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5 Tips to Avoiding Overspending on Replacement Windows

Wanting to give your home a makeover? Replacement windows are one of the most popular choices among homeowners looking to update their home.

Whether you are hoping to increase the listing price of your home, or want a new, fresh look or improved energy efficiency and comfort for your family, replacement windows are an option with a great return on investment (ROI).

According to Remodeling Magazine, replacement windows generate a 70-95% ROI when selling your home. This figure can vary depending on your geographical location. Even if you plan to stay put long term, expect great savings on your utility bills, as well as increased comfort, once your new replacement windows are installed.

Even better, you can get all these advantages without spending a fortune. You just need to shop wisely and get your priorities right. This short guide is designed to help you get the perfect replacement windows for your home without breaking the budget.

Tip 1: Know Your Priorities

Before starting your search for replacement windows, make a list of what is most important to you:

  • Design
  • Durability
  • Temperature
  • Wind resistance
  • Color
  • Quality of the glass
  • Materials used

All these are factors can influence the price of your replacement windows. For instance, low-E coating can improve your windows’ efficiency for a reasonably modest investment, but you should reconsider getting triple glazing on your replacement windows unless you live in a very cold climate or have more roof in your budget for upgrades.

The same goes for the solar heat gain coefficient – the lower it is, the more protection from the sun your replacement windows will offer. You can weigh the benefit to this measurement of energy efficiency, which may be higher if your house is in a hot or very sunny area.

Bottom line: extra options can add up to as much as 50 percent of the final price of the replacement windows, so be sure you know what you need, and do not overspend on extra options that are not in your budget.

Tip 2: The Materials You Choose Affect The Cost Of The Windows

The hierarchy is quite simple: vinyl, fiberglass, wood.

Vinyl is the least expensive material for replacement windows, while wood is the most expensive.

Do you really need wooden windows? If so, like those homes in historic districts or that have stringent HOA guidelines, then you may have to make compromises on which options to choose in order to stay within budget. You can learn more about the benefits and limitations of different window frames by reading our detailed guide to different types of window frames.

Tip 3: Stick To The Basics

The most affordable replacement windows you can find are in the most common styles. If you want something special – a hexagon, a triangle or any other shape that might be considered out of the ordinary, the cost could be as high as double.

The same goes for the opening options: single-hung, double-hung, and sliders are the least expensive options. If you want to upgrade to a casement, garden, or awning design, the cost is going to be higher per unit.

Tip 4: Negotiate!

Many homeowners are hesitant to negotiate their replacement window prices, but maybe companies offer a “price match guarantee.” This means that if another company quotes a matching product and installation work scope, you can present that to the contractor of your choice to seal the deal.

There is also efficiency found in performing work on more than one home in an area, so if your neighbors are considering a window replacement project, you can often negotiate a group rate on multiple projects.

Tip 5: Match The Windows To The Climate You Live In

If you live in a windy, cold area, then it makes sense to invest in windows that rate well in wind and low-temperature resistance.

On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate, you can impact your initial financial outlay by choosing windows that have greater thermal exchange resistance.

Replacement Windows Buyer's Guide


Topics: Windows