While there are many do it yourself jobs most of us would tackle willingly, there’s perhaps something a bit daunting about what is sometimes regarded as structural changes to your home, such as updating windows and doors. In fact, doors and windows don’t interfere with your building’s structure unless you are planning to change the configuration of the openings by making them bigger or smaller. Remember that you will need a building permit to change the sizes of existing openings.
If you’re not planning on such a major change, then working with doors and windows is relatively straightforward. Replace existing doors with new ones if the hinges are still in good order or simply redecorate your existing door by adding new door furniture. If hinges are worn out, measure the locations for new ones and get help when it comes to hanging the doors, as they can be tricky due to their weight and size.
With windows you have a few more options if you want to give them a makeover. Here are some clever ideas to get you thinking.
Changing window treatments
If you simply want to give your windows a new look, there are plenty of thingsto try. You can:
- Change the paint color of wooden frames to match a new décor if you’ve refreshed a room
- Give metal frames a new lease of life by sanding, priming and repainting them
- Change the window dressing, for example the length of your drapes, if you have them
- Swap drapes for cool blinds or handsome shutters.
Painting wooden window frames is easy and you need only clean down existing surfaces, fill any holes or dents and then sand if necessary. Next, add a layer of undercoat and allow it to dry before applying paint in your chosen color. Add an extra coat if you think one is not quite enough or if you’re switching to a light color from a darker one.
Changing window treatments can have an enormous impact on how your rooms look. Longer drapes have romantic appeal, especially if teamed with elegant tiebacks. Shorter curtains are functional and, as with blinds, useful for kitchens and bathrooms.
It has to be said however that window shutters have the edge when it comes to elegant, timeless window dressings, because they look wonderful in every room of your home no matter the size or shape of the window openings. Reputable companies offer DIY shutter guides online and with their help you can quickly and easily measure, order and install shutters yourself. Choose from solid panels, café style, and full height louvered shutters or tier on tier.
In older properties it’s sometimes necessary to replace windows, for example if wooden frames have rotted. You may want to upgrade your windows if they are dated and install better quality double or triple glazed ones. You can either insert new windows into the existing casing if this is sound or strip out both windows and frames. It’s cheaper to leave casings in place, however replacing everything is more energy efficient.
Choosing your new windows may depend upon existing openings. The most common types available are:
- Bay windows with a central large pane and two side panes, familiar from Victorian-style properties
- Casement windows that can be opened and closed like a door
- Double-hung or sash windows, suitable for all types of properties
- Picture windows that are normally one single flat pane of glass
Removing old windows and replacing them with new ones is a time consuming job and will probably take you more than a day per window. Also, windows that are substantial in terms of size are heavy and it may be that you’ll need help to replace them.This is a job well worth doing, however, if you want to smarten up your home, perhaps with a view to selling or increasing the energy efficiency and saving money on your utilities bills.
Repairing window trims and sills
Sometimes the glazing in windows is just fine but the trim is worn or damaged and needs to be replaced. This is not as tricky as replacing the entire window and tackling damaged wooden sills is relatively easy. Simply dig out any rotten wood and fill gaps with proprietary filler. Remember to stain the filler the same color as the existing wood before you use it to plug the crevices.
With the exception of fitting new windows, where you’ll benefit from some extra help, you can undertake most of these jobs yourself and choose the best options to fit your available budget.
Image by Pexels