Just as with any home improvement project, it is important to consider the benefits when replacing your windows. Some projects are beneficial because they improve the home’s comfort, while others will provide benefits later on when the home is sold. Window replacement provides both benefits. New windows can offer comfort and increased home value along with other improvements like energy efficiency.
There is no way to know how much of your investment you will get back, so calculating your window investment ROI is important. Here’s how to do it:
Determine the Cost
Start calculating a budget by looking at the material used to make your window. The type of framing material you use is one of the biggest factors in the cost. Options like aluminum are less expensive up front but may cost more over time when compared to frames made from wood or fiberglass that have a higher initial cost. Being able to figure out which features you need while keeping your budget in mind will help you choose the right window frame material.
The style is another factor in the cost of replacement windows. A standard size double-hung window will cost less than half of what a large picture window will cost. If a window requires a higher level of skill to install, you will probably have to spend more on labor.
The brand is important as well. You will need to compare brands to get a better understanding of the costs involved in window replacement.
Understand the Money-Saving Potential of a Window Replacement
Replacing your home’s windows can increase its market value by thousands of dollars but that’s not the only benefit. Consider the fact that installing energy-efficient windows can lower your energy bills.
The amount of savings that you can get from window-replacement depends a lot on where you live. If you live in an area with colder winters, energy-efficient windows with an ENERGY STAR rating may be able to save you as much as 12 percent on home heating costs. In a warmer climate, a window with a low-emissivity coating (also called a low-E coating) on the glass can keep your home cool by reflecting cool temperatures inside your home instead of leaking them outside. Windows with low-E glass can also limit the solar heat allowed into the home thus reducing solar heat gain.
Along with low-E coatings, consider the benefits of double-pane windows over windows with a single pane. Single pane windows do not have insulated glass, which makes them inefficient. Your single pane windows may be causing the loss of as much as 20 percent of your home’s heat. Double pane windows are also known as insulated windows. They have two panes of glass with a layer of gas between them, usually argon or krypton. The insulation they provide helps to protect your home from high or low temperatures outside.
Replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones might increase the cost of the project but it will also save you money by reducing your utility bills. If utility rates are high in your area, energy-efficient windows are an option that you should consider. Factor utility bill savings into your window replacement budget. Also, windows that keep your energy costs low will make your home more attractive to homebuyers, which means it might take less time to sell.
Learn about Incentives and Rebates
Find out if your local utility company offers rebates for ENERGY STAR windows. Many utility companies will give you a rebate for each ENERGY STAR window you install. Some offer as much as $200 for each. These rebates are another factor that you should consider when coming up with a budget.
Determine How Much Value A Window Replacement Will Add to Your Home
Window investments bring in higher returns than other home renovations despite being less noticeable than other projects. More visible ones like roof replacements or adding a deck deliver yields in the 63-78 percent range while windows have an 85 percent ROI.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, a window replacement is an upscale project rather than a midrange one. This is because original windows — especially those in newer homes — often leave a lot to be desired in terms of appearance and performance. Homeowners understand that a more substantial investment will be necessary.
The two replacement window materials mentioned by Remodeling magazine in their report were vinyl and wood. Vinyl windows increased home value by more and delivered one of the highest ROIs of the upscale projects. Vinyl windows are much more durable than wood ones and they offer a similar level of energy efficiency as fiberglass. Wooden window frames are considered highly attractive but also usually cost more than vinyl.
If you are interested in the benefits of investing in replacement windows, use our contact form to get in touch with us.