If you’re planning a home upgrade, window replacements are a great place to start. They’re one of the top home improvement projects that offer a good return on investment, which alone makes them worth considering. And if you’re already seeing condensation in your windows and feeling the occasional draft, window replacements are non-negotiable.
There are a lot of benefits to upgrading your windows. You’ll feel more comfortable indoors, you won’t waste money on energy losses, and you won’t end up overworking your HVAC. That’s a win on all counts. But just how much will it cost to replace your windows? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Let’s look at the numbers.
Here in Austin, a midrange window replacement project—which, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, involves swapping out ten 3×5 double-hung windows with insulated wood or vinyl replacements and matching exterior trim—will set you back $9,301 on average. At a recoup rate of 76.6%, you should be able to get a return of $7,123 when you sell.
For an upscale project involving insulated windows with low-e glass and custom exterior finishes, the average price is $12,864. The return on investment is $9,719 or 75.6%.
Extending the range to the entire West South Central region will give you average midrange replacement costs of $9,348 (77% ROI) and upscale replacement costs of $12,918 (76% ROI). National averages, on the other hand, are $9,978 (midrange) and $13,385 (upscale), with recoup rates of 78.7% and 76.6%, respectively.
Generally speaking, professional labor accounts for 30% of a contractor’s total quoted price. The regional and national averages given above should give you a good idea of where Austin lies on the window replacement price scale. Keep in mind that costs and returns can vary substantially even on the city level because factors like property values and local material and labor costs will affect the bottom line.
Style matters. (No, really.)
While any window replacement project will have a positive effect on the value of your property, you have to consider both performance and design if you want to maximize your returns. If you’re planning to sell your home, you’re going to have to take buyer preference into consideration. This is why traditional window styles work best—they attract a wider range of potential buyers.
Not interested in selling? Style still matters. For instance, casement, awning, and hopper windows perform much better energy-wise than double-hung, single-hung, and slider windows. Remember that energy savings are just another avenue through which you can recoup the cost of window replacements.
Should you cut corners?
Definitely NOT! Even if you’re working on a limited budget, you’ll soon find that the cheapest home improvement choices are rarely the best ones—especially if you’re thinking long-term. Ask your contractor if they provide in-house financing or if your window replacement project can help you qualify for rebates and incentives.
Brice Richards has been working as Renewal by Andersen of Austin’s production manager for nine years already. He ensures that all projects that his team handles are delivered on time and that everything is done to the tee. His hobbies include photography and writing in his blog.