Your home is your shelter. You have a responsibility to keep your home safe for you and your family, and the windows in your home are a large part of that equation. If you want to make sure your home is a safe place, it’s important to keep your windows in tip-top shape.
At some point it will come time to do some upkeep on your windows, and it will be important to know the window replacement cost. If you don’t know the cost to replace windows it can become a very expensive project. It’s important to educate yourself on replacement windows cost and all the factors that go with it so you can shop around and compare prices.
What factors play a role in the cost of window replacements?
Replacing windows may seem like a simple task, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the options and have the price tag start spinning out of control. Window installation cost will depend on a number of factors, but if you are knowledgeable about your options you can shop around to find the best fit at the right price.
Before you start your project, you should have the answers to several questions, including:
The reason you are replacing your windows
If you’re replacing the windows because of serious damage, It’s not always a matter of just replacing the actual window panes and glass — sometimes the frame itself needs to be repaired, too. A frame replacement is available in many materials with a wide range of price tags, including wood, vinyl, metal and fiberglass.
The type of windows you want to install
There are many different types of windows on the market and they can vary greatly in cost. Slider, bay, casement and double-hung windows are just a handful of window options that are available, and each type performs a specific purpose with a very different price tag from the next.
The size of the windows you need
Homes come in all sizes and so do windows. Larger windows are generally more expensive, and if your house features unique or intricately shaped windows, you could face higher than average costs. You may need special materials in addition to the labor involved in preparing, sizing and placing your custom window.
The types of window features
Each type of window offers different features. Casement windows open outward for better ventilation while awning windows tilt out at the bottom and skylights are mounted in your ceiling. Even if your window frame holds a simple, run-of-the-mill window, it could be the perfect opportunity to upgrade your window frame into a shape, size or style that works better for your needs.
Professional installation or DIY?
The cost of window replacement will largely depend on whether you choose to replace them yourself or hire a professional to install them. Labor can vary, and HomeAdvisor estimates that the prices run from $150 to $800 per window.
Tips to reduce window installation costs
The average window costs approximately $650 to replace according to HomeAdvisor, which for many homeowners can mean shelling out thousands of dollars all at once. It can be tempting to forego professional help given the large expense that comes with it. If attempt the project yourself and are not familiar with the process, you could cause further damage and wind up with a far larger bill.
If you must replace any window frames, be smart about the material that you choose. There are many different materials available but vinyl is a popular choice for its durability, affordability and overall aesthetics.
Choose contractor-grade windows to ensure that you’re getting superior quality and materials. If you are replacing multiple windows, inquire about bulk discounts or other savings that can help your bottom line.
Before committing to an installation service, research your options and shop multiple quotes from legitimate providers. The cheapest quote may not be the best option. You could be sacrificing quality materials and service.
How do window replacements impact your home’s value?
As windows age they are weakened from years of things like battering storms and scorching heat, which causes them to leak outside air into your home. Your heating and cooling systems can be sent into overdrive, causing your bills to skyrocket. New windows can prevent that from happening.
New windows can significantly boost the value of your home. A $10,000 replacement may improve your home’s value by nearly $8,500. ENERGY STAR-rated windows will help lower your bills, and if you are replacing windows with the plan to sell your home, this type of window can help your property gain interest from prospective buyers.
Homes in areas like Florida and Oklahoma, which are prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, will benefit from storm windows, which are also a huge incentive for homebuyers.
Other considerations: Energy-efficient windows
Energy-efficient windows are a popular choice because they can save you up to 15% off your home energy bill with their signature ENERGY STAR rating and special e-coating. Studies from the U.S. Department of EnergyU.S. Department of Energy show that replacing your single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR-rated windows could save you over $450 each year.
These windows do not come cheap, however. They run an average of $300 to $1,000 per window, and the savings you get from installing them will depend on your home and your lifestyle. It may not be worth the investment for energy efficient windows if you do not experience high heating and cooling bills.
Where you live makes a difference, too. People who live in warmer climates or colder states are more dependent on their heating and cooling systems, which may make energy efficient windows more of a priority for them than it does for people in moderate climates.
Window replacement financing options
Window replacement is a large investment even if you’re careful about the costs, and many homeowners opt to finance these home improvement projects. There are many ways to finance your window replacement, including a personal loan, home equity loan or home equity line of credit.
A personal loan is issued based on your personal credit standing rather than using your home as collateral to receive a loan. Only a good credit score that will qualify for a personal loan, but it can protect you from potentially losing your home if you get behind on payments.
Home equity loan
A home equity loan is a great option for your window replacement because it allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. Your home equity is the value of your home minus the amount you still owe on the mortgage. With this type of loan, you receive one lump sum of cash — the amount is usually about 80% of the home equity — and can use that to finance home improvement projects such as window replacements. Home equity loans are insured by using your home as collateral, and you’ll be given a set amount of time to repay the loan.
Home equity line of credit
A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, allows you to use the equity in your home to open a line of credit. The terms will depend on your lender, but you will usually have a set period where you can borrow and repay from the line of credit, much like you do with a credit card.
Be sure to check interest rates and read over the fine print for hidden fees before you proceed, no matter what type of financing you choose. High interest can quickly turn an affordable project into an impossible one.
Replacing your windows can be a simple and cost-effective home improvement if you know what to look for, how to shop and how to pay the bill. The cost can vary greatly, but with so many options and price ranges, you are likely to find an option that works best for you and your budget.
A window replacement delivers a solid return on investment, so it is a savvy financial move that you can make to protect your home structure and your family. Few home improvement projects are this rewarding and necessary.