inexpensive-replacement-windowsInexpensive replacement windows are the holy grail of home improvement. When it comes time to do away with old, drafty windows, homeowners begin the epic odyssey of finding cheap windows that look nice, keep cold air out and won’t break the bank.

Why are homeowners so obsessed with inexpensive replacement windows? The multiplication factor. When the dishwasher gives out, for example, you only have to buy one new one.

With windows, it’s quite different. One replacement window won’t come with sticker shock, but a whole houseful can be enough to cause even the wealthiest homeowners some anxiety. Just a $150 price differential in a window model leads to a $2,250 price difference in a home with 15 windows. So where does the quest end? Are inexpensive replacement windows a myth – or are they a reality?

What No One Wants To Say About Inexpensive Replacement Windows

There are a lot of companies in the market willing spin tales of cheap replacement windows. However, the fact is most companies are just plain afraid to tell customers the truth: replacement windows are not cheap. The materials used to make windows are expensive, and if you want them installed correctly you will have to pay for labor. Replacing your windows is an investment in the value and the energy efficiency of a home, and shoppers must be prepared for the reality of the project.

So why do windows cost so much, anyway? The structure of a window is an engineering feat in itself. You have to consider that a widow consists of a frame, cladding to protect the exterior, the sash, the panes of glass themselves, insulation gas, coatings, and grilles. Then you have to consider the features. Hardware finish upgrades can cost $50 per window, jamb extensions can also be $50 per window. If you choose a nonstandard exterior cladding color, that adds an additional cost, as do prefinished interiors and simulated divided light grilles.

Finding Replacement Windows That Work With Your Budget

Even though windows aren’t cheap, here are ways to bring the cost down. If you don’t have the budget for triple-pane, wood, historically accurate, custom-shaped windows, then don’t shop for those. Not every home requires every feature available in replacement windows. For example, though they look nice, you might not really need grilles, and you may be able to forego UV coatings if your home gets little direct sunlight or you keep sheers drawn throughout the day. No two window solutions are the same for every homeowner. The only way to determine which features you truly need is to sit down with an expert who can walk you through your options. They can tell you which features you can trade off on to save a little money per window.

When working with a replacement window professional, be aware of two things. First, your budget matters. Do not exaggerate the amount you are comfortable spending. Be very clear and upfront about your bottom line so that the pro can provide you with the best possible options for your money. Don’t assume your budget is too small for certain features.

Second, avoid any window replacement company that pressures you into buying widows you can’t afford, or conversely, those who try to tell you that cheap, single-pane windows that lack energy-efficient features will do just fine. Honest and reputable professionals will work with you to help you achieve the look you want and the features you need at the price you can afford, as long as you are clear and open about your budget.

So are inexpensive replacement windows a myth?

Yes and no. Cheap windows exist, but they will not add value to your home or help you achieve energy efficiency. However, budget-friendly replacement windows that look nice, insulate you from the cold, and add value to your home truly do exist. You just have to know where to look for them.

If you are a Pittsburgh homeowner looking for the best windows for your home and budget, contact the team at Legacy Remodeling today to learn more about our replacement windows.