How Much Will New Replacement Windows Cost?
There can be any number of reasons to replace the existing windows on your home. Your home may have settled, or may have suffered damage due to a severe storm. Perhaps your windows are old and don’t work as well as they used to, leading to leaks and higher utility bills. It could also be that there’s nothing wrong with your existing windows and you’ve just decided it’s time for a change. Our article on deciding whether it’s time to replace your windows can help, but if you’ve already made your decision, it’s time to do your homework!
First, let’s look at the cost of some common types of windows:
|Type of window||Typical unit cost|
Next, let’s sketch out some ballpark figures based on the number of windows installed:
|Number of windows||Typical cost|
|1 - 4 windows||$1,200 - $3,200|
|5 - 10 windows||$3,400 - $6,500|
|11+ windows||$8,500 - $20,600|
What Determines the Cost of My New Windows?
As you may already have gathered, the cost of individual windows is just one factor to consider when estimating cost. In fact, there are five things that will determine the scope and cost of your window installation:
It all starts with choosing a type of window that suits your taste and the stye of your home. All else being equal, the cost of a single-hung window will be less than that of a double-hung window, and either of them will be cheaper than a bay window or custom window. The material chosen — wood, fiberglass, or vinyl — also influences price. The function of a window also makes a difference, since windows with more complex mechanics will cost more than a window that installs simply or doesn’t open.
Size of Project:
If you’re doing a simple single-window replacement, your costs will be lower than if you’re replacing all the windows on a floor, or throughout your home. If one or more of the windows has leaked, or if the contractor finds problems like dry rot or termite damage, or if the new windows differ significantly in size from the ones they’re replacing, additional structural work will need to be done to ensure a successful installation, increasing time and cost.
It can be tempting to go the DIY route to save money, but having the job done professionally means your window is being installed properly, quickly, and with a measure of accountability if something goes wrong.
Speaking of things going wrong, better windows come with better warranties. The cost may be higher at first, but can mean less maintenance and less chance of defects later on. If there’s an issue with the product or the installation, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered.
The cost to cover installation can vary based on the contractor, and also vary based on geography. In markets where labor is cheaper, you’ll spend less on installation. In competitive markets, at busy times of year, or for an emergency job, your labor costs will be higher.
How Do I Find the Best Window Prices?
Research Contractors: The company whose windows you purchase may recommend contractors trained to work on their windows using their own training and methods. That can be a good starting point. Otherwise, look for contractors with an established track record — a number of years in business, and some evidence of their performance — and make sure they come with licensing, references, and insurance.
Discuss Your Project: Think about what this project is for. You may just want something simple and functional, or you may want to add a touch of class. You should think about window types and materials, your budget, and your timeframe, and discuss these with your contractor. They may have suggestions based on your needs and their own experience.
Ask About Project Timing: Some contractors will work at all times of year and in practically any weather, but certain times of year can cost more because of logistical concerns. At the same time, given that some contractors experience slower times of year, you may save money by scheduling for a time when the business is typically slower.
Ask About Payment Plans: You may not have a lot of cash on hand, might balk at taking out a home equity loan, or might just want to keep your cash reserves free in case of an emergency. Ask if your contractor provides payment plans.
Solicit Multiple Quotes: Get at least three quotes — in writing — from contractors. If you see differences or discrepancies, or if anything you see raises questions or red flags, ask about them. If there’s any hesitation or defensiveness, or if anything else in your interaction with a prospective contractor raises red flags, move along.
What Should Be Included in My New Window Quote?
Each of the following should be included in an estimate:
- The brand, style and type of windows used (including color)
- An itemized list of the windows to be replaced and their locations
- The cost of any and all materials used
- The cost of window removal and disposal
- A step-by-step breakdown of the job process from start to finish
- Provisions for any damages caused during the job
- Any applicable warranties on materials and workmanship
- Payment methods and due dates