Windows are a very important aspect and can greatly enhance the look of a house. If you are thinking about updating your windows, there are some things to consider before replacing them. We take a look at the top considerations home experts say you need to think about before installing new windows.
Here are the top 7 things you should consider before replacing windows in your home.
1) Don’t do it for the energy efficiency – even the best dual panel windows will only give you a 10-13% savings on heating and cooling costs. If you consider the cost of premium windows in the $1,000/window range (we found that window costs started around $300 and went up to $1,500 or more a window), it would like a lifetime (or more) to see savings from your new window purchases. There are better ways to make your home more energy efficient.
2) If it aint broke, don’t fix it – Updating your windows simply for a nicer looking house can end up costing you more than you think. Homes built in the 60’s used high quality wood to frame windows and doors. Today, the wood is much worse quality and therefor may homeowners are opting for vinyl windows. To get high quality wood frame windows, expect to pay about 20% more than the premium vinyl options. If your windows are in decent shape they can still be salvaged though repair or refinishing.
3) Consider repairing – there are a lot of new companies starting up that specialize in repairing windows. These services run between $100 and $350 a window and can bring back to life some of the most dilapidated windows. By repairing your windows, you can preserve your homes original look while enhancing its appearance. Repaired windows will usually give you better energy efficiency and similar savings on electricity costs as new windows. This is a great option if you live in a home with nice looking windows already.
4) Don’t cut corners – there are major upsides to new windows and in a recent study, around 80% of homeowners saw a return on their investment with new windows. When purchasing new windows, it is important that you do not skimp on quality. Windows are a major part of a home’s aesthetic. Purchasing cheap windows on a nice house will bring the homes perceived value down. To put it simply, if you own a modest home, go for modest or mid-range windows. If you are in a luxury home neighborhood, purchase the high-end windows.
5) Explore retrofitting options – there are different levels of window replacement. Retrofitting lets you use your existing window frames to install slightly smaller windows inside of them. This will typical cost around the same as a window repair. The advantage is a new window without the full renovation cost. Then downside is that you lose a few inches around the entire window. Usually not noticeable but something to consider.
6) Understand the features of windows – many of the modern windows have UV protective film on the pane to help protect your furniture and carpets from fading. Consider the angle that your house and windows face and where the most light in coming in. Choosing the right windows to let in more or less light will greatly enhance the homes livability. Because a full window installation is so involved, consider moving windows higher, lower, or even going bigger or smaller. Re-positioning window height based on the suns direction can dramatically affect the natural light inside your home.
7) Safety and practicality – modern windows provide an extra layer of safety to your home than older model windows. If you are traveling a lot, installing new windows (and maybe even a security system) would be a good investment in piece of mind and home safety. Installing premium windows will give you home added security against break ins.
Lastly, consider the neighborhood you live in when choosing windows. Meaning, if you live on a golf course, do not purchase glass windows, opt instead for a synthetic material that is resistant to flying objects.
If you live in an area where your windows are open often, consider options with screens that are easy to clean. Also, if your backyard is small, consider windows that open vertically inside the house rather than roll out windows. This will give your backyard a larger feel even when the windows are open, instead of having them opening outwards into your yard.