Some in the home remodeling business refer to Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report as the industry’s “project pricing bible.” Today, there is nothing quite like it for defining bang for the buck on home improvement projects.
A great example of the insight it offers is home upgrading projects like wood-clad replacement windows. The value trend for this category is up, according to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling and the project’s director. Between 2011 and 2013, wood-clad windows had cost-value ratios nationally of between 65 and 68 percent, Webb says. But for the past three Cost vs. Value reports, wood-clad windows have shown cost-value ratios ranging from 72 to 74 percent.
What explains the continuing high value of a wood-clad replacement window? Kris Hanson, senior group manager, product management for Marvin Windows and Doors, one of the nation’s leading window manufacturers, has some ideas as to why. “Homeowners appreciate the premium look of wood-clad on the interior and exterior of their home,” Hanson says. “Wood-clad performance has also continued to improve over time, not only making wood-clad replacement windows a safe design choice, but a high performance one as well.”
The warming housing market is another reason why wood-clad replacement windows show enduring payback strength. Investing in a respected brand name like Marvin helps lift curb appeal and signals a home of quality and performance to homebuyers. Webb says curb appeal is one reason why window replacement earns a higher ROI than interior projects like kitchen and bath work.
Another explanation for wood-clad replacement windows’ ongoing popularity is the diversity of styling now available from manufacturers like Marvin. Take window size. The rise of larger, uninterrupted expanses of glass – in effect, glass walls – no longer penalize homeowners with reduced energy efficiency. Double-hung windows at Marvin are now offered in sizes up to 5 feet by 10 feet. Similar oversized dimensions are available for casement and awning window formats as well, according to Hanson.
While pine continues to be the species of choice for replacement windows, regional tastes can be reflected through other species selection. “In California, Hawaii, and on the East Coast, we see owners of high-end homes selecting mahogany. White oak is gaining popularity in southern homes, including Texas,” Hanson reports.
As the latest Price vs. Value Report suggests, home remodelers advising homeowners on high-value projects should keep wood-clad replacement windows high on the short list. The value, innovation, and performance a quality manufacturer like Marvin delivers means that homeowners will be approving wood-clad replacement window projects for many years to come.