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Windows and doors

Tax credits, new styles, colors and shapes make windows and doors accessible home improvement choices


Is it time to replace the windows?

With a typical lifespan of 15 to 30 years, many homeowners don’t think much about window replacements — until something goes wrong.

But updating — or upgrading — your home’s windows can provide serious benefits.

From reducing home heating and cooling costs and providing home improvement tax credits and incentives for high energy efficient products to boosting your home’s resale value, spring is a great time to consider investing in windows or replacing outdated doors.

“If a property has original windows — and they’re 30 or 40 years old — it’s an expense for which the buyer has to budget,” said Jaimie Meehan, a Realtor at Melissa Healy Group at Keller Williams Real Estate in Doylestown.

The Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit, offered through the Internal Revenue Service, may provide up to a $3,200 tax credit on qualifying window products purchased after Jan. 1, 2023 and before Jan 1, 2033.

The credit has no lifetime limit and homeowners may apply every year during the 10-year period for qualifying window improvements, the website said.

Exterior doors have a $250-per-door credit allowance up to $500 total for Energy Star-rated products, the website said.

“It’s not a glamorous update for a house but it’s pretty essential to efficiency. If a buyer has to foot that bill it can be a five-digit amount,” Meehan explained.

Seller disclosure

Leigh Nunno, a Realtor and associate broker at Melissa Healy Group at Keller Williams Real Estate in Doylestown said home sellers must now report window and skylight conditions on property disclosures prior to a home sale — a recent home disclosure statement addition for Pennsylvanians.

A seller property disclosure statement is a legal document required by state law for any property sale where a homeowner must reveal any known problems, defects or issues with the home, its structure and systems, to prospective home buyers.

“For age, replacement or leaking the window and skylight disclosure has elevated the ease of the conversation we have with buyers,” Nunno explains.

If windows or skylights have been recently replaced, that fact should be noted in the home property description, she said.

Wood windows, repairs and maintenance

Wooden windows have a visual appeal that is hard to replicate. Whether the glass is old and wavy or the wooden frame and sills are hardwood and handcrafted, window repair companies can “bring those old window systems back to life,” Nunno said.

“We know window specialists who can remove moisture if it’s double-paned. Architecturally you can have a Craftsman (style) home that has a great window in a peak, or one that’s a circle or an oval,” she added.

Meehan said functioning windows are what buyers expect to see, not so much the age or aging factor of the window — as long as it has been maintained and is not broken or failing.

“If a window is broken we can ask for a repair,” she said.

Meehan recommends regular window maintenance in five-to-seven-year cycles, like any other home system or feature. Make sure seals are checked and replaced as needed, and inspect calking and flashing and replace these elements as needed, too.

If you live in a historical downtown or your home carries a historic designation, check with the appropriate organizations before making changes to old window systems or exterior color choices.

“We work in a lot of boroughs where there are restrictions based on the historical designations in a downtown,” she said.


When it comes to doors, a pop of color to highlight a beautiful front door or set it off against brick, stone, stucco or siding remains a popular feature to distinguish your home from the rest of the neighborhood.

“I’ve noticed in more of the pre-planned larger communities, that people are either adding that pop of color on the door, or they are getting a different style of door,” Nunno said.

Meehan said a coordinated color palette — including the front door — is a smart choice when making decisions about repainting or replacing doors or windows.

The color palette should be “…consistent either to a style or a color, and it can be an overall vision you can update over time,” she said.

With strong, bold or deeply saturated colors, keep the old adage “less is more” in mind when adding or changing the color of the front door.

“If you do the door and all the shutters the (same strong color) you begin to lose your effect,” Meehan said.

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