Having your windows replaced, while necessary after many years, can be an expensive undertaking. While the price of window installation and repair rises and falls depending on the cost of living, the cost of the windows themselves can seem expensive.
Here are six reasons why windows can be expensive:
- Cost of materials
- Glass composition
- Labor shortage
The rest of this article will detail the various reasons windows are so expensive, how to choose the right windows for you and standard glass options for you to consider.
1. Cost of Materials
The materials it takes to make windows differ depending on the type of windows that are needed. Nevertheless, all materials cost money and affect the final price of the window.
The framing of the window, which is typically done in either vinyl, fiberglass, or wood, adds to the overall cost of materials. The cost can also depend on the type of window.
When choosing windows, you’ll have to choose from various options, including double-hung, single-hung, specialty, and sliding or casement windows. Each type will have its own cost because of the different materials used.
While framing can be expensive, the glass panes tend to be more. When it comes to the glass panes, you want to ensure that they have proper insulation. Depending on whether you go with single-pane, double-pane, or triple-pane will determine the cost. However, I’ll get more into the cost of glass later.
In recent years the cost of materials has risen, especially lumber. Therefore, you’ll most likely notice an increase in price for wood frame windows. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) states that the cost of plywood has skyrocketed by more than 200% since April 2020.
How To Know What Windows To Choose
With the number of options available to you, making a final decision can be overwhelming, and going with the cheapest isn’t always the best.
Choosing the windows that best fit your needs is essential. Therefore, always consider the climates you live in.
It’s also essential to look for the Energy Star and NFRC labels, as these labels guarantee that the windows are certified and energy-efficient, which can save you money on heating and cooling bills in the long run.
The installation cost of the windows is another reason why windows are so expensive. If you’re like most people, you won’t know how to install windows properly. Therefore, there are labor costs.
Costs depend on who you hire to install your windows. Some companies include the cost of installation in the window price. While this means that you don’t have to pay an additional vendor, it does tend to make the window price go up.
On the other hand, you may be able to hire a handyman to handle the installation. However, that will cost you as well. According to the Remodeling Costs blog, you should expect to pay at least $200 of labor per window installed. Therefore, the more windows you have installed, the more expensive the cost of labor will be.
3. Glass Composition
The glass composition, or what glass is made up of and its benefits, contributes to the high price of windows. Of course, the composition of specific windows will determine how expensive it is.
So, if you choose a glass option that is high0 quality or more durable, you should expect a more expensive window.
What Are the Most Common Glass Options for Windows?
With all of the available options of glass panes, it isn’t easy to choose the right one. So, what are the most common glass options for windows?
The most common glass options for windows include tempered glass and Low-E glass. Tempered glass offers the most strength, making it very difficult to break, while Low-E glass provides the best energy efficiency.
Despite tempered glass and Low-E glass being popular choices, there are various other options to consider. Each option, along with the type of pane chosen, will alter the price of the windows. While some are more expensive than others, they all contribute to the costly expense of windows.
Below I’ll go over other window options:
Tinted Glass – Tinted glass is an excellent option for those who live in warm climates. The tint can help keep the sunlight and UV lights out of the home, helping energy consumption by keeping the house cool. Tinted glass can also help keep heat inside the home when it’s cold outside, making it very energy efficient.
Low Maintenance Glass – Low maintenance glass is excellent for those who don’t love to clean their windows constantly. It’s also a perfect option for windows that are in a difficult place to reach. The coating allows the glass to withstand harsh weather and makes it highly durable- so it’s reliable and easy to care for.
Impact-Resistant Glass – Impact-resistant glass is excellent for homes that commonly experience harsh weather such as hurricanes or strong winds. While no glass is entirely safe from breaking, impact-resistant glass is made the most durable, so you have added security and a feeling of safety if you encounter a big storm.
When it comes to competition in any business, it’s usually trying to offer the lowest prices for the best quality of work. However, sometimes competition means having very similar prices to other companies.
When it comes to windows, businesses have been loath to offer “lowest price” deals. This is because they often can’t afford it – all businesses have to deal with both the cost of materials and labor shortages, which I’ll cover below.
Therefore, when one business sees others raising their prices, they realize that they can make more money and follow suit. So, with window prices on the rise, companies are charging more.
Inflation, or the rise of the price level in the economy, is standard and happens frequently. Unfortunately, when it comes to inflation, the price of various things, including windows, can increase – making them more expensive. While this bodes well for companies, it often hurts customers who need new windows.
6. Labor Shortage
Labor shortages can sometimes occur due to economic cycles, natural disasters, or epidemics such as COVID-19 which can cause businesses to struggle. Labor shortages can lead to an increase in the cost of materials, which we’ve already discussed, but can also cause things like window replacements to increase in price.
Due to the lack of workers, businesses often end up having to pay their employees more. Therefore, the price of the windows increases to keep the profit the same.
- Energy: Update or Replace Windows
- NAHB: Solving the Lumber Crisis
- Remodeling Costs: Window Replacement Cost in 2021
- Wikipedia: Inflation
- Consumer Reports: What to Look for When Buying Replacement Windows
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