With the approach of warmer weather, and all the time we’re spending at home these days, many homeowners have noticed that their window frames are looking a little tired. More and more of us are looking for a way to save on professional painting fees to get our soffit repainted whilst also protecting fascia from rain and moisture damage.
Enter window capping.
In this article we’re going to explain what window capping is, explore the benefits it offers homeowners, some issues to be aware of, and—very importantly—how window capping can improve the look of your home.
If you’re looking for a two birds, one stone way to increase the value of your home, window capping could be the solution for you.
Window Capping in Chicago | Get a Free Quote (847) 999-7920
Window capping is a cost effective way to protect your existing windows and exterior trim—without going to the expense of a total window replacement. Call Royalty Windows today at (847) 999-7920 to get a free quote on window capping in Chicago
Window capping is having vinyl sheeting, wood, or aluminum sheeting fitted over the existing window frame. The vinyl or aluminum sheeting is carefully cut and formed to fit flush over your window’s casing. After that, it will be caulked—vital to guaranteeing an air- and water-tight seal.
The window capping approach covers warped, bowed, or peeling window frames, eliminates annual repainting, and increases the lifespan of your window trim.
Benefits of Window Capping in Chicago
It’s easy to see the benefits of window capping once you understand it as an exterior window solution:
- Easy care: window capping covers cosmetic damage to your window frames, saving you the time and money it takes to repaint your window frames every few years. Because window capping uses more weather-resistant materials, maintenance becomes a breeze.
- Weather resistance: window capping is designed to withstand the elements, and prevent wind, water, and heat damage. The materials used in window capping are designed especially to protect your window framing from elemental damage. You’ve got peace of mind, knowing that window capping redirects water away from your window seals.
- Curb appeal: instantly increase your home’s street appeal by capping your exterior windows. You can improve the look and durability of your home without the major expense of replacing all your windows.
- Redirection: window capping directs water away from the surrounding area—meaning your siding and frames stay drier, longer. This, in turn, lengthens the lifespan of your wood cladding and siding.
- Sealing: having your windows capped has the added bonus of sealing the join between your walls and windows. This has the flow-on effect of stopping warm air from leaking out of your home in winter—making it a power-saving solution, as well as an aesthetic one.
Are there any downsides to window capping?
In a nutshell: no. But as with any window solution you and your family are considering, it might be worth thinking about how window capping can affect your home’s aesthetic and practical functions.
- Fading: window capping typically uses one of two materials—vinyl or aluminum. Because these offer flexibility and can be powder-coated to almost any color, they are made to match your home or contrast in any way you like. It doesn’t need to be painted, but it can fade over the years. Fading takes a long time, but it is something worth considering for all homeowners.
- Personal taste: one downside with window capping is that aluminum and vinyl do not look like wood, and some people definitely prefer the appearance of wood siding. If the texture and appearance of wood appeals to you, it may be worth looking into some advances is vinyl technology. Some pre-made vinyl materials can be mixed with sawdust to give a more realistic wood-look, with the durability, flexibility, and affordability of vinyl.
- Storm damage: window capping is designed to make your home more resistant to weather damage, but it isn’t perfect. No material used in home exteriors is invincible! Aluminum capping can be damaged by hail or impact, and leave dents in the material itself. Although it happens very rarely, and some companies offer a warranty against this, some capping can be blown off in a wind storm.
- Rot and wood damage: window capping is excellent for covering the appearance of aged or peeling window framing. It is not a good solution for disguising rotten or disintegrating wood, or a quick-fix solution for this type of issue before you put your home on the market. Rot, water damage, or insect damage needs to be remedied before your windows are capped, or you risk creating unhealthy levels of moisture and mold.
- Expertise: window capping requires a level of expertise not often found in the DIY enthusiast. It is difficult to cover up mistakes with window capping, and you run the risk of ending up paying hundreds—or thousands—in repairs and remediation, rather than having your windows capped professionally, the first time. Because the main goal of window capping is to provide a level of protection against water and elemental damage, it is important that someone with an understanding of flashing, construction, and windows handles this type of work. A reliable window installation company can generally carry out window capping work for under $500, which is only slightly more than you would pay for a painter and maintenance person to maintain your windows over the next decade.
- Future renovations: it’s worth keeping in mind any work you plan on doing to the exterior of your home. Window capping is likely to be damaged when you replace your siding, as the replacement process can leave minor dings and dents in the capping materials. If you plan on having new siding installed, plan to have your window capping done at the same time. This may seem inconvenient now, but it will save you money—and heartache—compared to repairs after the fact.
- Planning: in much the same vein as our last point, having renovations done to the exterior of your home can cause another issue. What happens if your new siding doesn’t match your new window capping? Again, it will be much easier to match your capping to your siding prior to installing both, rather than try and match two products that have been ordered by different suppliers, or through different manufacturers, later.
Is window capping the only way to protect the exterior of my home?
In short: no—although it is one of the most cost-effective and impactful. You can also add some practical exterior protections through installing or replacing fascia, soffits, and guttering.
The fascia is the small border mounted against your roofline that runs parallel to your exterior wall. They can be made of softwood or ply, but a more reliable new solution is high-quality uPVC—which is water-resistant. Its purpose is to protect the roof, minimize your interior’s exposure to harsh weather or extreme temperatures, support eaves and guttering, and offer improved aesthetics.
The soffit is the layer of material that joins the fascia to the exterior wall.
Both elements act as a protection against water, and another level of reassurance to homeowners. Good quality soffits, fascia, and guttering which are in good repair also help keep your home pest-free, and offer more curb appeal.
Replacing soffits, fascia, and guttering can boost the value of your home—but they come at a price. Whilst guttering can be replaced quite easily for a DIY expert, fascia and soffits need to be installed by professional roofing contractors, and can be considerably more costly than window capping.
So, in summary…
Is window capping right for me?
- You want an easy care solution for covering cosmetic damage around your windows, or your window framing looks old and worn
- You are concerned about water and wind damage to your home
- You are worried about leaks in your window framing
- You would like a hardy exterior solution that looks polished and modern
- You need to upgrade your exterior, but are not ready for the expense of installing new fascia or soffits
- You need to redirect water away from your window frames and siding
- You are looking for a way to minimize heat loss from inside your home
- You want to reduce ongoing exterior maintenance work, and the costs associated with that
- You do not want to go through an expensive and exhaustive window replacement process
- You want to give your home more curb appeal in preparation for putting it on the market
- You are looking for an affordable solution to any of these issues.
- You just want an easy DIY project to work on over the summer, and do not want to pay for a professional window capping service
- You have rotting wood frames or damage from termites around your siding and framing
- You are planning to replace your siding in the next few years.
Window capping is an excellent way to water- and future-proof your home. Because properly installed window capping provides a water-tight barrier between the outdoors and your family, it can provide peace of mind as it adds value to your home.
The key is to understanding whether window capping is right for your home, and how to have it done properly.