San Francisco Window Replacement

by Marcus Pickett

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Homeowners in the Bay Area can do many things to enhance the appearance and function of their properties. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are two of the more popular home improvement projects in the country, but when it comes to adding value and increasing energy-efficiency in San Francisco, window replacement is a project second-to-none. Just to keep them in decent condition, you should have your windows replaced at least once every 25 years.

Investing in Your Home: San Francisco Window Replacement
Of course, if your kitchen, bathroom, or landscaping needs immediate attention, there's no reason to skip over it in favor of a window upgrade. However, for homeowners who are basically happy with their homes but want to increase their property value and reduce monthly bills, few projects can boast the benefits of window replacement. San Francisco properties are some of the most expensive in the country, and making them as efficient and desirable as possible is a real concern for homeowners.

Given the mild weather of the Bay Area, replacing windows might seem like a low-priority job, but it can do more for your home than you might imagine. The same mild weather also means many Bay Area homes don't have the same energy-efficient furnaces that homes in, say, Minneapolis have. This, in turn, ups the ante for better insulation throughout the house, especially for your windows. Nationwide, window replacement recovers an average of about 78 percent of construction costs in added resale value nationwide. With higher property values and the importance home insulating values, window replacement in San Francisco generally recovers about 94 percent of construction costs.

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San Francisco Window Replacement Options
Once you've settled on window replacement for your next home improvement project, the next step is deciding what kind of windows you want. Of course, replacing your existing windows with more efficient models of the same size is probably the easiest course of action, but if you really want to get imaginative, you might consider adding a picture window or bay window to your property.

Window replacement options extend well beyond your basic insulating value. Different windows can be selected to control the amount of sunlight that passes through your window (measured by the window's visible transmittance rating), condensation resistance (the higher the number, the better), and general air leakage rating. Condensation resistance can be particularly important in the Bay Area. Without a high condensation resistance, more energy-efficient windows can require better ventilation for your home.

The Price of Window Replacement in San Francisco
The average cost of installing new wood windows is just under $11,500 nationwide (vinyl window replacement is closer to $10,500). As with just about everything, however, San Francisco window replacement is likely to be a bit higher than the national average. Along the Pacific coast, expect vinyl window replacement to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,000 and wood window installation to be about $13,000. That said, falling home prices in California and the Bay Area suggest the price of window replacement may be coming back to Earth, at least temporarily. While the economic recession continues to apply some deflationary pressure on material costs, some contractors are slashing their prices to drum up business. With less home equity to work with, fewer homeowners are undertaking major home improvements like window replacement. Now is the time to scout for steals and deals from window replacement contractors.

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.