Good windows, installed properly, can last for 20 to 30 years. But unless an errant baseball has just come through one of yours, chances are you haven’t given them much thought.
But you definitely should give your windows some attention. First, older windows just aren’t as energy efficient as new windows. That means higher energy bills even if your windows look like they are in good shape.
Replacement windows prices are often offset by increased energy savings over the new windows’ lifespans. Two important factors in replacement window costs are the type of window and the window materials. More about that later.
Let’s get back to the windows you have now. Check to see if they appear damaged or if they are leaky. Can you feel drafts around them? If yes, you are paying to heat the outside.
If some of your windows are leaky or rotted, they may be unsafe and might even be causing water damage to your house. That can get expensive fast!
Another factor to consider is that replacement windows will increase home value and add curb appeal, which is important if you are thinking of selling.
Read on as we take a look at window replacement costs based on the sizes, types, and materials of the windows you are thinking of replacing.
Replacement Windows Prices: Cost Factors
The window frame material and the type of window are important price factors, and you can learn more in detail below. First, some other cost factors.
Also affecting cost is the window’s location. It’s a labor issue. The first floor equals cheaper; upper stories and basements mean more expensive.
If your windows and home are older, be prepared to discover you have non-standard window sizes or even structural issues that can push up replacement costs.
Windows in unusual locations or configurations might require special insulation and weatherproofing considerations.
More expensive double-pane windows are much more energy-efficient as well as being better at blocking sound than single-pane windows.
Be prepared to spend a bit more for tempered, safety, or tinted glass. And of course, larger windows and non-standard sizes will add additional costs.
On the bright side, replacing windows costs less than installing them during the original construction.
The Different Window Frame Materials
The framing material of a window is just what it sounds like: the structure between the glass of the window and the walls around it. This material determines the look of a window, its energy efficiency, and how easy it is to maintain.
The perfect home windows for your home are the ones that balance all of these variables best for your situation.
PVC Vinyl window frames are probably the most popular replacement choice, offering a good balance between cost and features.
Durable and affordable, vinyl offers good insulation qualities so it’s energy-efficient. Vinyl windows aren’t the strongest and don’t always offer the best appearance, but they are kind to your budget in any big home improvement projects.
Figure $100 to $900 per window with an average cost somewhere in the $400 to $600 range.
Long one of the most popular choices for replacement windows because of its strength and light weight, aluminum is not a good insulator. Its poor energy efficiency makes it a much less popular choice today.
It’s also more expensive than vinyl, coming in at $275 to $1,285 per window.
The plusses of wood frame windows are their classic look, good efficiency, and durability – if well maintained.
Wood window frames can also be repaired if individual pieces need replacement. That’s good. Not so good is that wood can crack and warp, and paint can peel.
Wood frames vary considerably in both quality and the type of wood, as do prices. Between $150 and $1,300 per window is the general range with an average of around $600 to $700.
Composite and Fiberglass Frames
Composite frames (a mixture of wood fibers and resin) and fiberglass frames are both durable and as energy-efficient as vinyl.
Both tend to be more expensive than vinyl, so they are less popular. A rough estimate is $300 to $1,500 per window.
Cost for Different Window Styles
The style of the window is another important factor in determining replacement prices.
Picture or fixed windows, made of a single sheet of glass in a fixed (non-opening) frame, are often found in peculiar sizes and shapes. That, of course, can add cost to what otherwise would be a cheap replacement.
Most picture windows will cost between $100 and $800 to replace.
A single-hung window consists of an upper pane of glass that’s fixed in place and a lower pane that slides up and down. Both popular and affordable, single-hung replacements will fall between $100 to $400 per window.
Double-hung windows, where both the upper and lower halves slide up and down, are somewhat more expensive to replace. Expect an average cost in the $150 to $650 range.
Bay or Bow Windows
Bay windows, usually three large panes of glass in an angled frame, and bow windows, usually five panes of curved glass, are much more expensive to replace.
This is a function of the amount of glass, the complexity of the frame, and the weatherproofing requirements.
At the low end, small bay windows start around $500 with larger sizes and all bow windows going up to $2,500 per replacement.
Casement and Awning Windows
These are the windows that open with a crank. Casements are hinged on the side, awnings at the top. Replacement costs will range between $150 to $1,000, with awnings on the higher side.
Other Window Types
Specialty windows, including glass-block and skylights, have a wide range of price variables. Size, location, and opening vs. non-opening all play into the mix and mean these will need specific estimates on a case-by-case basis.
A Great Home Improvement Project
New replacement windows will add to your home’s curb appeal and energy efficiency. Now that you know more about the various types of windows and the pros and cons of each, you’ll have a better understanding of the replacement windows prices and how to move forward.
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