Most well installed residential windows generally last 15 to 25 years before they need to be replaced. The materials that make up each window tend to last much longer (up to 50 years), but with windows in homes it’s not just about aesthetics, appearance, thermal insulation, ease of use and safety.
Pay attention: This manual does not cover the installation of factory-fitted windows with solid window frames, where new window frames are generally hung or fitted with each window. The costs are similar to that of replacing windows, and the work on each project overlaps in many ways, but we will focus on replacing windows, their cost, the factors affecting that cost, and the pros and cons.
Price information – Part 1
Window replacement projects are generally basic in design, as the frame is likely to dictate the material of the updated windows. Windows with wooden frames, windows with plastic frames. Due to the types of glass (glazing), but also due to energy efficiency considerations and the possible need for repairs, the average replacement cost does not go any further.
The national average cost of replacing windows ranges from $550 to $850 per window installed, depending on the location of your home and other variables. The price can vary between $450 and $1,550 due to the wide variety of materials (from the highest to the lowest: wood, fiberglass, vinyl), window sizes, brands of windows (Andersen, Pella would be the most expensive brands) and price differences from one company to another. In most cases: The more windows you buy for a project, the less you pay for each one.
Cost of similar impacts per window style/type, size and material
Most houses have double windows. They are fitted with top and bottom flaps, allowing them to slide both vertically up and down. Depending on the material (vinyl, fiberglass or wood) and the brand of the window, the average cost varies between $300 and $850 per window.
Conventional windows look similar, but only the bottom panel moves while the top panel remains stationary. They generally cost between $250 and $450 and are less affordable in today’s market.
Sliding windows slide horizontally and are generally larger, so their price ranges from $350 to $1,250 or more.
In addition, there are less typical window types such as : Sunshades (which open from top to outside), opening windows (which open from left or right to inside), round, semi-circular windows, bay windows (large rectangular windows) and bay windows.
The materials for window frames are quite simple, with vinyl, fibreglass and wood being the most popular.
Vinyl is the cheapest option and requires much less maintenance than wood, is generally less durable than fibreglass, but still offers long warranties.
Fibreglass is a mid-range option and is stronger than wood and vinyl.
Wood is the most expensive option, benefiting from its natural appearance, excellent insulating properties and durability.
Steel, aluminium and composite materials (a mixture of PVC and wood fibres) all try to imitate the positive properties of the two popular options. Wood is usually the most expensive option.
There are also considerations on the windows that talk about energy saving. These used to be single-glazed windows, relatively cheap and less insulating. And they were everywhere. Not anymore, a single window is now rare, while a double window is the driving force of the market.
The double panel offers better insulation and can also contain additional options in no time at all.
There is also a triple plate, which increases costs but provides better insulation. For each window, but especially for composite windows, the glass can be treated to improve energy efficiency or for other purposes. All these options have an additional cost, but are intended to reduce the energy bill and thus save money over a long distance.
- The Low-E coating minimizes the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light without reducing the visible light passing through it. So there is less radiant heat in the room.
- Laminated glass uses a clear vinyl layer between multiple panes of glass to increase durability and reduce outside noise.
- The argon filling allows a non-toxic gas to be placed between different panes to increase energy efficiency and reduce both frost and noise.
- Toughened glass is very strong and therefore less likely to break in strong winds or storms. When it breaks, it turns into small stones, not shards of glass.
Energy efficiency is a major problem with today’s windows. The efficiency is measured with the U-factor (less is better) and the Energy Star label displays this information. In addition, there are NFRC certified products that specify the U-factor and other criteria. It is estimated that this type of window saves an average of 25% in energy costs.
How professional labour costs affect costs
Since labor can account for up to 50% of total costs, the best offer we can do is to obtain multiple quotes. Three to five should be enough, while less than three can charge you more for lower overall quality.
Cost information – Part 2
You may be wondering why you don’t just do the work yourself and save money? Although it is certainly an option, replacing windows is not a do-it-yourself project. Finding brand fronts of different sizes and sizes is something most people can do. But a window specialist can get it all at a wholesale price, while the homeowner will pay the retail at a higher price.
Then there’s the work where things get complicated. When you have to deal with mold, rotten frames, areas that need repair, work with inaccurate measurements, even more so than on the ground floor – it can take a long time for the layman to overcome the obstacles or hire a professional to finish the job.
The basic materials for replacing windows are : Windows (natural), wooden spacers, formwork nails, (optional) insulation material and sealing. All this is included in the cost of a professionally installed one-stop-shop. The evaluation or quotation submitted to you may look like this:
Note: this is an example of a general model price based on national averages.
10 double glazed Low-E vinyl windows filled with argon: 4 sliding windows, 4 casement windows, 2 sliding windows = $5,000.
Replacement work for 10 windows: 3,500 Includes $1,000,000 (including removal and disposal of existing windows)
* Price does not include potential repair of old window frames
* Work includes planning permission, caulking and insulation on all windows, cleaning and a 10-year warranty oninstallation
Total project cost = $8,500*.
A quote like that would actually be good and that’s what you’re looking for. A window specialist cannot estimate possible repairs until the window is removed, so he can see the extent of the problems. But they should be able to provide you, at the time of the offer, with information that will help you to understand their rates.
If the contractor in question cannot deliver it to you, you should contact a contractor who can. In addition, cleaning and warranty are elements that may seem secondary in the planning phase, but once the project is completed, they become primary considerations.
In general, you are responsible for the interior work they have to do when moving furniture or objects around the window, while anything that falls around the window or on the floor is their responsibility. There may be additional costs for caulking, but it is usually less than $100 (for all windows in a project) and sometimes even as little as $30.
Factors affecting replacement cost of Windows
Labour and the number of windows are the two most important cost factors. In principle, you can budget at least $200 per window for the actual installation work (excluding the cost of the window itself), and any amount in excess of $350 per window is high.
The more windows are replaced, the faster the prices per window can be adjusted. Replacing a window probably costs $300 to get them out and do the work.
Making 10 windows does not necessarily mean that the price will drop to $200 per window, but you can get a good idea of their price by asking them to give you a quote for 5 windows and then another quote for 10 windows.
The complexity of the task is another important factor affecting costs. In the example above, this probably corresponds to a one-storey house. If everything was okay, but it was a two-storey house, the amount of work would be greater. For example, the total cost of your project in the example above would be $9,500.
Good, bad and so beautiful.
Here we explain the pros and cons, as well as the main reason for choosing replacement windows.
Good: Modern windows are characterised by their energy efficiency, reduce external noise and offer additional opportunities for improvement. Replacing windows means less maintenance than old windows and more comfort and attractiveness for the house.
Bath: If replacement is not really necessary, the project is quite expensive, but see below why this can be compensated. Finding the right contractor can be difficult, but less so if you get five or more quotations. If repairs are needed that go beyond simple replacement, the costs increase considerably.
Oh, so beautiful: The efficiency of a window replacement project is quite good, ranging from 71% to 78%.
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