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Replacement Windows Remodeling Guide

Replacement windows are among the most popular home remodeling projects performed today. Whether homeowners are looking to increase the energy efficiency of their home or are looking to resell their home, replacement windows are a great way to increase your home's overall market value. But what kind of a budget should you set aside for replacement windows? What are the cost averages for replacement windows? What individual contracting services are factored into that cost?

Replacement Window Costs

According to Remodeling Magazine's 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the national average cost for a midrange vinyl replacement window is $997 per window. The national average cost for a midrange wood replacement window is $1,092 per window. The national average cost for a high-end vinyl replacement window is $1,338 and the average cost for a high-end wood replacement window is $1,679. There are many factors that will affect the cost of replacement windows. Generally, the biggest cost factors will be:

Replacement Window Basics

The majority of new replacement windows carry the "Energy Star" rating for home efficiency, and may be custom ordered to meet the customers preferences, both functionally, and aesthetically. While most replacement windows are used in residential applications, there are numerous commercial applications as well, such as storefronts, offices, and workshops.

Replacement vs. New-Construction Windows

Replacement windows should be distinguished from new-construction windows.

New-construction windows are designed to be used in a new or existing “rough opening.” They typically have a "nailing fin" along the outer frame. This fin provides a means for attaching so that the window within the opening. It is then nailed in from the outside of the home before the application of siding. This type of window installation is more disruptive and usually more expensive than costs listed above the since it usually requires new interior and exterior trim and/or siding.

Replacement windows have no such "fin". They are designed to be installed with minimal disruption to the existing trim/siding. They are set into place in the existing window frame and through the new window frame into the inside of the existing window jamb. This type of window installation is usually less disruptive and therefore, usually less expensive. This is the type of window installation that the costs listed above are based on.

Installation may be done from the inside by the removal of the inside trim, or from the outside by the removal of the outside "stops". All windows should be sealed and insulated with a high quality caulk and some form of insulation around the frame. While replacing your windows can be a do it yourself project, it is most often best accomplished by a competent and experienced window replacement contractor.

IMPORTANT! If your home was built prior to 1978, there is a good chance your windows were painted with lead based paint. Lead based paint is toxic and therefore replacing windows which have been painted with paint containing lead should only be done by a Lead Safe Certified Firm using Lead Safe Certified Renovators to perform the work.

Replacement Window Options

"Double-hung" windows are the most common traditional window. They have an upper sash and a lower sash, both of which slide up and down in the window opening. "Single-hung" windows appear as "double-hung" windows, but their upper sash is fixed in place and does not slide. Most "hung" models now feature "tilt-in" sashes for easier cleaning of the exterior surfaces.

"Casement” & “Awning” windows are hinged and open out similar to a door and are typically operated using an interior hand crank or some manufactures offer a traditional “push-out” model. Awnings are similar to the casement style but they are hinged at the top instead of either side. Awning windows can be left open (to some degree) even in a light to moderate rain storm – offering some ventilation.

“Gliding” windows are similar to a double-hung on its side. As the name implies – they slide from side to side.

Non-operable or "fixed" windows are common in larger openings such as picture windows. Again, as the name implies, these windows do not open – they are “fixed” and provide an unobstructed view. Some manufactures (such as Marvin) offer a “ventilating” picture unit that opens slightly to provide added ventilation.

If you’re thinking it might be time to replace your windows, the best place to start is by talking with an experienced professional. He or she can walk you through the myriad of choices available today to make sure you choose the absolute best windows and the best options for your specific needs.

Experience Our Services

Replacing your windows can be fairly simple so long as you’ve hired the right team of professionals to take on your project. If you’re located in our service area, which encompasses Ithaca, NY and the surrounding communities, why not call on us for some free advice? We truly enjoy speaking with people about their remodeling plans.

Having served this community for more than 22 years, we have extensive experience in all of the following remodeling services and more:

Year after year dozens of discerning homeowners trust their homes and remodeling projects to us and our team of designers, trade partners and craftsmen. The vast majority of our work is repeat and referral business.

As a professional, “full-service” remodeling contractor, we will work with you to incorporate your ideas and ours into a project that best fits your home, lifestyle, and budget. Large or small, we can take your project from concept to completion and our services are second to none.

If you would like to discuss the exciting possibilities for improving your home with a qualified and reputable remodeling company, simply give us a call today at (607) 539-6014.

We'll be happy to discuss your needs over the phone to see if we can help. Then, at no cost and without any obligation, we'll be happy to set up a consultation in your home to have a closer look, discuss your ideas, make suggestions, and answer all of your questions.