Here are some guidelines to follow when trying to understand what determines the price of replacement windows. Remember – not all projects are considered equal. There are factors that contribute to the replacement windows cost that may differ from other experiences, so make sure to do thorough research, request several quotes, compare them, and ask our experts for help along the way.
The quality of the window is the ultimate variable when it comes to price, even when all other specifications are created equal.
The price per window could be anything from $200 for a 4ft x 6ft basic double hung, to over $1000 each for a window of the same size with more bells and whistles.
Where You Live Plays a Big Role
Geography plays a big role in price for replacement windows; that’s why our window experts always ask the homeowners in our forum where they are located. Where you live can have an impact on labor costs, market values, manufacturing costs, etc. In New England, prices tend to be close to the national average but in contrast, the same window replacement could run a couple thousand dollars more for a home on the West Coast.
-FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE PRICE-
On average, vinyl replacement windows tend to be the least expensive replacement window type. Every major window manufacturer has their own brand of vinyl windows and the price depends on these four standard variables: type, size, glass, and accessories.
Naturally, the way that a window companies establish their costs are all different. Nevertheless, most of the prices for vinyl windows are set on a few standard variables:
-TYPE, SIZE, GLASS, ACCESSORIES-
Type and Shape
The types of replacement windows include:
- Double hung windows are the most commonly purchased window type and are generally the basis of comparison between price.
- Single hung windows are a less expensive option, because they are less costly to manufacture, and depending on the brand, can be up to 30% cheaper than double hung. However, they are mostly used in the construction of new homes and less common as replacement windows.
- Casement, Awning, and Slider windows tend to be more expensive than double hung windows
The larger the window, the greater the cost because of the amount of materials that go into making it. Manufacturers determine their materials cost on unified inches (width plus height) and estimate prices using standard sizes.
Window.org Tip: When determining the difference in price based on size, consider with each added 5 unified inches, price per window can increase about 5-10% more than the closest standard size.
Glass Panes: Single, Double or Triple
Most manufacturers have set double pane windows as their standard. Single pane glass is still available but it is the least energy efficient and can cause heat/cooling loss.
Triple pane glass is the most energy efficient, but generally comes with a greater price, somewhere around 10% to 20% increase on total replacement windows cost.
Window.org Tip: Check with the manufacturer – some of those who recommend triple pane windows may offer special promotions in which prices are comparable to double pane.
Most windows come standard with a type of Low-E. There are different upgrades of Low-E, with added energy efficiency, depending on the brand and window type. Check the U value and solar-grain coefficient to make sure that the window meets your needs.
Gas Filling: Argon or Krypton
To fill a window with krypton is generally more expensive than argon. Depending on the company, the price for krypton could be 10% more per window or an added cost of a range from $40 to $100 per window.
Most prices for windows do not include additional accessories including tilting features which makes cleaning easier or tinting for heat reduction.
Colors, Grids, and Screens:
For a customized color that is not the standard, you can expect a 5% to 20% increase on price. Grids tend to be an added expense of around $15 to $20 per window on average. Screens add a cost of $10 to $20 per window.
-INSTALLATION AND REPAIRS-
If your windows cannot be replaced without making additional home repairs before the installation even begins, then expect to incur additional costs – for example, if there is dry rot or outside damage to your windows. Depending on the size and scope of the repairs, you can see increases in the cost of your project by 50% to 100%.
If you believe your project could warrant additional repairs, ask our experts. They can let you know what to expect.
Window.org Tips:Some contractors will show you their mid – high range products and not their lower models unless you inquire about cheaper options. Ask about ALL their product lines to get a full scope of what they can offer.
Who Installs Your Windows Is Equally as Important as the Windows You Buy.
Replacing your windows is not a project that you want to do more than once in a short period of time. When hiring a professional, be sure to read Reviews by Window Company and see what fellow homeowners have to say about their performance.
Window.org Tip:Also as an added insight, search for the installer’s rating on the Better Business Bureau and for individual contractors, search your state’s website for licensed contractors.
Can Only the Rich Afford to Buy Cheap Windows?
As some may say, cheap windows might just end up costing you more in the long run. If you are tempted to jump at the best deal or the least expensive option upfront, keep in mind that when you purchase windows, you are buying so much more than glass.
How Are You Supposed to Know if You Are Getting Accurate Quotes?
Keep your preferences in mind (refer to the guidelines that we provided above)! Most companies, even when their costs are different, will be picking products according to your specifications. Therefore, when comparing companies, to be sure that the product packages and installations are all similar offers – that way you can compare the final price that each company is offering to make a well educated decision.
The best way to determine the replacement windows cost for your specific project is to do your research! Check out our site for more information about windows in the Information Center. Read the questions and comments posted by customers in our Discussion Board. If you still have concerns, ask your own question and receive answers from knowledgeable individuals and window professionals. Finally, request a quote! To be more comfortable with your decision, requesting multiple quotes from several different window providers for comparison is always a good idea. Different companies have diverse opinions on what type of windows will work best, and of course, varied estimates.