This is a question many people ask before starting a major renovation, but it really depends what kind of value you are looking for and what your plans are for the future.
Most people would rather spend renovation money on the interior of the home as this is where they spend most of their time. Windows and the exterior envelope may get over looked quite easily but it really is something to consider if you plan on spending the rest of you life there. New windows can add beauty to the interior and exterior of the home and increase the energy efficiency which would prove its worth over a longer span of time. The same applies if you plan on moving in a couple years. You may not want to go through the trouble of the renovation and cost, unless of course you get a return on your investment.
Resale Home Value
You may not always get a return on your renovation when you sell. The housing market can be quite unpredictable but there is a way to improve your chances. Buy windows with a price and quality relative to the home their going into. A high quality million dollar home will not benefit with a basic vinyl window, nor will a starter home benefit from top of the line window. You will also want to consider the style and location of the home. Choose styles relative to the era of the neighborhood. Drive around and get an idea of what everyone in the area is using, It is a better to use similar product instead of trying to stand out. But no matter what kind of window you decide to replace with, potential home buyers will look at the energy efficiency.
Improved Energy Efficiency
The improved energy efficiency is important whether you plan to sell your home or continue to live there. If you replace your windows with a higher quality product you could improve inside air temperature, reduce draft and allow for a higher relative humidity which creates a more comfortable living environment. Window suppliers are now required more then ever to meet and surpass stricter Energy Star ratings and requirements. That being said, there are still low end suppliers who do not qualify for Energy Star.
Always do your homework before starting any kind of renovation. The more informed your are the better the chance you will be adding value to your home.
Word of the Day: Dual Glazed
Two layers of glass mounted onto a glass spacer bar. Sealed and typically filled with argon to improve energy efficiency.