Five Factors that Affect the Cost of Replacement Windows

cost of replacement windows

Five Factors that Affect the Cost of Replacement Windows

What will my new replacement windows cost?  That is probably the most often asked question when it comes to new windows for your Charleston, Savannah or Hilton Head home.  There are five factors to consider when trying to determine your cost…

cost of replacement windows


Replacement Window Type


The type of window that you are replacing is a major determinant.  Typically picture windows are the least expensive overall, with sliding glass doors and specialty shapes being the most expensive.  Double hung and casement replacement windows are the two most common types and fall somewhere in the middle when calculating the cost of your new home windows.  The rule of thumb is the more moving parts and/or special designs, the more costly.


Replacement Window Size


Size is also, obviously, a cost driver when it comes to replacement windows.  And it’s not just the typical “bigger is more expensive” conversation.  One of the biggest additional expenses involved in the manufacture of new windows is whether or not tempered glass is required. Sometimes a replacement window company will automatically temper once a window reaches a certain size, mostly as an internal safety measure.  More often, tempering is required by local building codes based on factors such as size or proximity to the floor.


Replacement Window Materials


The material used in the construction of your new replacement window is an ingredient that not only affects initial cost, but also long term return on investment.  Again, however, as counter intuitive as it sounds, the most expensive window doesn’t guarantee the best ROI.  Wood and fiberglass/composite replacement windows are aesthetically pleasing and trendy, but very often their higher cost is not reflected in potential payback.


Replacement Window Options


The “bells and whistles” can be a big component of the overall cost of your new replacement windows.  Normally only available on higher end window products, due to the cost to the manufacturer, options are almost always a “want” item, and, just like options on an automobile, add cost to the project.  Unlike automobiles, however, cheaper aftermarket alternatives aren’t feasible, as they could affect the warranty of the main product.  With the right product you can get what you want if you are willing to pay for it.


Replacement Window Performance


Maybe the biggest ingredient in the replacement window cost equation is performance.   Long term efficiency is more than just one or two performance numbers.  Think of this as a stool with four legs. The four legs are representative of convection, conduction and radiant heat gain/loss, as well as the fourth leg, air leakage.  Just like the stool, if you’re missing one of these legs, your investment is at risk.  This is the part where the old adage “You can pay me now, or pay me later,” holds true.


How much will my new replacement windows cost?  Take these five factors into consideration and you’ll be on your way.