Double-Hung Sash Windows - Features and Costs
July 21, 2010
Attractive, versatile, classic in their design, and easy to clean, double-hung sash windows are the most popular choice for new and replacement windows. They have an upper and lower sash, each of which moves vertically through a channel. Screens can cover either half or the entire window, making the windows highly practical; in a house with young children, for example, homeowners can open the upper sash, leaving the lower one closed to prevent accidental falls.
Features to Look for in Double-Hung Sash Windows
The most common materials used for new windows include vinyl, wood, and fiberglass. Each material differs in its cost, durability, insulating properties, and maintenance; homeowners should explore options with a window contractor to determine which material will best meet their needs.
Because consumers are increasingly concerned about energy costs, many new windows offer energy-saving features. Some window manufacturers inject a gas such as argon or krypton between the panes of glass, which can reduce the movement of air through the window. Low-E coatings are another energy-saving option. These coatings reduce the penetration of ultraviolet light, which can help keep heat in during cold months and cold in during hot months.
Many double-hung sash windows offer a tilt design in which the windows can be tilted inward for easy cleaning. Some window styles also offer removable grilles and snap-in blinds or shades. While double-pane windows are the standard for new window design, some manufacturers are now making triple-pane windows for increased energy efficiency.
Cost of New Double-Hung Sash Windows
While window costs will vary depending on your supplier and location, the least expensive 3' x 5' vinyl window is roughly $150, not including installation. As you upgrade to materials such as fiberglass, and add triple panes and low-E coatings, cost increase. Top of the line windows with all the features can exceed well over $500 per window.
Window installation costs vary even more, and may depend on ease of access, types of trim and siding, drywall or plaster modifications needed for replacement windows, and other factors. Check with your local window contractor for precise installation estimates.
Few homeowners have the carpentry skills to install new or replacement windows themselves. If you have any doubt as to your skills, don't attempt it! Properly installed windows will reduce drafts and ensure that your new double-hung sash windows provide the longest, most efficient use.