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Best Window Replacement

Sarah BadaniBySarah BadaniFeb. 24, 2020

Replacement windows can change the entire look and value of your home. And if you haven’t changed your windows for a few decades, then this upgrade may be more of a necessity than you think. But home window replacement is not something to take lightly. Options abound from what material to choose for the frame, to what type of glass to get, and of course, which company to hire to get the job done.

Dizzy before you’ve even started? Check out this comprehensive guide to finding the best replacement windows, including the average cost to replace windows, top window replacement companies, and which materials are best for your home.

All window types Custom designs available
Gathering quotes from a number of contractors
Free quotes from several contractors
Free quotes for replacement and installation
All types of home-related services
Quotes by consultation
Free to sign up and free quotes
Range of prices based on provider you pick
Varies by contractor
Varies by service provider
20-year limited warranty
Varies by contractor
Varies by contractor
Varies by contractor
Varies by service provider
Booking a consultation is relatively quick
How quickly will your home window replacement be handled?
Same-day quotes
Same-day quotes
Within 24 hours
SmartSun glass, Fibrex materials, LowE4 glass
What energy-savings options are available, if any?
Thermal, triple pane, double pane, and Energy Star windows
Thermal, triple pane, double pane, and Energy Star
Varies based on the contractor you work with

The Best Replacement Windows - An In-Depth Look

  • 1

    Renewal by Andersen

    Energy-efficient, beautiful replacement windows
    Renewal by Andersen
    • Average Price RangeQuotes by consultation
    • Warranty20-year limited warranty
    • Response TimeBooking a consultation is relatively quick

    Renewal by Andersen offers replacement windows for every type of home and window requirement, from double-hung to bay to picture windows and even specialty doors and awnings. It's got an excellent photo gallery on the website, so you can browse through various window styles and understand definitions before you make your choices.

    What’s really great about this company is the free consultation anyone can receive. You’ll arrange the set-time meeting (no windows) during which Renewal by Andersen will assess your home and window replacement needs. The contractor will discuss your options, provide price quotes for the project, and answer any questions you have.

    Pros
    • Beautiful and strong energy-efficient products
    • Long warranty
    • Highly-reputable and professional company
    Cons
    • Warranty is limited to certain conditions
    • Expensive option
    Read Renewal by Andersen Review
  • 2

    Home Renovation

    Instantly increase the value of your home
    Home Renovation
    • Average Price RangeFree to sign up and free quotes
    • WarrantyVaries by contractor
    • Response TimeHow quickly will your home window replacement be handled?

    Home Renovation works on a simple principle: according to the experts, you can increase the resale value of your home by 80% or more by replacing the windows. That’s a pretty good incentive for most homeowners. Home Renovation gives you easy access to a large number of reliable contractors at one time. It’s an online portal that connects homeowners with contractors in their area, so it basically takes all of the work out of shopping around.

    Because of Home Renovation’s smart algorithm, homeowners will get the best prices to compare when using the simple comparison tool. You fill out a single application form, telling Home Renovation what type of replacement windows you’re looking for. Then, the system runs your information through the network of qualified contractors and returns only the window replacement companies that are relevant for you. So, you get multiple quotes instantly. It’s a good system for anyone who enjoys shopping around.

    Pros
    • Multiple quotes with one application
    • Instant online quotes
    • Large network of qualified contractors
    Cons
    • Not an actual window replacement service
    • Not a lot of information before you sign up
    Read Home Renovation Review
  • 3

    Modernize

    The modern way to handle home renovations
    Modernize
    • Average Price RangeRange of prices based on provider you pick
    • WarrantyVaries by contractor
    • Response TimeSame-day quotes

    Modernize is a chic, easy, and smart way to manage your home renovation projects, especially home replacement windows. Similar to Fiverr or other crowdsourced networks, Modernize lets you create a project, sends you multiple bids from a variety of the best replacement windows services, and lets you choose the right one for you. As we said, it's efficient, fast, and really easy to use.

    Modernize has a huge network of independent contractors within its system. These contractors bid on your project. That means that everything is very competitively-driven, driving down the final project quote you receive. So, you receive the lowest rates possible for your window replacement project. Modernize also provides inspiration, window buying guides, and other helpful information for homeowners to peruse.

    Pros
    • Competition-based pricing
    • Large network of professional contractors
    • Every type of window replacement covered
    Cons
    • It can be a hit or miss
    • You won’t know how much until the bids are in
    Read Modernize Review
  • 4

    Remodel Connection

    Connect to hundreds of professional contractors
    Remodel Connection
    • Average Price RangeVaries by contractor
    • WarrantyVaries by contractor
    • Response TimeSame-day quotes

    Remodel Connection is another window replacement company comparison tool. One difference between this and others of its ilk, though, is the sheer numbers. Remodel Connection has a massive network of 500+ contractors to work with. So, you are getting a huge selection of the best people for the job.

    Since everything is done online, Remodel Connection is a great way to figure out the average cost to replace windows in your area and within your requirements range. Answer a few basic questions, like what type of windows you’re interested in, where you live, how many windows need replacing, and whether you are repairing or replacing the windows entirely. Then, Remodel Connection connects you with the best replacement windows services for you.

    Pros
    • 500+ industry-leading contractors
    • Fast online process
    • Easy comparison tool
    Cons
    • Not a lot of options to choose from on the initial form
    • Not a direct contractor
    Read Remodel Connection Review
  • 5

    Angie's List

    The smarter way to comparison shop
    Angie's List
    • Average Price RangeVaries by service provider
    • WarrantyVaries by service provider
    • Response TimeWithin 24 hours

    Angie’s List is another great tool for finding professional window replacement services. Unlike other services, though, Angie’s List isn’t going to connect you directly with a service. Instead, it allows you to efficiently and seriously compare different local contractors to find the best service for you. How is that different? Angie’s List verifies every review and gives ratings to each contractor individually, so you are actually getting real, honest feedback on a service instead of generic reviews. Angie’s List also offers discounts on services provided.

    Angie’s List has oodles of useful information. There are articles upon articles to read through. But if you’re a more visual person, Angie’s List also has photo galleries and videos you can look through to get inspiration, understand the different processes involved, and clarify different terminology you might not be familiar with like bay windows or triple glazed glass.

    Pros
    • Honest and verified reviews
    • Discounts for members
    • Quick and easy comparison tool
    Cons
    • Not a contractor
    • There’s a membership fee
    Read Angie's List Review

What is the Best Window Replacement and How to Choose the Right One?

The best window replacement for you will depend on a few factors, including your budget, the climate of your location, and the kind of home you have. If you already have a style or design in mind, it's a good idea to talk to the contractor directly. They'll be able to give you a professional opinion about whether or not your design choice is the best option for your home.

To choose the best window replacement for your location, consider the weather. Do you live in a very cold climate or a very hot one? Is it very rainy in your area? Once you’ve answered these questions, these 4 features should be weighed accordingly.

  • R-value: This measures how well a window prevents heat loss. Basically, it’s about insulation. This will ensure that the window keeps the right temperatures in and the wrong temperatures out.

  • U-value: The U-value is the opposite of the R-value. So, you want a high R-value and a low U-value.

  • Wind resistance: This tells you how much air leakage a window will allow. You want a lower number for this because that indicates a better seal.

  • Solar gain: The solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC, for short, measures how well the window will allow the room to be heated by the sun. This can be good or bad depending on the weather (in the summer it's bad, in the winter it's good). The greater the solar gain, the higher the number.

Windows have these different ratings clearly marked, so use these factors to determine which types of windows are right for you. If, for example, you live in the southern half of Florida, Texas, or Louisiana, you’ll look for windows with a U-value of .40 or lower and a solar gain of .65 or lower. On the other hand, more northern areas like Maine and New York will look for U-values of .35 (solar gain isn’t such a factor in the northern areas).

How Much Does the Average Window Replacement Cost?

The average cost to replace windows will vary significantly depending on several factors. These can include:

  • The quality of materials used

As with any project, there are high-end and low-end material options. Depending on your budget, you’ll decide on the material that works best for you.

  • Frame material and type

It's not just the quality of material that'll affect window replacement costs. The type of frame and glass you choose will also vary considerably. Vinyl window frames are significantly more cost-effective than the common alternative, wood. It's easier to manufacture and is more readily available. Wood, on the other hand, is a beautiful option, but it'll cost roughly 30%-50% more. Fiberglass is another option that walks the middle ground between these 2 pricing options.

  • Glass type

How thick, any special effects (such as glazed or stained), and other factors can considerably raise the cost of your glass package. Energy-efficiency is one of the most popular features people look at. This will raise the cost of your replacement windows by roughly 15%. Before you write this one off, though, realize that energy-efficient windows can give you a return of up to 75% in a few years.

  • Installation

The level of difficulty involved in the installation will also determine the price. More difficult installations will cost more, including where in the house it’s being installed, full-frame installations, and fancier bay-style windows.

  • Number of windows being replaced

This is obvious. The more windows you replace, the more it’ll cost you. Several window replacement companies will offer discounts, though, for multiple home window replacements done simultaneously.

Types of Window Replacements

Home window replacements can vary in terms of frame style, glass thickness, glass type, and more. Some of the most prevalent types of window replacements include:

  • Single-hung windows

The bottom half of the window is the one that moves.

Average cost: $170-$360

  • Double-hung windows

Both the upper and lower parts of the window can move.

Average cost: $450-$600

  • Arched windows

These are windows with a round top.

Average cost: $325-$500

  • Awning windows

These open outwards to the outside.

Average cost: $420-$760

  • Bay windows

This is a window bay that pushes out from the exterior wall, creating a bench within your home.

Average cost: $1,150-$3,550

  • Bow windows

This is a rounded semi-circle of windows on the exterior of the house.

Average cost: $1,400-$3,800

  • Casement windows

Like shutters, it is a single panel that swings out to the right or left or up or down.

Average cost: $270-$750

  • Egress windows

This is an escape hatch-style window, often seen in basements.

Average cost: $100-$5,000

  • Garden windows

These are miniature bay windows that you can put plants in.

Average cost: $1,000-$4,000

  • Glass block windows

These are literally blocks of glass, an accent item.

Average cost: $365-$785

  • Hopper windows

These generally open from the top, and are good for small spaces.

Average cost: $265-$720

  • Jalousie windows

This is a multi-slatted window style.

Average cost: $175-$375

  • Picture windows

This is a large glass-paned window, ideal for beautiful views.

Average cost: $245-$850

  • Round circle windows

These cute windows can be elliptical, oval, round, or half circles. These are decorative, as well as allowing light into smaller spaces.

Average cost: $250-$750

  • Skylight windows

These are installed on the ceiling, perfect for letting more light in with limited exterior wall space.

Average cost: $900-$2,130

  • Sliding windows

These are long, rectangular windows made up of 2 panels, one of which slides from side to side.

Average cost: $320-$1,300

  • Storm windows

Another layer of protection, these are installed directly on top of your current windows.

Average cost: $200-$460

  • Transom windows

Another attractive option, these are decorative windows installed merely to add more style to an area.

Average cost: $200-$575

You can also get custom windows. Not everyone will offer all of these services, but all of the good window replacement companies will have a good enough selection to give you plenty of options to choose from. They’ll also help you choose the best replacement windows for your home situation and budget.

What Window Materials Should I Look For?

The material of your replacement windows will dramatically change the price of your project, as we’ve noted earlier. Here are a few of your options for frames:

  • Wood versus vinyl frames, we’ve already discussed

  • Fiberglass, the happy medium

  • Fibrex is a composite of wood and epoxy resin: This option doesn't rot or deteriorate but looks like wood.

In terms of the glass itself, you can get single, double, or triple-pane. These can be coated with multiple coatings to weatherproof or create more energy-efficient options. Choose your window material based on location and budget, but factor in things like energy-savings and wear over time as well.

Sarah BadaniBySarah BadaniFeb. 20, 2020
Sarah Badani has extensive research and review experience in the home improvement industry. With a degree in psychology and education, she brings a level of depth and understanding to her writing along with her own flavor to spice up each topic in a unique and inviting way.