Preparing your home for sale can seem like a daunting task. There are dozens of projects that could be done, from kitchen upgrades to bathroom renovations. Yet, when it comes to a project’s cost relative to the value it will add to the home, replacing old, drafty windows has a compelling ROI.
In fact, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2015 survey, 80+ percent of the costs of a window replacement project are recouped in added home value right off the bat, compared to just 68 percent for a major kitchen remodel. Simply put, if you’re planning on selling your home in the next 5-7 years, replacement windows could have a significant impact on the price your home could net.
Project Costs of Replacement Windows
According to the Remodeling magazine survey, the average project cost in the South Atlantic region around Maryland was $10,773 per home. Yet, an overwhelming majority, 82 percent of the costs, are recouped right away. This type of project adds $8,811 to the home’s value.
Yet, that doesn’t include cost savings. Replacing single-pane, original wood windows on your home can result in an average energy savings each year of $126-$465, according to ENERGY STAR estimates. In climates with cooler winters – so-called “heated dominant” environments – the savings are closer to the high-end of that spectrum. Therefore, with added home value and the cost savings, replacement windows have the potential to pay themselves off very quickly.
Calculating the ROI of Replacement Windows
In a heating dominant climate like Maryland, replacing old windows could lead to a yearly energy cost savings of $465. Using this figure, as well as numbers from the 2015 Cost vs. Value we can estimate the ROI of a window replacement project in the region.
|Year||Project Cost||Added Value||Cost Savings||ROI|
As you can see, a homeowner would turn a profit on the window replacement project in Year 4, as the cost of savings plus the added value would outpace the original cost of the project.
When Should You Replace Windows
Replacing your windows sooner rather than later makes the most sense, if you plan to sell your home in the next 5 to 7 years. From our estimate, we can see that the project will have paid for itself within 5 years.
Yet, still, if your home sale timeline is shorter – say 3 years – replacement windows may still make sense. An additional benefit of updating windows include an increase in curb appeal, which is one of the biggest selling points for buyers, as well as the ability to make your home stand out in online listings, i.e. “New windows throughout.” Therefore, a home with new windows would likely sell faster than one without.
Ultimately, the decision can be a tough one to make. Windows are an expensive capital investment, but with careful planning, they can pay for themselves in added value and energy cost savings.