Replacement Windows

Learn a few basic facts before making that first phone call for a replacement window estimate.

Replacement Window FAQs

What is a replacement window?

Will the replacement window have as much glass area as my existing window?

What is the process for installing replacement windows?

Are cheap no-name windows necessarily worse than expensive, high-end names?

How much more light will I get from a bay window?

I've heard that replacement windows recoup much of their cost when it comes time to sell.  Is this true?

Will I save enough energy to justify the cost of the windows?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a replacement window?

A replacement window is a special type of window that replaces most of the components of your existing window.  It is not a new-construction window, which is the type that builders use on new houses.  It is not the type of window you see on the racks at Home Depot, Lowe's, or any of those big home improvement stores.  Replacement windows are available only by special order.

Will the replacement window have as much glass area as my existing window?

No.  Because it fits within your current window frame, it does not--and cannot--have as much glass area as your current window.

What is the process of installing replacement windows?

The glass and working components (excluding any hidden components, such as sash weights) of your current windows are removed.  The wooden window frame that holds the window remains in place.  If necessary, minor repairs are made to strengthen the window frame to accept the replacement window.  The replacement window is nailed into place.  Exterior window casing is then formed and installed to ensure a tight weather-resistant seal.

Are cheap no-name windows necessarily worse than the expensive, high-end names?

No.  With the current window technology and improved manufacturing techniques, it is possible to get a well-performing window at low cost.  Don't fall into the trap of automatically buying the high-end names.

How much more light will I get from a bay window?

None.  Because the size of the window opening cut into the wall does not increase, you get no additional light.  However, bay windows do give the illusion of more light.  Also, bay windows are a good way to add interest to the house's exterior.   

I've heard that replacement windows recoup much of their cost when it comes time to sell.  Is this true?

Yes.  They're a great investment.  Let's say you spend $10,000 on your mid-range replacement windows.  When you sell, you can expect to recoup almost $9,000 of that cost.  That's a higher return rate (90%!) than a bathroom addition or even an upscale kitchen remodel.  Keep in mind that almost no home renovation recoups 100% or more of its original cost.  So, 90% is a phenomenal rate of return. 

Will I save enough energy to justify the cost of the windows?

No.  According to the EPA and Department of Energy's authoritative EnergyStar program:  "Replacing windows is rarely cost-effective based solely on energy-savings."

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