When remodeling our homes, we want to save money. The temptation to spend as little as possible is ever present. Overall, frugality is a good approach in life. Yet there are areas where spending less in a remodel today will cost us more later. And later is never a convenient time to make corrections. Because later corrections are expensive corrections.
When it comes to your home remodel, windows are an area where spending more now will cost you less later.
Todd and Brooke live in Lubbock, Texas. They bought a true “fixer upper” on the lake. Says Todd, “With all the things that had to be fixed, a saving grace of our fixer upper house is that the previous owner had installed beautiful vinyl replacement windows. Energy efficient, they open to the inside for easy cleaning. If it hadn’t been for these windows, we would have passed on the house.”
Windows are a remodel project where we are wise to spend more than less.
Lori Lynn has designed and built several homes in West Texas. “The first home I built I went cheap on the windows thinking it wouldn’t make that big a difference. Custom windows that fit the home would have cost less in the long run because the windows I put in had to be replaced less than ten years later at a much higher price.”
What window material is best?
The most common materials for windows are vinyl, wood and aluminum. Vinyl is a great choice as they are much easier to fit. Vinyl windows can now be ordered in a variety of colors and they never have to be sanded or painted because the finish runs through the entire product. They are also resistant to fade from sun damage.
Wood window frames add a warmer look to your home and a more natural feel to your environment. Yet they require the most maintenance. Susceptible to fade and sun damage on the exterior, they require regular painting or finishing. Caulking around window seals must also be replaced when it hardens and cracks. Because they expand and contract with changes in the weather, wood windows are much less forgiving on installation. If you choose wood frames, it’s worth spending the money for a windows professional to install them for you.
Aluminum window frames are the least desirable as they are the most difficult to fit and are most likely to have gaps. Given that up to 30% of home energy costs leak out through windows and doors, it’s worth the extra money to install windows that will last and save you money in the long run. Not to mention increase your resale value. The vinyl replacement windows that came with our fixer upper added about $15,000 to the value of our home.
Don’t forget the inside!
When it comes to windows, don’t forget the inside. Plantation shutters add unique architectural elements that set your home interior apart. More timeless than conventional window treatments, studies show plantation shutters can save you up to several hundred dollars a year in home energy costs by keeping cool air inside during the summer and warm air inside during the winter.