New windows are a large expense and a decision homeowners will have to live with for decades, so getting it right is essential.
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.
The cost to replace windows includes the materials and labor. The material and style options are discussed in detail below, but let’s overview window replacement costs first 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.