How to Use a Window Replacement Cost Calculator
Figuring out exactly what replacement windows are going to cost you isn’t a simple task, but it’s an important one. How can you plan your home’s renovation costs when you don’t know what you’re going to have to spend overall? It’s important to understand all the different costs that go into having windows replaced in your home, and how they can be calculated and added up so you can create a budget.
The Cost of the Window
The biggest factor in how much your new windows are going to cost you is the cost of the windows themselves. Windows aren’t cheap, and most of your budget should be going toward buying quality windows. Putting in a window properly doesn’t take very long, and because of that, it isn’t that expensive to have done.
Calculate Standard Costs
If your home has standard rough opening sizes you can simply add the cost of standard-sized windows from the local supplier that you decide to deal with. Most local suppliers will have many different window types to choose from, and you can price the windows before you order them.
When you have standard sized windows you can measure the rough openings around your home and talk with the supplier to see how much it’s going to cost you to get the windows that you want for your home.
Calculate Custom Window Costs
When you need or want custom windows put in your home, figuring out the costs becomes a bit more of a process. You’ll have to define all the features that you want, the frame type, the glass type, the gas that’s inserted between the layers of glass and the size needed. After you’ve gone through all the steps can you find out what the total cost is going to be for the windows.
Consider the Cost of Labor
Most of the time, you’re going to want to have windows in your home professionally installed. They’re more likely to last and perform the way they should when you spend the money to get a professional to do the job. If you decide to have a pro handle the task, you’ll have to factor in the labor costs charged by that professional.
An All-Inclusive Deal
When you rely on a contractor who will secure the windows for you and install them for one set fee you’ll have less to figure out. Instead of having to price the windows yourself and then worry about getting labor estimates, you’ll just have one comprehensive fee.
Consider Labor Costs Separately
There’s no way for you to figure out exactly what labor is going to cost you without talking with some trained contractors. Have a couple come out to your home and look at the windows that you want replaced and give you a quote for the labor. You’ll generally pay a bit more for labor when a contractor is installing windows you’ve already purchased, because most contractors make money off purchasing windows for a homeowner.
Contractors have many relationships established with window providers around the area. Many contractors can get a discount on windows, but they will bill you for the full value of the window. The percentage they save on the window serves as another form of payment for the job reducing the overall installation costs.
New Construction Windows Versus Simple Replacement
If you’re going to have windows replaced in your home you have to look at your current window frames to see if they are rotted or not. Rotten frames must be replaced, and you’ll have to rely on new construction windows instead of replacement windows. New construction windows are a bit more expensive and they will cost more to have installed as well. Factor in spending about $50 to $100 more on each window when you go with new construction instead of replacement, according to the experts at Angies List. Be sure to get estimates from several different contractors.
Add in Any Fees
Many contractors or large companies will add fees such as delivery charges, that you’ll have to account for. It’s important to ask about any additional fees that you’ll be charged and make sure that you account for them in your budget.
When you work with a certified contractor they will take care of disposing of all the excess materials that accumulate throughout the project. If you are installing the windows yourself, you will have to figure out how much it is going to cost you to dispose of the old windows and excess. If your old windows are in good shape you can sell them or donate them to Habit for Humanity or another charity.
If they are in poor shape you will likely have to pay to dispose of them. Figure out what disposal costs are in your area and budget between $50 and $400 to get rid of all the materials that are left over at the end of the project.
Factor in Possible Tax Credits and Rebates
Although most of the energy efficient federal tax credits for Energy Star windows are no longer in place, there are still plenty of local rebates and credits available. When you’re planning on having new windows installed in your home, it’s important to look into all the local rebates in your area. You might be surprised to see that you can get money back on your window replacement. These rebates generally only apply to energy efficient windows – most likely Energy Star rated products.
Talk with Your Utility Company
To find out if there are rebates in your area get in touch with the local utility company. Many are offering rebates to customers who have Energy Star windows professionally installed in their homes. You might find out that you qualify for $200 per window or more in rebates. Many times these companies will provide a per window rebate up to a specific amount.
Factor in Insurance
When you buy windows from a big box store like Lowes or Home Depot you’ll undoubtedly be offered an insurance plan on top of the warranty that comes with the windows. Many times this insurance plan will help fix damaged windows that aren’t covered under the standard manufacturer’s warranty. If you want the added protection so that you don’t have to worry about saving for future window problems, factor in the cost of that insurance into the overall price as well.
Many times you’ll need to finance a window replacement project in your home if you’re going to have a large number of windows replaced at one time. Even at the low end of a replacement window cost expect to pay between $450 and $500 per window, and that’s for vinyl replacement windows. If you’re having 10 windows replaced in your home, you’ll likely be spending a minimum of $4,500 to 5,000, more for replacement windows. If you don’t have at least that much money saved up you’ll have to look into financing. Luckily there are many financing options available.
Home Improvement and Home Equity Loans
Many home improvement loans are available for purchases like new windows, flooring, roofing or other projects that will improve the value of your home. Talk to you local bank or credit union to find out if you qualify. If you’ve been paying off your home for a long time and you have some serious equity in it, usually between 40 and 60 percent at a minimum, you might be able to take out a second loan relying on the equity that you have.
In some instances you can get a higher mortgage amount than what you need to buy the home itself and that amount can be used to make improvements to the home. This isn’t always possible, but if you have a significant down payment and you take the time to get contractor bids as well as before and after appraisals considering what you want to do to your home, you might get the bump up that you need to cover at least part of the home improvement from your mortgage.
Only after going through all these steps can you determine exactly what adding new windows to your home is going to cost. Add up the cost of the windows, the labor and the disposal fee of the old materials and then subtract any tax breaks and rebates and you’ll have a good idea of how much those new windows are going to cost you overall.