Windows can bring light and warmth, provide views, beautify inside and out and add tremendous value to your home. They also can let in the elements and intruders that put your home at risk. That's why windows - quality windows - must be considered an important investment. The cost of windows will depend on the type, dimensions, materials used, security features, the complexity of the installation, and, of course, the number of windows needed.
Number of Windows
Generally, the more windows you need to install, the more expensive the installation price. But installation professionals will charge less per window if you install several at the same time. So if you're thinking about only replacing a couple of windows, it might make sense for you to talk to your pro about the cost of installing multiple windows at one time. It may save you money in the long run.
Windows tend toward different dimensions depending on where they're needed. Living rooms typically have larger picture windows hung in multiples ranging from 3x4' to 6x6'. Standard bathroom windows are quite a bit smaller, ranging from 2x1.5' to 2x3'. Major window manufacturers can customize windows to any dimensions, but be aware that you may pay more for odd sizes.
Window Sash Materials
Vinyl windows are inexpensive and require little or no maintenance. They're also extremely durable; changes in humidity don't cause them to swell or shrink. Most vinyl window manufacturers stand behind their products with strong warranties. Their greatest drawback is that they're not as sturdy or attractive as wood. Wood frames, on the other hand, cost more and require much more maintenance. Fail to repaint and finish wooden window frames and they become susceptible to the elements. But all that work and money can be worth it for the classic, authentic architectural appeal of wood. That's why some historical neighborhoods have covenants requiring that windows be framed with wood. New composite windows attempt to capture the best of both worlds by mixing PVC polymers with wood fiber to create a stronger, more attractive synthetic window frame.
New windows can save you considerable money on your utility bills and make your home more comfortable. Windows are rated by the U-factor. The lower the U-factor, the more energy efficient and higher the initial cost. You'll pay more for double-pane windows, but they will pay for themselves over time. Experts say double-pane windows can save up to 24 percent in cold climates during the winter and up to 18 percent in hot climates during the summer.
Other Window Cost Factors
Replacing existing windows is, of course, usually cheaper than cutting walls for new ones. You might consider talking to both your contractor and a security firm about how to make your windows safe from burglars. Also, be aware that windows above the first floor may be more expensive to install because of access issues.
* Article credited to homeadvisor.com