How much should you expect to pay for vinyl replacement windows? This is one of the most commonly asked questions from homeowners. Most potential window purchasers do spend time researching windows before buying, but unfortunately there is no simple answer regarding price.
First, advertised prices almost never include window installation, nor do they include removal of the older windows being replaced. This can vary the cost of window replacement significantly. For example, removing old metal windows is far more difficult and labor-intensive than removing old wood windows.
Another important cost factor is the type of windows homeowners want for their homes. Non-operating picture windows are less expensive than operable double-hung styles. Casements usually cost more than double-hungs.
Standard-size “stock” windows are typically less expensive than custom-made products, although in the long run, with the necessary interior and exterior cosmetic work required to make stock windows “fit” a home, it’s highly doubtful stock windows are truly less expensive than custom windows. Certainly the size of the new windows, the level of insulating glass chosen (i.e. double- or triple-pane, argon or krypton gas), the options selected, and the style of the windows also play a large part in determining the cost of new windows.
Then there’s the cost of the company that sells and installs windows. There are the costs of doing business and staying profitable. As homeowners, should we not expect to pay a fair price so these companies can do a professional job installing our windows without cutting corners? And don’t we want them around in the future should we need them again later? Like many homeowners, I don’t mind paying more than I originally expected for a home-improvement project, as long as I know the reasons for the higher costs. However, if I pay more, I also have higher expectations. I expect quality products and work, as well as excellent service.
I, too, do my own research on remodeling companies I’m considering. I also know that all companies have some unhappy customers; it’s inevitable. I just don’t want to be one of them. So when a company gives me a few references, I ask for a few more. I know the first references they provide may be expecting my call, but the additional ones probably aren’t. With this approach, I get candid feedback, not canned.
In summary, to get a good idea of what it costs to purchase windows, do your homework. Learn as much as you can about the windows you want for your home. When choosing a remodeling company, ask for additional references.
I will close in saying that “cheap” and “lowest prices” should not important when you’re selecting something like windows for your largest investment, your home. It’s true that you will get what you pay for -- in terms of product quality, the appropriate options and glass you should have, the quality of work in installing the windows and even the quality of the company you’re doing business with.