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Should I Replace My Windows Or Siding First?

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

When renovating any part of your home, the order that you carry out the project is critical. Some jobs must follow a sequence to achieve the best result. But some jobs do not have prerequisite tasks you must complete before you begin them. Using the right sequence when executing projects will prevent reworks and a shoddy finish.

A good example of projects that go together and are often executed in a prescribed sequence is window and siding replacement. These two components of a building are intricately interwoven, and the function of one depends heavily on the other. The way you install a siding affects the window. Also, the way you install windows can alter the function and durability of the siding.

Often, as Blue Mountain Real Estate explains, when homeowners are doing renovations, they prefer to install both siding and windows together. Doing this ensures the best outcome. It saves the owner time and money. But what happens in those situations where homeowners cannot afford to install siding and windows together. Which one should they replace first?

Replace The Windows First

Although there is considerable debate on the issue, the consensus among the majority of builders is that you should install the windows before the siding. Replacing the home's windows before tackling the siding later is the next best thing to replacing both of them together. There are three reasons why this is so.


This is a protective covering (usually made of sheet vinyl or aluminum) that you can install over the exposed exterior trim of a wooden window to protect it from the elements. Window capping provides a waterproof seal that prevents water infiltration into the window. It also prevents damage that can happen to exposed wood trim in areas with extreme winters. However, window capping is delicate and the process of removing siding and replacing the siding will often result in damage to the capping. This means that if you replace the siding before the windows, you will have to replace the window capping twice. You can avoid this if you replace your windows first.

Moisture Barrier

Just like the capping around the window, moisture barriers around the window also help to prevent water infiltration and water damage. This barrier has to go under the siding to provide a watertight seal. However, if you replace the home's siding first, you will remove a part or all of it to install the moisture barrier. Treating the siding in this manner will result in damage to the material if the siding is old. To avoid the additional cost and effort created by this problem, you should replace the windows first.

Additional Cost

Replacing the siding before the windows will cause the homeowner to spend more time and money on the project than necessary. As explained above, putting siding replacement ahead of window replacement results in damage to existing materials on the home's exterior. The owner has to pay to replace the damaged capping and siding. There will be extra steps added to the installation process that will result in higher labor costs. Depending on the size and number of windows in the home, these additional steps can cost homeowners as much as $500-$700 extra.

Replace Windows and Siding Together

Note that replacing windows before the home's siding is really not the best way to go about these renovations. The ideal way is to replace both windows and siding simultaneously. This method guarantees the best result in terms of cost, durability, and the final product. Here are reasons it is a good idea to hold off window replacement until you can replace it with the siding once.

  1. Replacing siding and windows together allow the project to be coordinated with the effect that the final result is more appealing. This method ensures that windows and siding are perfectly matched.

  2. Replacing siding and windows together create the most watertight seals around the window. The likelihood of water infiltration into the walls and windows is greatly reduced

  3. Keeping water infiltration to the minimum will prevent water damage and other problems associated with excessive moisture. The window will be unlikely to create a favorable environment for mold and mildew.

  4. When you replace windows and siding simultaneously, you preserve the home's building envelope. The windows and insulation can better perform their role of helping to regulate the home's temperature.

  5. The sum of all these benefits is that the maintenance cost of the home will be lower than if you replace the windows or siding separately.

In conclusion, if at all possible, it is best to save up money until you can replace the home's windows and sidings together.

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