What to Ask for in a Replacement Window Quote

Susanne Clemenz

There's a lot you need to learn before you seek a replacment window quote. Item one is the type and quality of window you choose. If you are replacing windows in an old house you will have plenty of considerations to keep in mind. Is the new window architecturally and stylistically complementary to the style of your house? Will the type of window you choose diminish the historical integrity of your home? Deciding on the type of window is the first step towards getting an accurate quote.

Window Types Affect Your Replacement Window Quote

With any window type, your choice of double pane, triple pane, air-filled or gas-filled windows affects the price. Here are the major window types:

  • Vinyl windows. These very popular windows can be uninsulated or insulated, and construction quality varies from one replacement window manufacturer to another. In mild climates a tightly constructed uninsulated double-pane, air-filled window works great. More severe climates need more features for the best performance.
  • Aluminum windows. These windows have inherent strength from the aluminum, and come in most of the options vinyl windows do.
  • Clad wood windows. These are called "vinyl clad" or "aluminum clad" windows, but the window frame is wood, which is clad with either vinyl or aluminum. The exterior of the house has the weather-resistant cladding, while the interior shows the natural wood of the frame.
  • Fiberglass windows: These are top of the line for durability and energy efficiency, but also have quality level choices.

Common Extra Factors

Your quote should also take these factors into consideration:

  • A window size may be standard for one replacement window manufacturer and custom for another.
  • Extra costs are incurred if window removal reveals dry rot, mold, or pests.
  • Removal and disposal of old windows should be included in a replacement window quote.

A rough estimate for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 10 windows is $300 to $700 per standard window or around $1,000 per custom window. ENERGY STAR windows earn tax credits through December 2010, so now's a terrific time to invest.

About the Author
Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and remodelled her newly-purchased home, working with contractors on the floorplan, electrical changes, painting, installation of wood laminate flooring, flood prevention walls and stonework, major drainage issues, an irrigation system and a landscaping. Researching and keeping up on issues and products related to home design and maintenance is an ongoing avocation.

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