Avoid the hidden costs for replacement windows

August 29, 2011

These days, just about everyone is watching their budget, but sometimes you have to spend a little to save a lot--installing high efficiency replacement windows, for example.

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Replacement windows may require an initial investment, but depending on how long you plan to be in your home, their contribution to lower heating and cooling bills could come close to covering their cost over time.

4 potentially hidden window replacement costs

It can be difficult to generalize what the costs should be to replace your windows, as every project is unique to some extent. You know that the actual replacement windows can vary in their pricing because there is a wide spectrum to choose from, but the labor rates you're quoted can also differ depending on what part of the country you're located in, and costs may even vary based on whether you live in a rural spot or a big city.

When asking for estimates from contractors for your window replacement cost, how can you know the prices cover everything and that you won't be hit with hidden charges? Apart from the basic cost of the window and labor, there are some other factors you should consider:

  1. Old window disposal. What happens to your old windows? Are you responsible for disposing of them or has the contractor included removing them from your property in their estimate?
  2. Framing changes. Many replacement windows slide right into the existing openings, but what if one doesn't? Are situations like this covered by the contractor's price or are you going to receive an extra charge?
  3. Delivery. How are the replacement windows getting to your home, and is there a delivery charge involved? If so, is the contractor paying it?
  4. Repairs. Who's responsible for replacing any interior or exterior trim that may have been removed while replacing your windows, or any damaged sheetrock, or paint touch-ups that may need to be done? These repairs can add up if you're replacing a lot of windows.

Your contractor may not have one or more of these items in the estimate, but being prepared for these charges can allow you to budget for your total window replacement cost.

While these figures are very approximate, R.S. Means Repair & Remodeling Cost Data estimates that the cost to remove a small window should be about $20 and larger windows may be around $24 each. Installation can vary depending on the style and size of window, but $30 to $60 each might be a good estimate for your budget.

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I., and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time. He spends his time writing, remodeling his old farmhouse, and in animal rescue.

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