windows give home quick face-lift
One of the fastest and
easiest ways to improve the overall appearance
and curb appeal of your home is to replace
those old, discolored, paint-flaking windows
that shout"neglected home" to every
didn't include "cheapest." Windows generally range from $300 to $1,000
-- but the return on investment is excellent and there are all sorts of rebates
and credits that help offset the initial cost. And if you're trying to sell, old
windows drag down the value of your house.
If you're like most people,
you don't really spend much time thinking
about your windows. Many people take windows
From a practical standpoint,
old windows can be costly. Those drafts aren't
merely annoying -- they translate into big
bucks in the form of higher energy bills.
Right now, your hard-earned money may literally
be going right out the window -- especially
if you have the old single-pane style, which
can lose up to 50 percent of your heating
and cooling energy through leaks. Replacing
basic single-pane windows with Energy Star-rated
models would save the typical homeowner $125
to $450 a year, Energy Star says.
Windows have a typical lifespan
of 15 to 20 years, unless you live near a
golf course or Little League field. That longevity
helps soften the blow of the high price tag.
Any "extras" -- such as unusual
sizes or shapes that must be custom-made --
will drive the price up even higher.
The good news is you can often
recoup some (or all) of that investment. For
one thing, replacing old drafty windows with
energy-efficient ones will result in considerable
savings on your heating and cooling costs.
In addition, new windows (especially those
with desirable energy-efficiency properties)
can increase the resale value of your home.
In fact, the Cost vs. Value Report published
by Remodeling magazine says the average homeowner
can expect to recoup between 83 percent and
102 percent of the cost of window replacement
when the home is sold.
"Replacing windows is one
of the best investments a homeowner can make
today," says Kathy Krafka Harkema of
Pella Corp., a Pella, Iowa-based window, screen
and door manufacturer. "New energy-efficient,
eye-appealing, easy to operate and maintain
windows add value to the home, especially
at resale time."
New windows usually offer greater security
than their predecessors.