Whether you’re in a starter home, forever-home, or are in the process of flipping a home, renovations may be on your mind.
Every property owner debates the pros and cons of making updates–from analyzing budgets, to which areas need a quick turnaround. The question remains: what areas will prove to be valuable investments?
Windows can add to the structural integrity of a home, illuminate your space with natural light, and add overall curb appeal to your house. However, depending on a number of factors, replacement windows in Toronto can be costly. We’ve analyzed whether windows are worth the investment, and what to look for once you’ve decided to bite the bullet!
Understanding your Investment
In short: windows are worth the investment for a number of reasons.
The most common reason why people hesitate on updating windows is that they’re unsure if it will help in a potential resale. It’s important to keep in mind that very few investments do lead to a 100% return, but they can still recoup the majority of your investment (and may even be the extra push for prospective buyers to seal the deal). For windows, you can expect a 70-80% return that will be reflected on your home’s market value. So, if you spend $1000 on your replacement windows, you will likely see $700-$800 added to you home’s value when you eventually put it up for sale.
Another reason why updating windows is valuable is that while you are spending money in the short term, you can save in the long-term. Energy star rated windows can save up to 12% on your heating bill! Ultimately, poor quality windows won’t necessarily get the return you are looking for, but low-maintenance, energy-efficient, durable windows will.
What to Look For when Window Shopping
There’s a couple of factors to take into consideration while shopping around for new or replacement windows in Toronto. These factors include the quality of the windows’ manufacturing, energy efficiency, and installation packages.
Many companies act as the bridging force between consumers and the manufacturer to sell windows. In doing so, they add an additional percentage to the manufacturer’s price and consumers pay more than they would if they were dealing directly with the manufacturers.
To save a bit of cash, we recommend going to the manufacturer directly! You’ll get better value for your spend, and can usually get a comprehensive warranty which means you won’t have to spend on new parts! Within the product’s manufacturing, you can check the specs on:
1. The windows’ glazing techniques
2. The window area (maximizing glass area)
3. Whether it was laboratory tested & proven
4. If it has sealed glass units
5. A lifetime warranty
6. If the windows require little to none maintenance
7. Whether the windows feature pure virgin UPVC (protection from fading)
8. The window’s noise reduction abilities
9. If it meets energy star requirements
As we mentioned earlier, energy efficiency is not only better for the planet, but it’s better for your wallet!
The best way to ensure that your windows are fully optimizing energy efficiency is by purchasing energy star certified windows. Energy star is a government-endorsed organization that recognizes the most energy efficient products for a plethora of industries, including the window replacement industry. Energy star windows are great for house value as it’s the most reputable stamp of approval in terms of energy efficiency, and only the top 15 to 30 percent of products meet their rigorous, high standards.
To qualify for energy star certification a window company must have their products tested by an accredited third party. As a consumer, it’s important to check that your purchase is legitimately certified, as it is possible for companies to find loopholes in the accreditation process.
To ensure that there was no tampering within the energy star accreditation process, try to purchase windows that were certified by a reputable third party. Third parties that can be considered as “reputable” usually conduct regular audits and test products with several different methods in-house. One reputable testing group is the CSA testing group. They conduct two tests: physical and thermal tests. This allows them to filter out tampered-with products as windows will need to pass both forms of screenings before receiving certification.
Ultimately, the energy star symbol represents that a product has surpassed standards for air leakage tests, and/or a heat-loss test in conjunction with an analysis of potential solar gain.
Similar to energy efficiency, installation can make a big difference if you’re working with a boutique store versus the manufacturer.
Many manufacturers offer great installation rates in comparison to stores. As a buyer, it is key to have the windows professionally installed to get the end result you’re looking for. One way to guarantee gorgeous installation is to make sure your installers are fully trained, and have been subjected to frequent and random on-site installation inspections by both local and head office personnel. To ensure your windows are installed properly, use a certified installation quality control checklist!
It’s common to underestimate the power of a window’s ability to draw people in. The framing, the shape, the quality of glass, and its energy efficiency all plays a large part in increasing the value of a home. For prospective sellers and buyers, it’s beneficial to have high quality, low maintenance, and durable windows.
Here at Clera, we aim to offer our customers the best possible products. Our lifetime warranty is a reflection of both our confidence in our products, as well as our commitment to our customers. If you’re looking for replacement windows in Toronto, contact us today and we’ll help you get the selection process started!