After you’ve read all about how great your new windows will look and how they’ll save you plenty in energy costs, you have to plan how you’ll finance them.
New windows and doors across your whole house is a sizable investment, so you’ll want to ease that financial expense with any available loans, rebates and incentives.
With respect to windows, on occasion, manufacturers will offer discounts and rebates on their products. However, you have to ensure the price isn’t inflated originally to cover the discount, which of course is a false discount.
It’s nice to save money, but remember that window quality and professional installation are worth the extra cost. After buying your windows, you don’t want to run into poor manufacturing and workmanship issues. As Mike Holmes says, “Do it Right” the first time.
Home Improvement Rebates
The City of Toronto has launched a 3 year pilot program called the Home Energy Loan Program to offer its residents (initially in certain neighbourhoods) a low interest loan for energy efficiency improvements. The loan is paid back via installments on their property tax bill. Only 10 million dollars is available for that program so you’ll need to apply soon.
The Ontario Government is responding to their rising Ontario Power rates by offering up front financing help for Ontario homeowners. This applies to energy efficient replacement windows called retrofit renovations. The homeowner would pay the loan back over time via their power bills. Learn more here about the HELP program.
You’ll want to get an estimate first for your window replacement project. You’ll need to have an idea before you look for financing. With interest rates so low, it’s a great time to buy new windows and doors.
Credit Cards: if you have a very high limit you could possibly put the cost on your credit card, however that’s a little risky given that any credit card company could launch your interest rates from 7% to 28% at any time.
Personal Loan: With a loan, you make regular payments at the going rate of interest. You can choose fixed or variable rates on the loan too. Whatever you’re comfortable with.
Personal Line of Credit: With a PLOC, you can use the funds whenever you need to and some help you track your purchases too. Interest is charged only on the amount you use so that’s much handier. After you pay down your window purchase, you can move onto other purchases without having to apply for more funds.
Home Equity Loans: With HOLs’ you put your house up as collateral and there may be up-front costs. You can borrow up to 80% of your home’s value.
Mortgage Refinance: You can merge the cost completely into your mortgage repayments. Spread over 10 or 20 years, this is probably the easiest way to finance your replacement windows.
If your windows are over 10 years old, they’re probably leaking energy somewhere. You may want to get a thermal scan if you’re unsure of where your heat energy is leaking. Even with one leak, a lot of heat can be lost. And of course, with old windows, they may not be reflecting the summer heat very well.
With oil, gas, and electricity rates rising, choosing to buy new windows shouldn’t cause too much doubt. Over 20 years, it’ll pay off. And factor in the comfort of new windows and doors and maybe your decision is made.
Check out patio doors too. They’re one of the easiest upgrades you can make that will let lots of light in and give you access to your deck. Cheap patio doors are not wise. They end up losing energy and may be easier to intruders to break into.