There is no better way to instantaneously improve curb appeal than by adding a stately entryway or picturesque window. While windows and doors have an undeniable aesthetic value, did you know that window and entry door replacement are two projects that also consistently deliver a high return on your investment? The total ROI is much more than the numbers the market may dictate because, in addition to just plain looking good, these projects also offer improvements in functionality, energy efficiency and security.
Running the Numbers
In the past few years, the number of window and door manufacturers has grown exponentially bringing to the market new and innovative options in framing materials, glass type, hardware and design. The wide variety of choices can also lead to a wide variety of prices! While slightly more expensive, steel entry doors have a ROI over 100% and have shown to be one of the single best exterior home improvement updates you can make. The “fit” of a window and door is critical to effective operation and energy efficiency and, therefore, professional installation is a must. It is important to find a reliable contractor that will provide a warranty on their installation to compliment the manufacturer’s warranty on their product.
ROI for Window & Door Replacement in the Chicagoland Area
According to the 2017 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, the average cost and return for window and entry door replacement in the Chicagoland area are as follows:
Providing More Than Just Market Value
Security, Efficiency & Comfort
Is your home secure? When asked that question, homeowners are likely to first think about their home security/alarm system, or the strength of their door and window locks. But what about the doors and windows themselves? A door that doesn’t properly fit in its frame is unlikely to withstand a break-in attempt. A window that doesn’t properly operate (like those that are painted or swollen shut) can’t be opened in case of an emergency. New, properly installed replacement windows and entry doors, can greatly improve your home security. While security may not be driving your window or entry door replacement decision, it is an added benefit.
Energy efficiency is an attractive quality to all homeowners, especially those shopping for a new home. In a recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders[i], 87% of home buyers considered ENERGY STARâ windows to be essential or desirable. Don’t wait until you plan to sell your home to reduce your heating and cooling bills. The initial cost of window and entry door replacement can be off-set by lower monthly utility bills. Low-e glass, durable weather-stripping and proper installation make all the difference, and greatly improve your homes energy efficiency.
It takes only one winter in the Chicagoland area to find out which of your home’s windows or doors need replacement. Noticeable drafts and condensation are sure signs that it’s time! A drafty window on a blustery spring day is just as unpleasant as an entry door that sticks with the increasing humidity of summer. Looking beyond ROI, new windows and entry doors provide homeowners with increased comfort, throughout the year. The ROI of both window and entry door replacement is high, and the all-important comfort factor isn’t even included in that calculation!
Aesthetics & Function
When considering replacement windows and/or entry doors, consider your home’s floorplan, and how it “works” for you. If you would really prefer French doors out to the patio, know that replacing that drafty sliding will give you the opportunity to improve both the appearance and utility of that door. The same can be done with windows. Depending on the age of your home, you may not have all the natural light you’d like. Replacement windows shapes and sizes are almost limitless, so take a step back and look at your space. A bow or bay window will bring in more light than a double-hung or casement window, as makes a great focal point within the room, and provides dimension to your exterior.
Ways to Increase the Value of Your Window Replacement
Select a High-Quality Material
Replacement windows come in a variety of material choices and each of them have benefits. Wood framed windows have a slightly higher average cost than vinyl windows but may still be the best option depending on the style of your house and desire to customize the paint, stain, and frame style. A growing segment of the window market has been shifting towards the utilization of fiberglass windows which are known for having “best of both worlds” appearance and extended durability. The array of options available emphasizes the importance of doing your research to understand which type of windows will help you to maximize aesthetics, optimize performance and minimize costs.
Understand Your Glass Options
Simply put, high-thermal, ENERGY STARâ rated glass adds value. Lower-priced windows typically do not include energy-saving features like low-e, a coating that improves the insulation properties of the glass. Also consider multi-pane options. Single pane glass is the least energy efficient. Multi-pane glass increases a window’s ability to resist the flow of heat, which translates into increased energy efficiency.
Not a DIY Project
There are many benefits to replacing your windows, but homeowners won’t recognize any of them without proper installation. Security, efficiency, comfort, aesthetics and function all go out the window, when your window is not properly installed. You will recognize a substantial ROI, as well as the hard-to-calculate benefits when you leave window installation to the pros.
Earn Style Points
Curb appeal is that special something that tells neighbors (and future buyers) that your home is exceptional. Carrying your home’s style into the windows further enhances that appeal, and helps your property make a strong statement – not only is your house well-maintained, it looks great!
Ways to Increase the Value of Your Door Replacement
Choosing Doors with a Polyurethane Foam Core
The main purpose of an entry door is to allow homeowners in and out of their house, but think about what you don’t want to move in and out – the warm air from your furnace and the cooled air from your A/C unit. A polyurethane foam core provides energy efficiency that is lightweight, strong, and dimensionally stable. When it comes to entry doors, what’s on the inside really counts!
Using a Quality Material
While the steel entry door delivers the highest ROI, there are other material options to consider. Fiberglass is a popular option because of its high ROI. It is highly customizable in terms of style and color with many paint or even wood-like stains available. Wood doors give a traditional and stately appearance and may be the best style for your home, but typically are the highest priced.
Picking Doors with a High Security Rating
No one plans to have their home broken-into, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that your front entry door could withstand an attempt? Security rating should be a factor when evaluating entry door options. Features such as a steel frame, and a solid core increase a door’s security rating.
Selecting a Style with Universal Appeal
When considering a relatively big-ticket update to the interior of your home, selecting a neutral option is often best. (There is a good chance you will soon tire of bold wallpaper; and an almost 1000% certainty that future buyers will be turned off.) The same rule of thumb applies to entry doors. Selecting a high-quality door with universal appeal is a smart investment. If you want to make a statement, frame the door with seasonal planters or hang a wreath, and let the door be the canvas.
If you are a Chicagoland area homeowner interested in learning more about replacing your windows or doors, we’d love to assist you! Contact us today, for a free consultation.
[i] Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation, National Association of Home Builders, 2016, p.19