It’s a question many homeowners raise and perhaps one which you yourself have asked before: Are replacement windows still worth the investment, especially at a time when the dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it did a decade ago?
For those of us in Texas, the short answer is YES. Window replacement consistently makes it to lists of home improvement projects with the highest return on investment, and with good reason. But before we get into those reasons, let’s look at the numbers.
2014 Cost vs. Value Report
The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine defines a midrange window replacement project as one where 10 3×5 double-hung windows are removed and replaced with insulated wood or vinyl windows. An upscale project, on the other hand, swaps out 10 3×5 double-hung windows for insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite wood or vinyl windows.
Below is a table showing the average cost and resale values for window replacements across the U.S. and in the West South Central region:
Compared to 2013 figures, the ROI has risen for midrange vinyl and upscale wood window replacements. Midrange wood and upscale vinyl window replacements, on the other hand, each saw a small drop in ROI, but not so much as to make the projects not worth the trouble.
Even better news is that 2014 replacement window costs were lowest here in the Deep South. But regardless of where you live and whether or not you’re thinking of selling your home anytime soon, investing in window replacements is a smart choice. Here’s why:
Reason #1: Increased energy efficiency
The Department of Energy says that inefficient windows can be responsible for as much as 30% of your home’s heating and cooling losses. Switching to more energy-efficient windows will help you reduce your energy consumption, save on your monthly electricity bill, and give your HVAC system a break.
Did you know that Texas has three distinct climate zones and that the best windows for homes in the Panhandle won’t work as well in Central or South Texas? Always, always consult a professional before having your windows replaced to ensure that you’re getting the right products for where you live.
Reason #2: Extended window life span
According to the National Association of Home Builders and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, aluminum windows typically last between 15 and 20 years. Wood windows are good for 30+ years, while vinyl and fiberglass windows last anywhere from 20 to 40 years.
Window service life varies depending on material quality, installation, climate, usage, and maintenance, but having your windows replaced will reset the clock for each new unit and save you the expense of repairs for the next few decades.
Reason #3: Higher resale value
If the Cost vs. Value reports are any indication, new windows make for higher resale value. ROIs of 70 to 80% are no small matter! It’s simple logic—buyers will be more attracted to your property if they know that they won’t need to have the windows repaired or replaced anytime soon. What’s more, if you take advantage of federal tax credits by choosing ENERGY STAR qualified windows, you can expect even bigger returns.
So are they worth the investment? The points given should be reason enough from a financial perspective, but there are more benefits to new windows than just these three. My advice for you is to research your options carefully and talk to a licensed contractor so you can make a truly informed decision about your windows.
Sophia Lorant is at the helm Renewal by Andersen of Dallas and Fort Worth’s marketing endeavors, a career that she earned by pursuing her passion in home design. She loves seeing the clients’ reaction after a successful project. Sophia is blessed with two beautiful girls, aged four and eight.