ROI On New WindowsPublished on Tuesday April 18, 2023
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows account for 25-30% of a home’s energy use through heat loss (in the winter) or gain (in the summer). It’s strongly recommended that homeowners replace their old windows with new, more energy-efficient ones.
Not only will new windows help you cut down on your electric bill — they can also provide a high return on investment (ROI) when you sell your home. In other words, new windows will save you money now, as well as get you more money down the road when you sell your home.
How New Windows Increase Home Value
“Windows can add significant value to a home because of both the energy efficiency factor and knowing that this will not be a cost incurred but the buyer for 10-15 years,” says Tracy Callahan, VP/Managing Broker with Coldwell Banker Realty for over 10 years.
“If the windows are old, cracking, single pane, wood or have broken seals, the buyers immediately discount the property value.”
The ROI on Window Replacement
Buyers want a home that’s move-in ready. Old windows mean more work for potential buyers, which is more time and money they have to spend on top of the purchase price of a house. As a “large-ticket item,” window replacements bring you some of the highest ROI in home reselling: around 68%.
What Home Buyers Want
As of 2019, home buyers were prepared to pay an average of $8,728 for a home with energy-efficient windows already installed. That’s because they know that energy-efficient windows will pay for themselves down the line with electric bills around $1,000 less.
New windows are a good investment because they’re what buyers want. “They are certainly a contributing factor to the selling price,” says Callahan.
When to Replace Your Home’s Windows
The best time to replace your home’s windows, according to Callahan, is when you’re about 1-2 years away from selling. “We tell sellers to spend wisely and make the improvements that the buyers will recognize and appreciate.”
This doesn’t only include window replacement. While preparing your home for the market, Callahan also recommends a new roof and repaving the driveway.
Callahan recommends skipping the kitchen remodel. “You may choose a design or color that the buyer may not like,” she says. However, new windows are a good investment.
Here are a few other signs your windows are ready for replacement.
High Energy Bills
Without energy-efficient windows, your home is constantly leaking warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. They’re also unable to fully block out cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer, forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to keep you and your family comfortable.
You Feel a Draft
Windows should keep outside air from coming in. If you feel a breeze or hear a whistling noise coming from your window, or you see curtains moving when the window is closed, it’s time for a new window.
Rain, snow, and other moisture in the air should stay outside. A sure way to know that your windows need replacing is when water starts to seep inside. Water damage in your home can be serious and costly to fix.
Moisture Between the Panes
Sometimes humidity gets trapped between window panes. You’ll notice condensation that’s neither inside nor outside – it’s stuck in the middle. This is a sign that your windows are out of shape and need to be replaced.
Remember that the cost of replacing your windows will be offset by the money you’ll save on your electric bill, avoiding water damage inside your home, and the large ROI you’ll receive when you sell your house.
Window-Buying Advice for Homeowners
Now that you’re ready to buy and install new windows to increase your home’s ROI, what should you look for? Callahan advises you to go with, “good quality, a simple design, and energy-efficient” choices. She adds, “If it is a recognizable brand, be sure to advertise the brand specifically in the listing of the home.”
But that’s not all. When choosing new windows, you’ll have many styles, materials, and glass options to choose from.
When it comes to your window frame, you have several materials to choose from.
- Vinyl: a budget choice with excellent energy efficiency
- Wood: highly insulating but prone to rot in high-humidity areas
- Aluminum: hurricane-resistant
- Composite: a maintenance-free wood style that’s eco-friendly
- Fiberglass: extremely durable and energy-efficient, but pricey
Make sure you choose the right glass for your windows. Popular options include:
- Float glass: specially tempered to be super strong
- Low-E glass: coated to reflect heat while letting in sunlight
- Laminated glass: a safety glass that’s hard to break, but if it does, it stays inside the lamination
- Gas-filled glass: the space between window panes is filled with argon or krypton gas, which provides insulation
Naturally, you want your new windows to look as good as they perform. These are some of the most common window styles.
- Double-hung: can open from both the top and bottom
- Casement: hinged at the sides to be cranked open or shut
- Awning: good for basements, bathrooms, and garages
- Bow and bay: large, open views of the outdoors
New windows can add elegance to your home’s exterior, adding to its curb appeal. When potential buyers arrive, your fresh, well-styled windows will be one of the first things they notice. Curb appeal + increased ROI = you get much more for your money!
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