Three Ways to Save Money on Vinyl Window Replacements

July 29, 2010

The popularity of vinyl replacement windows is rivaled only by windows made of wood. Vinyl windows are generally less expensive than their wood-framed counterparts and the ease of installation allows some do-it-yourselfers a real cost-savings advantage.

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A survey conducted by Consumer Reports indicated that the average cost of a vinyl replacement window, when installed by a professional contractor, is about a thousand dollars. The installation of new windows sometimes becomes more expensive due to the lack of access to qualified contractors, the presence of mold and rot problems in the sill and surrounding wood, and the desire of homeowners to take advantage of the latest breakthroughs in UV-resistant glass.

Installing vinyl window replacements isn't cheap but the overall cost of the project can be reduced in a few ways:

  1. Do-it-yourself installation. Do-it-yourselfers can save up to half the cost on new windows if they do the work themselves. Window installation requires a certain amount of expertise and mistakes all too often show up later when the window leaks, jams, or cracks. Homeowners wishing to tackle the project need to follow the window manufacturer's specifications and apply a big dose of window installation wisdom.
  2. Buy windows in volume. Try to negotiate a price on several windows being purchased all at once. North American buyers are conditioned to accept the sticker price on nearly everything but big-ticket items like homes and cars. A sluggish economy can put the buyer in a great position to do a little price haggling. Some home improvement suppliers adjust their prices within the profit margin to make a sale on volume purchases but they won't advertise the opportunity. Talk to a supplier and see if a deal can be worked out.
  3. Window configurations. Consider changing the design of existing windows if doing so can save money. It might save on window costs to use a single vinyl picture window on the wall instead of two individual windows. Cost-savings can also be realized by using standard-sized vinyl windows instead of customized sizes.

Vinyl window costs stop a lot of remodeling projects in their tracks. A little ingenuity and the willingness to shop around can result in significant savings and a replacement job well done.

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