What are new windows and doors worth to you?

August 29, 2011

What do you plan to pay for replacement windows and doors? Just like fancy rims on an old beater car or bargain tires on a fancy sports car don't make sense, the quality of windows or doors you install should be in line with the value of your home and your overall investment plan for future improvements. Prices should be justified by your expected ROI: quality should be in line with price.

These days major window makers, like Andersen, Pella, Marvin and Milgard, make windows that range from budget to premium in quality and price. For example, at the bottom of the range you can find simple, no-frills, double-hung windows for about $200 each. Near the top of the spectrum are premium quality windows that might cost $2,000 or more.

New window cost vs. value

According to Remodeling Magazine's "Cost vs. Value Report for 2010," replacing windows does offer a good return on investment based on the original window price. But there is no straightforward formula that says if you put premium windows in your home, you are likely to recoup a certain percentage of the cost. In fact, in some areas of the country, the rate of return on replacement windows is actually higher for budget windows. It all depends on location. But it is worth doing some research about the trends in your area if you are trying to decide between value, mid-grade or premium windows based on their investment value.

Other factors affecting value

Besides the material--aluminum, vinyl, wood, fiberglass or a composite--factors like size and shape determine the cost of replacement windows and doors. Prices are also affected by the type of glass in windows, as well as specialty hardware or features.

The value of energy efficient windows

Given the trend toward more expensive energy costs, it doesn't make sense to skimp on the energy efficiency or the insulation value of replacement windows. By selecting different combinations of window materials, you can improve energy efficiency while keeping the price more in line with your budget. Based on the style and value of your home, you could, for example, choose a less expensive frame material, like vinyl instead of wood, and instead purchase a glass with a higher insulation value.

If you are thinking about new windows and doors, prices, styles, energy efficiency and quality are all going to factor into your decision, but don't forget your home is probably one of the biggest assets you own. Invest wisely.


Remodeling Magazine

Andersen Windows

Pella Windows

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