When your home’s facade needs a refresh, it can be tough to know where to start. If it’s been a while since you’ve invested in your exterior, there’s a good chance your siding and windows will both need to be updated. 

At Window World Twin Cities, we’re often asked if there’s a “right” order to go about when updating both siding and windows. Ultimately, the answer can depend on several factors. In this post, we’re looking into this common question and offering our expert advice. 

To check out our siding and window replacement options, stop by our showroom in West St. Paul, browse our online gallery, or give us a call to set up an in-person consultation today. We’ll come to you!

Take Time to Assess Your Property

Before we get into helping you decide whether to install your siding or windows first, you should take some time to assess the condition of your home’s exterior. Using your phone and a notepad, take a walk around your property. 

Snap plenty of pictures for your remodeling contractor and take down notes on any significant problems you identify. 

When to Replace Siding First

To inspect your siding, be on the lookout for these SOS signs that you should replace your siding first:

  • Obvious hazards
  • Siding rot
  • Gaps
  • Mold

Obvious Hazards

Walking close to your home, be on the lookout for anything that could represent a potential safety hazard to anyone living in your home or walking around your property. Any pieces of siding that are jutting out from your home can scratch or injure passersby. 

Warped and bulging siding can also indicate more serious problems underneath the surface that could lead to structural damage. 

Siding Rot

Wood siding and some types of older synthetic siding can begin to rot and even crumble over time. Anytime you witness this level of damage, you want to get it replaced right away, as it could lead to serious issues beneath the surface. 

Fortunately, once you’ve replaced it, your new vinyl siding won’t rot and is easy to clean and maintain.


When you can readily identify cracks, holes, and gaps in your siding, your home is vulnerable to moisture, mold, and insects. Any cracks or gaps in your siding should be viewed as a red flag. 

Mold Growth

If you identify mold or mildew inside your walls or on your siding, you need to prioritize a siding update immediately and possibly consider mold remediation. Any amount of moisture that gets into your home can lead to mold proliferation, which can pose a significant health risk to a home’s occupants. 

If your siding passes the above test, there’s probably no need to put a rush on your siding replacement services. 

When to Replace Windows First 

Next, take a look for these red flags that you should replace your windows first:

  • Windows that are hard to open
  • Drafty windows
  • Condensation between panes
  • Rotted or damaged frames 

Windows That Are Hard to Open

You shouldn’t have to struggle and fight your windows just to open them or close them. A window that’s difficult to open is not just a sign of window failure. It’s also a serious safety hazard in case of fire or another emergency inside your home.

Windows can become warped over time, and their operating mechanisms can begin to fail. Either way, it’s time to invest in replacement windows

Drafty Windows

It can be hard to tell during the fall and summer, but if you recall feeling a bitter chill when sitting next to or near your window last winter, you’ve got a draft that’s costing you money on your energy bills

Drafty windows can be due to an installation problem or an impending window failure. Either way, you’ll want to replace your windows ahead of the coming winter. 

Condensation Between Panes

Ideally, you should only identify condensation on the outside of your windows. If you’ve got condensation inside your home or windowpanes, this means your window isn’t doing a good job of limiting moisture and heat transfer. 

Water inside your window panels means your window needs to be replaced right away. 

Rotted or Damaged Frames

Old wooden windows will eventually deteriorate and fail. If you’ve got old window frames that aren’t in good condition, your home is at risk for moisture leaks and mold growth.

Additionally, these damaged frames present a security risk as they can easily serve as points of entry for breaking and entering. 

When There’s No Imminent Problem

If your siding and window replacement project is purely for cosmetic reasons. For example, if you desire a different color of siding or are getting ready to list your home and have outdated but fully functional windows – you can almost flip a coin. 

In a perfect world, you would probably want to schedule both projects at the same time. However, if you’re still on the fence, choose replacement windows first. 

Here’s why. 

When siding and window remodeling teams are scheduled to handle both tasks at once, they’ll typically install the windows before they work on the siding. This allows them to add capping first, a protective cover to windows during the installation process.

This is important because older window capping can become damaged during the siding installation process and may need to be replaced anyway. Choosing window replacement first means you’re less likely to have to pay twice for window capping. 

Schedule Your Window Replacement Services

Are you thinking of replacing your windows and siding? Connect with a Window World Twin Cities replacement siding specialist at 651.770.5570 or contact us online to start exploring your home exterior options.

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