In the first article we discussed the three important questions to ask yourself before replacing your windows. In the second article we discussed the importance of the manner in which the windows are replaced and financing scams. Now we’re going to discuss how to best prepare yourself for a project like this.
First, do your research. There is a lot of information available about replacement windows, just make sure you’re not getting the information from a sales site. This will help you better answer the Why? What? and How? questions and give you an idea of the array of options that are available. The research should also include financing options. Some of the utility companies offer financing programs and some banks and credit unions offer special loans and financing for energy efficient upgrades to your homes.
Next, set realistic expectations for your new windows. No matter what anyone tells you, unless your windows are complete disasters, they are NOT going to reduce your utility bills by 40% to 50%. 10% to 15% is a more realistic expectation. Furthermore, $20,000 worth of new windows is not going to make your room over the garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Third, set a budget. What are you willing to pay for new windows? After you have done your research you should have a little better idea of what a window costs. Set a budget and stick to it. If you have to go with a few less features (fancy ones not efficiency ones) then do it.
Finally, if your goal truly is to make your home more energy efficient, reduce drafts, reduce dust, and improve the overall comfort and indoor air quality of your home GET AN ENERGY AUDIT FIRST. Depending on the size of your home a diagnostic energy audit will cost you between $300 to $500. Considering your about to spend thousands on new windows it’s well worth it. AND you may find out that the windows are not the cause of your problems. So instead of spend $20,000 to $30,000 on new windows, you may only need to spend $2,500 to $5,000 and achieve a much better result.