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Should You Install New Windows in Your Home?

Published February 8, 2017

Installing new windows in your home involves making several considerations. Energy savings and the potential of a home value increase can impact your decision.

Making the decision to upgrade your windows is something that you should consider carefully. The costs of installing new windows can be significant. In addition, the installation of new windows may or may not increase the value of your home. If you want to install new windows, consider window repair versus replacement before making a final decision.

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If your windows have become outdated or are no longer providing adequate protection from the elements, replacing them with energy-efficient windows can significant improve the look of your home and potentially add to your home's value. You may also realize some savings on your energy bills.

However, selecting the best windows for your property can be difficult with all of the different options for materials and styles. Modern windows are expected to last up to two decades so it is important that you do your research before investing on new windows for your home. Here are some tips to help you to decide if you need to replace or repair the windows on your home.

Energy Savings

If you are sick of dealing with drafts entering through the windows, this may indicate that it is time to install new windows for your home. If your windows are older, you could end up with higher energy bills to account for the lost cool or warm air that escapes from the windows.

However, there is much evidence that installing new windows won’t actually help you to recoup the full cost of the installation in terms of energy savings as windows can cost anywhere from $270 to $800+ per window with the labor included to install on a home, according to houselogic.com.

Consider New Versus Replacement

Not every situation calls for a complete replacement of the windows of your home with new windows. Replacement windows are used in instances where the frames of the windows are still in fair condition. The replacement windows are installed without changing the frames and are designed so that they fit into the openings that already exist. However, if the frames have significantly deteriorated due to rot or suffered other damage, new windows may be required.

If you plan to install new windows, all of the components of the window, including the frame and the sash will need to be replaced. You will need to select from window frame materials, which include wood, vinyl and aluminum fiberglass.

Wood windows are known for their beauty. However, these windows require significant maintenance in order to prevent damage caused by movement, moisture and rot. The wood windows will need to be painted or stained periodically to prevent this from occurring. Aluminum fiberglass windows are one of the least popular options because they are the least energy-efficient. As a result, vinyl windows have become the top option for new windows because there is very little maintenance required. Vinyl windows are also cheaper than wood windows.

If you are unsure as to which option will work for your home, you should contact a window installation contractor. The contractor can advise on you on the various types of window styles, window glass and window frame and sash options that are available.

However, realtor.com estimates that the greater value comes with installing new windows. “The annual “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling magazine found that homeowners who replace their windows with vinyl versions will recoup just over 78% of their investment when they sell. The return hits above 79% for wood versions.” says Anne Miller of realtor.com.

Your Current Windows Are an Eyesore

If the current set of windows on your home does not add value to your property because of the design, it may be time to upgrade. If other properties in your area have updated windows and you still have the same windows on the home from when it was originally built, you may find that your windows are actually lowering your home’s competitiveness when matched up against other properties in the area.

In order to decide if the windows need to be replaced for this reason, consider whether the windows really enhance the facade of your home. If you think that your windows need to be replaced, it can’t hurt to ask a local real estate agent first if your home’s windows should be replaced. A real estate can give you a fairly accurate assessment on whether updating your windows will increase the value of your home.

“Be sure to match the style and quality of the new windows to your house -- high-end in a luxury home, midrange in an average home,” says John Bredemeyer, an appraiser in Omaha. “The value of high-end windows in a tract house won't necessarily be reflected in the home's appraised market value.”

Consider Repair

In some instances, it may be possible to simply repair the windows of your home. If the problems with your existing windows involve fixable issues, such as broken panes or spot rot issues, repair might be a cheaper solution for you. However, if the windows are older, finding replacement parts can be difficult and replacement might be cheaper.

If there are problems with your current windows and you are not sure whether they need to be repaired or replaced, you should speak with a window installation contractor. You can find a reputable window contractor by contacting your local homebuilder’s association.