You’re shopping for new replacement windows and have price quotes from 3 or 4 different window companies. Your quotes are all over the map, ranging from thousands of dollars apart to everywhere in between. If you were already a little confused about your options, the giant price ranges surely don’t make your decision any easier. Is there a reason for window prices so vary so widely? Absolutely. In fact, there are so many reasons that we are turning the topic into our very first blog series. There are many variables that come into play for pricing windows, and we are here to break things down for the average homeowner.
Window Prices Reflect Quality and Material
Most replacement windows are typically constructed using either vinyl or wood. Vinyl has become increasingly popular because it is relatively inexpensive yet very efficient. Wood windows are beautiful and still a popular, modern option. They are slightly more expensive than their vinyl replacement window counterparts, but both materials have a high return value.
High and Low Grade Vinyll Windows
The quality of the material plays a big part in a window’s cost. Cheaper vinyl windows are constructed with more calcium carbonate than higher grade windows. A window with a high amount of calcium carbonate is susceptible to cracking, chipping and peeling. This option is typical for your run-of-the-mill vinyl replacement window that isn’t expected to last more than a few years, but the low price tag is a big temptation to many. Higher grade vinyl windows are made with more titanium dioxide, resulting in better structural integrity that stretches your dollar much further.
The Cost of Wood Windows
Wood, unsurprising to most, is the most expensive material for replacement windows. If a homeowner buys 10 identical windows that all have equal efficiency ratings, but they choose wood over vinyl, they can expect to pay roughly 10% more as a national average.
What About Fiberglass?
Fiberglass is another pricey option that is an alternative to wood. Fiberglass is relatively new to the market and has yet to gain mainstream popularity. However, it has an edge on over wood since it is not prone to rotting, peeling or chipping. Fiberglass is also durable, but there is not a lot of available data to show whether or not it will last as long as high grade vinyl. If you’re considering fiberglass, expect to pay about the same amount as you do for wood, if not more. If you’re still sold on wood, keep in mind that the vinyl option that looks like wood is available. You get the best of both worlds in terms of cost and efficiency. In terms of cost vs.quality and materials, we recommend sticking with a middle-to-high grade vinyl.