New or Replacement Windows – What You Need to Know to Budget Wisely

When building or remodeling a home, there are certain projects that can cost a lot, plain and simple. Windows are one of the core elements of a home that are considered a big investment. It’s important to know what your window costs will be upfront so that you can decide what kind of investment you’re willing to make in this area of your build or remodel.

The good news about windows is your return on investment – according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, Phoenix area homeowners should expect to recoup at least 70% of the cost of replacing windows.

Thinking About Your Budget

Before beginning the project, you’ll need to determine how much you are willing to spend. Window costs can vary greatly depending on quantity, size, materials, labor, etc. Here are some things you should consider when planning a budget:

  • Your budget should consider value and not just cost. Invest in quality windows as much as possible to avoid having to replace windows again later on.
  • Windows don’t have to be an all or nothing deal. If you are replacing windows but don’t have enough money up front, break the project into more manageable stages Replace essential, leaky or more frequently used windows first and tackle the remaining windows at another time when finances allow.
  • Window framing materials can include wood, aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl. If you are working with a limited budget, vinyl generally costs less.
  • If energy efficiency is a major goal, choose double or triple paned windows. They cost more but will save on energy costs on the long run. At the very least, consider energy efficient windows for those areas in the home (rooms with poor insulation or especially sunny rooms) that are prone to leakage.
  • Consider your existing window frames – are they damaged or rotted out? If so, plan on paying more for new construction windows.
  • For new windows, decide on what shapes you’d like. XO Windows carries standard windows as well as triangle, octagon, arch and full circle windows, each of which has different pricing– make sure you factor that into your budget.
  • Look for a window installer who will install the windows, remove the old ones (if applicable), and provide basic cleanup and disposal.
  • Get an estimate from a reliable window distributer and ask what the estimate includes (cleanup, removal of old windows, enlarging openings to accommodate non-standard windows, etc.). XO Windows offers free estimate to all of our clients.

When creating your budget, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How many windows do I need to replace or install?
  • What size are they?
  • What shape are they?
  • Do I have any doors or patio doors that need replacing or installing?
  • Is energy efficiency important?
  • What materials do I want (vinyl, aluminum, wood, etc.)?
  • What’s my time frame for window installation/replacement?

Financing, Discounts and Rebates

Many companies offer financing, including XO Windows, to help with the purchase of new or replacement windows. You may also want to look into a home equity line of credit, which in some cases includes tax-deductible interest. If you are considering purchasing Energy Star Certified windows, you may qualify for government incentives like rebates and tax deductions that can compensate for the initial cost of the window.

You may be tempted to purchase windows from an outlet or big-box store and hire a handyman to install them or even install them yourself. However, window installation is a tricky process and there is a lot of room for mistakes. You may save a few bucks but end up with windows that are leaky, not well-sealed, or prone to dry rot down the road.

With such a critical component of a home or building, think long-term. Use a professional to ensure your investment is properly installed and will last. If you need help deciding on windows for your project, XO Windows can help. Call us or fill out the form on our website for a free estimate.

Natalie McCatty is a professional blogger for XO Windows, the company that provides complete, accurate and on-time delivery for your vinyl or aluminum windows and all of your window product needs.

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