Cost of Replacing Windows

This replacement window cost guide will help you evaluate your total home remodeling costs or those for the specific room you are renovating. Windows come in a wide spectrum of prices. The more energy-efficient the window is and the more attractive it is, the more it will generally cost. This Remodeling Cost Guide gives you data you can use to make an informed decision about the type of window you select.

Types of Replacement Window

Most homeowners use replacement windows of the same type they originally had – exchanging old double-hung or casement windows for example, for new ones. However, you might find you’re able to choose a different style without having to get custom windows made. It’s often cheaper to change the size of the window opening if you need to than to have a custom window made to fit an existing opening.

Your window style options include single- and double-hung, casement, awning, sliding, fixed or picture windows, and window combinations such as bow or bay windows. In order of cost, with all else being equal, here’s the least expensive to the most expensive: Fixed, sliding, single-hung, double-hung, casement, awning, bay and bow. Some double-hung, casement and awning windows have a tilt feature or rotation feature that makes for easy cleaning. You can clean the outside of the pane from the inside of your house. That reduces hassle and keeps you off a ladder!

Window Material

The type of material you choose will determine the windows’ durability as well as their efficiency. The most durable replacement windows are vinyl windows or fiberglass windows and are the most common when completely outdoor projects to spruce up your home. Both typically have a lifetime limited warranty. Plain wood windows usually have a 10-year warranty. If the exterior is vinyl or aluminum clad, the window will have a warranty of 15-25 years. Aluminum warranties range from 10-20 years.

In terms of energy efficiency, most frame types are pretty similar. It has more to do with the glass installed in them. However, keep in mind that aluminum windows are only suitable for warm climates because they transfer heat quickly. That is, they shed heat in the winter.

Fiberglass and vinyl windows, and sometimes aluminum, are considered maintenance-free or very low-maintenance windows. Vinyl-clad or aluminum-clad windows require a bit more maintenance, and wood exterior windows, often considered the most beautiful, require the most maintenance.

Window Glass

The type of glass you use in your windows will determine how energy efficient they are. It’s not just about how many panes are in the window, though double-pane windows are better insulated than single-pane windows. For maximum energy efficiency, you should use a type of glass specifically suited to your climate. For example, there are types of low-E glass, i.e. low emissivity glass, that specifically reflect UV rays. They are ideal for hot, sunny climates. They let in light, but not the heat. In cooler climates, you might want some of that heat to help with winter warming, so a low-E glass that doesn’t let heat out is a better choice. When you shop for windows, look for Energy Star rated glass and read up on what it is specifically designed to do. All of the top brands – Pella, Andersen, Marvin, Jeld-Wen and others, have a range of glass packages made for specific climates. See a local window contractor or home remodeling contractor for recommendation too.

Window Costs

A small fixed or sliding window for a bathroom can cost less than $100. A bay window combination in your kitchen with a large fixed/picture window and a pair of operational windows might cost $1,000 or more. All of the major brands have different series of windows to meet your budget and to work best with your home’s architecture and décor.

DIY Window Installation or Hire a Pro?

This is a job you might want to avoid unless you’ve got significant experience. It’s important to get it right so that the window is well-insulated and doesn’t leak. It also needs to be installed correctly to operate properly. You’ll need basic hand tools to remove the old window. If you’re changing the window opening size, you’ll need power tools such as a circular saw and drill or driver. For installing the new windows, hand tools and a drill or driver is usually all you need. You’ll save some money if you’ve got the skills to do it yourself, but if don’t, it’s a risk that can jeopardize the integrity of your home.

Window contractors will give your free quotes on prices, so it makes sense to at least get a few estimates. Use the written estimates for window remodeling costs to find the lowest prices as well as a competent contractor you’re comfortable hiring.

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