In this YouTube video, Consumer Reports discusses essential things to know when shopping for replacement windows.
Before you spend thousands of dollars on getting new replacement windows, make sure that new windows are needed. It can take several years, even decades, to recoup the cost versus just having a higher energy bill.
Rotting around the frame or condensation between the panes is an indication that you might need an upgrade. If the edges are still in good condition, consider partial replacement windows that fit directly into the frames or replace the faulty windows.
When purchasing replacement windows, there are many styles and materials available. Double-hung windows and casement windows are two popular styles. Double-hung windows provide the ability to slide one part open, either vertically or horizontally. Casement windows open like a door and then lock against the frame.
Frame materials include wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Fiberglass is not standard and can be more expensive than vinyl. Wood windows will need yearly maintenance to protect them if no cladding is added. Vinyl is a popular sweet spot for price, flexibility, and low maintenance needs.
Replacement windows offer upgrades like expensive woods, custom frame shapes, and fancy handles. Other window features include different energy efficiency ratings based on regional weather. These options and upgrades, along with installation costs, can increase the price.