It’s a little known fact, but the term “window” was once synonymous with two things: a thin, square glass pane and a wood frame to hold it. Decades and technological advances later, that rule no longer applies. Today, homeowners are faced with numerous options, such as glass pane treatment or cylindrical vinyl frames.
With these multiple window install options come a wider range of window replacement estimates. If you strike a good balance between cost and quality work, new windows for a home represent a project that could usher in a windfall of utility savings, improve a home’s aesthetic, boost home value, and is necessary only every couple decades for most homes.
For most houses, window replacement consists strictly of installing new windows within existing frames. Often in older homes, window frames that are rotting, warped, or otherwise damaged must be replaced as well. These are referred to as new construction windows and usually cost anywhere from 50 to 100 percent as much as new windows.
Assuming you don’t need new window frames, the following focuses on the perks and expected window replacement estimates associated with just new glass panes.
Generally, single window replacement cost on an existing frame will run between $300 – $700, depending on size, style, and the quality of window materials. In some cases, that price can plummet for $150 for the cheapest options or jump to $1,000 for high-end windows.
In other words, window replacement estimates for an average home will run from about $2,000 – $10,000. For larger two-story homes, expect window replacement prices to climb to about $5,000 to $20,000. If you need new frames, add 50 to 100 percent to these figures.
LOOKING PAST THE SURFACE OF WINDOW REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
In most homes, it’s best to look beyond the lowest price when considering window replacement estimates. Cheap windows are usually poor insulators against noise and outdoor temperatures. High-end windows usually insulate better, dropping homeowner utility costs and raising your home’s value.
Spending more usually means more features, but are they worth it? The following is a rundown of costs, pros, and cons of some optional glass pane features.
Low Emissivity Coating for Windows
Low emissivity coating, or low-e, is a metallic oxide sheen added to a window. It shields from the sun’s rays in the summer and blocks cool air from escaping your home in the winter. Low emissivity coating darkens a window, so whether to go this route comes down to a choice between appearance and utility bill reduction.
Generally, low emissivity coating adds 10 to 15 percent onto base window replacement estimates.
Home Window Tinting:
Tinting refers to the addition of heat reflective film that can ward off the sun’s rays and, in turn, significantly reduce cooling bills. It also reduces visibility into your home, which helps boost privacy. Like coating, it gives windows a dark appearance.
Professional tinting installation costs about $5 to $7 per square foot. If you wish to tackle the project yourself, costs drop to $2 to $3 per square foot. Self-installation is a moderately difficult task that, if done incorrectly, will lead to peeling and bubbling.
Many dealers offer window tinting at bottom dollar prices. Be wary of any window tinting that’s priced below $2 per square foot. Despite the low price, it’s usually a waste of money, because it won’t be long before you’ll need to replace the lowest quality tinting.
Double Pane Glass Windows:
Double paned windows, or double glazing, features two sheets of glass that are usually separated by about a quarter-inch space. Sometimes these hold a non-combustible gas that helps boost insulation). Expect window replacement estimates for double pane glass to be around $650 to $800 for an average window.
That additional cost can help you save money long-term, however. Double pane windows are a far better than their single pane counterparts, having been shown to reduce heat loss by 50 percent. And they do a far better job of deflecting outside noise, so your home stays quieter.
Triple pane glass is also available, but carries a high price tag and is generally unnecessary for residential homes. This style of glass, which features three panes separated by a thin space filled with gas, is usually preferred in areas near frequent loud noise, such as airports and warehouse offices.
Skylights, custom shapes, and windows in special locations might require a more customized approach.
For example, windows that face out to the sea take a constant beating from wind, sand, and water. There are special synthetic coatings that can be put over the glass that will protect your investment. These coatings need to be applied by a professional. The usually don’t change the clarity of the glass, but they are a great protection.
There are additional types of glass that can increase security, prevent vandalism, and even darken when the sun shines on them. Glass of this nature is likely to be expensive, but it can solve many problems for homeowners and businesses.
(TAX) BREAKING GLASS
You may be able to save more on window replacement estimates by taking advantage of the federal tax refunds. President Obama signed into law in 2010 a tax relief act that allows homeowners to refund up to 10 percent of the cost of energy-efficient windows and skylights.
Find out your eligibility and more information about tax credits for window replacement at Energy Star.