We earn a commission from brands listed on this site. This influences the order and manner in which these listings are presented.
Advertising Disclosure

All You Need to Know When It Comes to Buying Replacement Windows

Top10.com Staff
Window Replacement
Maybe those old sills are getting too grungy to bear. Or maybe your child has gotten one too many splinters from the fragmented frames, and you're worried what'll happen the next time they clash with that jagged edge.

Whatever your reasoning, you’ve decided it’s time to replace your windows. Congratulations! But now the questions start coming in. Where do I go for window replacements? What are my options? What’s included in the service? How much does window replacement cost? Which are the best window replacement companies?

With so many questions, you're going to need some answers before you start researching window replacement options. Here are 6 things you really need to know before you embark on your replacement window buying journey.

Step 1: Evaluate If You Actually Need Replacement Windows

Before you even begin researching your options, ask yourself an important question. Why are you considering window replacements in the first place? Has it been two decades since they were changed? Are there issues with heat insulation in your home that you’re trying to correct? Or did a fly ball go careening through the glass? Why you are replacing your windows will determine what your budget and your attention should be focused on.

For example, if you're on a limited budget, and you have a broken window pane, you can save yourself lots by just replacing the glass instead of the entire window.

On the other hand, if your home was built before 1960, you’ve got a problem. These window frames were generally topped off using lead-based paint. Researchers have recently discovered that these paints are highly toxic. For this reason, they are recommending that all homeowners of pre-1960 homes immediately replace their windows. If that’s the case, you’ll need to go all out and replace everything. These window replacements are life-saving and well worth the expense.

Step 2: Consider the Different Types of Windows

Once you know what type of window replacement you're interested in, it's time to look at your options. There are many different types of windows to choose from, both in terms of the frame metal, window style, and glass type. Carefully consider each one as they'll vary in price, look, and functionality. Here are some of the options you can consider:


  • Aluminum

  • Composite

  • Fiberglass

  • Vinyl

  • Wood

Glass types:

  • Single or double-hung panels

  • Sliding or folding panels

  • Storm windows

  • Casements

  • Picture panel

  • Bay windows

  • Triple-glazed panels

As you can see, there's no shortage of options to choose from. So, spend some time browsing through your options.

Step 3: Calculate the Installation Costs

If you've never done this before, then you probably have no real clue about how much window replacement costs. Actually, the prices can vary considerably depending on several factors including:

  • Type of windows you want replaced

  • Number of windows you want replaced

  • Type of panels

  • Materials you want

  • Labor costs of individual companies

  • Any additional features or elements you want to include

Different companies will vary in their pricing, so get several quotes to give yourself a comfortable range to create a ballpark figure with.

Step 4: Find out What the Various Companies Offer

Window replacement services, like all services out there, come in many shapes and sizes. So, you can’t assume that because one company offers a particular service, they all do. Find out exactly what each company you’re researching offers, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. After all, you don’t want the big day to come and to find out that you needed to take off the old window frames by yourself!

Once you’ve perused the general information, go ahead and ask for a sample policy directly. This will give you a solid picture of exactly what that company does and doesn’t offer. It’ll also give you a good idea of any limitations on the policy (example: living in certain weather-warning areas), any warranty restrictions you should know about (example: does owning a pet void that warranty), and any fine print details you might have missed on your general overview of the company.

Step 5: Figure out Which Are the Best Windows for Your Home

Not all window frames were created equal, and not all frames will work with your home. You may want to enlist the help of an expert for this step, but it's worth considering which types of windows are best for your home. There are two things to consider:

  • Style

  • Function

For style, you’ll want a design type that matches your home or at least the general theme of the room. You don’t want cathedral windows in a contemporary condo. You also don’t want to put a window style that doesn’t work with your type of home. For example, a wide bay window that overlooks a concrete wall is just ludicrous.

For functionality, you may want to consider weather conditions in your area. For example, if you’re in a hot zone, you’ll need to install double-thick panes.

These are details that are best left to the pros. But there’s certainly no harm in doing research online or among friends before you speak to the experts.

Step 6: Research the Best Companies

Next, you’re going to want to get searching for the right installation service. Wondering how to choose the best window replacement company for you? You’ll need to do some homework, but it’s a good idea to look for online reviews, ask for referrals, and look for certification. And as mentioned already, check that the company actually does the type of work you are looking for. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how far people go in the negotiations process before they realize that the company is not equipped to handle their circumstances.

Professional Window Replacements are a Click Away

Congratulations! You’re more than halfway to having beautiful and functional new windows for your home. Follow this guide, and you’ll be gazing out your new panes in no time!

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.