What is the Cost of Window Replacement?

There are several different factors that go into calculating the cost of window replacement, including the size and type of windows you are looking at. That is precisely what we are going to take a closer look at in this article.

If you have been in your home for several years and have done nothing to your windows at that time, there is a decent chance that one or two may need to be replaced. Windows are the last line of defense between you and the elements, but they tend to be a fragile barrier, with damage almost sure to be inflicted over time.

 There really is no such thing as a one cost fits all type of scenario when talking about window replacement. Prices tend to run the gamut based on several different factors, which is actually a good thing. With so many different choices available, finding a size and style within your budget should not be that difficult. 

Let’s take a closer look at some factors that may come into play.

What is the current state of your window frames?

Before you start pricing out new windows, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at the frames. Insects, moisture, and other factors can wreak havoc on window frames. If the frame is soft to the touch or is showing visible signs of damage, you will need to replace it. If the frame is solid, you may be able to save money by simply replacing the glass.

The average window frame is made from either wood or vinyl, with vinyl being the more affordable of the two options. Besides being cheaper, they are usually a good deal easier to clean and maintain. With wood frames, you are looking at a ton of additional work, with staining and painting just part of it. The elements can wreak havoc on wood frames, even when they have been properly treated.

Compared side by side, the cost of replacing frames using wood over vinyl usually means doubling the cost.

Do you plan on replacing your windows?

If you are thinking of going with a window replacement, before you can come up with an overall cost, you need to have an idea as to where you are going to shop.

If it’s the price of the materials that is your biggest issue, big-box stores may well be the place to start your search. Pricing and insurance tend to be very fair at these places, but when it comes to commission and installation, things tend to get more expensive.

It’s always a good idea to track down a reliable contractor and window manufacturer for the installation. On average, you can expect to pay between $450 and $600 for a double-hung, energy-efficient double-pane, vinyl window that is stand-sized. For a wood window replacement, the price jumps to between $800 and $1,000.

There are some things that could add to the overall price. For example, you can expect to add another $50 to $100 per window if the frame and window need to be removed all the way down to the studs. Contractors will refer to this job as a “full-frame” replacement. Yes, these prices are a little on the high side, but you do need to remember that a quality window that is professionally installed will last for years, as well as adding value to your home. 

Window types

There are a lot of different window types to choose from, with your choice being dependent on several different factors, such as price and climate.

What is the cost of double-hung windows?

The type of frame and the quality of glass that you choose can have an impact on the overall price, but on average, you are usually looking between $280 and $360.

One of the great benefits of double-hung windows is that you have the option of opening them from the top or bottom, which is handy for windows in areas that are not so easy to reach. It is perhaps for this reason alone that they are the most commonly installed window.

What is the cost of tilt-out windows?

Windows that fall into the tilt-out category fall into a price range of between $250 and $500. If that’s a little too rich, you can also find smaller tilt windows designed for a glass block window for around $150.

Tilt windows can either fold in or out, making them incredibly easy to clean from inside your home. These windows are the perfect choice for people whose windows are not that easy to get top from the outside. The downside is that they are a little pricier than double-hung windows.

What is the cost of double-glazed windows?

If it’s double-pane windows you are after, expect to pay $115 to $250 per unit. The main benefit of double-pane windows is their ability to save you money on energy bills.

There are are several different encasement options available when looking at double-glazed windows, although often at inflated prices. The airtight space between the panes is filled with inert gas, which serves as a barrier that effectively keeps out external noise and the elements. Combined with a home that is correctly sealed, you are potentially looking at energy savings in the region of $250 per year. 

High-performance glass explained

If you live in an area with extreme conditions, it might be worth paying more to look at the specialty glass used in high-performance windows. Some examples of high-performance windows include triple-glazed, impact-resistant, and even windows that come with shades installed between the glass. The cost is high, but the benefits may make it a worthwhile investment.

It is usually in areas where the elements are especially extreme where high-performance windows prove to be the most worthwhile.

Different types of glass 

Besides the frame material used, the type of glass you select is also important, especially if you are looking to reduce glare or save on your energy bills. If glare is an issue, then tinted glass is an excellent choice. This type of glass will also cut out heat and UV rays from the sun. Tinted windows come with a film that is water-resistant and very easy to clean. As far as price goes, you are looking at between $5 and $8 per square foot.

As you can see, there are multiple different types of frames and glass available. In most cases, homeowners simply switch out the glass. That is not an option when the window frame is damaged. The cost of installation and labor is dependent on the size of the job.

No matter how big or small the job is, it should always be left in the hands of a window installation professional. Improperly installed frames and windows can take away all of the benefits you would otherwise get from making the change.