A Little Remodeling Help From Uncle Sam

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: In the news, Necessary home improvements
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Remodeling a house is always a juggling act. Do we buy replacement windows this year or suffer through another winter with rattling windows and drafty rooms?

While winter seems like a distance memory, it will circle around again. If you’re trying to plan a few home improvement projects by the fall, realize that there are government programs out there to help.

Get a Remodeling Boost

Hot on the heals of the Cash for Clunkers car program comes the Cash for Caulkers bill currently being debated in Congress. The proposed program would offer rebates to an estimated 3 million home owners who do remodeling to improve energy efficiency. Here’s a look at the details and which home improvement projects apply.

Remodeling Tax Credit

One program already in place (through December only) is the tax rebate on energy efficient replacement windows, doors, and skylights. Energy Star has helpful information about which products apply and what to look for.

Your Remodeling Investment

With either program, you need to think long term. How long do you plan to be in the house? What grade windows do you need–for your comfort and for resale value? Yes, replacement windows are an investment, but there are lots of options in different price ranges. As long as they fit your needs, the specs of the program, and your budget, why not?

As you debate, consider grouping home improvement projects. There’s something to be said for adding replacement windows and doors at the same time. While you spend a little more, it’s more efficient for the contractor and from an energy standpoint.

I must admit to having a vested interest in all this. We’ve got a few leaking windows in our sunroom covered by heavy drapes. Wouldn’t it be nice to toss aside the drapes and let the light come through next winter–without feeling all the cold air?

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