Balancing function with replacement windows cost

July 14, 2011

In addition to the cost of replacement windows, function and size should weigh into your decision-making process.

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Cost versus function: a dilemma you can see through

For comparison purposes, the following replacement windows costs are estimates for white vinyl windows, 24-by-35 inches without installation.

  • Double-hung windows: Uses no interior or exterior space, because sash slide up and down; warm air flows out the top and cooler air flows in the bottom for ventilation; easy cleaning, particularly with a tilt feature. Double-hung windows are one of the most versatile window options. Price: $275-$400

  • Slider windows: Uses no interior or exterior space, because sash slide horizontally. Frequently hung over kitchen counters and sinks, slider windows are easy to open and are one of the most economical windows for large openings. Price: $200-$325

  • Casement windows: This window style cranks open for ventilation, but does take up space on the outside of your home. Generally seals tightly and can make a good emergency exit. Price: $175-$300

  • Picture windows: A versatile window style, a picture window can open a house to magnificent views of the outside. For ventilation and ease of cleaning, however, picture windows need to be paired with another window style that opens. Price: $150-$300

Expect larger size replacement windows and wood frames to cost more. Low-E or tinted glass, double and triple pane windows, gas between window sash and other modifications all add on to sticker price. Installation also increases cost. In general, replacing windows with the same window style will generally be less expensive than installing a different style.

Size does matter

Another important consideration when choosing a window style is the size of the window opening:

  • Double-hung windows work best for openings less than 48 inches wide.
  • Slider windows situate into spaces wider than 48 inches, but less than 60 inches. With two operating sash and a fixed sash they can fit an eight-foot-wide space.
  • Picture windows serve views with openings wider than 60 inches. Taller height and its resultant square footage may require tempered glass.
  • Casement windows are just the right fit for spaces up to eight feet wide with by mulling (joining) four or five windows together.

Replacement windows cost is an important consideration, because even a difference of $75 per window can add up if you're looking at replacing 10 windows. But it shouldn't be the only consideration. Function should also be high on your list of replacement windows criteria. If you pay less for your replacement windows but are unhappy with your choices, did your really get a deal?

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