2018 Window Replacement Cost Guide for Home Owners

New windows are a large expense and a decision homeowners will have to live with for decades, so getting it right is essential.

via Accent Home Improvements

We’ll cover basic window styles and their costs next, but first you should know that you have three main options for replacement windows: insert or pocket windows, full-frame replacements and sash kits:

Insert/Pocket windows: these are designed as replacement windows. The interior trim and old window sashes are removed. If the original window frame is in good condition, it can remain.

The replacement window is inserted into the pocket space left by the old sashes, and it is secured to the side jambs.

Insert windows cost more to install. Because the window fits into an existing window frame, there is more framing and slightly less window pane than with full-frame windows. They are installed from inside the house.

Full-frame windows: these are also called new construction windows. They have a nailing fin around the perimeter used to secure them to the house from the outside of the home before the nailing fin is covered by siding and trim.

Full-frame windows are more air-tight than replacement windows, but are only a cost-effective solution if you’re also replacing your home’s siding.

Sash kits: The sashes are the moving parts of a window – glass surrounded by a wood frame. Sash kits are brand-specific, so they’re used when replacing a damaged window rather than a house full of old windows. Sash kits are made for a very limited number of window brands and series.

Cost

On average, you can expect to pay between $450 and $850 to install a new vinyl replacement window. This translates to a typical project cost of $4,500 to $8,500 to install/replace 10 vinyl windows in a typical house.

Note: Your home’s location and local real estate prices and/or local economy/cost of living, window accessibility (1st floor vs. 3rd floor) and scope of additional work, window quality, and project size will materially impact costs.

Below we list total average per-window costs for popular residential options:

  1. Basic aluminum: $300-$525
  2. Composite (See materials below): $325-$700
  3. Basic vinyl: $350-$600
  4. Better vinyl: $475-$825
  5. Basic wood: $500-$850
  6. Fiberglass: $600-$900
  7. Better wood: $700-$1,000
  8. Best wood: $900-$1,350 and up

Cost of Materials:

Let’s overview material costs by basic, better, and best window quality.

  • Basic windows: $85-$325
  • Better windows: $325-$800
  • Best windows: $550-$1,500
  • Fixed (non-opening) windows: 15%-30% less than windows that open and close.
  • Bay and Bow windows: 2-4 times the cost of standard windows depending on window types used to construct the assembly. For example, a bay window might include a large fixed window with 1 or 2 smaller fixed or moving windows on either side.

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2018 Skylight Installation Costs: Velux, Fakro, Kennedy

Skylights transform a room, bringing in the outdoors from above, like a window on the sky. Benefits include natural light that reduces the need for artificial lighting and room ventilation with skylights that open.

This skylight buying guide covers top brands, their products and prices, installation costs and skylight options.

Cost

On average, you can expect to pay between $1,375 and $2,210 to install a new fixed or vented skylight measuring up to 30 by 48 inches in size/window dimensions.

All else being equal, it will cost a lot less to install a new skylight during the construction of a new home.

Re-roofing is the next best time to install a new skylight on your property, while cutting-in a hole to install a skylight in the existing roof will be significantly more expensive.

Your home’s location and local cost of living will have a material impact on the total cost installed.  Ease of roof access will also impact costs.

The table below provides a further breakdown of costs for materials and installation:

Low Average High
Skylight costs: $35-$125 $275-$535 $1,400-$2,000
Installation costs: $275-$735 $1,100-$1,675 $1,985-$2,400
Total installed cost: $485-$860 $1,375-$2,210 $3,385-$4,400
Features: Plastic
Fixed
Skylight or tube
Up to 22″
No blinds
Plastic or glass
Fixed or vented
Skylight or tube
Up to 30×48
Blinds optional
Manual or remote open
Electric or solar
Glass
Vented
Skylight
Up to 34×70
Blinds optional
Remote open
Electric or solar

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Implications of California Mandating Solar on New Homes by 2020

California has become the first state to require new homes be built with solar power systems. Bloomberg says, “California just sent the clearest signal yet that rooftop power is moving beyond a niche market and becoming the norm”.

California is a trend setter, so Bloomberg might be right on the money. Its graph on the fast rise of solar in the decade ending in 2017 makes the case very emphatically.

The law applies to single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings less than four stories high. It requires those built after January 1st, 2020 to be outfitted with a PV solar energy system.

The mandate is one of four key Building Energy Efficiency Standards released by the California Energy Commission.

  1. Solar PV systems with smart inverters with optional battery storage
  2. Demand/Response compliance options including battery storage and heat pump water heaters
  3. Healthy indoor air through controlled home ventilation and filtration
  4. Tighter home envelopes with house wrap, more insulation in the attic and walls, efficient windows and more

Implications of Mandating Solar Power in CA

The immediate impact was a rise in solar stock prices (Sunrun rose 15%, e.g.) and a fall in prices for residential construction companies.

No wonder. A lot more solar power systems are going to be sold. The demand for a new home might fall, while the costs are likely to rise.

Positive Implications

Carbon emissions will be reduced: California’s goal is a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. This legislation will produce small steps in that direction each year.

Utility costs will fall for solar homes: The CEC expects homes equipped with solar to save $19,000 over the projected 30-year life of the systems.

Negative Implications

New home cost will rise: The CEC states that average cost of these solar energy systems will be $9,500. The average home in CA uses a 2.5kW to 4kW system.

At current prices of $2.80 to $3.22 per watt, the Commission is estimating the average system to be 2.95kw to 3.4kW, so the estimation seems low on the upper end. Systems for homes with 4+ bedrooms are often more than 4kW, so cost for them might rise to the $11,000 to $13,500 range.

Jimmy Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute economic policy analyst told CNBC:

This is great for wealthier homeowners, but for everybody else it’s one more reason to not go to California or to leave ASAP.

Maybe that’s part of the California Energy Commission’s design! 😉

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