How do You Cut the Cost of Replacing Windows?

If you are in the expensive position of needing to replace failing drafty windows and need some tips to help you get the right replacement windows at the best price, then read on. 

The cost of replacing windows is one of the single largest investments you can make in your home. Saving money by taking a few precautions and being well-informed is a must.

Do You Need to Replace Your Windows?

A home-energy audit may be a smart investment of $250 to $600 to find out if you even need replacement windows and whether there are affordable alternatives.  In Canada, having an energy audit is a requirement for receiving tax credits to offset the cost of replacing windows.

Replacing windows will cut your energy bill, but bear in mind other approaches can be more effective and cheaper.  The energy auditor will make recommendations. 

The benefits of replacing windows can be reduced maintenance, improved light inside and curb appeal aesthetics outside a home.  This should be factored in to the decision to go ahead as cost of new windows may take years to recoup in energy cost savings.

How do You Know Which Windows You Need?

Be sure to only get the windows you need.  Going over budget may cost many more years of payments with compound interest adding to the cost.  You may be in awe of the energy savings with triple glazed argon filled windows, but it is not always realistic financially.

The cost of storm windows is much lower, but it will depend on the condition of your other windows.   Some people go with replacement storm windows instead as energy savings are comparable. 

Keeping the window replacement project affordable is necessary and you need to be able to make ends meet.  If we can't fit the cost of replacing windows into the budget it can't happen.   A decent quality double pane PVC or Vinyl insulated framed window is more affordable and reasonable for the majority of homes.  A good contractor will work with you to select the most appropriate windows for your budget.

Are One or Two Window Installation Quotes Enough?

Definitely not!  You need multiple exact cost comparisons from each dealer or contractor with window manufacturer, window type and glass, fill type, frames and any other features or factors unique to your home.  You need to compare prices, interest rates, service, timing and installation costs.

You must shop around.  Use the internet to save your time and money and get exactly what you want at a great price by having installers and dealers compete for your business.  Online free cost estimator tools will give you an idea of the cost of new windows so you can compare different providers.   Contacting one or two dealers is not enough to save you money on your cost of home windows.

Which are the Least Expensive Windows?

Are they worth the savings?

If you know what kind of windows you already have, the same company may have upgraded windows that would fit the existing openings.  This will reduce the cost of replacing windows significantly, with this being one of the scenarios where you may even be able to do them yourself.

Standard sized off-the-shelf windows cost less than custom-made and sized windows.  Unusual upgrades like non-standard frame colors, hardware finishes, glass, blinds or shades between the glass and premium screens will add to the cost significantly and should be avoided for the price conscious homeowner.
Artificial materials like PVC and vinyl are available at  lower cost.  Beware the cheapest poorest quality windows are PVC often blue-tinted to buy the seller more time before they yellow in the U/V sunlight.  Make sure you see a cross-section of the frame and it has many compartments (foam-filled of possible) for insulating and buffering the glass pane.  Aluminum windows  are also inexpensive to buy and maintain.

The cost of replacing windows is less per window when you are replacing multiple windows rather than installing one or two.  Installation will be higher per window if the contractor has to travel to your property to install only a couple of windows.

Should You Install Them Yourself to Save Money?

Replacing windows costs a lot of money, but whatever type of windows you hoping to install in your home, you  need a professional to review the site, needs, and process in order to order the correct replacement windows. 

Mistakes that can be made when installing windows yourself when proper sized openings are not preset and extra construction, drywall, siding, framing and trim or sometimes another window are required.

Paying for expert installation ensures that the windows perform as promised, and warranties are honoured.  Many installers say that lower quality windows can perform well if properly installed.  The opposite goes for expensive good quality windows  installed poorly.

Barring extensive renovations or complications, professional installation should around $200 per opening, with a ball park $300-$1000 for the window itself.  Beware of the contractors with the cheapest price,  "you get what you pay for" can be true.

Only tackle installation on the cheapest windows, so valuable warranties aren't voided.  If wall openings are perfect size and you are experienced, installing yourself may be an option.  It is up to you to decide if installing 10 or more windows is a job you feel confident to complete.

Are Tax Rebates Available to Cut the Cost of House Windows?

Yes, a percentage of your cost of replacing windows may be covered by tax credits.  Tax incentives can change over time and are sometimes discontinued, so check your options with your State, Provincial or Federal governments.  A qualified Energy Auditor can give guidance as far as inventive programs and may submit your application.   

Ensure you are installing the right type of windows that are Energy Star rated to qualify for federal, state tax incentives, and even utility company rebates.  A good window dealer and installer will make sure you qualify.  Make sure you ask. 

How Can You Save Money Paying for Your New Windows?

Financing and the Contract

There are 4 main things to consider before signing the contract

  1. See if you can pick up your replacement windows to keep shipping costs down.  Some companies will allow you to do that.

  2. See if there is any simple prep work you can do, like removing old sills, to reduce labor costs.

  3. Ask for a better price - sometimes there is more room to move than you think. Remember they want your business.

  4. Get the lowest interest rate if borrowing -  A line of credit at the bank may be less expensive with lower interest rate

Now Cut the Cost of Replacing Windows!

Now you are seriously considering replacement windows, start  researching online. You can obtain many quotes from the comfort of your own home.

I hope this helps you get great windows while reducing the cost.  The cost of replacing windows is one of the single largest investments you can make in your home, take your time choosing.