I Currently Have Wood Sash Windows. Does Replacing Them With Vinyl Windows Help Or Hurt My Resell Value?
I get asked this question very often, in one form or another. So when I came across it again online I tried to respond. Unfortunately the comments were closed, and that’s why I’m posting it now. Here is the rest of the question:
My house is 20 years old and most of the seals have broken and the windows are fogged. We are looking at replacement options and have found that vinyl is a lot less expensive than wood or composite. Our house is worth about $500k and we don’t want to hurt our resell since we will be moving within the next 3-5 years. Will vinyl windows hurt the resell value in a house in our price range?”
Yes, and no.
There are some high quality vinyl windows available today with energy efficient properties that would probably add to the value of your house versus repairing the current wood sashes. It depends on their condition.
But your house is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. I’m guessing that your 20-year-old house in an established neighborhood has a definite aesthetic appeal that inexpensive vinyl windows will not be able to accomplish. Vinyl frames are thicker than those of wood or composite materials like FIBREX. Plus rarely have I seen vinyl windows that actually match or complement the exterior finish of a house that isn’t white, gray or tan. They just won’t look right, and who wants to be the house people point to and say, “There goes the neighborhood!”
You may think vinyl windows are a good choice because of price, and because you’ll never get away from the ongoing, annual maintenance of painting wood windows and the moisture issues that go with them. But there are other options to consider that can be very economical—especially if you buy windows that will qualify you for the $1500 federal energy tax credit (1500 tax credit windows).
With the savings in monthly energy costs, ongoing maintenance expenses and the tax credits available today (check the Energy Star website and my tax credit posts), you stand a good chance to recover your entire replacement window investment in a few years, increase the resale value of your real estate, plus improve your monthly cash flow.
A good resource for resale values is the annual Cost vs. Value Report issued by Remodeling Magazine. Good luck with your project.
Tags: energy costs, energy tax credit, federal energy tax credit, fibrex, Home Improvement, Remodeling, replacement windows, tax credits, Windows, wood sash windows