Best Window and Door Replacement Options for a Great ROI

Making sure your doors and windows are top-notch is a no-brainer when it comes to home improvements. Not only will new, good-quality door and window replacement make your home look much better and thus add to its curb appeal but the best options will also ensure optimum security for your home, which is another key feature for many new home buyers.

If you are considering replacing your doors and windows, you will no doubt already be aware of a large number of options available. You will need to choose between different materials such as wood, vinyl, or steel, different styles such as historically accurate or super contemporary, and of course different colors and finishes.

doors and windows invetment-intro pic

Of course, decisions about the aesthetic options for your replacement windows and doors are ultimately very personal, and will be influenced by the style of your home and your own personality; but the good news is that in terms of construction material some replacement options are a lot more interesting than others, making that decision fairly easy!

In the last of our series of articles evaluating the Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling Magazine, we’re looking at the top window and door replacements that will improve the value of your home and get you the best return on your investment (ROI).

Entry Door Replacement

steel entry door

To calculate the ROI the Cost vs. Value report compared two entry door replacement options with similar specifications and collected data nationally regarding the cost of the job and the resale value of those doors. The results are quite surprising! The report found that whilst fiberglass replacement doors cost a lot more (an average of $2,926 for the project they evaluated) and gave a decent return of 72%), steel entry doors were significantly cheaper ($1,230 on average) but gave a gigantic 101.8% return!

So, what is it about steel replacement doors that makes them so attractive to homebuyers? Since you can now get both fiberglass and steel doors to match most common architectural styles (both traditional and modern, with or without glass panels), and in all manner of colors and finishes, we can only deduce that the replacement steel doors have a better perception of being stronger, more durable and more secure than fiberglass ones.

fiberglass entry door

However, depending on your home’s location, steel doors may not be as durable as fiberglass replacement doors: in areas that are prone to salty sea air or heavy rains, a steel door will not fair as well over time as a fiberglass one – with some consumer reports saying that steel will only last five to seven years under such conditions. And modern fiberglass doors are just as secure and hard to break as steel doors.

But, if you have a very healthy budget, a handcrafted replacement door made of solid wood is still the most desirable type of entry door on the market. Neither steel nor fiberglass can exactly match the weighty, deluxe feel of solid wood; and a handcrafted product can offer you the option of adding personal touches that will make your entry very unique.

Window Replacement

vinyl clad wood windows

For the Cost vs. Value report, the Remodeling team compared replacing 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with matching exterior trim as required, but without disturbing the interior trim. Here the results were somewhat less exciting: at an average project cost of $11,341, insulated wood windows replacement with either a vinyl or aluminum cladding gave a 78.8% return, whilst the same project using insulated vinyl windows cost a little less ($11,198) and gave a somewhat lower return of 72.9%.

vinyl window

It would seem that both vinyl and clad wood replacement windows give a fairly decent return on investment. The advantage of clad wood windows, which makes them a bit more interesting than full vinyl windows, is that you get the look and feel of real wood inside but with the low maintenance and durability of the exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum outside.

Of course, ensuring that your replacement windows also have really good quality, high-performing insulating glass panes, makes ultimate sense regardless of the type of frame you choose. And whichever way you go, the very fact that your newly replaced windows will look great and (should) come with a good warranty, will add to both the visual appeal, security, and value of your home.


Jamie Sandford - Owner and Lead Editor at RenoCompareJamie Sandford is the Chief Editor at RenoCompare (find out more). Jamie has been involved in construction for over 30 years. Straight out of college, Jamie worked with construction crews for the television, film and theatre industries for over 12 years. In his thirties, he turned his attention to DIY decorating and construction, working on many house renovations and remodels. During this time he started to specialize in home flooring and in 2013 he launched the Home Flooring Pros website. Two years later he launched RenoCompare.

“I’ve seen interior design, remodeling, and construction from both sides of the street, contractors on one side and homeowners on the other. My aim is to close the gap between the professionals and the consumers and make it easier for both sides to work smoothly and effectively side by side. At RenoCompare we want to save you time and money by giving you the information you need as simply and as quickly as possible!”

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