The overall value of your home will increase or decrease over the years, depending on market trends as well as how well you take care of your property. One of the smartest ways to improve your home’s value is by investing in new, energy-efficient windows. Window replacement is a significant investment, as the cost of an upscale window replacement project falls between $15,955 to $19,391.
Despite the steep upfront cost, when you consider how much window replacement can influence your home’s value, it’s clear that it’s a smart investment. Over time, your replacement windows will pay for themselves, especially if you plan carefully and make informed decisions. In today’s post, we’ll compare the cost of window replacement with the actual value this project is likely to add to your property. We also offer some tips to help you make the most of your investment.
Cost vs. Value: Window Replacement
First things first: installing new windows in place of your old ones can bring you a significant return on your investment (ROI), according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value report. If you spend $15,955 to replace your old windows, your home could increase in value by more than $11,000. This represents an ROI of as much as 74.3%, which is a remarkable financial payoff. Other types of replacement windows, like wood, are priced at over $19,000, offering a resale value of about $13,500. This represents an ROI of nearly 70%.
As you can see, window replacement projects require a substantial investment. Not only are the materials expensive, but the labor itself can be costly as well if you choose an experienced, reputable contractor. Not to worry, though. The outstanding ROI window replacement offers should be enough incentive to get the ball rolling on your upgrade. Just make sure to use the right materials, choose the right design and hire the right contractor to maximize your investment.
Which Factors Affect the Cost of Window Replacement?
Now that you’ve got a ballpark figure, it’s time to examine the individual factors that affect the overall cost of your window replacement project, some of which can make your upgrade cost much less or much more. Although there are plenty of factors that might influence the price, let’s look at four of the most important ones:
1. Choice of Frame Material: The window frame, which serves as the structural backbone of your units, can be composed of different materials. Some of the most common frame materials are wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass and composite. They are popular among homeowners because they offer great advantages, like excellent weather performance and energy efficiency.
Wood tends to be the most expensive option due to its innate strength, insulation and aesthetic charm. An upscale wood window installation can cost up to $19,000 or more. Vinyl, on the other hand, is less expensive than wood, costing around $15,000. Aluminum and fiberglass costs fall somewhere between wood and vinyl.
Composite materials like Fibrex®, might come across as being quite a bit expensive as well, but your initial outlay can result in remarkable benefits that will more than make up for your investment through the years. For one, composite materials can be two times stronger than vinyl and other alternatives due to their unique composition. They also help create an exceptional thermal barrier between your home and the outside elements. Lastly, they are 100% recyclable, which means you can help reduce landfill wastes by recycling them at the end of their service life and promote a more sustainable environment for your neighborhood.
2. Local Climate: Local weather patterns also play a significant role in your window choice and cost. Maintaining an energy-efficient home should be one of the most important considerations for every homeowner, whether they live in a cold or warm climate or somewhere in between. Naturally, adding a specific feature to your windows may lead to increased material and installation costs.
Cold Weather Window Tips
Choose low-emissivity (low-e) glass coatings. These specially engineered coating solutions help reflect the room’s heat back inside the home during the cold months.
To reduce cold, uncomfortable drafts, tape clear plastic film to the inside of the frames or use a heavy-duty clear plastic sheet on the window frames.
Make the most of window treatments! Close your shades and curtains at night to keep drafts out, and open them during the day to let in natural light.
Install interior or exterior storm windows. These windows can help lower heat loss by approximately 20%, depending on the type or style of window. Just make sure that they are made of durable materials and have weatherstripping on all of their movable parts.
Warm Weather Window Tips
To reflect heat away from the house, consider installing white window shades or drapes.
During the day, close curtains on windows facing south and west. You can also install awnings on these windows to help minimize heat gain.
Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.
Other Energy-Efficient Considerations
The number of panes your windows have can also affect the cost of your upgrade due to the varying levels of energy efficiency they provide. If you live in a warm climate, then investing in multiple-pane windows should be a priority.
Back in the day, many American homes were built with single-pane windows. While relatively inexpensive, single-pane windows had poor insulating capabilities, which meant they didn’t help with energy efficiency at all. Today, however, single pane windows are rare; double-pane windows are the preferred option and currently rule the market.
Double-pane windows offer greater insulation values for both warm and cold climates. They often incorporate additional options, such as gas fills and intercept spacers, as well as customization features, like low-emissivity (low-e) glass and grilles.
Triple pane windows are yet another option, which, naturally, cost more, but they also provide better insulation value. Homeowners who use triple pane windows invariably find that the corresponding reduction in annual energy bills saves money over the long haul.
Below are some things to keep in mind when planning to boost your home’s energy efficiency through replacement windows:
Low-e glass helps minimize the amount of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared light that enters your home without sacrificing daylighting. This means less radiant heat for your room, as well as less exposure to harmful UV rays. You have many options today for when it comes to glass packages. One of the most energy-efficient options is Renewal by Andersen® High-Performance™ Low-E4® SmartSun™ glass, which is 70% more energy-efficient in summer and 49% more energy-efficient in winter than ordinary double-pane glass.
Gas fills, like argon and krypton, are placed between multiple panes to improve energy efficiency and reduce both frost and noise.
The energy efficiency of windows can be measured by numerous energy ratings, such as the u-factor, solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), air leakage and visible transmittance, and an ENERGY STAR® label on the product conveys this information.
3. Window Style: The style of your new windows will also have an impact on the project cost. In other words, the level of beauty and energy efficiency you aim for will play significantly into your overall expenses.
Take fixed windows as an example. Windows are generally meant to be opened, but there are times when an inoperable unit is a better choice. Picture windows, for instance, are a game changer when it comes to improving a home’s energy efficiency. They do not open, which means they can significantly help minimize energy loss while keeping drafts out. Their large glass panes are also beneficial—when built with an innovative low-e glass, you can enjoy significant savings on your energy bills.
Casement windows are second to picture windows when it comes to energy-saving benefits. They swing outward to open, and when they close, the sash pushes tightly against the frame to create a strong seal. This results in low air-leakage rates. Casements feature a simple, yet classic design that has made them a favorite among homeowners.
Double-hung windows are built with two operable sashes that slide vertically, which is why it’s imperative that they have a tight seal. Most of the double-hung windows manufactured today come with air and moisture barriers, as well as weatherstripping, ensuring their high level of energy efficiency.
4. Warranty Coverage: It’s always wise to pay attention to warranties as you consider the cost of your window replacement. Generally speaking, the bigger the manufacturer and the better the coverage, the greater the chance that the company will stand behind its products. Many of the leading window manufacturing companies today warrant their frames, glass and hardware for as long as 20 years.
The window experts at Renewal by Andersen® of Cape Cod are ready to help with your window replacement! To schedule a FREE, no-obligation quote, call us at (508) 205-1200.
Why Invest in Window Replacement?
Besides improving your home’s energy efficiency and bumping up your home’s overall value, what other reasons are there to pursue window replacement? Read on to learn about some additional unique advantages of this home improvement project:
1. New windows help boost your curb appeal. Windows are one of the first things a passerby will notice about your home, so they contribute greatly to the overall first impression of your home. For this reason, you’ll want to choose replacements that complement your home’s architectural design. Bay and bow windows, for instance, offer a unique, elegant style that goes perfectly with classic-style homes, such as Victorians and Colonials. Double-hung and casement windows are ideal for traditional homes, while picture and sliding windows work well with modern-style homes.
2. New windows enhance natural light in your home. Natural lighting is just one of the numerous unsung benefits of windows. By getting rid of old, worn-out units and installing high-quality replacements, your home will be filled with natural light, lending it an open, inviting ambiance. In turn, this allows you to save on artificial lighting costs.
3. New windows help keep your interior safe from fading. Another reason to invest in new windows is to protect your home from harmful UV and infrared rays. If you notice that your carpeting, curtains and furniture are fading, your windows could be the problem. Older windows tend to lose their ability to filter out harmful rays over time, causing your valuables to fade.
4. New windows can help preserve your home’s structural integrity. It’s important to call in a window expert at the first sight of moisture, drafts and condensation problems. Otherwise, your windows, as well as other interior components of your home, could be at risk of rotting, corroding and even mold formation.
These are just four reasons to invest in that long-overdue window replacement project. Other benefits you should look into are security, ventilation and improved outdoor views.
Smart Tips on Maximizing Your Home Improvement Investment
When considering window replacement or any other home improvement project, careful planning is necessary to make sure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish. After all, remodeling projects take a considerable amount of time, money and effort, and having a blueprint to rely on helps minimize the hassle of completing the upgrade.
To maximize your investment, be sure to keep these things in mind:
First and foremost, assess your home’s condition. Look around your home and ask yourself important questions: Do I need to prioritize aesthetics over energy efficiency? Or do I need to focus on both? Should I replace everything all at once or one at a time? Taking the time to consider your options and asses what your home truly needs will help you better control your costs, while also keep things on track.
Set a budget and stick to it. Unless you closely monitor your costs, your remodeling budget could run wild. Spur-of-the-moment changes in plans or unexpectedly high material costs can wreak havoc on your budget. To make the most of your investment, it’s always best to identify how much you can afford and stick to your budget as closely as possible. Find out what you can spend first and then do your research to determine how far that amount will go. Remember to set aside at least 20% of your original budget for contingencies.
Go green. The latest in window technology and other innovations in home improvement have all paved the way for the development of more energy-efficient and sustainable products. Be sure to consider green options to help you cut down your utility costs and to do your share in protecting the environment.
- Hire a reputable window contractor. Replacing your windows involves research and careful consideration of key factors. Many homeowners have made the mistake of taking the DIY route with this project, resulting in improperly installed units. Aside from an unsightly appearance, a botched DIY window replacement can also compromise your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. This is stressful and costly to fix.
If you want to make sure that your new windows will improve your home’s look and feel, you should turn to a professional installer for the job. Professionals provide many advantages, not least of which is quality workmanship. Here’s what you should expect when hiring a professional installer to handle your window replacement project:
Will meet your home’s needs
Can deal with installation challenges
Will keep you safe
Ensures better energy efficiency
Will deliver exceptional workmanship
Can guarantee legitimate work and customer excellence
Will protect you and your investment
When looking for a contractor to replace your windows, you want someone who knows what they are doing. This will entail a bit of research, letting you check if your prospective contractor has the right qualities to guarantee your investment is in good hands.
To help you assess whether your candidate is qualified, make sure they are:
Licensed: A license is important because it means your window contractor has passed requirements laid out for the type of work they are offering–that they are trained, experienced and knowledgeable in their field, ensuring they have what it takes to provide you with the replacement services you are looking for.
Insured: Just like any home improvement project, window replacement also comes with some risks, both to people and properties. When a contractor is insured, you are protected from additional costs that may come from untoward incidents that may occur while your window replacement project is ongoing. For total protection, make sure your window contractor offers both liability insurance and workers’ compensation.
Certified: Established window manufacturers typically require the contractors who install their products to undergo factory training. Once a contractor completes and passes such training, and commits to continuing education, they are certified to offer the manufacturer’s products, signifying their commitment to quality.
Wrapping Up: The Good, the Bad and the Oh-So-Pretty
So based on what you just read, are you now convinced that the value of window replacement is worth its overall cost? If you need some more convincing, don’t worry. We will explain to you the pros, (minor) cons and primary reasons to finally take that home improvement leap.
The Good: Most of the windows available today offer superior energy efficiency, a significant reduction to outside noise and come with a load of additional options to make an upgrade today worth your while. They’re also easier to maintain than older units and provide maximum curb appeal when installed correctly.
The (Slightly) Bad: If you were hoping for a quick fix but find that a replacement is called for, your unexpected upgrade, which could be fairly expensive, might throw you off a bit. On a positive note, though, new windows pay for themselves over time through energy and maintenance savings. Finding the right contractor can also be challenging, but knowing what to look for helps simplify the process.
The Oh-So-Pretty: Window replacements are among those home-improvement projects that offer the greatest ROI, at 70% to 74%.
Renewal by Andersen® of Cape Cod is one of the leading names for quality window replacement in the region. Call us at (508) 205-1200 to schedule a FREE, no-obligation quote!