If you are considering buying a home, you should have a checklist of things to review for the property. There is an old cliché that eyes are the window to a person’ soul. In the case of a home, they can be a clue to the quality of the home building if you check the following:
1. The first item to check is whether the windows open and close properly. Quality windows should slide easily and with little noise. Cheap windows tend to stick and make grinding noises. If any window will not open or close at all, careful attention needs to be paid to why. Is it the quality of the window or has the house started moving because of foundation problems? Make sure you know the cause.
2. The second item to check is soft or mushy sills at the base of the window. Often you can identify a soft sill by a “rotted” look, but make sure to run your hand across the sills with light pressure to see if there are any soft spots. If you find a problem, warning lights should be going off in your mind.
A mushy sill means there is a water penetration problem. More importantly, it also means the problem has existed for some time. Long-term water problems can mean the existence of mold and mold can be an expensive problem to fix. If you are really interested in the home, demand an inspection paid for by the seller. If the seller refuses, walk away from the home.
3. Water stains are the final window item to check for during your viewing. Just because the sills are not soft, doesn’t mean there isn’t a leakage problem. Stains around a window frame are sure signs of water problems. If a room has been painted, try to find one that hasn’t. If the entire interior has been painted, ask the seller to state in the sales agreement there were no water stains before the house was repainted.
So, How Important are Windows?
Windows are almost always an indicator of the quality of workmanship for a home. Giving them a good “once over” should tell you a lot about the house you are considering.