“If you plan to replace part or all of your home’s windows in 2022, be prepared for a lengthy wait. Supply-chain problems have afflicted numerous firms, including those that manufacture and install new windows. According to Chad Kleis, vice president of sales at Window World, a manufacturer and installer based in Wilkesboro, N.C., your project will take 3 to 5 months from the moment you sign the contract until your windows are completed. “We won’t see project timelines return to 8 to 10 weeks, which is more usual for our business until 2023,” he says. What do you get in exchange for your perseverance? New windows will certainly make your home more pleasant by making it quieter and less drafty. Many contemporary double-hung windows are easier to clean and maintain than older windows with storm windows and combo screens.
They can help improve the all-important curb appeal of your home. Learn about replacement window materials, types, and features, as well as price concerns and how to find a qualified installation, in this buying guide. Check out our replacement window ratings, which are based on scientific testing, to assist you in selecting the best option. Find the Best Window Replacements What to Expect on the Market Standard, large white synthetic frames that scream “replacement window” are no longer the only option for budget-conscious shoppers. Some manufacturers are developing vinyl windows with wood laminate finishes to accommodate budget-conscious clients who desire a wood look.
They also make composite frames, some of which are composed of fiberglass and others from a mix of wood and plastic. Solid wood windows, on the other hand, are becoming a niche market. More design options are available with new colors, particularly for the external portion of the window. Replacement windows with black exterior frames are becoming increasingly popular, according to Anthony Carrino, vice president of design at Welcome Homes, an online design-build firm based in New York City. “Making your windows jump off your facade with black provides both depth and aesthetic intrigue,” he explains.
Another popular tendency is to install windows without muntins, the vertical and horizontal grids that provide the appearance of a full pane of glass being divided into portions in the Colonial style. “Homeowners are looking to increase their glass area and get a more contemporary aesthetic,” Kleis explains. “This gives the customer a welcoming atmosphere with a lot of personality.” Important Shopping Factors Considering the Pros and Cons According to national estimates from Remodeling magazine, a vinyl window replacement project was among the top five house improvements in terms of return on investment in 2021. According to Remodeling, 69% of a window replacement job is recouped in the selling price. New windows can also help you save money on your energy expenses.
According to the US Department of Energy, replacing clear-glass single-pane windows in a single-story, 2,000-square-foot home with new Energy Star certified windows can save a homeowner between $101 and $583 per year. Storm windows or double-pane windows can save you anywhere from $27 to $197 each year. Your real savings will be determined by your local climate, utility bills, and other factors. (The federal tax credit for newly installed Energy Star windows ended in 2021, and Congress has yet to renew it.) Replacement windows, however, are not for the faint of heart. According to Thumbtack, an online local-services marketplace, the average cost of replacing one window is $500 nationwide. And the cost of replacing all the windows in a home ranges from $8,245 to $17,645, including labor, permits, and disposal; your exact cost may vary depending on where you live, the types you select, and other considerations. Even with the possible savings and rewards, it’s a significant investment. If your current frames and sills are still sound and square, replacing them will save you money on materials and labor. They’re also known as “pocket replacements,” because they’re designed to fit inside your current frames. You’ll need entire replacement windows, often known as “new construction” windows, if your frames are too old and deteriorated.
The frame, sill, jambs, and, in most cases, a nailing flange, which secures the window to the outer wall around the opening, are all included. Locating a Reliable Installer If your windows are fitted poorly, they won’t give you the look or feel you want. Professional installation is essential, particularly if you have an older home with shifting window frames that are no longer squared up at the corners. Many major window manufacturers provide training and certification to installers for their particular kind of window. If a problem emerges later, using the same contractor for purchase and installation eliminates any ambiguity about who is responsible for correcting it; the window seller cannot blame the installer, and vice versa.
Get many quotes and check for certification from the American Window and Door Institute or Installation Masters on the internet. Any bid you receive should contain information such window brand and model, number of windows, size, and type, as well as any optional features. Installation details should be recorded, as well as labor and material expenses. While contractors frequently have favored brands, you should not rely on them to choose your windows for you. For more information on which replacement windows perform best to keep your house pleasant and dry, see our replacement window ratings. What Different Window Materials Say in Our Tests We put double-hung windows to the test for wind and rain resistance. (Single-hung windows aren’t tested because they’re less common.) We subjected the windows to strong, wind-driven rain and winds of 25 and 50 mph at outside temperatures of 0° F and 70° F, working with an outside lab. As our scores demonstrate, there are considerable variances between brands.
Consumer Reports puts both vinyl and composite windows to the test. Some all-aluminum windows are still available, but their popularity has dropped as vinyl has become more common. Our experiments reveal that neither the material nor the price of a window frame guarantee performance. For example, superb vinyl-frame and composite double-hung windows perform better than more expensive wood windows. In fact, the highest-rated wood window in our tests performs on par with a vinyl window that costs half as much.
Here are some window materials to think about.
This is the most expensive style of window frame. The whole thing is made of wood. The exterior is covered in aluminum or vinyl, while the internal wood can be painted or stained. These surfaces shield the exterior wood from the weather, preventing rot and insect infestation. They also save money on upkeep because they never need to be repainted. Many wood windows come in a range of exterior colors, allowing you to match the decor of your home. Frame in vinyl They’re usually the cheapest—and they’re usually white. However, certain models have only a few external and interior color options, including wood-laminate finishes. Because most vinyl frame windows cannot be painted or stained, keep this in mind if you wish to match the external paint color. When compared to all-wood frames, vinyl frames have fewer hardware possibilities.
Fiberglass or a combination of materials are used to make these frames, which are normally in the mid-price category. They usually do not require painting or staining. They could have solid wood, laminated wood, or plastic with incorporated wood fibers in some areas. The combination is commonly utilized to provide the appearance of solid wood windows while making the underlying structure more sturdy. Fiberglass windows are manufactured by inserting fiberglass needles in plastic, making them tougher and stiffer than vinyl. The Glass Menagerie: Window Types The amount of panes, how the windows are hinged, how they operate, and how much ventilation they provide are all factors to consider.
Here are some examples of the many categories. Windows with two sashes In homes built in the 1980s and after, this is the most prevalent form of window. Full screens are perfect since the lower inside sash slides up and the higher outside sash slides down, facilitating air circulation. Because you can tilt the sash on any of the windows we tested, double-hung windows are simple to clean. If you plan to install a window air conditioner, they’re also a good alternative, but most currently have a pretty high sill trim that may require extensive shimming to stabilize the air conditioner. In our tests, some double-hung windows kept out more cold air or water than others. This is especially vital if you live somewhere freezing and windy, like Chicago, or somewhere rainy, like the Pacific Northwest.
Windows with Awnings
They open outward and are hinged at the top. The sash, like casements, presses against the frame and closes quite securely. Windows with Casements They provide an unimpeded view despite being a tiny area of the market. They’re hinged on one side and open outward with a crank. Casements allow for optimal ventilation and simple cleaning when fully open. Because the sash locks snugly against the frame when closed, they’re usually more airtight than double-hung windows. Window air conditioners, on the other hand, cannot be put in casement windows. Windows were repaired. These are utilized in situations when illumination is vital but ventilation is not. They’re airtight and come in a variety of shapes and textures, as well as ornamental glass accents and textures.
Windows in the Hopper Style
They’re hinged at the bottom and can open inward or outward, the polar opposite of awning windows. Windows with only one sash Although they appear to be double-hung, only the bottom sash moves. (As a result, they usually cost less.) To keep cold air and wetness out, the top sash is sealed. Purchasing Video For additional information on how to pick the ideal windows for your home, as well as helpful shopping recommendations, see our buying guide video below.
Brands of Replacement Windows
The most popular window brands are Andersen, Marvin, and Pella. Many notable window manufacturers sell multiple brands, including Andersen and Marvin, which sell some lines solely to authorized installers, and Lowe’s and Home Depot, which sell multiple lines. Compare windows by brand using these profiles.”