10 steps to financing window replacement cost

July 19, 2011

You can't stand the high energy costs created by drafty windows. Even if you're cash poor, don't give up. These 10 steps will help you create a sound budget and find resources to finance attractive, energy-efficient window upgrades.

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How soon do you want to begin this project?

  1. Focus your goals. Will you live here for the long-haul? Can you afford upgrades given your existing income and debt? Decide in advance which window features will take top priority. New windows can make a house more desirable and easier to sell.

  2. Assess your home conditions. If your existing frames are in good shape, figure on paying $500-$800 per window, with a top-end of $1,000, if you choose all the bells and whistles in Low E-coatings, gas fills and multiple glazing. Prices rise for structural repairs and modifications caused by rot and mildew.

  3. Round up ballpark estimates. Many window manufacturers have free, online price calculators that help you determine window replacement costs and installation charges. Remember to account for taxes and delivery, if applicable in your state.

  4. Stage the work. Divide your window replacement project by room or necessity, staging the overhaul over a reasonable financial schedule. All of your windows don have to be replaced at one time. Do a room at a time if necessary.

  5. Get estimates. Collect no less than three, formal, competitive estimates for the upgrades. All estimates should be delivered in writing, on the contractor's letterhead.

  6. Contact local utilities. You may be eligible for rebates and price reductions with more energy-efficient windows.
  7. Contact state and local housing agencies. You may be eligible for loans and grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or for state-run upgrade programs.

  8. Look into rehab loans. If you're buying or refinancing a home that needs window upgrades, investigate rehab loans made through HUD's 203(k) program. Also investigate HUD's Community Development Block Grant Programs that may be available in your area.

  9. Interview private lenders. Evaluate your ability to secure and repay a home-equity loan to help finance window replacement costs. Compare lenders and scrutinize fixed or variable percentage rates with utmost care.

  10. Contain your debt. Ask lenders about consolidation loans that will link outstanding debt and new window upgrade costs with an affordable interest rate.

Many major retailers and window manufacturers will also arrange credit for materials and installation. Strike a balance between your essential needs, your "want-to-have" features, and your ability to finance the upgrades. Those windows really can be yours!

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