Windows are an investment. Much like other big purchases, you have to consider more than the initial price tag. A cheap window replacement will cost you less upfront, but will require more maintenance, be more likely to break, and ultimately cost you more in the long run. When you’re calculating the true cost and savings of new windows, it’s important to look at the following factors.
Replacement window costs: the initial price tag
The biggest factor for most people is the actual price tag attached to your window project. If you’ve never bought windows before, the process is very similar to any other home renovation. You’ll first contact different companies you’re interested in and then have several consultants come out to give you a project estimate. And just like other home renovation projects, your estimate is not expected to be exact. The average price per window breaks down like this:
- Vinyl: $100-$1,000
- Wood: $150-$1,300
- Aluminum: $75-$400
Quick Sales Note*** Vinyl-Lite is also offering up to 33% Off Your Entire Replacement Window Project!
Going off just these numbers, it’s easy to see how replacing the windows on an entire house can easily hit the $10,000 mark.
Where the money actually goes
The price of your new windows is going to be calculated by adding the cost of materials to the cost of labor plus whatever percentage the company adds to ensure they turn a profit. It sounds simple, but there’s actually a lot that goes into it. Those numbers we listed previously had huge ranges, and there’s a reason for that.
If you’ve ever had a consultant come out to your home and give you a quote, you’ve probably noticed some major discrepancies. It can seem like each company has a wildly different estimate for pretty much the same job. It can be confusing, but there’s a reason for the wildly different numbers.
A lot of it comes down to the human factor. Consultants aren’t robots. A consultant is expected to assess not just your home’s square footage, but also the potential for delays or problems. Two consultants might look at the same window project and come away with very different time estimates. This is why it is not uncommon for these kinds of projects to experience delays.
Differences in window types
Depending on your tastes, each new window could run you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. This is because you’re paying for quality. While windows might all look the same at a glance, higher-end materials that are custom made for your home are going to give you the best results in the long run. Your main options are wood, aluminum and vinyl window materials, with aluminum being the cheapest and the other two being of a higher grade.
There is also a difference between the different kinds of windows. Basic windows are going to be less expensive than a bow or a bay window. Replacing an existing window is cheaper than renovating the wall for a different type of window (for example, putting a bay window in where before there was a single hung).
Would you put hundreds of dollars down on a new home appliance or car if it didn’t come with a warranty? Probably not, and you shouldn’t take that risk with windows, either. Warranties have a huge impact on your replacement window costs. After all, windows are a big deal to replace and if something about your new windows needs fixed, you definitely don’t want to be stuck with the bill. Remember that replacing one window could be hundreds of dollars, or even a thousand.
Vinyl Lite windows come with a lifetime warranty so that you’re never left regretting your purchase. If your windows don’t come with a warranty, then you’ll need to consider window repairs an inevitable part of your window budget.
The final thing to consider is your energy bill. New windows will likely save you money on heating and cooling. Keep in mind that these savings will add up over time, but they may not offset the entire cost of the project. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that up to 30 percent of your energy use is thanks to subpar windows. If you upgrade to energy efficient windows, you could save between $100 and $500 each year.
At these rates, your new windows will eventually pay for themselves, but it could take some time. So saving money on your energy bills should not be your sole reason for purchasing new windows. Think of it more as an added bonus.
Fortunately there are plenty of other good reasons to go in on new windows. They’re more secure, they’ll add value to your home whether you plan to sell or not, and you’ll get to see your home looking as it should.