As we head towards winter, this is the time of year when many people begin to consider replacement windows, doors and insulation for their home. Memories of last years cold weather, high energy bills and cold drafts begin to reappear in peoples mind and for that reason, companies like mine often see business pick up in the fall. I expect this year to be no different (in fact it might be a bit busier considering how fierce last winter was).

By replacing windows or doors, homeowners can benefit in many ways, energy bills are cut, the value of the home increases, there is generally a reduction in maintenance associated with the new windows, and there is the improved appearance and functionality that generally comes with new windows.

This year is different however. For the past several years, the Federal Government has offered tax incentives that can be applied towards the cost of new energy efficient upgrades for a home. This year the credit covers windows, doors, roofs, furnaces, and many other products which can positively impact a homes energy usage. At the end of this year these incentives expire. What is different now is that there is no "next" program currently waiting to begin.

While there has been much talk of "Cash for Caulkers" this program still has not moved forward. With the election only about 2 months away and fiscal responsibility the new watch word, my guess is that there will not be sufficient willpower to pass "Cash for Caulkers." In the absence of new energy tax credits or something similar, homeowners will be responsible for the entire cost of home remodeling next year.

Based on this, I would suggest that if you are considering the installation of new energy efficient windows or doors, September or October of this year would be best time to make that purchase. Since most replacement doors and windows are custom made, it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks after the order is placed for a contractor to take delivery of these products. For this reason, someone who places an order in November or December may not be able to have the work done before the end of the year. If that happens, sorry, no tax credit. Therefore, at Legacy Remodeling, we are telling our customers that by placing their order in September or October, we can promise installation in time to claim the $1,500 credit provided that they select qualifying products.

If you have been considering investing in these types of products for your home, then I would suggest that now is the time to move forward.  According to the terms of the tax credit, it can cover up to 30% of this type of purchase. When you combine that with the incentives that are available from retailers at this time of the year you will find deals that I don't think will be repeated any time soon.