How Much Should Replacement Windows Cost?

Homeowners often come to this site looking for advice for specific models of replacement windows, recommendations on a local window installation company or advice on how to avoid these sales tactics. One of the most common questions asked is (of course) all about the money: how much should replacement windows cost?

To answer this question, you’ll have to look at a few things to compare apples to apples… or windows 🙂 by answering three basic questions:

  • What style of windows are you wanting installed?
  • What make and model of window are you choosing?
  • What material is the window made of?

What style of windows are you wanting installed?

First, the most commonly used window is a double hung window. They’re versatile, beautiful and easy to clean. Though double hung vinyl windows can vary widely in cost, look to spend between $450 (basic double pane energy star rated) to $600 or $700 for double hung windows installed with all the bells and whistles (triple pane, reinforced frames/sashes, double strength glass, foam filling etc).

double hung replacement windows
Here are some beautiful double hung windows that were recently installed by Zen windows in Central PA.

Next, casement windows (aka “crank out” style windows) and awning windows are a bit more expensive than a standard double hung windows mentioned above. Although casement windows tend to be more efficient than double hung windows, look to spend a bit more per window .

Bay and bow windows tend to be the most expensive. A quality vinyl bay or bow should range from $4,000 – $6,000 depending on options, colors, sizes and styles. Some bays and bows do not need a roof installed because they are under awnings and can be installed into the soffit. If a roof is required, that will add to the cost.

What make and model of replacement window are you choosing?

Though we won’t spend a ton of time discussing different makes and models of windows since you can check out dozens of them here, there are a few basics to consider when considering a replacement windows cost structure.

Ask yourself:

-Am I paying for a quality window from a reputable manufacturer or am I paying for an expensive marketing campaign?

-Has this company been manufacturing windows for a long time and do they run the risk of going out of business (and therefore will not have any warranty?) You may even want to ask if the manufacturer is a debt-free company.

-Am I paying hundreds of extra dollars per window simply for a brand name or could I get an equal quality (or better) quality window from another reputable manufacturer?  (think about when you’ve chosen a generic prescription at the pharmacy rather than an expensive brand name) 

What material is the window made of?

Finally, the cost of your replacement windows can also hinge largely on the type of material you choose.

Expect to pay more for wood windows, composite windows and windows with cladding of different materials.

Other legitimate factors that can cause the price of your windows to go up are:

  • If your home was built prior to 1978. Due to EPA guidelines, companies that work on homes build before 1978 are required to be certified. There are added charges associated with the installations.
  • A window that is one color on the interior and a different color on the exterior substantially increases the price. Though beautiful, expect these charges to increase the cost of your project from $100-$200 per window.
  • Some companies have a surcharge for any work that is completed above two stories. Though my company doesn’t charge this fee,  other companies do.
  • Even reputable companies often have minimum orders they will accept to install usually ranging between 2 to 5 window minimum orders. If you are under than minimum order, you may be charged slightly extra so be sure to ask to avoid these charges.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! We welcome your comments and will do our best to get back to you with any questions you may have!

Andrew Zahn is the owner of Zen Windows in Central, PA.   Andrew has worked in home improvement sales, marketing and public relations before opening his own window company.  If you’re in central PA and you’re thinking about new windows you should reach out to Andrew.  He’ll be the easiest window company you’ve ever dealt with. 

Author: Andrew Zahn

Andrew has worked in home improvement sales, marketing and public relations and also hold degrees in vocal music and communications.

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10 thoughts on “How Much Should Replacement Windows Cost?”

  1. We have received a quote from a reputable installer in my area for 12 full frame vinyl replacement windows all of which are double hung except for an awning over the kitchen sink. Also included is a 4 pane bow with two casements on the ends. The Windows they are using are sunrise restorations double pane with the Omega-12 glass option. The price they gave me is almost 14k…does this sound unreasonable to you?

    1. Andrew Zahn says:

      It’s not entirely unreasonable, though it seems a tad on the high end.

      Full frame installation is rarely needed though. I’d just be sure you’ve not been talked into paying extra for something you don’t actually need.

      1. the reason I decided to go the full frame route is that the house was built in 1974 and i have some areas where the sills and other parts of the original windows were rotted. I thought it would be a good idea to just get everything old torn out and start from scratch. To be fair to the salesman, I requested the full frame route and that is what he quoted. He did tell me that if I went to a standard picture window with sliders it would save me over 3k, however wife has her heart set on the bow.

        1. Andrew Zahn says:

          It sounds like fair pricing to me Mike.

          I’ve heard it said: happy wife, happy life 🙂

  2. Pingback: Which Replacement Window Brand is Best? - Zen Replacement Windows | Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, PA
  3. Joe Wiener says:

    I have 65 white vinyl double hungs of which 5 have one pain that are cloudy and have lost the seal. They are Gorell 5100 series AC Master. Gorell is out of business. Soft-Lite, Streetsboro, OH bought their assets, but do not make the glass for whatever windows they do today. I would like to just replace the pain of glass, not the entire window. My concern with just replacing one pain in a double hung is having the top glass look different than the bottom glass. Also, they have contour grids that apparently are not standard width. I have had 3 installers to the house, one could not guarantee the color I could not get the grids. The other 2 did not bring color sample of glass they would use. All other companies want to replace the entire window including frame, which will not match & locks will be different in appearance. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock & a hard place. Any suggestions?

  4. Joe, couple things:
    1) Softlite will reproduce glass for Gorell products. I sold some Gorell products and have utilized this option. I believe that Andrew may be a Softlite dealer, perhaps he has a contact that he can hook you up with?

    2) That said, there is nothing proprietary about the glass that Gorell used. If I recall, the AC master was a typical surface 2 soft coat low-e, comparable to Cardinal 272 or Guradian 7138. They did not make their own glass or low-e, nor did they even assemble it in the last couple years of their existence. They sourced it through a company called Intigral. The grids were outsourced parts as well and should be able to be matched. Last I spoke to them, some of the staff from Gorell had made the transition to Softlite, so perhaps someone there can help you fill in some of these blanks.
    At the absolute worst case, even sourcing the glass from an entirely different vendor is not likely to produce a finished product that is very far off. Certainly much closer than replacing the whole window

    1. thewindowdog says:

      Great info Brandon!

  5. Lillian Schaeffer says:

    This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that wood windows cost more. I’ve been wanting to replace my windows for a while, and I’ve finally decided to go through with it, but I’m still choosing what material I want. I was torn between wood and vinyl, but since the former would be more expensive, I’ll look into going with the latter. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Andrew Zahn says:

      You’re very welcome Lillian! I’m glad to hear you found the post to be helpful!

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