All homeowners have to face the day when a window replacement becomes a necessity. Many choose to replace their windows for improved energy efficiency or to upgrade the look of their house. Whatever the reason, window replacement is an unknown territory to many and the biggest fear factor is often cost. However, there are actually plenty of ways to replace windows while on a budget.
The price of replacement windows varies greatly depending on a number of factors, such as material, style and customizations. This guide outlines all of the influential factors to give you a better understanding of the cost of your window replacement project.
You can’t get very far in the window customization process if you haven’t settled on a style. Trying to compare the costs and benefits of finish options on a casement and a double hung is like comparing apples to oranges. Deciding what style you want is key to determining which brand can best cater to your vision of the finished product.
The double hung is the most well known style of window: both sashes are operable up and down for ventilation. A single hung looks the exact same except only one sash is operable. A casement is a single pane that is hinged on the side and opens outward, and an awning is similar, except it is hinged at the top. A slider window opens horizontally like a mini patio door, a picture window is a stationary window, and the bay and bow windows consist of at least three sections that jut outward from the facade of the home and have a curved appearance on the exterior.
Each of these styles of windows offers different benefits in function and design, and they will not directly compare in price on a size to size basis, but the more you explore what you want the more clear the frontrunners for your next window will become.
There are a wide variety of window materials to choose from and they can vary significantly in price. To determine which material is right for your home, check out our Window Frame Guide.
Vinyl: One of the most popular and affordable materials for a window replacement is vinyl. Vinyl double hung windows typically cost between $500 and $800, including installation.
Composite: Composite windows are popular for their ability to imitate the appearance of wood, while remaining low maintenance. Composite double hung windows typically cost around $900, including installation.
Wood: Wood is considered to be a premium material for window frames, due to its strong aesthetic appeal. Wood double hung windows typically cost between $800 to $1,500, including installation.
Windows are manufactured in a wide variety of styles, to suit various home styles, room types and functional purposes. Each style is accompanied by a different price point that will strongly influence the overall cost of your window project.
Double Hung: Double hung windows are the most popular and well-known window style, and are comprised of two operable sashes in a single frame. Double hung windows typically cost between $500 and $900, including installation.
Single Hung: Single hung windows are similar to double hung, but only have one moveable sash. Due to the simpler operating system, they tend to be one of the cheaper window options. Single hung windows typically cost between $400 and $600, including installation.
Casement: Casement windows are single sashed frames that are hinged at the side and open outward. They typically cost between $600 and $1,000, including installation.
Slider: Slider windows are a great choice for hard to reach areas of the house. As the name indicates, this window style slides open, providing easy to access ventilation. Slider windows typically cost between $500 and $900, including installation.
Bay: Bay windows have a large center window flanked by two smaller windows - usually double hung or casement window - at an angle. As they are composed of multiple windows, bay windows tend to be more expensive than other window styles. Bay windows typically cost between $4,500 and $6,000, including installation.
Bow: Bow windows consist of four or five casement windows that work together to create a curved shape, that extends out from the house. Similarly to bay windows, bow windows tend to cost more due to the multiple windows that comprise them. Bow windows typically cost between $5,000 and $6,500, including installation.
Picture: Picture windows are non-operational windows that are most often used as decoration, to let in additional light, and give the appearance of a more spacious room. Picture windows typically cost between $500 to $1,000, including installation.
Awning: Awning windows are single sashed frames that are hinged at the top and open outward. These windows typically cost between $600 and $850, including installation.
Basement Hopper: Hopper windows tilt down and can swing either into or out of the house. These windows typically cost around $500, including installation.
When it comes to window installations, homeowners are offered a wide variety of customizations. These customizations include:
- Interior and exterior color
- Glass panes
- Grid patterns
The most important aspect of windows is the glass used in them. Glass is the aspect of window shopping where price can increase quickly, but value can increase as well. Glass types that are more energy efficient have lower rates of heat transfer, reduced sound emission, and higher weather ratings, so they will tend to cost more.
Over time though, energy efficient glass is a huge benefit to your energy bills. When comparing two windows, always compare their relative energy efficiencies. An expensive window that has lower energy efficiency than a less expensive window you are also considering probably won’t be the smartest long term investment in your home.
Grids are straightforward - more grids costs more money. You can get many different configurations depending on what window style you go with. When it comes to what type of grid you want, the decision becomes more based on preferences. The basic types are interior/exterior applied, grids between the glass (GBG), and simulated divided lite (SDL). Some windows can come in all types, some only in one. Interior or exterior applied grids are applied only to the outside of the glass.
Applied grids are the least expensive because at close inspection of the glass you can see that there are no grids within the glass, so the illusion of individual panes separated by the grids is lost.
GBGs are also generally inexpensive, but they lack the opposite component, which is the grids extending from the frame on the outside of the glass. SDLs are more expensive because they include grids applied to both the inside and outside of the glass, so they closely simulate the look of individual panes created by the grids.
Some premium windows even come in authentic divided lite, which are authentically individual pieces of glass in each grid, and which are the historic style of building windows that SDLs seek to imitate. Authentic divided lite grids are by far the priciest option.
Each of the customization options can affect the overall price of your project.
To stay within your project budget, it's important to keep all of these factors in mind. However, the wide variety of product styles and materials that are available mean that a window replacement can be possible with just about any budget.
To learn more about your window options and associated costs, call us at 888.392.4236 or visit HireHaven.com.