Window replacement is one of the smartest home investments you can make. Why? There are several reasons:
- Going green saves you money. Energy-efficient windows reduce your heating and cooling bills. Plus, there’s the whole “save the planet” thing.
- You’ll feel safer. Replacement windows can offer security options that keep the bad guys out. You’ll feel much better about the safety and security of your family and your stuff.
- Your home looks better. Aesthetics matter! Who wants to live in an ugly house? A full window replacement adds beautiful look to your home.
- If you’re selling, it’s a great talking point. The investment in window replacement may pay for itself if it gets your house off the market faster — and for a better price. Who wants to buy a house that’ll need new windows?
Even with those facts in mind, you may still find yourself hedging on a window replacement. It’s expensive — a major investment that costs up to $700 per window, according to HomeAdvisor.com — and you want to know what you’re getting into before taking a visit from a salesperson or writing a check.
5 questions to consider when budgeting a window replacement project
The cost of your window replacement project is going to vary depending on a series of factors. Listed below are five questions to consider as you set a realistic budget for your new windows.
1. How big are your windows?
Windows are sold by size. As expected, bigger windows cost more. Modernize.com offers some great information on standard window sizes:
In older homes, window replacement is more complex because modern, standard-size windows do not always fit. That’s a point to consider when you think about window replacement in Washington, D.C., a city with over 108,000 homes built before 1940. The labor costs are higher when resizing the window opening is necessary.
2. What kind of glass panes do I want?
“Single pane windows are just as they sound,” writes Jenica Lee of Angie’s List. “One panel of glass.”
If you suspect that’s not the best protection from the elements, drafts, burglars or poorly-advised football tosses, you’re right.
Single pane windows are rarely installed today. Although they are the cheapest option, that single pane of glass neither filters out external noise nor offers much energy efficiency.
Both double and triple pane windows offer a layer of insulation between the glass panes and this insulated layer is usually filled with a gas like argon or krypton. These multi-pane systems provide noise protection and keep energy expenses down.
Heat mirror — the best your window for your home
Heat mirror technology has revolutionized the window replacement industry. Popular Science called the heat mirror window one of the top 100 inventions of the millennium. Heat mirror window technology is used by NASA uses on its spacecrafts to reflect harmful UV radiation. The Empire State Building uses heat mirror windows to stay energy-efficient. You want heat mirror windows, folks.
A window with heat mirror technology reflects heat, saving you a ton on energy costs. Heat mirror windows also greatly reduce noise pollution and are difficult to break, improving the security of your home. They look great, too.
Heat mirror windows make your project more expensive at the start, but pay for themselves through energy savings. If you can afford the initial investment, you should seriously consider heat mirror windows.
3. What kind of materials do I need for my window replacement project?
While metal windows are often the least expensive, they will cost you in poor energy efficiency. Don’t take our word for it — here’s what the U.S. Department of Energy has to say on the subject:
Although very strong, light and almost maintenance free, metal or aluminum window frames conduct heat very rapidly, which makes metal a very poor insulating material.
Wood windows have a nice aesthetic appeal, but are susceptible to rot over time. You’re also looking at problems with worn weatherstripping, dirty wood, creaky casements and awnings, cloudy glass and more, writes Mark Feirer of This Old House.
Vinyl windows are less expensive than wood and are virtually maintenance-free. Vinyl doesn’t rot and won’t get termites. Insulation, strength and durability are hallmarks of vinyl windows. Metal is cheaper, wood has a certain charm, but for overall cost-effectiveness, vinyl may be the way to go.
4. What features should I consider in my new windows?
Investing in windows can be a bit like buying a new car in the sense that you can pay the lowest possible price and get the base model, or you can spend a little more and get what you really want.
Some features to consider when you invest in a window replacement project:
- Locking systems
- Multiple opening methods
- Glass tinting
This is a situation in which a salesperson can be a great help. A sales pro can walk you through features, their benefits and the associated cost.
5. Can I do the installation myself?
Not unless you’re a professional window installer! Replacing windows is not a DIY project. Improper installation may void any warranties while causing you to lose all the energy efficiency and noise mitigation you wanted in the first place. It’s best to have experienced experts install your windows quickly, correctly and efficiently.
Considering a window replacement project?
If your home needs new windows and you have more questions than answers, contact Long Windows. We are happy to come out to your home to take a look at your window situation and offer recommendations — while offering the customer service, product knowledge and project customization that you need.
Visit Long Windows online now or give us a call at 1 (888) 881-4362 today.