LESLIE: Dixie in Illinois is doing some exterior changes from siding and windows and needs some help with the order of things. What can we do for you?
DIXIE: Well, I assume that it’s better to replace windows before you replace siding but I wasn’t sure of the order. And also, if it had to be done at the same time or if you can do one, stretch it out and then do the other or if it’s really better to do it, I imagine, at the same time.
TOM: That’s a good question. Now what kind of windows are you putting in, Dixie? Are they the replacement windows or are they new construction windows?
DIXIE: Well, I assume they’d have to be replacement windows.
TOM: What do you have now, double-hungs?
TOM: OK. Well, if you’re going to put in double-hung windows, it really doesn’t matter when you do them because the new windows are going to fit inside the old frames. That’s the nature of replacement windows. However, if you do the windows this year, you can qualify for a tax credit of up to $1,500 if it’s done before the end of the year. Online at MoneyPit.com, we have a free download called "Your Complete Replacement Window Guide." It’s actually a chapter from our book and it’s on the home page. You can download it and read up on all of the replacement window options. But because of the tax credit, if you haven’t taken advantage of that yet, I’d do that first.
TOM: In terms of the siding, that could be done at the same time or it could be done at a separate time. I don’t think there’s going to be any economic savings by doing them both at the same time. There might be a little bit but they’re both substantial projects, so I think probably not enough to make it worth doing both at the same time if that’s something that you’d rather not do.
DIXIE: OK, well I just wondered if it had to be where there’d be rough – where the windows didn’t quite fit the same or something along that line.
TOM: Well, that’s why I asked you if it was replacement windows, Dixie, because if it was new construction windows, you’d be tearing out siding, then putting in windows, and then siding back over.
TOM: But if it’s replacement windows, they fit inside the existing openings; you could put that in now without any damage to the siding.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. When you do the replacement windows, Dixie, it just replaces the sort of tracking mechanisms on the side …
TOM: The guts.
LESLIE: … and the sashes, which are the operable parts of the double-hung windows, and then sort of dresses it up with that trim work but that’s all sort of contained in that same size.
DIXIE: OK. Because the windows are actually so old they’re bowing out away from the siding. (chuckles)
TOM: Yeah, sounds like it’s time for new ones.
DIXIE: Yep. (chuckles) Alright. Well, I appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Dixie. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.