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Need to Replace Your Windows? How Much Does It Cost?

Top10.com Staff
Window Replacement
There comes a time in each homeowner's life when they have to face facts. When the wood is splintering around the edges, the glass is at its breaking point, and the act of someone approaching your window sill invokes a shrill cry of "Don't touch that!", you know that it's time to replace your windows.

While options, services, and materials are all important topics to consider, the biggest question on your mind is how much does window replacement cost at the end of the day? Obviously, that answer varies considerably based on the type of window installation, window style, and several other factors. 

So, if you’re looking for an estimate, check out this breakdown of the average costs of window replacements in your home:

What Affects the Cost of Window Installation?

One of the biggest frustrations when trying to price a window replacement project is the wide range of price quotes that you'll receive. Quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, giving homeowners little information to go on or help in budgeting for this upgrade.

The reason for this vast discrepancy in pricing is because there are so many factors that go into the cost of window installations. For example, any window replacement quote will vary depending on several of these factors:

  • Type of window

  • Type of glass

  • Additional features (triple-glazing, etc.)

  • Difficulty of installation

  • Number of windows being replaced

  • Cost of labor

  • Structural damage

  • Number of floors

Finally, the quality of work will also affect the overall price of your window installation. A budget-friendly option may seem appealing at first. But ask yourself why one window replacement company is charging so much less than the other quotes you’ve received. That low price may come at the cost of quality craftsmanship.

Different Types of Windows and Their Costs

The different types of windows, along with the materials used to construct those windows, will determine how much you pay at the end of the day. Here's a list of some of the materials you will be looking at with your next window replacement:

  • Aluminum: $75-$400

  • Composite: $300-$1200

  • Fiberglass: $500-$1500

  • Vinyl: $100-$900

  • Wood: $150-$1300

We know, it’s a pretty big range. But that’s because of location, style (the more design elements, the more expensive), and company differences.

Additionally, the type of glass you choose will come at varying costs. Here are some of those options:

  • Single-hung panels: $100-$400

  • Double-hung panels: $150-$800

  • Sliding or folding panels: $150-$800

  • Storm windows: $50-$300

  • Casements: $200-$1400

  • Picture panels: $300-$1200

  • Bay windows: $1000-$4500

  • Triple-glazed panels: Add 10%-15% onto the price of the panel type

As you can see, the more elaborate the window style, the more expensive it will be. And that comes along with increased labor cost, as well.

How to Save Money on Window Replacement

If your head is spinning at this stage from all of the high figures and astronomical quotes, there's good news. Here are a few ways that you can save on costly window installations:

- Go for the bare minimum

Tilt and turn panels, stained glass, or decorative frames may seem attractive. But realize that each of these additions adds to the overall price of your window replacement project. If you're working with a budget, cut back on these extras, and opt for the sturdy, functional window options instead.

- Put frames in perspective

The type of window frame you select will also affect the cost of the overall project. Solid wood is a nice touch, but maybe you don't need such a durable option. If you don't live in a high wind volume location, and don't have kids constantly testing those frames, choose a more cost-effective frame like vinyl or fiberglass instead.

- Ask for a breakdown

Find out exactly what the contractor is charging you for. This will give you the ability to compare price quotes more accurately. It will also give you a bit of bargaining leverage if there’s room for that.

- Do your research

Finally, don't forget to shop around. Your instinct may be to go with the first price quote you receive but don't be deceived into the need for compliance. Competition is a wonderful thing for consumers, as it drives down the prices and keeps the market manageable. Shop around on the sites of the best window replacement companies for numerous quotes to see which company will give you the best offer. And don't be afraid to tell companies that you received a better offer somewhere else (often they will match the lower price and/or throw in additional benefits like free windows or an upgraded material).

Also, consider if you actually need a full window replacement. If the frames are solid, you might just need a glass replacement. That’ll be much cheaper.

Additional Considerations and Costs

If you’re wondering how to choose the optimal window replacement service, it’s a good idea to sit down and create a budget first. This will help you determine exactly what options you have to work with and what’s completely out of your price range. Include in that budget the cost of each window you want replaced, along with what type of paneling you want.

Another cost to remember is the cost of labor. Every company can charge whatever they want, and the fees will vary considerably from $150 to $800 per window, depending on various factors. The harder and more involved the installation, the more the labor costs will be.

One final thing to consider is the energy savings you may enjoy from this update. Up to 30% of your HVAC efforts are lost to poor window insulation. So, upgrading your windows can actually help you save money (as much as $500 a year, in fact).

Whether you’re looking into window replacements for energy-efficiency, because of water damage, or just because you want to give your old home a facelift, use this window replacement buying guide to get the most bang for your buck.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.