Updating Your Home's Windows
Updating Your Home's Windows
It is often said that eyes are the windows to the soul. If that were true, does that mean that windows are the eyes of our house? In this update today, I will focus on the key factors on buying or repairing windows for your home.
When to replace.
Windows can last for 20 years or longer. But your particular windows may be getting more exposure to the elements and use than others. A failed seal or cracked glass can cause your windows to fog up and retain condensation. This issue can be an annoyance and eyesore as you sip your morning cup of joe while gazing into your backyard. Fret not! A full replacement may not be necessary. Consider replacing just the glass at a local Macomb County glass repair shops. This option can save thousands in comparison to getting all new frames.
If your old windows are drafty, rattle, won’t open or won’t stay open, a handy maintenance specialist can also do the job of fixing paint welded sashes, replace broken panes and hardware. If you are concerned about saving beautiful original wood windows, repair is a great option and can be cost-efficient. If retaining the historic look of your home isn’t the objective, then it’s time to price out a full replacement.
What Window Will Work Best?
There are many options in window materials. Depending on your budget and objective, there is a window for you.
Vinyl windows- This most popular option is one of the cheapest, most durable, and energy efficient varieties. Vinyl does not require painting; it generally comes in your favorite color; providing your favorite color is white. They are not as storm-resistant as aluminum. Lastly, vinyl can be half the price as wood and last 20-40 years.
Fiberglass- This synthetic option is becoming increasingly popular due to its’ durability and weather resistance. Fiberglass has less warpage compared to vinyl. The material looks almost as good as wood and comes in a variety of colors. Fiberglass requires the least amount of maintenance and insulates well. The downside is they can cost between 15-30% more than vinyl.
Wood Windows- Maintains home values. Wood can be strong and warm and very beautiful. You can paint, stain or customize them in any color you like. Unfortunately, wood can be more susceptible to the elements. Water can lead to rot if you do not maintain them. Sunlight and heat can eventually crack or damage the frame.
Aluminum- Relatively inexpensive, these windows are strong and durable. Sadly, they do not insulate well and may not be the best option for cold Michigan winters.
Efficient windows are a big consideration when investing in your home. Heat gain and heat loss can account for 25-30% of your energy use. If you are going for window replacement, it is best to get the most energy efficient you can afford. Consider this; if your old windows are consuming on average $100 monthly in energy costs, new windows can as much or more than $30 monthly or $360 a year. An average size 36”x 60” vinyl, double hung, Energy Star Efficient window is about $200. So every year you’re paying yourself back for about 1.8 windows. Not bad, and you can feel the everlasting joy of reducing your carbon footprint.
Whether repair or replacement, home improvement can be costly. It may be tempting to finance through the window manufacturer, but you’ll find there are more cost-friendly options. A home equity loan or line of credit allows you to use the equity you built in your home to make improvements to it, thus increasing your home’s value even more. Rates are typically lower than manufacturing rates, and less than half of credit card rates.
A revolving home equity line of credit offers flexibility by staying open to finance future home improvement projects without reapplying each time. An added benefit is the tax deductibility of interest if you keep good records to show the line of credit was used for home improvement projects.
Lastly, FreeStar Financial offers a Michigan Saves loan, which allows you to work with authorized contractors to have a complete analysis of your home to determine energy efficiency.
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