Do new windows increase home value?

Two construction workers install a new window in a brightly lit apartment with a city view.Image: Two construction workers install a new window in a brightly lit apartment with a city view.

In a Nutshell

Replacing all the windows in your home isn’t cheap. But new, high-quality windows can pay off in the form of more energy efficiency, tighter security, less outside noise and greater curb appeal.
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Replacing your home’s windows can be a costly project — but it can pay off in a wide variety of ways.

If you live in a home long enough, odds are you’ll likely consider replacing the windows. It’s not the most fun home-improvement project, but you might see significant benefits in your home’s energy efficiency, security and curb appeal.

We’ll go over when it may be time to replace your windows, how much it typically costs to replace the windows of your home, and what the advantages of new windows can be.

When to get new windows

As your home gets older, you might start thinking about whether to replace your windows. Windows tend to last about 20 years, though you can sometimes keep them for longer — 40 years or more, depending on the type of material they’re made from.

Windows reaching the end of their lifespan tend to show signs that it might be time to replace them. These can include …

  • Significant damage and decay Over time, your window frames and jambs can rot or deteriorate. In some cases, you can fix the damage, but you must replace the window if it’s in poor condition to prevent air and water leakage.
  • Loss of function If your window no longer opens and closes smoothly, you likely need to replace it.
  • Noise Just like windows that let in warm or cold air need replacing, so do windows that no longer block outside noise effectively.
  • Condensation between your windowpanes It’s relatively common to see condensation on the inside or outside of your window, but if you begin to see it between the glass panes, your window needs to be replaced.

Of course, you may also choose to replace your windows because you simply want to go with a different look, or if you want to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Depending on your goals, you may not need to fully replace your windows. If your windows still work well and look good to you, you might want to try making them more energy efficient without buying new windows altogether. For example:

  • Caulking and weatherstripping This can help seal your window tightly to prevent air leakage. Check any existing caulk and weatherstripping to see if it needs replacing.
  • Window coverings Things like blinds, Roman shades, shutters or solar screens can give you more control over how much sunlight makes it into your home and help insulate against the weather.
  • Storm windows — Installing storm windows in your existing casings can give you much of the energy savings of brand-new windows at a fraction of the cost.
  • Shading — Putting in awnings or other exterior shades can prevent the sun from shining too brightly into your home to help control your cooling bills.

What does it cost to replace windows?

Replacing one window may not be all that expensive, but you’ll rarely be replacing just one. Multiplying the cost by all the windows in your home, you could face a hefty bill.

The average window replacement costs $850 per window, according to HomeAdvisor, though typical costs can range between $300 and $1,200. The average U.S. house has 22 windows, according to the EPA, so that would leave you with a total cost of about $18,700, with a range between $6,600 and $26,400 — no small amount.

In 2023, a typical vinyl window replacement cost about $20,091, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2022 Cost vs. Value report. For wood windows, the cost was about $24,376.

The size and type of windows you choose affect the price you ultimately pay. Fiberglass windows typically cost the most, while vinyl or aluminum windows are on the cheaper end, per HomeAdvisor data.

You may also need to apply for and pay for permits before making any replacements, depending on your local government’s rules. Some areas require permits for window replacements, while others don’t.

If you’re particularly handy, you may be able to install your new windows yourself and save money.

How much do new windows add to the value of a house?

While replacing your home’s windows is a costly project, it can pay off by adding value to your home. According to the Remodeling’s 2023 Cost vs. Value report, replacing vinyl windows adds an average of $13,766 in value to a home — about 69% of the cost of the project. The return on investment for replacing wood windows is slightly less, adding $14,912 in value to your home, on average.

But replacing your windows can have other pluses, as well. Here are some of the other advantages of window replacement.

Energy efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, roughly 25% to 30% of your home’s energy use can be attributed to heat gain and loss from your windows. Luckily, window technology has improved dramatically in recent years, meaning a new window may help to dramatically cut down on your energy losses, particularly if your existing windows are outdated. As you shop for new windows, “Energy Star” labels can help you see which models are the most energy efficient.

Curb appeal

Windows are one of the most prominent features of your home, so outdated, deteriorating windows can turn your home into an eyesore. Especially if you are looking to sell your home soon, installing new windows can help give your home a major boost in curb appeal and attract potential buyers.

Less outside noise

Windows that need replacing often allow outside noises to filter into your home, disturbing your peace. New high-quality windows can block much of this noise before it reaches your ears. You can even buy “soundproof” windows designed to significantly reduce the noise pollution seeping into your home. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, this can be a major selling point.

Tighter security

Windows that aren’t functioning properly may allow criminals easier access to the inside of your home. Replacement windows with well-functioning locks, more-secure frames and stronger glass can help keep your home more secure overall and help deter home invasions.

What’s next: Financing new windows for your home

If you’re replacing all or many of your home’s windows, you may need a little help paying for the project. Cash is typically the best and cheapest way to fund a home improvement, but you may not have enough saved up or you might not want to dip into your emergency fund when your windows need replacing. If you’re in this situation, consider one of the following ways of financing new windows:

  • Personal loan — A personal loan is a type of installment loan that usually has fixed rates and gives you a full, lump sum upfront. You can often take out a personal loan quickly from an online lender, receiving the money sometimes as soon as the next business day after you’re approved for the loan.

Take note: The following options are loans secured to your home. That means you may lose your home if you can’t repay the amount you borrowed.

  • Home equity loan — A home equity loan is borrowed as a lump sum and paid back over a period of years, usually at a fixed interest rate. The amount you can borrow is based primarily on how much equity you have in your home, and your property is used as collateral.
  • Home equity line of credit — HELOCs also allow you to borrow against the equity in your home, but this type of loan works more like a credit card. You get a set limit and can generally use your HELOC account as many times as you like up to your limit. With a HELOC, there’s typically a draw period for when you can borrow the funds. If you want to borrow funds outside of the draw period, you may need to renew your HELOC.
  • Cash-out refinancing — With a cash-out refinance, you take out a new mortgage that pays off and replaces your current mortgage. Your new loan is for a larger amount than you currently owe, with the difference coming to you as cash that you can use as you see fit.

Source: © 2023 Zonda Media, a Delaware Corporation. Complete data from the Remodeling 2021 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

About the author: Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than a decade of experience as a reporter and editor at North Carolina news organizations, including the Charlotte Observer and the StarNews in Wilmington. In those roles,… Read more.