A Window Replacement Financing Checklist for Homeowners
Replacement windows are a true investment in terms of the value, comfort, and the aesthetics of your home. As with any investment, window replacements come with a price. The good news is that there are solid window replacement financing options available for your project. Use this checklist to better understand your window financing options and choose a solution that fits your budget.
1. Understand Replacement Window Costs
The first step to finding the best window financing solution for you is to determine costs in your area. Homeowners can expect replacement windows to cost between $300 and $750 per window, depending upon the window brand, type, and installation costs based on location.
As you get started coming up with a window replacement financing plan, first explore types of windows and their respective costs. Then, use our Window Replacement Cost Calculator to get a more accurate price estimate for that type of window in your area.
2. Gather Your Financial Information
Choosing the right window replacement financing option for your needs will require some time and research. Gather the following background information before you start:
- Financial records. Locate firm numbers and records that report your current financial state. This might include bank statements for saving and checking accounts, credit card balances, and any investments.
- Home mortgage documents. Gather mortgage information, including how much equity you might have.
- Available cash flow. Figure out what cash you might be able to move between accounts for the purposes of financing your windows project. For instance, can you pull some money out of a mutual fund? Do you have any accounts with liquid cash that can finance the cost of the project?
- Credit score. Your credit history and score matters a great deal when it comes to securing a loan or solidifying a financing agreement.
Make sure to not only gather this information, but review it personally. You will want to have a good understanding of your financial standing, as well as risk involved with each financing plan, before deciding on one that works best for you. Ask a financial professional for advice when in doubt.
3. Assess Window Financing Options
Once you have a good estimate and understanding of the numbers that indicate your financial situation, you are ready to explore window financing options. Start by considering the following options:
Can you pay for the total of your window replacement out of pocket? Many homeowners do not have this luxury, so if you do, congratulations! Self-financing is among the smartest options when it come to paying for a window replacement, since you know there will be no accrued interest rate. Modernize recommends self-financing window replacements when possible. Also keep in mind, especially if you plan to resell your home, that new windows can boost the value of your home and result in a return on investment down the road.
Home Equity Loan or HELOC
This is the difference between what you owe on your home and the appraised value. This equity can be taken out as a home equity loan or as a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Many homeowners turn to their home equity to pay for home improvements, such as new windows. However, make sure to understand the pros and cons of home equity loans and HELOC before choosing this financing route.
Taking out a personal loan to pay for replacement windows is probably going to be the more expensive option. This is because the interest rate is likely going to be higher than what you would pay on a home equity line of credit. However it can still be a feasible option, especially if the window replacement is an emergency and you plan to pay off the loan as quickly as possible.
This is a last-ditch option that should only be used if window replacement is an absolute must and cannot wait. Some credit cards will offer a credit line that is high enough to pay for the window replacement. However, the interest rates on credit cards are notoriously high.
4. Explore Additional Window Financing Options
Beyond loans and lines of credit, there are a few other points to consider as you take a holistic view of the financing options for your windows project.
Federal rebates and incentives
There might be federal, state, or local incentives for your window replacement, especially if your windows are highly energy-efficient. For instance, some states offer Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs.
You might also get a break through tax credits. To learn about what exactly is available to you, go to your local Housing and Urban Development Office.
Time of year
One way to save money on your windows project is planning strategically by season. Though this is not possible for homeowners experiencing a window emergency, it can be helpful to know that many contractors are stretched thin during the summer months, when weather is nice. They might offer better quotes if the work is done during the winter months. Speak to window contractor about how timing might affect their quote.
Completing the project in stages
To save money, you may be able to work with a contractor to install a few windows at a time. Perhaps do the work on one side of the house, wait a few months to work with your finances, then do another side. This requires a good look at your finances and talking with your contractor to find an appropriate solution.
5. Compare Several Window Replacement Quotes
Lastly, the best way to find the best deal on a window replacement project is to compare multiple quotes from professionals. Make sure to consider both the cost of the project and the quality of the contractor when making your final decision.
With the help of Modernize to connect you with local contractors, ask for quotes from three or four of window professionals. Look at the quotes side-by-side and compare them in apples-to-apples fashion. Remember that prices vary depending upon the window manufacturer, so take that into account. You might want to go with one particular window brand, or have the option of several to bring the quote down. Look at warranties, estimated completion time, permits, and more.
Return to your finances
Once you have a preferred professional and quote, return to your financial situation and re-review. Will the chosen contractor’s work fit into your budget? If not, can you move cash around – or do you need to go with another contractor?
Also remember you can often negotiate bids to get a lower rate. Many contractors are open to working with you to make a window replacement happen within your budget. Feel free to ask the window replacement contractor if there are financing options or payment plans available.
Make a confident decision
When you’re ready to move forward with window replacement, Modernize is here for you with solid advice and connections to local contractors in your area. Check out our contractor checklist to make the most confident decision on hiring a professional.