House hunting can be tedious and challenging. There are a lot of different things to consider, not the least of which are: 1) your budget; 2) the area you’re looking to buy in; and 3) the features you’d like your new home to have. In the excitement of checking out the potential home’s kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas, storage space, and other such features, one common feature that often tends to be overlooked—much to the buyer’s regret later on—is windows.
Windows are kind of a stare-in-your-face sort of thing and, as a result, most home buyers are pretty nonchalant about them. Most would just shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, either they’re there or they aren’t.” That may be true to a certain extent, but people in the know will be quick to tell you exactly how windows can either boost or detract from the value of your home.
In What Way?
Just as a person’s eyes can draw your attention, so can windows draw you to a certain home. But while looks can carry some weight—it’s looks, after all, that usually pique your initial interest—it’s not the only thing you need to think about. Window-wise, here’s a checklist of what’s important:
Out With the Old…
One sure way to increase the value of your home is to install new windows that match the style of your house. This is not to say that you should discard beautiful antique windows. Those, you’ll want to preserve or perhaps partially restore.
Know, however, that very little detracts as much from the look of your home as cracked, peeling, or rotting windows and frames. Similarly, old windows that are difficult to operate, or that will not properly open and close, leave a strong negative impression of your house that tends to stick, despite whatever other positive features your home might have.
It’s important to keep the styling (and, thus, the price range) of the windows consistent with that of the house and, where appropriate, the neighborhood. While prospective home buyers are sure to appreciate the effect of expensive new windows on your home, they’re unlikely to be willing to pay extra for those changes if they’re wildly out of the house’s general price range.
On the other hand, going with cheap alternatives can only detract from your home’s overall value. When in doubt, go with wood or with a popular wood composite, such as Fibrex. Properly fitted Fibrex window frames can only enhance the overall value of your home. By carefully considering your window upgrades, you can increase the final selling price of your home by up to an additional 10% of the base price.
Energy efficiency—a big thing these days—should play into your decision on whether or not to buy a specific house. Having a “green” house, or one with green qualities, is an attractive thing in and of itself.
Windows contribute a lot to a house’s general energy efficiency. Installing the newest energy-efficient windows can reduce your overall energy expenditures by as much as 20%. Not only that, but you may also be able to get federal, state, or utility company credits for making your home more energy-efficient.
You can make your new windows even more energy-efficient—and more attractive, as well—by decorating. Use drapes, curtains or blinds to enhance both your home’s overall energy efficiency and its aesthetics.
The bottom line: Investing in energy-efficient windows is good for your wallet, both in terms of energy costs and overall home value.
I See the Light
With the easy availability of electric lighting, it’s easy to overlook how a home’s windows affect the quality of light in the house. In areas with high amounts of natural lighting, taking advantage of the available light by installing windows that let in more light can help you save on energy costs. At the same time it can contribute to a nicer overall look and feel for your home.
Larger windows that let in more natural light, such as picture windows, frame the view outside much like a picture frame would. It’s a shame when a beautiful view of the outside world is obscured by ugly windows. Conversely, a large window with a nice view can contribute to the value of your home.
…I’ve Gotta Wear Shades!
Fabrics and furniture fading from exposure to sunlight are a valid concern. The good news is, the newest windows on the market now provide excellent protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the primary source of such fading.
Deafening the Noise
In addition, today’s newest windows also provide very good sound-proofing. Having windows that give your house a bright, cheerful look whilst keeping the noises of the outside world out can only serve to enhance your home’s overall look, feel, and value.
Whether you’re thinking of selling your current home down the line, or are looking to purchase a new home, keep in mind that you can always benefit from the boost in value that the right windows can bring to your home. Window improvements, according to national cost vs. value studies, are one enhancement that can give you as much as a 74-78% return on your investment. With an expected ROI that high, it’s one of the best home improvements a homeowner can make.
Andrea Peterson began as Renewal by Andersen of Sacramento’s marketing representative, where she founded events around Sacramento that RbA can participate in. Her dedication on engaging different communities, as well as Renewal affiliates, has made her an indispensible part of the team. She’s now advancing her career into the marketing manager position, where she looks forward to further contributing to RbA’s development.