How much does it cost to replace windows? 4 factors to consider
It is a question that Long Windows sales representatives hear quite often: How much does it cost to replace windows?
The quick and straight answer is: Well, that depends! It’s not the most satisfying answer, to be sure, but it is honest. The fact is, just like every home is different and unique, so is every window replacement project. Factors such as window type, shape, or whether or not it is a custom job all contribute to the costs associated with window replacement.
“From a strictly hard-nosed, economic point of view, your home is the most valuable thing you’ll ever own. And when you think about it, to be able to spend money on fixing it up is a great privilege,” Bruce Irving, an independent renovation consultant and real estate agent from Cambridge, Massachusetts told Consumer Reports. “On a psychological level, our homes are a reflection of who we are.”
Reasons to replace your windows
First, let’s look at some of the main the reasons why a homeowner might want to replace their windows.
- Security: Let’s face it—old windows can provide an easy access point into your home. New, modern windows have many design features—such as double strength glass and recessed steel locks—that can improve your home’s safety and give homeowners peace of mind.
- Energy efficiency: Who doesn’t want a lower electric bill? EnergyStar.gov reports that the average homeowner who installed energy-efficient windows in Washington, D.C. saved nearly $270 annually on heating and cooling costs – and some homeowners saved even more.
- Adding value: If you are planning to sell your home in the next few years, upgrading your windows can be a prime selling point for prospective buyers. Homeowners get 70-74 percent of their replacement window investment back when they resell the house, according to this year’s “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling magazine.
- Increasing curb appeal: Besides providing welcome views of the outside world, properly installed windows can update and upgrade the look of your home and enhance its architectural details.
4 factors to keep in mind when estimating costs
Once you decide to replace your windows, there are four factors to consider when figuring out cost:
It wasn’t too long ago that window frames only came in one material—wood. But today’s window frames can be made from a variety of materials, including some high-tech materials that can lower costs.
While wood, of course, is still available and in many cases (for example: in the numerous historical districts in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area) is the preferred option, other options including vinyl, composite (ie: reclaimed wood fiber or sawdust) or combination materials (sometimes referred to as “hybrid”) are gaining in popularity.
However, quality should always be the first consideration. “Like mantelpieces and built-in cabinets, original wood windows are important architectural features,” Atlanta Realtor Bill Golden told Money magazine.
With that said, wooden window frames are not the only quality option. If you want the look of wood but don’t want to sacrifice durability, options like wood grain interior windows provide both sophisticated aesthetics and quality functionality.
Both double and triple pane windows offer a layer of insulation between the glass panes. This insulated layer is usually filled with a gas like argon or krypton. These multi-pane systems provide noise protection and keep energy expenses down.
But for true energy savings and security, homeowners are turning to heat mirror technology. The Quantum 2 series vinyl replacement windows offered by Long Windows utilize special lightweight films inserted in between glass panes.
The films are coated with tiny metal particles to create a mirrored finish. These “super-insulating” chambers combine with inert gases to form a powerful glass insulating system that reflects heat and greatly reduces sound. They’re also difficult to break, improving the security of your home.
The initial investment for heat mirror technology is more costly than traditional replacement windows, but homeowners often recoup the investment in lower energy bills. All Long Windows customers also get a no-nonsense lifetime warranty on labor and materials.
Windows come in all shapes and sizes, but the most popular window designs are:
Double hung: Consist of two sashes that move up and down, allowing for half of the window to be open at a time.
Casement: Hinged vertically to open and close like a door. They are often operated with a crank or handle.
Awning: Similar to casement windows, but are hinged horizontally. When opened, they resemble the shape of an awning.
Slider: As the name suggests, these windows slide to open. Sliding windows move on top and bottom tracks. They open on one half and have a vertical meeting rail.
As expected, bigger windows likely cost more. When replacing the windows in your home, experts suggest replacing windows of similar size, shape and style to avoid excessive labor costs. Resizing a window opening to accommodate either a smaller or larger window will lead to higher labor costs.
Replacing a window is a job best left to a professional, experienced window expert who can install your windows quickly, correctly and efficiently.
“Good professional help is worth the money,” Bruce Irving told Architectural Digest’s Clever blog. “That means design as well as construction.”
How much does it cost to replace windows? Request an estimate today to find out.
If your home needs new windows and you have more questions than answers, contact contact Long Windows at (866) 276-9640 or visit us online. Set up a free assessment to outfit your home with brand new, energy-efficient windows.