The cost of replacement windows for your home is going to leave a significant dent in your savings and it’s not something you undertake lightly, for that reason it’s important that you chose windows which:
- Suit your own needs and requirements
- Sit well within your budget
- Achieve what you want them to
The remainder of this article aims to look at the most important factors you need to consider when you’re choosing your replacement windows for your home.
Why Do You Need To Replace Your Windows?
The first and most important thing you should ask yourself is “Why you need to replace your home windows?”. There are likely to be many reasons influencing your decision including the appearance/curb appeal, decreased energy efficiency, deterioration of the window unit and an increase in overall maintenance. Usually if the only reason is for aesthetic purposes then this wouldn’t be enough alone to lay out the many thousands of dollars required to replace your home windows.
The major positive to vinyl replacement windows is that they meet all of the above requirements, since they’re:
- Easy to customize and install
- Energy efficient (look for Energy Star rated windows)
- Attractive to look at
- Easy to maintain
How Much Is Your Budget For Replacement Windows?
This is the most important thing you need to do first, set a budget. Ultimately your overall budget is going to be the main determining factor in the type, style and number of windows your going to be able to purchase. On average vinyl casement and picture windows are the cheapest to purchase as a standard window with an average unit cost of around $300 each. The price of your windows though will increase where you have a larger number of windows and where you start adding bay windows or bow windows into the equation.
When determining your budget it’s not only the windows you’ll need to pay for, there are several other replacement window costs to take into consideration. Our replacement windows cost guide covers the main things in detail as well as offering some detailed window prices by type. In general though you can expect to have to budget for the following:
- The window unit cost – With picture and casement windows being the cheapest, bay and bow windows are generally the most expensive.
- The window installation cost – As a general rule of thumb you will find that on average a window installer will charge you 30% of the total window cost for installation.
- The window disposal cost – If you’re buying windows from a well-known company and you’re paying them to install the new windows then generally they won’t charge you to dispose of the old windows, however it’s always worth checking to make sure you don’t end up with a cost you didn’t budget for.
- Any optional extras – Optional extras are where the real profit is made in window replacement and it’s where your budget can quickly go out of control. Optional extras are things you need to be really clear about, they generally include glazing options and finishing colors & options.
It’s important to set a realistic budget but it’s also important to set a ceiling budget, in other words make sure you set a maximum price you can pay with everything included, don’t be pushed into buying something you can’t afford.
Selecting The Style And Material For Your Replacement Windows
The styles and material you select for your replacement windows will ultimately be determined by your budget, as mentioned above. However, you also need to think from a practical point of view and ensure that you’ve thought about where in your home the windows are going to be installed.
For example, your home may be situated close to a walkway and so having windows that open outwards may not be practical or legally allowed if they open directly onto that public walkway. Another consideration is cleaning and maintenance, can you easily get to the window to clean it if you needed to? Will you need an inward opening window to make it easier to clean and maintain the window? You also need to decide how much light you want to let in, if you have a particularly dark room then you’ll probably want to look at having a large window which lets in as much light as possible.
Deciding On A Window Contractor
Installing flat vinyl windows such as casement, picture or double/single hung windows isn’t all that difficult and you can do it yourself after a little research or by following our window installation guide. However, it’s easier and far quicker to employ someone to do it for you. Our section on window contractors provides some good advice on choosing the a good window contractor, or protect yourself and get 4 free quotes from our approved list of licensed window contractors.