Replacement windows are on the top of many home upgrade lists. But is it really worth it when you consider window replacement cost?
Budgeting home improvement means knowing which home upgrade is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Which investments are really smart?
A few things to consider are market value, energy efficiency, savings, and overall comfort.
Is It Worth It To Replace Windows?
The cheapest option to replace your windows is to do a partial repair or a pocket replacement. This is when a new window is placed into your frame instead of replacing the frame and sill along with it.
This might be ideal if you already have good sealing and energy-efficient windows. But it may be worth it to completely replace the unit in order to really upgrade your home, market value, and save on your energy bills.
Homeowners generally recoup between 70-80% of the costs of windows in their home’s market value (when you resale). This is one of the very best recoup values of your home upgrade options.
Let’s say you spend about $500 on new and better windows. Recoup value alone is around $350-$400. Very few investments earn you back this much money.
Energy Efficiency And Savings
U.S Department of Energy states you’ll save between $126-$465 a year just by upgrading from single-pane windows alone.
These savings amount to $10-$40/month. While that may not seem like a lot at first glance, that money saved can go into paying off your investment, into other investments, other monthly bills, or even vacation time.
There are also incentives for homeowners who switch to energy-efficient appliances and equipment. You can check for your on the Database of State Incentives For Renewables and Efficiency or DSIRE.
Though energy-efficient windows are a little more costly, they’re arguably worth their cost in between market value, incentives, and energy savings.
Though maybe not at the top of your considerations, upgrading to energy efficient with better sealing against leaks will help you maintain home comfort.
Better windows will keep the warm/cool air you want to stay with you, and keep the hot/freezing air out.
You’ll spend less money overall on heating and cooling costs while maintaining a comfortable environment.
Can I Replace My Own Windows?
If you want to DIY your window replacement, keep in mind you should only do so if you have carpentry skills, the right tools, and the time to do it.
If you’re DIYing several windows then you can expect construction to take quite a while if you’re not experienced. You’ll also want to consider warranties. Many manufacturer warranties only cover professional installation.
You also want to be confident that you can install the windows correctly–that there won’t be aesthetic issues or, worse, performance issues with leaking and gaps because it wasn’t installed properly.
If you decide to get your window replacements done professionally, make sure to hire the best professional for the job.
That means gathering several quotes, comparing companies online, researching their customer reviews and ratings, and asking for proof of any necessary insurance or credentials.
To streamline this process you can use resources like Home Professionals’ free pro and quote finder below, to streamline the process.
Essentially Home Professionals can connect you to vetted window installers, so you know you’re talking to trustworthy companies upfront. It makes researching and gathering quotes much faster and easier for you, so you can quickly and easily hire the best pro and get the best deal for yourself.
Can You Replace Windows Without Replacing The Frame?
Yes, you can do a partial repair or a pocket replacement. This is when a new window is placed into your frame instead of replacing the frame and sill along with it.
This is a replacement you’d do if you already had double-paned, energy-efficient windows. If not, it might be better to just upgrade the whole window, frame and all. Otherwise you may have a lot of expensive energy loss from gaps and leaks.
Types Of Replacement Windows
The value of your window replacement depends on where you live and what type of window you’re upgrading to. You’ll see the most savings if you’re replacing single-pane windows, as they’re the least functional or efficient.
Types Of Window Glass
- Single-Pane Windows: These windows don’t offer much insulation; they’re inefficient and leaky. In fact, you may be losing up to 20% of your home’s cooling or heating to leaky single-pane windows.
- Double-Paned Windows: These windows are double-glazed and offer much better insulation. They reduce your energy loss from leaks. Many double-paned windows are filled with argon or krypton (gasses) that help absorb wind chill before they can cut through to your home. Increase your money saved by weatherstripping your window upgrades.
Double-paned windows are up to 30-50% more expensive. However, because of how much energy they save, and how much more comfortable they are, they make up for the extra cost.
- ENERGY-STAR Windows: These windows are rated by the EPA and the Department of Energy for their energy-efficiency. These ENERGY-STAR windows can save you anywhere between $27-$465 a year, depending on your current energy costs and place you live.
Types Of Window Frames
- Vinyl: Vinyl windows are quite popular because they’re affordable, good at insulating, and attractive. They can be painted to suit any house, but they’re less durable than aluminum and wooden frames.
- Aluminum: These frames last a long time and are durable. They’re also low maintenance, not as susceptible to sun exposure and rot, which affects other frames. Their downside is that they are less energy-efficient and are rather expensive compared to other frame options.
- Fiberglass: These window frames are durable, they resist weathering and extreme temperatures well. You can paint them to match most homes. They’re less aesthetically pleasing, so more homeowners go with vinyl since it’s cheaper and looks better to them.
- Wood: Wood frames are very durable and beautiful. But they are a little more high-maintenance, and are vulnerable to rot. They’re also quite expensive.
Window Replacement Cost
There are many types of windows, and your cost of window replacement will change on whether you’re replacing frames, glass, or both.
Average Cost Of Common Windows
- Single-Hung Windows: Single-hung windows may be cheaper, but they’re less popular among homeowners because the top part of can’t be opened. The makes them harder to clean and they’re less functional. These windows cost around $150 to $350 per window.
- Double-Hung Windows: Very popular and probably the most common window installed on homes. Double-hung windows consist of two parts that open vertically (you probably have several of these in your home). They’re also an affordable window replacement. Running between $450-$625.
- Casement Windows: A little more expensive, but they keep out drafts and are better sealed against air leaking than double or single-hung. They run around $300- $900, depending on the project.
- Picture Windows: This type of window is more aesthetic than functional. It’s a single pane of glass that gives a clear view of an outdoor scene. They’re ideal to bring in light and frame a scene. They can be very pretty though less functional as they can’t be opened. They usually run the same cost-wise as casement windows.
- Arched Windows: These windows have rounded tops and have a nice architectural design that looks nice in most homes. They don’t open or close, but usually there are double-hung windows you can open below them. They run between $300-$500 per window.
- Awning Windows: These windows are convenient and a nice feature for homes. They are great for rainy weather because they open outward. This creates an awning for rain water to drip away from the home. You can expect to pay between $400-$700 for awning windows.
- Bay Windows: These windows are a noticeable aesthetic feature on homes. They protrude from the wall, flat windows on angled frames. The inside allows more space where the window sticks out more for a nice window seat. You can expect to pay between $1,000-$3,400 for a bay window.
- French Door Conversion: People love openness and light in their homes. So windows are a good home upgrade. You can take it a step further and convert a window into french doors for even more utility. The cost varies with materials and project, but starts around $500.
- Coatings: You can also pay to have your windows coated. Low-emissivity (low-e) coatings can reflect ac air back into your home, keeping it cooler in the summer, and keeping your passive solar heating reduce by 70%. Coatings can run around $400-500 or more depending on how many windows and how big the windows are.
Check the Database of State Incentives For Renewables and Efficiency or DSIRE. You’ll find a list of the policies or incentives for using energy-efficient upgrades and renewable energy. You may find that you can save even more money with your window upgrades.
Your home’s market value isn’t the only thing valuable in window replacement. Energy-efficient windows also helps you save money on energy bills. Which in turn also makes your house desirable when you go to sell.
Get The Best Pro And Deal For Your Window Replacement
As mentioned a bit earlier, you want to hire the best pro that has the best deal for you.
The best way to do this is gathering several quotes from your different local professionals. Compare companies online and research customer reviews. You only want well-established professionals that have the necessary licenses and insurance.
If you want to streamline the process and get quick access to vetted window installers then you can use Home Professionals’ free pro and quote finder below.
This way you’re talking to trustworthy companies upfront. It makes researching and gathering quotes much faster and easier for you, so you can quickly and easily hire the best pro and get the best deal for yourself.