One way to improve the appearance of your home and increase it's overall energy efficiency is to replace your old windows with newer options. To make sure that the project doesn't exceed your budget, it's important to understand exactly what components influence the cost of your replacement windows. Here are a few of the factors that affect your replacement costs.
1. The Condition of Your Windows' Existing Frames
If your current window frames are in good condition, it's possible to replace only the windows while leaving the frames in tact. However, if the frames are showing signs of damage, you should replace or repair them. Frames that look like they are rotting, feel soft to the touch, or are starting to crumble need to be replaced.
In cases where you do need to replace the frames, your two most popular options are vinyl and wood replacement frames. Usually, vinyl replacement frames are cheaper and easier to maintain. However, some homeowners prefer the traditional look of a wooden frame, despite the need to regularly paint or re-stain them and the higher cost.
2. Your Preferred Replacement Windows
When choosing your replacement windows, you have a variety of options to choose from. Single-hung windows are usually the cheapest option, but they offer the least functionality since only one of the panes slides.
Double-hung windows have higher installation costs, but they make it easier for homeowners to clean the windows. They also make it possible to open both the top and bottom portion of the window, permitting greater ventilation.
Your window style will also affect the cost. Options with a more complex design, like sliding and casement windows, cost more than windows with a more standard style.
3. The Number of Panes in Your New Windows
If one of your goals for replacing your windows is to make your home more energy efficient, you should consider replacement windows with more glass panes. Double-panned windows, also referred to as double-glazed windows, are the most common choice for homeowners. The window panes have a layer of argon gas between that optimizes their energy efficiency.
However, it's now possible to purchase triple-glazed windows that have an additional layer of glass and argon gas. Since tripled-glazed windows cost more than double-glazed windows, you'll have to weight your potential energy savings against the higher installation costs. Typically, you'll save enough money on your heating and cooling costs to make the higher cost of the windows worthwhile in environments with more extreme temperatures.