Perhaps no home improvement project has more perceived value than installing replacement windows in your home. Is this a well-deserved perception? Like most things, the answer is, “It depends.”
The first thing to do is analyze your current situation. How many windows does your house have? How old are they? How many panes of glass do they have?
It may be the case that your current windows, while not at peak performance levels by today’s standards, are still performing well.
According to Consumer Reports:
Replacement windows can save you between 10 and 25 percent per year on heating and cooling if you have single-paned windows.
But because the cost of replacing all the windows in your home can run anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the number, style, and performance of the windows, it’ll often take many years just to recoup their cost.
If you do decide to buy new replacement windows, take into consideration what kind of windows homes in your neighborhood currently have. Vinyl windows are by far the most popular and generally cost a great deal less than clad wood windows. But if your home is located in a more upscale neighborhood, selecting the more attractive clad wood windows makes more sense.
Pella has a new line of fiberglass windows called Impervia that are designed to be more durable than vinyl windows but still be wholly maintenance-free. These received a recommendation from Consumer Reports in their latest report.
If you have any questions about your home, feel free to contact me or your Realtor. I’ve also included some statistics from the National Association of Realtors 2008 Cost vs. Value Report below. You can see that replacement windows average between 76%-79% recoup cost nationally.