Posts tagged with "home improvement financing"

The Case For High Performance Vinyl Energy Star Replacement Windows

 

By Frank Giuseppini

“Wow!” you say, as you come to the realization that you have a lot of choices as to the style, brands and materials that you select for your replacement window project.  As we covered in our article on The Cost of Replacement Windows and Patio Doors  there are distinct differences in the cost of replacement windows and patio doors available to you. But, the cost is just one of the important considerations you should have.  Another is the energy efficiency and comfort performance of the windows and patio doors. We at Jantek  want you to understand why that is, and so here we go!

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys ENERGY STAR® Program promotes the use of high-energy efficient technologies, materials and equipment in homes and commercial buildings. ENERGY STAR labeled homes use at least 30% less energy than homes built to meet the national Model Energy Code while maintaining or improving indoor air quality. If your considering a replacement window and patio door project then its pretty certain that your home or commercial building was built before there even was an “Energy Star Certified Home” or building designation. But… since windows and patio doors are such a large percentage of any home or commercial building’s “envelope,” there can be no doubt that replacing old low performance windows with high performance Vinyl Energy Star® windows will make a significant difference in the energy savings and comfort performance of your home or commercial building.  So, exactly what does this “high performance” mean and what are the benefits?

Well to start with, windows and patio doors typically comprise 10 to 25 percent of the exterior wall area of a home. Research studies report that windows in heating-dominated climates account for up to 25 percent of a typical houses heating load and that in cooling-dominated climates, windows account for up to 50 percent of the cooling load.

At Jantek, we design and manufacture only high performance vinyl Energy Star® windows and patio doors. With over 25 years in the window and patio door industry, we have perfected our craft and our expertise. That is, we are experts on the many technological advances have been made that significantly enhance the thermal performance of windows and patio doors. These technologies include improved framing materials, low-emissivity and solar control coatings, low-conductance gas fills, improved thermal breakand warm edge spacers, and better edge sealing techniques. These technologies can be used independently or in combination, but must be selected based on climate to optimize performance. Read on for a thorough understanding of this important criteria in your decision process. 

Windows can improve the thermal performance of homes by minimizing heat loss in heating-dominated climates and by minimizing solar heat gain icooling-dominated climatesThus windows with lower U-factors or higher R-values perform better in heating-dominated climates and windows with lower solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) perform better in cooling-dominated climates. SHGC is a measure of the amount of solar energy that the glass in your window or patio door allows to pass. For a better understanding of SHGC, U-Factor and other important window performance criteria, take a look at our article on How To Use NFRC Factors To Compare Energy and Comfort Performance Of Window And Patio Door Brands   

The materials and design of the frame also influence thermal performance. Low conductance materials, the least conducting being vinyl, followed by others such as wood and fiberglass, perform better than high conductance materials such as aluminum or steel. will conduct or transfer heat at a slower rate. That means that the summer’s heat will transfer more slowly from outside to inside, and, the heat generated from your heating system will transfer more slowly from inside to out.  If you must use metal windows, then look for thermal breaks” in the window design in heating-dominated climates to avoid condensation and at least some reduction to thermal transfer

Air tightness is another important consideration. Windows are now being tested and rated for air tightness. A rating of 0.2 cfm/ft (cubic feet per minute of air leakage per linear foot of window edge) or lower is considered good

An effective building envelope is a key element for an energy-efficient home and your comfort. Replacing your old drafty, energy leaking windows with ENERGY STAR high performance windows can improve the effectiveness of the building envelope and improve comfort.

High-performance vinyl replacement windows can provide many benefits including:

Improved comfort. High-performance vinyl replacement windows reduce conductive heat losses and gains resulting in warmer interior surfaces during the winter andcooler interior surfaces during the summer. In homes, approximately 40 percent of our physical comfort is due to the radiant heat exchange between our bodies and the surrounding interior surfaces. Thus, high-performance windows improve comfort by reducing this radiant heat exchange. In addition, improved frames reduce drafts and provide more consistent temperatures throughout the house.

Quieter home. High-performance vinyl replacement  windows often utilize multiple glazing and insulated frames. These features reduce unwanted noise from the outside.

Increased quality. High-performance vinyl replacement windows are often constructed with better quality materials that can result in stronger, easier to operate, and longer lasting windows. As a result of these improvements, manufacturers frequently offer extended warranties on these products.

Improved indoor air quality. High-performance vinyl replacement windows and patio doors often have air tightness ratings o0.2 cfm/ft or less which reduce the amount of unconditioned air leakage into a house. This air leakage can bring in dirt, dust, and other impurities that can negatively affect indoor air quality.

Lower utility bills. High-performance vinyl replacement windows and patio doors are better insulated and more air-tight. These features reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling

which results in lower utility bills, making homes less expensive to operate.

Reduced obsolescence. Based on recent trends for improved efficiency, high-performance vinyl windows and patio doors are expected to become standard practice for thbuilding industry, therefore homes with high-performance windows are, therefore, expected to be less vulnerable to obsolescence.

Fewer condensation problems. High-performance windows stay warmer in the winter resulting in drier windows with fewer condensation-related problems. Condensation can stain fabrics, lead to mold and mildew build-up, and in cold climates cause damage due to the freeze/thaw cycle.

Reduced wear on home furnishings. Low-E coatings can block up to 98 percent of the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun. This radiation causescurtains, window treatments, carpeting, and furniture to fade and wear faster.

Improved resale position. High-performance windows can provide the many impressive benefits listed above resulting in a more comfortable, quieter,and higher quality home with lower utility bills and fewer condensation and fading problems. These benefits can translate into higher resale value.

So hopefully I have given you a better understanding of the quality dimension of your replacement window and patio door project. This is just one piece of the total picture. We address more of the pieces in our other blog articles so check them out.  In the meantime if you would like to discuss more of your questions with our replacement window experts, or maybe you are ready for a quick no hassle Free TeleEstimate/Virtual Estimate for Vinyl replacement windows and patio doors, you can also give us a call at (609) 564-1030 x13 and we will be happy to help.

Up Next:

The Ultimate Replacement Window Contractor Vetting Checklist

The Cost of Replacement Windows and Patio Doors

Answering Your Vinyl Replacement Window and Patio Door Installation Project Questions

 

Replacement Window and Patio Door Financing

By Frank Giuseppini

Now that you have decided that you want and need to do a replacement window project, the next step is to figure out how you will pay for it.

The replacement window project financing question is something that you can answer only after considering all the available ways to pay for your project against your personal financial situation.  I’m writing this article to give you some background as to the nature of replacement window financing based on how the process has worked for the thousands of replacement window projects that we at Jantek have completed over the last 25 years.

First of all let me clear up something that is a pet peeve of mine.  Although some window company’s say they “offer financing” this is misleading. To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single company in the window and patio door business that offers in house financing. Any financing you receive will be through a bank or a broker, or some other company that the window and patio door company works with. That said, let’s move on to the substance of how this works.

Over the years our customers here at Jantek Windows and Patio Doors have paid for their window and patio door replacement projects in many ways. Here are the most popular.

  • Cash
  • Credit Card
  • Unsecured loan
  • Home Equity Line of Credit 
  • Refinancing with cash out

 

If you are going to pay for your replacement window and patio door project with cash or credit card or a combination of the two, then I think we all are pretty familiar with how that would work. So lets dive into the other three popular options, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Refinancing With Cash Out, and Unsecured Loans.

Home Equity Line / Re-Fi cash out

In 2020 we came into a very strange economy as a one of the impacts of the CORONA Virus. Mortgage Interest rates have dropped to historic lows and existing home prices have soared into a sellers market. The low interest rates have also shifted the rent vs. own expense comparison in favor of ownership by created a shortage in the inventory of homes for sale.  Sellers are seeing multiple offers on their homes and out-right “bidding wars.”  So how does this matter to you if you are not selling your home?

Well, based on the above, as the sale prices of homes in your area climb, so does your market value equity in your home. That means that if you have been in you home for 5 or 10 years, an appraisal of your home’s value may support an application for a Home Equity Line of Credit for an amount of money equal to around 80% of the appraised value of your home minus the remaining principal balance on your mortgage.

Applying for a “Re-Fi” of your existing mortgage with increased principal (cash out) paid out to you may be an option. Just as with an Home Equity Line of Credit, the amount you can receive in “cash out” is going to be based on the appraisal of your homes current market value. With todays historically low mortgage rates and rapidly and high current market values, a re-fi cash out loan may offer you the opportunity to both get the money to finance your replacement window and patio door project and also lower your monthly payment.

There are a few of things that you should be aware of when considering either a Home Equity Line or a Re-Fi Cash Out loan.

First, these types of loans take time to fund and could cost a few hundred dollars in fees. The process for applying, approval and receiving the funds (or the credit line) will be pretty much the same as applying for any mortgage. Since these loans are secured by the home itself, there must be a title search and insurance, loan underwriting,  an appraisal, recording of a mortgage (even with an Equity Line of Credit) etc., which all take time and cost money.

Second, even though I said above that home prices are climbing and creating increased current market value equity for homeowners in many areas, this does NOT mean that YOUR home has increase in value, or, even if it has, that the appraisal will support enough increased equity over the principle value of your current mortgage to finance your replacement window project. We have had potential clients sign contracts and give us a deposit and find out afterwards that the appraisal did not support their loan amount. This wastes everyone’s time. At Jantek we now require customer’s to have their financing secured prior to entering into a contract for replacement windows and patio doors.

Third, the interest on a Re-Fi Cash loan and Home Equity Line of Credit are  tax deductible up to the maximum total that the IRS and your state of residence allows.

Fourth, both the ReFi-Cash Out and Home Equity Line of Credit are recorded as mortgage liens against your home. therefore both types of loans would be required to be paid in full to transfer clear title in the case of a sale of your home during the payback period.

Finally, as I said above, for those replacement window and patio door customers that are seeking secured financing with a Re-Fi or Home Equity Line, the appraisal is the key… if you have not been in your home long enough, or if for any reason your home has not appreciated in market value much above your current mortgage balance, then you will not qualify for this type of loan because the equity will just not be there.

 

Unsecured Loans

An unsecured loan is just that! It is not secured by a mortgage lien against your home or any other of your assets as is a ReFi-Cash Out or a Home Equity Line of Credit.

With an unsecured loan, there is no need to do an appraisal of your home since approval is not based on your home equity. But your ability to be able to pay the loan payments in full and on time is going to be scrutinzed by the lender. This means that your credit history, salary, bank accounts and mortgage payment performance (unless you paid off your mortgage) are going to be vetted once you apply. Also, an unsecured loan requires the lender to take much more risk in lending money. Therefore, the lender is going to charge a higher rate than if you were applying for a secured loan. At the time I am writing this, the mortgage loan rates are around 2.5–4.8%, whereas most unsecured loans rates are in the range of 5.5-13%.

A few things about unsecured loans.

First, depending on who you choose to go with for an unsecured loan, some lenders have lower loan limits than others. You need to apply to a lender that will lend you the amount you will need to pay for your window replacement project.  Also, depending on your credit, you may not qualify for 100% of the amount of your replacement window and patio door project and my have to find additional funds in cash or credit card etc.

Second, you can shop for an unsecured loan but its always best to have some “in” with a lender:

  1. Credit Unions sometimes offer unsecured loans to their members.
  2. The bank that you do your checking and/savings accounts with may offer unsecured loans.
  3. At Jantek we refer our customers to HFS Financial, a national company that works with lenders in all 50 states to offer 100% financing for our customers at rates starting at 5.49% (so this would be an “in”).

If you don’t already have one, we would be happy to provide you with a quick no hassle no touch TeleEstimate/Virtual Estimate for your replacement window and patio door project.

I hope this article gives you some insights into your options for financing your replacement window and patio door project.

I recommend you also check out the following articles:

Answering Your Vinyl Replacement Window and Patio Door Installation Project Questions

The Cost of Replacement Windows and Patio Doors

The Ultimate Replacement Window and Patio Door Contractor Vetting Checklist