There are several variables to consider when estimating the cost of new replacement windows, some may seem obvious like window size and different product lines and materials, others may not be; like installation method, energy efficiency, or warranties. While windows may look similar, construction differences not necessarily visible on the surface can make a big difference in the windows performance, durability and of course price. Here are some of the materials and construction considerations with the biggest impact on cost:
Not all window frame materials are created equal. Window frames come in different materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and composite. There are pros and cons for all types of frame materials. Generally speaking metal frames are used for commercial buildings and not often chosen for residential homes. Composite windows offer high performance, but are the most expensive option. Fiberglass, wood, and vinyl are the most common materials used in window frames for single family homes. Fiberglass window frames are strong and durable, but are often quite a bit more costly than the other options. While real wood windows can be beautiful, they tend to be pricey and high-maintenance over time. Vinyl is the most cost effective window frame material, but you’ll need to be sure to choose a reputable window contractor for purchase and installation.
Window Frame Insulation
Simply put, the better the insulation the more expensive the window. Most modern windows have hollow spaces through which air can travel. Less expensive windows are sold with no insulation. Mid-range and higher cost windows are filled with quality insulating materials.
Full-Frame window installation is the process of replacing the entire window. Everything comes out including the window, the sill, and the trim. This process is slower and there is often touch-up required after the job is finished.
Flush fin (also called Z-bar) replacement windows are commonly used in California and other markets with aluminum windows in stucco home exteriors. This method leaves the original aluminum window frame intact and provides very little opportunity for the stucco siding to be damaged.
Block frame or insert replacement windows, are typically found in markets where wood windows are in place, and the exterior is siding or brick. In most parts of the country, the block frame window is simply a new construction window frame with the nail fin removed. Your contractor will want to ensure that there’s been no damage to the studs and there is proper insulation and flashing before using this type of window.
Windows for residential homes are generally single, double, or triple paned. Single paned perform windows perform poorly and are commonly found in houses that where built before the 1970s. Double paned windows greatly increased the performance of windows in terms of energy efficiency performance.
Triple paned windows (or triple glazing) adds a third layer of glass that improves insulating properties of the window.
Window gas is several times denser than air and is injected in-between panes of window glass to slow the transfer of hot or cold air. Argon gas is often an option offered by top window manufacturers. It enhances thermal performance without getting in the way of the view. Krypton is another invisible gas that offers higher levels of thermal protection.
Glass coating technology has helped create more energy efficient windows. Low-E glass coatings – Low-E means ‘low emissivity’ and describes glass that has a solar control coating to improve thermal performance. A thin coating is applied to one side of the glass to reflect heat toward the outside in the summer and keep heat inside in the winter. In addition to reducing energy costs, glass coatings can reduce the fading of furniture and other fixtures in the home.
Although window replacement can be a big expense, not replacing those windows can carry a big price tag as well. Poor energy performance resulting in higher energy bills, or damage due to operational malfunctions in windows can cost you over-time. New replacement windows can also be an investment in your homes curb and comfort appeal.
At Dick’s Rancho Glass we have many years of experience in window installation, and we are happy to serve homeowners throughout the Sacramento Area. To keep your home beautiful and energy efficient, we are proud to offer a large selection replacement windows, including high quality Milgard® windows. To begin exploring your replacement window options, check out our gallery, give us a call, click here to contact us, or visit one of our two glass showrooms in the Sacramento region:
Dick’s Rancho Glass Sacramento at 2900 ROUTIER ROAD
Or call us at (916)363-6554
Dick’s Rancho Glass Fair Oaks at 5349 SAN JUAN AVE.
Or call us at (916)863-2500
~ At Dick’s Rancho Glass our versatility and pride of craftsmanship are keys to our success. Our excellent reputation has been built on the foundations of quality, reliability, and maintaining a dedicated staff. ~