Will new windows increase
the value of my property?
People seeking to sell their homes will often receive the advice that they should upgrade some features. However, upgrades always have a cost, so a choice of which are worthwhile must be made. People often ask if new windows are the upgrade they should choose.
When increasing the value of your property by up to 10% is as straightforward as fitting new windows, it doesn’t make sense to sell before at least getting a quote – it’s proven to be a profitable investment and industry leaders all agree it’s one of the best upgrades you can make to sell your home quickly.
In a 2014 interview with leading financial website, ThisIsMoney, Alex Harvey of Henry Adams estate agency in Sussex comments on the value new double-glazing adds to a property:
‘We’ve sold an Edwardian terrace cottage for £40,000 more than predicted two years ago. All the owners did was replace single-glazed windows with wooden framed double-glazed windows costing £18,000’
An online poll by GoCompare Mortgages asked 2000 brits what they considered must-have features for a new property – 74% of respondents chose double-glazing over features such as a garden or fast broadband. Spokesman Matt Sanders commented on the findings:
“It’s clear that today’s potential homebuyers are putting practical concerns ahead of aesthetics. They are looking for warm, cosy properties, which are energy efficient and well connected to modern amenities…for many buyers, the on-going costs of running a home – paying the mortgage, utility bills and council tax – are a real concern. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that well-insulated homes and efficient central heating systems are key priorities.”
GoCompare Mortgages takes this research one step further, teaming up with property experts to produce a simple tool to discover what renovations increase the price of your property.
You can find a wealth of information from professionals across the spectrum but, to keep things simple, let’s breakdown the main reasons estate agents have consistently named new double-glazing as one of the top worthwhile upgrades for your property.
Energy Efficient Windows
With our reliance on fossil fuels contributing to a global energy crisis and inciting a renewable energy revolution, people are taking every step they can to decrease their fuel consumption and reduce their carbon footprint.
More-so now than ever before, people are spending time indoors – a fact which leads us to ask, “how efficient is my home?”.
Free information initiatives by organizations (such as EnergySavingsTrust) have inspired research on the topic – with independent, impartial and scientifically-sound data to help you live a more sustainable, eco-efficient life.
Using potential savings as an indicator of how much energy you could save, one study found replacing single-glazing with A++ energy-efficient windows could save you up to £85 per year in a standard semi-detached home.
If you’re not convinced by statistics it might be beneficial to look briefly at the science behind the technology.
Double glazing (or insulating glass) uses basic principles of thermodynamics to reduce heat transfer across a part of the building envelope – think of the envelope as a sealed container, the exterior of which makes up the parts of the building exposed to the elements. Anything crossing this seal creates potential for energy loss, whether it’s a vent, door or window.
Different window constructions employ different principles in order to mitigate energy transfer although these often come with caveats.
Below we look at the most popular technologies employed in the making of insulated glass units (IGUs):
- Vacuum insulated glass (VIG) eliminates heat loss due to convection, making for extremely energy efficient units which – if the claims of modern manufacturers are correct – make these more energy efficient than some triple glazed systems. However, due to the sealing, these units have limits when experiencing great differentials in temperature between the outside and inside of a building.
- Triple glazing offers even greater efficiency over double glazing but, due to the added glass these units tend to be unwieldy for some installations.
- Gas-filled IGUs can carry higher costs but offer more flexibility in application. The sealed gaps in the double and triple glazing units are filled with gasses which have a lower thermal conductivity than air, allowing for thinner units to achieve higher efficiency ratings. Different gases have different properties but most often argon is used as it more affordable than the more efficient krypton.
If a premium product can help reduce your bills over time, it might be more logical to opt for the more expensive option with greater longevity as IGUs typically carry a long warranty.
Modern windows are also made primarily from uPVC (uPVC being a more durable, BPA free version of PVC plastic) which has the benefit of being 100% recyclable.
Equipped with this information on glazing technology and its potential for improving energy efficiency, the benefits won’t mean a thing to you unless you know how your home performs currently.
On this government-backed website you can find a basic rundown of the energy efficiency of your property (and a whole bank of great information). Just input your address and the tool will find basic energy information about your property.
You can get a much more accurate measurement by carrying out an independent energy audit or even a DIY audit. Information on energy audits can be found at a variety of sources however we like the impartial and free information available from this environmental charity founded to provide homeowners a helping hand when trying to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
The Value of Kerb Appeal
“Kerb appeal” means, quite literally, a house which looks appealing on the outside. This term is often used by estate agencies to describe the overall impression a buyer gets when viewing a property exterior.
Aside from the monetary value fitting new windows adds to your property due to savings in energy bills, replacing the old windows of your property is an obvious aesthetic improvement which, according to Dulux Weathershield, can raise a house’s value by 25%.
New windows can dramatically improve the kerb appeal of a property and with the huge variety of design options available to the modern consumer, you can give your property some much needed identity to stand out on the market.
Whilst window frames made from wood require maintenance (as a natural material it expands and contracts with the seasons), modern wood-effect frames can be indistinguishable from the real thing and offer the opportunity to upgrade without incurring the much higher cost of wooden-framed units. This is especially beneficial to those living in conservation areas, where there are strict codes on aesthetic changes to buildings. Another benefit of uPVC windows is that they never need painting or treatment against wet rot.
DIY warehouse chain B&Q offers great advice to those looking to increase the kerb appeal of a property. Part of this advice follows wisdom estate agents unanimously agree upon – keeping your property clean and tidy is the first step on the list to increase the visual appeal of your property.
Modern window frames often incorporate a hinging system which allows you to clean the exterior glass from inside the window – something worth remembering next time the window cleaners come to collect their pay.
Other Ways New Windows Add Value
Considering the looks of your property is one thing when trying to increase the value – but living in a nice house means nothing if you’re not comfortable in your own home.
Let’s look briefly at three major ways that double glazing can improve the livability of your home.
With the installation of modern insulated windows, you can reduce noise pollution in your property by up to 43% – an important factor for determining the livability of your home and therefor the value.
To understand how new windows can achieve better soundproofing, a few factors must be considered:
- The wider the gap between multiple panes creates dead space, reducing the mobility of sound waves so that by the time vibrations hit the inner pane, the activity has already dissipated.
- Often, sound deadened windows are fortified by a thicker piece of glass on the inside frame.
- Acoustic insulation capabilities are also improved by a better sealing and more tightly fitting windows. Older properties can suffer from badly fitted windows which are not only drafty but contribute to greater noise pollution.
The Security of New Windows
In a study carried out by MoneySupermarket, it was found that in 2017 over 500,000 burglaries were committed in the UK.
Considering figures like this, it’s important to look at the security of new windows and the role they can play in keeping your property safe and your mind at ease.
Up to 95% of break-ins are committed by forced entry into the home – making the improved security of double glazing an essential feature. This would suggest that homes with older single pane windows or with no locking mechanisms are targeted more often.
Being extremely difficult to break, double glazing puts more barriers between burglars and your home. The gas in some IGUs allows the windows to absorb shocks – making them more difficult to break. Modern consumers have a greater choice in units, some of which feature laminated or toughened glass.
New Windows Stop Condensation
Condensation is the most common form of unwanted dampness in buildings and while it may not seem like a huge problem at first, the long term effects of condensation are laid out in this resource for fantastic and free property-maintenance advice.
Property-care.org states that:
“If ignored (damp) can lead to a deterioration in the decorative condition of the property, stained curtains and decay in window frames”
Insulating glass creates a barrier between the cold exterior air and warm interior air of your home, reducing the chance that the warm air will condense into water (condensation). Not only will fitting new windows benefit your property but they may even benefit your health by reducing the dampness created by condensation.
If you’d like to read more about insulating glass, you can find information on our website or check out the resources linked in this article. If you’d like to find out how new windows can increase the value of your property, please get in touch today.