Part 1 of a 4 part series | How much do Replacement Windows Cost? | Overview
If you are in the process of purchasing new windows or are just beginning to think about new windows, I am writing this for you. I want to give you as much information as I can about “what windows cost and why there is such a broad spectrum of pricing.”
I would have to say that this is probably the number one question we get asked. Unfortunately, this is like asking, How much do cars cost?
Most people buy several cars over their lifetime so they know that the cost of cars varies widely depending on style, brand and options. But most people do not buy windows several times over their lifetime (at least they hope not!!) so they really don't understand how to buy windows or even what they cost. However, just like with cars, there are many different styles, brands and features all with different price tags.
Let’s begin with a basic discussion on what is available in windows.
Some of the most common material choices for windows in North America are:
Vinyl- Vinyl is a man made material called, Polyvinyl Chloride" PVC ". Vinyl is a material that is fairly easy to manufacture and is abundant in accessibility. Vinyl, however, is less stable in the elements than some of the other material options. The stability of the vinyl varies depending how the vinyl is manufactured as well.
Wood- Wood is a naturally occurring material (Duh!!). Wood has been used to make windows for many years. Old growth lumber was a great option for windows because it didn't readily absorb water due to it's tighter cell structure. New growth lumber or "today's" lumber is harvested earlier (the wood is younger) so the wood has a cell structure that absorbs water easier, in turn leading to wood rot and failure of the window.
Aluminum Clad-Wood- Aluminum is a natural occurring element manufactured into metal. The aluminum metal is placed on the exterior of the wood to protect the wood from the natural elements. (Cladding is the application of one material over another to provide protection). There are two different types of aluminum cladding- Extruded and Roll Form. You can find additional information about the differences between the two types of aluminum cladding in, Aluminum Clad Windows And The Differences.
Fiberglass- Fiberglass is a man made material manufactured out of glass strands. Fiberglass is known for it's strength and stability. It has an expansion and contraction rate almost equal to glass which means it is stable in different temperatures and climates.
Each of these material choices have their own pros & cons as well as their own price tags. A replacement window can cost from $200 a unit installed to thousands of dollars a unit installed. Because of this broad spectrum, I will be breaking this question down into 3 additional blogs.
How much do Vinyl Windows Cost?
How much do Fiberglass Windows Cost?
How much do Wood & Wood Clad windows cost?
In addition, each of these blogs will go into more detail about: