New Windows and Doors
The Home Improvement that Pays for Itself
As another winter comes to a close, are you thinking that your house feels draftier each year? Do you notice air seeping through your windows and doors? Older, leaky windows and doors account for a large percentage of home heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Replacing old ones with new energy-efficient models can be one of the most beneficial things you do to maintain your home and your budget. And there has never been a better time to update your windows and doors. The American Recovery and Investment Act, commonly referred to as the Stimulus, offers a tax incentive that gives 30% of the cost, up to $1500, back to those who make energy-efficient improvements to their homes. Taxpayers have until the end of 2010 to take advantage of the credit. And the tax break is only a fraction of the financial benefits you will see from installing energy-efficient products. You may quickly see a reduction in your heating and cooling bills. In time the windows and doors will pay for themselves with the savings in energy costs.
There are several choices in windows and doors, and a professional can be a valued resource in making the right choice. Even with the tax credit, it is a large investment that calls for thoughtful planning. Begin by researching window and door companies in your area. Most local home centers also offer installation services. There are a multitude of styles in a range of price points for you to consider, including the overall shape, the opening and closing mechanisms, the quality of the glass, the construction material, and the design features. Newer windows and doors also offer improved operation – opening and closing more smoothly and making cleaning and upkeep easier. To qualify for the tax credit the products must meet specific guidelines that a professional can outline for you.
Most window dealers will bring samples and materials to your home for a consultation. Make appointments with a few dealers so you can compare cost estimates and installation processes. Draw up a list of questions to ask each dealer:
• Do they manufacture their own materials and assemble their own products?
• What is the guarantee on the product and the labor?
• How long after signing a contract will installation be scheduled?
• How long will installation take, with how many people on the crew?
• Will installation be done from inside or outside of the house?
• How much cleanup will the crew do?
• Do they subcontract the labor for installation? Who is responsible if there is a problem with installation?
• What is the process to replace a damaged window or door at a later date?
• Which products meet the standards to qualify for the tax credit?
• What are the financing options?
Once you have done the research and gathered all the information you can choose the right product that will make your family and your wallet happy for years to come.
Filed Under: Home Safety & Maintenance Tips
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