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What to Expect When Getting New Window Estimates

Getting Estimates for New Windows

After years of being a homeowner, you’ll probably have to replace a few windows in your house. 

Calculating the cost for replacement windows can be tough, as there are many factors contributing to the price. The cost to replace windows can vary depending on the number of windows needed, size, style, and quality, but despite the many types and brands available, affordable options are easy to find if you know what you’re looking for.

How Does Labor Affect the Cost?

Labor can be charged per project or per hour. The cost per project depends on the size of the window as well as the type of window.  

What Type of Glass Do You Want?

The type of glass is significant because it determines the window’s impact resistance and contributes to energy bill savings. Tinted glass windows are also good for reducing UV rays, the sun’s glare, and the sun’s heat. Tinted windows are also much easier to clean because they have a water-resistant film. 

There is a wide variety of windows, frames, and designs. Usually, homeowners replace the glass of their windows. Frames are mostly replaced in cases of water or mold damage. The cost of replacing a window can depend on the frame, glass, and labor. 

How to Reduce Window Installation Costs

Costs for window replacements can vary due to the range of window styles, materials, and enhancements to choose from — and there is, of course, the labor expense. If your replacement includes new frames, the costs can double because the installation is now considered “new construction.” 

This means you’ll need to limit the extras and choose lower-cost materials. As for labor, get several estimates from qualified contractors to help you determine if you’re paying a fair price. 

Other factors affecting the cost include:

  • Unforeseen damage
  • Having to alter the window frame
  • Difficulty accessing the window
  • Double or triple glazed windows
  • Lead Certified and compliant windows
  • Company’s operating costs 

Replacement Window Cost Checklist

  • Get at least 3-5 estimates before you hire a contractor – estimates are usually free. 
  • Expect the prices to fluctuate between different companies. 
  • Try to ask for prices in late Spring or early Summer, since it’s a non-peak season for window companies.
  • Try to add an extra 7-15% more on top of what the calculator gives out – i.e., difficult patterns, configurations, dormers, etc. The complexity of the window’s frame and trimming can add to the window costs.
  • Visit every supply store that sells your particular replacement window brand and try to get a better price. 
  • Remember, there are many styles of homes in the U.S – contemporary, ranch, colonial, Victorian, etc.

Here are the main factors that affect the cost of a new window:

1. Replacement Window Quality

Perhaps one of the most important factors on the price of a replacement window is quality. All windows are not made equal, and quality ultimately affects the price. In fact, window quality is one of the main reasons you’ll find such large price variations among replacement windows. 

The two most popular frame material options are wood and vinyl. Even though they offer the same benefits in terms of quality, there is a big price difference.

Vinyl is the most cost-effective replacement window option. Choose a high-grade vinyl window, and you’ll see energy savings down the road and save more money.

Real wood windows look beautiful, but they are much more expensive than vinyl replacement windows. This is because they are made of limited natural resources.

Wood is also an excellent insulator, but energy-efficient vinyl windows are filled with foam. It’s the same kind of insulation as wood but at nearly half the cost.

Investing in vinyl replacement windows is one of the best investments for your home because they can save you a lot of money each year on energy bills, depending on the state of your windows and your region. They also improve curb appeal, giving you a feeling of pride in your home.

2. Energy-Efficient Glass 

Energy-efficient gases serve as insulators to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Adding these gases and low-e to your replacement windows can increase the cost. While it’s more expensive to invest in energy-efficient windows, remember that they will help you lower your energy bills every year. 

3. Installation Process

There are two types of window installation: pocket installation and full-frame installation

Full-Frame Window Installation:

This is the process of replacing the whole window. Everything comes out, including the sill, the window, and trim work. This process is a bit slower, and there can often be touchup work required.

Window Installation Costs

Pocket Installation:

Pocket installation is the quicker way to replace your old windows. This is where you slide a new window in an existing frame. You’ll want to choose pocket installation to get the best return on investment.

No matter the installation type, labor is involved. This is another factor that must be included when it comes to the cost of your replacement windows.

4. Warranty and Certifications

Warranties can also vary from company to company. Depending on what your warranty covers, it will affect your overall price.

When a window company includes a warranty, that means you’re getting a better-quality product with the manufacturer standing behind it. 

Windows without a warranty usually cost less. However, if anything goes wrong with the window, whether it’s performance-based or aesthetic, you’re left to pay the bill. You might even have to pay for a new window out of your own pocket.

This means you never want to invest in replacement windows without a warranty—you are just asking for trouble, and you will most likely always pay more.

5. Replacement Window Sizes and Styles 

Windows that contain many details and parts, such as bay and bow windows, will cost more than a simpler double-hung window. The size of the window can also affect the window replacement cost. Naturally, larger windows will cost more since more material is needed for the construction.

Are you thinking about installing new windows? Feel free to contact 1-800-HANSONS for a free estimate.

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