Replacement windows are a costly project to uphold. Even worse, your old windows are causing your energy bills to skyrocket month after month. To enjoy an energy efficiency boost and save money on energy bills, consider upgrading outdated windows with modern ones.
Unfortunately, not everybody can afford to pay for several windows at once. An entire house window replacement will make a considerable dent in your account.
Typically, seeking out the cheapest replacement windows is one option to keep the costs low. Luckily, there are other methods we listed below to address the window replacement expenses.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Average Cost Of Window Replacement
- 2 Benefits Of Replacing Your Windows
- 3 How Much Will You Save With New Windows
- 4 14 Ways To Save On Window Replacements
- 4.1 Repair Vs Replacement
- 4.2 Choose The Right Energy Efficient Window For Your Region
- 4.3 Select Replacement Window Material Wisely
- 4.4 Choose Window Framework Carefully
- 4.5 Replace Windows In Sections
- 4.6 Think Resale Value
- 4.7 Choose Standard Window Sizes And Styles
- 4.8 Hire A Window Professional
- 4.9 Avoid Unwarranted Extras
- 4.10 Negotiate A Lower Price
- 4.11 Look For Windows With Long-Term Warranty
- 4.12 Claim Rebates and Energy Tax Credits
- 4.13 Take Advantage Of Airport Allocated Funds
- 4.14 Shop Around For Special Deals And Sales
- 5 Bottom Line
- 6 FAQ
The Average Cost Of Window Replacement
If you want to replace the windows in your home, calculate the window replacement cost first. Estimates are always tricky since many different factors influence the total price. Besides the number and type of windows you want to install, you must consider the frame material cost. Finally, make sure you factor in the labor costs for a qualified contractor.
So, let’s consider the average price you’ll pay to replace windows at your place. A simple calculation says that window replacement for panes and frames costs $200 to $1,800. Yet, it’s essential to count on from $500 to $650 per quality window. So, when choosing, always bear in mind the following replacement window costs:
- The lowest price you’ll pay is $200;
- The mid-range price stands at $350;
- The highest price ranges from $450 to $850;
- The national average varies from $500 to $650.
Meaning, replacing all the windows in an average three-bedroom house can run from $3,000 to $10,000. So, those who live in a larger home should set aside about $20,000 in total for windows, material, and labor costs.
Last, don’t neglect some other factors that may boost the total expense, including:
- Unforeseen damage of the window structure,
- The need to alter the existing frame,
- Unplanned but indispensable wrapping window trim,
- Inaccessible windows.
Sometimes, windows contain lead. In this case, you should hire a lead-certified contractor, which may increase the labor costs by 25%.
Benefits Of Replacing Your Windows
A convenient way to boost your home’s energy efficiency is to replace your old, low-efficiency starter windows. In most cases, you’ll manage to recoup the cost of your project in several years. Even if you’re planning to sell your home, replacement windows come as some of the highest returns on investment. Though the initial investment can be substantial, you’ll enjoy vast savings for years to come.
Old, outdated windows cause your energy bills to reach unreasonable amounts. Even worse, drafty windows account for almost 40% of your heating and cooling costs. To tackle energy loss, replacement windows have premium energy efficiency to keep energy bills low. Whether you select wood or vinyl styles, you will see the difference in maintaining the proper energy efficiency.
You can consider double or even triple-pane glass options to help you stay energy-efficient and keep energy bills low. If you are looking for energy savings at a reasonable price should install double pane windows. In short, dual pane windows contain two panes of Low-E coated glass and help cut drafts.
For maximum energy savings, upgrade to triple-pane windows. This technology offers the same benefits as double pane windows, but the third glass pane adds up superior energy efficiency. Finally, no matter the technology you opt for, the Argon gas between the panes will eliminate drafts year-round.
Save On Heating And Air
What could be worse than windows without proper insulation? You feel it when the weather is hot, and you’re freezing when it’s cold outside. So the conclusion is that thin single-pane windows and balky double-pane windows emit heat and cold when you least need them.
Hence, energy-efficient windows are an essential consideration for your place. Heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter can account for up to 30% of residential energy use. So, if you are looking for reliable ways to replace existing windows, choose the most efficient ones you can afford.
When buying new windows, look for the ENERGY STAR label. Then, check the energy performance label ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). This way, you will decide which windows are the most efficient for your needs.
For example, select gas-filled windows with low-energy coatings to diminish heat loss in colder climates. Also, a low U-factor will help you provide better thermal resistance in colder regions. Conversely, those who live in warmer temperatures should go for windows with coatings that reduce heat gain.
The regular maintenance of old and inefficient windows calls for more weekend projects than projected. When it comes to repairs, replacement windows save you time and money. If a windowpane or sash breaks or stops operating, replacing the entire window will make more sense than repairing it.
Once you upgrade the old windows, the need for costly maintenance will vanish. Most new products contain top-of-the-line materials that will last for decades. Besides being fade-proof and easy to clean, new windows aim to keep maintenance to a minimum. Plus, if you have concerns, count on a lifetime warranty. Most window service professionals will fix issues at little to no cost.
How Much Will You Save With New Windows
Window replacement is a costly project to carry out. The national average for replacing one window stands at $650. If you look at things straight, that might seem like a manageable cost. But when you realize that most homes have over ten windows, the price suddenly leaps to $6,500.
One way for window retailers to sell their products is to claim that savings make up the cost of the windows in energy expenses. Others concentrate only on energy savings without factoring in the cost of the windows. Depending on the style and number of new windows, they can save you between $100 and $600 a year in energy costs. Calculated over ten years, most of you will manage to even out the window investment.
In short, research has shown that savings range from $126 to $465 a year in total. So, if the window costs $650 and saves you $465, you will return the investment in almost ten years. At that time, you’ll be short $1,850, but in 14 years, the cost will get fully covered.
Your best shot is to go with windows that come with warranties ranging up to 20 years. This way, you’ll be in a safe zone of ownership, even for components. Hence, if you ask yourself, are replacement windows cheaper in the long run, the definite answer is yes.
New windows are energy efficient, built from modern and durable materials, and an overall wise investment. Don’t be afraid to go for it as it can actually benefit your budget.
14 Ways To Save On Window Replacements
Price is a definite indicator of how much the entire remodeling will cost. Yet, looking for cheap replacement windows will not resolve your worries. To help you out, here are some other options to limit the costs once you decide to upgrade your windows.
Repair Vs Replacement
Knowing whether your windows need regular maintenance or replacement can be challenging. Some wear and tear is typical and shouldn’t affect the performance of your windows. Yet, other issues show that a more significant investment might be on the horizon.
In some cases, you don’t have to replace the entire window as it needs some minor adjustments. Check if you can free up the upper sash and replace broken panes, hardware, or sash cords. If you suffer from a draft, consider adding weatherstripping. Check the severity of your window issues in detail before rushing down the hefty replacement path.
Choose The Right Energy Efficient Window For Your Region
It’s hard to talk about home window replacement without factoring in energy efficiency. Even worse, some homeowners don’t realize that energy efficiency depends on the region and home features. For example, a house in a northern area should keep the heat inside in the winter months. So, it requires different glazing and coating styles. Conversely, a home in the warmer regions needs to keep the warmth out and calls for a low solar heat gain coefficient.
Plus, if you have uninsulated walls, energy-efficient windows with triple-pane glass can’t do wonders. Hence, consider the total energy efficiency of your place before splashing out on the most expensive option.
Another food for thought is that triple-pane glass doesn’t always guarantee ultimate energy efficiency. Usually, a thorough home energy audit can tell if an investment in extra energy-efficient windows will be worthwhile.
Select Replacement Window Material Wisely
Window materials can vary based on quality, price, and properties. So, discuss your options with a licensed contractor and request they weigh the long-term benefits of various materials. Experienced dealers will know how to factor in the look, maintenance, and longevity of different window options.
For example, wooden windows need a lot of maintenance. Still, they can be worth it in a historical area or if you want to keep the original character. Vinyl windows might sell as ‘hands-off’ care, but some colors degrade faster when exposed to harsh weather. Finally, clad wood or fiberglass might be an all-in-one solution. Above all, their features include low maintenance, design choice, and long-term durability.
As for the price, solid wood windows are usually the premium choice. Fiberglass frames are affordable, while solid vinyl frames are the cheapest replacement windows. The truth is most of you can’t tell the difference if windows get painted on the inside. So ask yourself if the prestige of having solid wood windows is what you value the most.
Choose Window Framework Carefully
When replacing home windows, there will be options for new windows with different framing materials. The framework types you choose will depend on your preferences and needs. Also, it’s worthwhile to consider the extra benefits associated with each framing material.
While aluminum windows will cost you about $157, you may fork out $409 per average-sized vinyl window. Moreover, get ready to pay $586 for a wooden version and up to $1,575 if you select fiberglass windows.
As for properties, vinyl and fiberglass window frames provide superb energy-efficiency coefficient. Yet, unlike aluminum and vinyl, wooden window frames can get panted. Conversely, wooden frames are prone to cracking, peeling, and bending.
Replace Windows In Sections
If you can’t afford to remodel the entire house at once, go step by step. Ask the contractor what must get replaced right away and what can wait. Often, a storm window can make a huge difference when it comes to energy savings. Provided you want to keep the project going, replace a few windows each year.
Indeed, every house has its own story to tell and hence, all windows and doors aren’t in the same condition. So, start replacing the pieces in the worst possible state to keep the initial investment lower. Most professionals will agree to assess your existing windows for free and tell you the priorities.
Moreover, learn the difference between insert and full-frame replacement. Sometimes, you can save decent cash by salvaging existing frames and trim. Finally, ensure you find manufacturers that offer narrow frame windows that fit existing openings.
Think Resale Value
Real estate agents claim that replaced windows can provide a 73% return on investment when you decide to sell your place. To this end, it would be wise to use your house value as a benchmark for making decisions. Note that low-quality materials might save you money, but they could damage your finances in the long run.
The same goes for forking out on the most expensive option available. Thoughtful planning involves avoiding material that’s inferior or superior to the rest of the finishes in the home. Instead, you should maintain the home’s original character and style. Proper matching will create a cohesive look and attract more potential buyers.
Hence, but it’s imperative to upgrade your place before selling or renting it. Though home window replacement might not be the most glamorous project, it’s one of the most profitable projects to complete before listing.
Remember that vinyl windows offer the highest return on investment if you’re up for the best value. In addition, most homebuyers wish to purchase a move-in ready energy-efficient home. In this case, new windows will give your home advantage.
When you decide your windows need changing, make sure to follow our tips on how to choose a suitable replacement. It’s vital to pick smart options if you want to save as much money as possible.
Choose Standard Window Sizes And Styles
Common styles and shapes will cost you less but won’t compromise quality. Curves, bows, bays, hexagons, and circles are unique but uncommon shapes and drive up the total price. So, go for the cheapest replacement windows such as double- or single-hung, sliders, fixed, and casement windows.
Also, different installation options influence pricing. For example, windows with a perimeter fin require the exterior trim to get removed and replaced. Thus, extra work requires extra cash on your side. On the other hand, versions without perimeter fins can get slid into the existing opening and attached through the new window sides. As a result, the expenses for removal and replacement remain low.
Hire A Window Professional
Professional builders seek the lowest cost commodity window to improve their bottom line. Hence, get your windows installed by experts according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, your warranty may be void.
Remember that terminology can make a difference when shopping for replacement windows. For example, an architectural grade means you’re dealing with an expensive premium window. By contrast, replacement windows, floors, doors, and cabinets offered as a builder- or contractor-grade are cheaper.
Contractor-grade means you’re getting an essential product that meets the minimum requirements. A builder-grade window from renowned window manufacturers such as Pella or Andersen is a perfect option. Not only will you use it for many years to come, but these products are also available in many types. They may offer you optional between-glass muntins and window screens. Plus, standard versions include a Low-E film on the glass to protect against UV rays and argon gas inside the window unit.
Avoid Unwarranted Extras
Like in any other business, window companies have multiple add-ons and features to offer. These additions will improve your experience but exhaust your wallet, too. Hence, it’s vital to consider whether you need these features or you can skip them altogether. Take the following add-ons into account when negotiating the final price:
- Company-supplied hardware,
- Between-glass shades,
- Incorporated grilles (muntins and mullions),
- Laminate exterior glass that resists breakage,
- Trim supplied and installed by the contractor.
Negotiate A Lower Price
Most replacement window companies and authorized dealers will likely negotiate the total price. Indeed, the home window replacement industry is a remodeling business where clients expect haggling. Since competition for your money is fierce, there’s room for compromise.
Expect that most local replacement window companies will lock down an efficient and honest process. These companies are not the manufacturers, which means they don’t set the price themselves. In short, traders buy wholesale replacement windows at wholesale prices and sell them along with installation. So, though you can propose a different price, remember that every company has a red line.
Please remember that even though fancy windows look cool, they are rarely the best budget-friendly option. They are expensive to get, maintain, and replace. Instead, stick with standard options made from durable materials.
Look For Windows With Long-Term Warranty
Authorized dealers of one window brand are not always the most expensive choice. What you should consider, though, is that authorized dealers limit the competition. No competition means high prices. Yet, authorized single-brand window dealers can return tremendous benefits.
Many one-brand dealers have been in business for a long time, which can be helpful when you call in a warranty. Still, a brand-centric authorized dealer will narrow down your choices.
Single-brand dealers such as Andersen, Pella, and Marvin provide excellent customer care, too. Also, don’t forget to check with multi-brand dealers as they grant warranties, too.
Claim Rebates and Energy Tax Credits
Window replacement can be tax-deductible. Depending on the window type you purchase, you can deduct 10% of the cost for your taxes. Plus, you don’t need to replace all the windows and doors in your home to qualify. Note that tax credit does not include installation costs.
The federal government is in charge of the process. They offer incentives for residents to invest in energy-efficient homes. This year, the energy-efficient window tax credit lasts until December 31, 2021. Those who buy and install qualifying ENERGY STAR® windows can claim a federal tax credit of up to $500.
Even better, some local utility companies may offer extra incentives as part of energy efficiency programs. So, check with your local energy provider if they offer rebates for energy-efficient windows.
Last, depending on where you purchased the replacement windows, you may get additional savings. During promotional periods, window retailers offer rebates even on non-energy-efficient replacement windows.
Take Advantage Of Airport Allocated Funds
Do you live in the vicinity of an airport? In this case, you can be eligible for funds allocated to homeowners who reside within flight patterns. These funds should get used for upgrading standard to noise mitigation windows. If you qualify, don’t think twice to take advantage of the opportunity.
Shop Around For Special Deals And Sales
The good old practice of obtaining at least three quotes can do wonders for your budget. After all, when you get three estimates, one will always be the lowest. The process doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming.
First, schedule three replacement window companies to visit and measure your place. Even better, tell them that you are getting three bids to encourage them to deliver the best price possible. Once you get the final quotes, you can decide based on price, quality, efficiency, and other factors. It may be worthwhile to consider the reputation of the companies to ease the process of selecting the best price option.
Moreover, why stop there if you’re looking for windows cheaper? If you have some extra time and patience, bring in five to eight quotes. The more estimates you get, the better price you’ll reach in the end.
Most window companies allow room for negotiation in their bids, so mention the other offers you received. But, again, none of this needs to be challenging or aggressive. Most replacement window salespeople expect you to get other bids.
Finally, take advantage of specials and sales. Many contractors announce special spring sales, while others reduce their prices when the demand is slow. Do not sign on the dotted line before shopping around. It’s also essential to research the company to ensure you’re hiring a local, reputable contractor who provides warranties. You need a company that will be on-hand for any issues that may arise in the future.
Everyone homeowner faces the need to replace several or all the windows at some point. As time goes by, new technologies offer new solutions that increase the home’s energy efficiency. Thus, window replacement is a valuable investment that improves the quality of life and reduces energy bills. Above all, remodeling projects increase the value of your place.
Our advice above will help you make informed decisions when it comes to replacing your windows. Though we stand for frugality, these suggestions will never compromise quality.
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What are the best replacements windows for the money?
Those who value high-quality and energy-efficient windows should consider Pella. The company has been around for a century and is a true leader in window innovation and solutions. Next, you can consider hiring Andersen or Marvin. These companies offer several benefits, including long-lasting, energy-efficient, and low maintenance windows.
Why are replacement windows so expensive?
Homes have different custom-sized windows and styles, and this leads to higher manufacturing costs. High-quality materials, add-ons, and installation further boost the final price. Plus, contractors must measure the openings to get the windows appropriately fitted. Indeed, there is an enormous scope of work involved in each project.
How much should I pay for replacement windows?
Window replacement costs vary between $200 and $1,800 per window. More precisely, the national average is around $650 per window, depending on window frame material, glass type, shape, and size. Labor further increases the overall cost. So, on average, expect to pay $6,500 for replacing ten windows.
What is the labor cost to install replacement windows?
Labor costs differ by location and window installation type. On average, the service costs approximately $38 per hour. Expect to get regular-sized window types installed within an hour. As for new openings, the price will increase accordingly. Last, people who live in high-demand areas will pay more.
What is the cheapest way to replace windows?
The simple answer would be to buy cheaper materials. First, solid wood windows are usually the premium choice. Next, fiberglass frames are more affordable, and vinyl versions are the least costly of all. Also, install single-hung windows or one larger window instead of many smaller ones.