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Storm Windows vs. Replacement Windows

Bay Window Photo

In this post you will learn …

  • Learn about the difference between Storm and Replacement Windows.
  • Are storm or replacement windows a better option for your home?
  • Which replacement option should last longer?

The decision between replacing your old windows or installing storm windows is the subject of a long and bitter ongoing debate among designers, architects, contractors, and home-lovers. There are many factors to compare, and each situation is very unique. Trying to assess the different factors gives many people a headache and often leads to rushed choices and misguided decisions. So let us proceed slowly, with caution.

What’s the difference between storm windows and replacement windows? First, let’s define our terms and learn a little about each:

Storm Windows

“Storm windows” refers to windows that are installed on the outside of the already-installed, primary house windows. Their reason for being is to give extra wind protection and weather insulation. Storm windows are installed on top of your existing windows to normalize the temperature inside.

Storm windows can be custom-ordered to fit over your current windows and are available in a number of different colors. They are usually installed on the exterior of your existing windows, but you can opt for interior storm windows as well. They come in either two-track or triple-track configurations.

Replacement Windows

Replacement Windows Picture

“Replacement windows” refers to a number of different types of installations where an old window is taken out and replaced by a new one. Frequently, replacement windows, with their new technology, can offer a substantial savings in energy costs over time, along with superior durability and guarantees.

Stanek Windows by Great Day Improvements, LLC offer regular, state-of-the-art, low-energy replacement windows, customizable to your every whim. These contemporary windows provide superb durability, performance, and beauty in a slender, attractive frame. Choose from a wide variety of shapes and styles to suit your needs, from casements to bow or bay windows, and everything in between.

Along with our UltraExtreme® replacement windows, we also offer Stanek Wood Series windows. These lovely vinyl windows preserve the historic look and ambiance of any historic home, while providing a low-maintenance, energy efficient solution.

It All Depends…

To make a good decision about whether to restore or replace your windows, many factors should be considered:

  1. How much can you afford? Usually, any kind of home upgrade comes down to this one vital question. If money’s not a problem, then storm windows aren’t the best option, unless you simply want to keep the old windows for aesthetic reasons. If money’s tight, storm windows are the way to go… for now, at least.
  2. Are you handy? If so, you can probably install your own storm windows, while replacement windows should be left to the experts.
  3. How old are your old windows? Most experts agree that you can put an end to the dilemma around choosing storm vs. replacement windows if your present windows are 30 years old or more. In this case, the new replacement windows will save you money in the long run.

The information below will help you compare detailed advantages and disadvantages of both solutions.

Storm Windows vs Replacement Windows

Storm Windows


  • Cheaper
  • Reduces airflow for better insulation
  • Allows you to keep the old aesthetic
  • Easier to install
  • Can be installed yourself or by a professional
  • Helps make the main window warmer
  • Protects the primary window’s insulation
  • Helps reduce noise


  • Less energy efficient
  • Less attractive
  • Must be changed out every 2-3 years
  • Difficult to clean or maintain without unscrewing
  • Must be maintained at least once a year to avoid pitting and oxidation
  • Tracks must be lubricated and kept clean
  • Sometimes traps moisture on interior window
  • Lets in less light

Replacement Windows


  • Better energy efficiency
  • Better insulation and climate control
  • No need to change out (a permanent solution)
  • Near-zero maintenance
  • Better design choices
  • Raises the home’s value
  • More seamless appearance
  • Reduces outside noise
  • Lets in more light


  • More expensive
  • Changes the look of an older house and may undermine its historic charm or value
  • Should be installed by an expert
  • Takes more time to complete the installation

A Brief Summary

An article on the impartial government website,, puts it this way: “If you have old windows in your home, the best way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to replace them with new, energy-efficient windows.” It goes on to say that for home renovators on tight budgets, storm windows are a good option.

So, if your old windows aren’t too bad, installing good storm windows and weather-protecting the old ones will be your cheapest, easiest option.

Replacing your old windows with new-technology, energy-efficient windows are the clear winner in long-term value, but it’ll cost more up front. Choose proven brands, such as Stanek brand UltraExtreme vinyl replacement windows, that are durable, beautiful, and backed by a solid, limited lifetime material warranty and a two-year labor warranty.

About Quality Low-Energy Replacement Windows

When it’s time to replace, always take advantage of the situation by choosing Energy Star-certified replacement windows. All of Stanek brand windows, by Great Day Improvements, LLC, proudly bear the Energy Star rating. Need help? Schedule a free consultation with Stanek experts, with absolutely no obligation!