Updated: Oct 11, 2021
There are many good reasons to replace your old windows. New ones won’t be drafty, won’t require unsightly storm windows, and will tilt in for easy cleaning. They will also be more efficient than your old windows—but not nearly enough to warrant paying per replacement window in an effort to lower your heating and cooling bills. Here’s what you need to know before you make the investment.
AESTHETICS ARE KEY
Homeowners get about 73% of their replacement window investment back when they resell the house, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Cost Versus Value study. Choose the wrong windows, though, and replacements can detract from home value. “Like mantelpieces and built-in cabinets, original wood windows are important architectural features,” says Atlanta Realtor Bill Golden. “Replace them with a downscale product, and you downscale the house.” Make sure to match the look of the original windows—using wood rather than vinyl to replace existing wood and matching the divided light pattern (the number of panes in each window) from the originals.
PERHAPS YOU DON'T NEED A FULL REPLACEMENT
There are two ways to replace windows. The contractor can pull off the interior and exterior trim to install a whole new window unit—and insulate all the gaps—before reinstalling the trim, the same process used during a full renovation project. Or he can install a window insert, which is a smaller unit that fits inside the existing opening, without the need for removing the existing trim. The latter saves money per window in labor costs, but it doesn’t allow for insulating the air gaps common around window openings, so inserts may yield far less in energy savings, however Wood Windows and Doors will upgrade the glass and weatherstripp the new sashes replacement in order to achieve that.
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