DEPARTMENT

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