Research indicates replacing old windows and doors is one of the highest return-on-investment projects for the home. In addition to the enjoyment of comfort and curb appeal, as much as 102% of the costs are recouped in the home resale.
Windows and doors are costly though; most homeowners will replace their old windows and doors once, maybe twice in a lifetime. Taking the time to establish your budget will help you avoid shelling out more than you have to without compromising on quality.
- Go with the season. Peak season starts in the spring and runs until the fall. Contractors and dealers tend to be busier, deliveries and installation services may be slower. If you can afford to wait until the winter, you may score a promotional discount. Starting planning early to avoid feeling rushed to make a decision.
- Check for rebates. Upgrading? Your local utilities company may offer rebates on energy efficient windows. You could end up saving more than a thousand dollars on your new purchase.
- Donate your old windows and doors. Habitat for Humanity is always looking for reusable materials and fixtures. Instead of throwing out your old windows and doors, donate them for future use. You might even get a tax deduction.
- Allow a “cushion”. Even in carefully calculated budgets, it is a good idea to have additional budget set aside for surprises and protect against insufficient funds. The best way to do this is to work backwards from your set budget. After deducting the cost of the product, installation and tax, you should have at least 10% left over.
- Research payment options. If you need new windows and doors in a hurry, yet don’t have the cash up front, there may be financing options available. Home equity lines of credit can be a good resource for financing this type of project. In fact, in some cases, the interest on home equity lines of credit is tax-deductible. Many bank websites have financing calculators you can use to figure out what your loan payments might be.
- Write down what you want. It is important for your contractor or dealer to have a clear understanding of what you want. Writing it down beforehand establishes expectations on both sides. Try to avoid revisions or add-ons in the middle of your project. It will delay the work and may put you over budget.
- Get a consultation. Before you finalize your budget, seek advice with an expert. Most dealers will offer a free consultation to help you budget. Certified Dealers are familiar with the process and have the experience and knowledge to help you. They can even recommend ways to save by introducing different window materials and placement options.
If You're Thinking of Using Credit
- Home equity lines of credit can be a good resource for financing this type of project. In fact, in some cases, the interest on home equity lines of credit is tax-deductible. Many bank websites have financing calculators you can use to figure out what your loan payments might be.
- With a HUD Energy Loan, you may be eligible for more financing on energy-efficient windows, up to the cost of the window replacement.
- Milgard offers a Consumer Advantage Program through select, participating Milgard Certified Dealers. Qualified consumers can purchase new Milgard products with Zero Interest — Equal Monthly Payment and Same-As-Cash payment options.
Rebates and Incentives
Government or power company incentives often include additional tax deductions or rebates for making energy-saving improvements to your home. Look for ENERGY STAR® qualified products—these are most likely to be approved for such programs.