Window Treatment – Should You Replace Old Windows Before Selling Your Home?

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To fix, or not to fix? This is a question most homeowners will ask themselves over and over in the process of selling their home. While some renovations and upgrades can add value to your house, others don\’t guarantee a return on investment.

Older homes boosting original features and fixtures benefit from charm and character, but it’s often those elements that cause potential buyers to think twice. Time and the elements can wear away at building materials, causing damage and spelling out costly fixes for either current or new occupants.

Windows in older homes are a major cause of concern. While an older window frame can help maintain the character and integrity of a historic home, they tend to be single pane, not energy efficient and prone to leaks.  On average, a house may lose around 30 per cent of its heating energy through inefficient, degraded windows. Modern windows are insulated and designed to offer specific energy ratings which take into account the frame, panes, and ability to resist air leakage and prevent heat loss. Newer style windows offer immediate savings in energy efficiency alone.

But can you be sure that replacing your windows before you sell will net you a higher price? The answer is dependent on the current state of your windows. Are they in relatively good condition, providing proper security and insulation against cold and heat? Cracks or other signs of damage are good indicators that windows will need replacement, and if you notice them, chances are buyers will too, and it may cause them to back out of the sale.

If you want to retain older windows that are in relatively good condition, consider installing storm windows, which offer the insulating properties of replacement windows, but at a fraction of the price. Storm windows improve insulation without harming the original windows, or the home\’s architectural character.

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