People remodel their homes for two main reasons: aesthetics and function. There are many ways to update your home, each with its share of pros and cons. If you’ve been mulling over a home improvement project but aren’t really sure which project you should focus on, allow me to make the case for window replacement.
Practically any home improvement project will increase the value of your property. This is especially beneficial if you’re looking to sell, but even if you’re not putting your home on the market, you’ll find that it’s still a money-smart investment.
That said, some home improvement projects will be better worth your time and money. According to HGTV, projects that really pay off include:
- Kitchen remodel
- Bathroom remodel
- Bathroom addition
- Home office remodel
- Attic bedroom addition
- Family room addition
- Sunroom addition
How well does window replacement fare against these popular upgrades? Pretty well, according to the “2015 Cost vs. Value Report” by Remodeling Magazine. Let’s take a look at the numbers for midrange projects, ranked according to cost recouped:
Upscale window replacement fares even better, with recoup rates at least 12% higher than the upscale counterparts of every other project on the list above.
The bottom line is, for a comparatively small investment of $11,000 (or $17,000 if you’re going upscale), you can get back more of your money than if you were to try for a more costly and time-consuming project.
Window Replacement Fringe Benefits
Now I know that for some homeowners, return on investment isn’t really the point of home improvement. Good thing there’s more to window replacement than just getting your money back.
This isn’t so much a “fringe” benefit as it is another major reason why you’ll want to replace your windows. New windows help households become more energy efficient. They are more airtight and insulate better than older windows, preventing conditioned indoor air from escaping and hot or cold outdoor air from getting in. This helps stabilize the temperature inside your home, which means your HVAC need not work overtime to keep you comfortable all year round.
According to ENERGY STAR®, the average American household can save 2,660 kWh or $295 a year on heating and cooling by replacing old windows with energy-efficient units.
New windows have a huge aesthetic impact both inside and outside the home. They can brighten up living spaces and frame beautiful views of the outdoors. Because windows serve as both an interior and exterior design element, be careful when choosing windows for highly visible areas in your home. While it isn’t necessary to have matching windows all over, you’ll still want to retain (or achieve) a sense of consistency.
Making Window Replacements Work
How your window replacement project will turn out depends a lot on the type of windows you get and how they’re installed. Make sure you talk to your window replacement contractor about the following considerations:
- Maximizing natural light while avoiding overheating and glare problems
- Channeling fresh air
- Highlighting the view
- Letting the outdoors in
- Combining window styles
- Matching window details to your home’s architecture
A good window replacement contractor should be able to help you figure out how to get the best possible results.
Nella Little is an experienced home improvement contractor who specializes in doors and windows for Renewal by Andersen® of Atlanta. A mother to two sets of twins, now aged 14 and 6, she’s often had to make sure that her personal remodeling decisions always take into account the safety of her kids as well the beauty and comfort of her home. She loves giving practical tips to customers, drawing largely from her own experience.