How much do replacement windows cost?
That’s probably the first question you or your significant other asked before embarking on your home renovation project.
The truth is, there are many factors that dictate the cost of replacement windows. There isn’t an encompassing answer that satisfies everyone, as the price is determined company to company, by the type of window, the size, etc.
Before you start asking for quotes, keep these three variables in mind that determine the cost of your new replacement windows.
1. Replacement Window Frames
It’s not all about the glass – window frames are catalysts for pricing replacement windows.
The two most in-demand frame materials are vinyl and wood. Assuming you’re investing in a higher-quality frame, they’re roughly equal in terms of value. Despite their narrow differences, however, there can be a large gap in price.
Vinyl is a cost-effective frame material that helps with energy efficiency, adding more money to your pocket in energy savings as the years pass. Vinyl frames for replacement windows are an affordable option because:
- It’s a readily available material
- Very little natural resources are needed in manufacturing, unlike wood frames
- Lower transportation costs of materials = a decrease in what you pay
- Installation is straightforward for a trained window installer
If you don’t have a large budget to work with, consider vinyl frames for your new windows.
For a bit more elegance and class, wood-frame windows are charming additions to a home’s exterior, but they’ll cost you.
Wood frame windows are more expensive due to:
- The use of limited resources that have to be harvested and transported
- Real wood means real quality – you get what you pay for
- They can be more scarce in the market, due to the expenses and maintenance requirements for a replacement window company
Vinyl windows surpass wood when it comes to energy efficiency, but in terms of aesthetics and adding value to your home, wood frames have no equal.
2. Energy-Efficient Glass
Don’t be fooled by those windows that are ‘starting at $189.99!’ These replacement windows aren’t incorporating energy efficient gases, which you won’t want to compromise on when getting your windows replaced.
Inert gases like argon and krypton act as insulators for your home, keeping your habitat cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Without them, you’ll end up paying more over time in energy bills than you would by springing for energy-efficient replacement windows.
Cheap windows are unlikely to have low-e either, which is a transparent coating that prevents your home from overheating in the summer from UV rays. It can also help furniture and floors from fading via the sun, too.
Adding argon or krypton to a window, along with a low-e coating, can increase the cost of a window by 15%. But again, it’s worth it for the energy savings you’ll accrue over time, not to mention the comfort in your home year-round.
3. Installation Fees
This final price factor depends on whether you’re in need of a full-frame installation or a pocket installation.
A full-frame window installation is the process of replacing the entire window. Everything goes in this installation – the window, the sill, the trim work. This is slower than a pocket installation, and usually needs some touch-up work post-installation. There’s additional labour required, as well as supplementary materials like insulation and drip edges, thereby increasing the costs of your window renovation.
Pocket installations are faster, involving a simple swap of the new window with the old in the same frame. This is also known as a retrofit or insert window. This option is obviously much easier, requiring less materials and labour, making it the more affordable option.
Our recommendation: Opt for a full-frame installation if your windows and frames are deteriorating, or if you want to change the overall aesthetic of your home; a pocket installation is the best return on investment, affording you an easy-to-maintain option that improves the value of your home at a cost-effective price.
If you’re in need of a new window replacement and installation, get in touch with the Thermo-Bilt team and we’ll help you find or create the best replacement windows unique to your home.