Most any window replacement nowadays is going to cost you. You may do one or two windows but replacing windows in your entire house can put a real strain on your budget. What can you do to save on windows that are cheaper yet offer quality?
Repairing or Replacing
Before you jump into the new window scene, scrutinize your windows even if they are showing wear and tear. You might forgo the expense of new windows. If your windows are older and made of wood, they can last indefinitely. Maybe your windows need new glass or simple repair work. Repairing is a lot cheaper than new windows. If your home has its original windows, you may only need minimal repair that saves you from added expenses in the long run.
You can count on vinyl being the cheapest windows out there. A double-pane window that is double hung with limited coating is going to be your choice. This window is lasting and should meet your needs. There’s nothing wrong with the style of window, but you will have to make a few concessions. Wood windows are going to be more costly. The same is true of fiberglass and metal. Sometimes purchasing the cheapest windows may cost more in the long run with replacements and repair work.
Depending on where you live, you want to think about a window’s performance or functionality. Casement and crank windows are more expensive than double-hung windows, but double-hung windows aren’t as energy efficient as triple hung. The more panes of glass you have with coatings (Low-E applications)the better the energy efficiency. You’ll also want to look at a window’s appearance. If you’ve chosen the cheaper window in vinyl, it is difficult to change its appearance. If you have an expensive home, cheap isn’t always the answer.
You can go with builder-grade windows and save. Most builders use lower-cost commodity windows. Using this window saves a builder in overall costs that go into building a house. You can save a lot if you go the builder grade or commodity grade route. Builder grade windows are produced by most window companies and they are economical and serviceable. They are a product that meets basic requirements and you can find them in most standard shapes and sizes. They include
- fixed windows
- single windows
- double windows
- casement windows
Along with the windows, there is a protective film and double-hung window units that are classified in the builder-grade category. Just watch for architectural grade windows being more costly.
You want windows that work, not all the extra added features that go with them. You rarely need them, anyway. Most window companies offer these features and you can consider them optional. Look at what they offer before you buy into it and weigh the costs.
• Shades between the glass
• Outward laminate glass, which is durable and endures breakage
• Added trim that is offered and installed by the window company
• Hardware that is supplied by the window company
• Muntins and mullions (vertical or horizontal grilles placed between window units)
Stay With Normal Window Types
Regular window styles and shapes make for a less expensive window. When you think of bay, bow, curves, circles and other unusual shapes, the prices go up. Less expensive windows will consist of what follows.
- single hung
- double hung
When you think of installing replacement windows, the prices go up. With certain installations where the outside trim needs removal and replacement, the costs go up. If you want to save on installation costs, you’ll want windows where the replacement is simple and they place the windows within an existing opening. This kind of installation lessens the costs of removal and replacement.
Price negotiations are a given with most window companies. In fact, it’s expected. Even authorized window dealers will negotiate. When you replace windows, negotiating their price is one way to stir competition. Different window companies get their replacement windows at a wholesale price and sell them along with installation costs to consumers. You’re free to offer an adjusted price on extras, but understand that most window companies will only go so far.
Purchasing Less Costly Window Materials
You’re going to pay a premium price for solid wood windows. Fiberglass is considerably less expensive, and vinyl frames are the least expensive. It’s hard to tell the difference with each window type, particularly if you plan on painting the windows. If you like a status symbol, then go with wood and pay the higher price. Is it worth it though, when fiberglass and vinyl are less costly and no one will notice the difference.
Be Sure and Get Quotes
Getting estimates on window replacement is one way to save. You’ll want at least three bids, as one estimate will be lower. Make appointments for window companies to come out to your home and give you a quote. Mention that you are getting three bids which may encourage the company to turn in a lower bid.
Once you have all your quotes, there should be one that is lower and one that is higher. The other bid will be somewhere between your other bids. With three quotes, there should be enough information on the three companies and their reputations. This will hopefully allow you to pick the best window prices. You can also get more quotes as the more estimates you receive, the more chances you have of a better end price. Window companies have some leeway with bids, so talk about the bids you received. This could get you a lower price on windows.
One Brand Authorized Dealers
An authorized dealer can bring pleasant benefits your way, as they have been in business for a long time. They can usually offer what you want and will follow up on warranty issues. Look at authorized dealers for good deals, but leave yourself open to other choices where you have the benefit of competition
Warranties and Certifications
If you want to maximize your window purchase to the fullest and help save on utility costs, you’ll want energy efficient windows. Look for Energy Star rated windows. Also, watch for National Fenestration rating (NFRC), along with other certifications through the America Window and Door Institute (AWDI) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). Ask for certifications with the windows you purchase and if you require installation, ask for a certified installer. Also, seriously inquire about lifetime and other warranties with your windows and what the costs would be.
One way to save on any window replacement is through a qualified installer. A poor installation results in spending more to repair what an unqualified installer did to create the situation. Be sure and do your research and ask about certified installers before you make a purchase.
Determining the cheapest window for your needs is not an easy task. You want a window that provides value but also falls within your budget limitations. When you choose the least expensive windows, you’re going to end up settling for what the window looks like, its energy efficiency and its usefulness. If you’re not sure of what you really want in a cheaper window, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the information you need to make an informed decision.