How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?
Modern window design is a towering example of architectural innovation. Today’s products rely on cutting-edge technologies like Low-E coatings and dense gaseous layers for superb thermal insulation and solar heat control. Their structural strength achieves a level of longevity that simply wasn’t possible five years ago. Fortunately, their prices haven’t risen in tandem as much as you might think, so a replacement can save you more money than it costs. Let’s find out how.
What will a replacement window cost?
Replacement windows cost between $185 and $1, 300 per window. That’s a large price range, and it’s determined by your:
- Choice of glazing and other energy-efficient details: Triple-pane glass and low-E coatings cost a little extra, but they’re cheaper over the long term.
- Window style and frames: A mid-range double-hung vinyl design should cost you around $600, while wood frames will set you back about $750. You’ll pay an additional $100 for fiberglass.
- Number of windows: If you’re replacing several windows simultaneously, your installation company might chop the edges off your price.
- Glass type: Tempered, solar control, and shatterproof glass come at a price premium.
- Level of customization: Personalized windows cost a little more, both in terms of labor and design costs, but their curb appeal is second to none.
- Operating types like hopper, awning, and double-hung designs come in a varied price range.
- Labor costs: You can expect to spend around $200 per window or an hourly rate of $40.
Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, though, because…
… Lifetime costs matter
The price of your installation is only the first step to calculating your overall costs. You’ll also need to spend money on annual maintenance and repairs. A low-maintenance, high-quality window is frequently more economical than a cheap, high-maintenance product. It will last longer and break down less frequently, making that high upfront cost less expensive than it seems.
That phenomenon is particularly pronounced in vinyl, which requires no recoating or sanding. It lasts longer than any other window material thanks to its incredible rust and rot resistance. That means its maintenance costs are negligible.
Fiberglass windows are equally famous for their longevity, and hardwood trails behind in third place. The durability of your window will also factor into your figures, so we advise our clients to calculate their total lifetime costs, and not merely their initial outlay.
Your lifetime costs should also reflect the amount you’ll save on energy bills. Windows with a high R-value will reduce solar heat gain and HVAC energy costs. Insulation can reduce your total energy use by up to 11%.
The value of a replacement window
New windows are an investment with lasting returns, so it pays to calculate your return on investment rather than just your upfront costs. You can expect to yield an ROI of about 85% from vinyl replacements. That amounts to a return of $8. 500. New windows will also improve your curb appeal, adding at least $9, 000 to your property value.
Factors that influence your energy efficiency
Windows play a crucial role in your insulation envelope, so energy efficiency is a core part of your cost calculations. The higher your R-value, the more heat your windows will retain. The lower your U-value, the less heat loss your windows will suffer. An R-value of 4.0 offers about 45% in utility bill savings—That’s an average saving of $402 per year.
- Double-paned aluminum windows carry an annual energy cost of about $290 a year.
- Double-paned windows with low-E coatings and energy-efficient panes will cost $240 a year in annual energy costs.
- The best triple-paned, krypton-filled vinyl or wood windows will save 588 kWh in annual cooling energy use.
Energy-efficient features like low-E coatings and triple-pane glass might cost more in outlay, but you should recoup that expense in the form of reduced energy bills. To sweeten the deal, homeowners now receive a maximum of $600 a year in rebates per window, or $1, 200 overall. New federal income tax credits of up to $3, 200 are offered against energy-efficient household additions.
Energy-efficient window prices start at $325. Features to consider include:
- Multiple window glass panes sandwiched with gas-filled spacers to prevent thermal transfer.
- Insulating window frames in vinyl, fiberglass, or clad wood.
- Low-E glass coatings to prevent UV light from entering your home without limiting its natural light.
- Window insulation films and panels to reduce thermal transfer.
- Spectrally selective coatings to filter out infrared heat.
Replacement windows are one of the most intelligent investments you can make into your home, but sacrificing value in exchange for a reduced price can be more expensive than outlaying a little extra initially. Sturdy, Energy-Star-certified products come with significant lifetime savings. If you’re lucky, you’ll even recoup the extra costs in the form of rebates.
Whatever options you choose, make sure you work with a contractor that includes the warranty and installation costs in the final price. Need help with a window project? Contact us now to get a free estimate today.
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