How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost? A Price Guide For the Staten Island and New Jersey Markets

Mar 28, 2017
How much should you pay for replacement windows? Learn how the different options can affect the price here.

There are a lot of misconceptions when trying to figure out the real cost of replacing your windows. First, you need to understand what the industry standards are.

When it comes to advertising, the industry standard is to offer a double-hung, white vinyl window with Low-E & argon gas measuring 101 united inches (UI) or less. The UI is calculated by adding the width and height of the window. If your window measures more than 101 UI, the price increases and this is where a lot of people get lost when trying to do the math themselves on their projects.

However, not all companies follow these standards. There are a few in our local market advertising extremely low prices with installation. You may have already seen the $189-$249 window plus installation package and thought that sounds like a great deal, but it’s not. If you pay attention to the fine print you’ll quickly realize that what they’re offering is a single-hung window where the top half is fixed — you can’t open or close it. It comes with non-energy efficient clear glass and only measures up to 73 UI.

Another problem with these cheap window packages is the basic installation that’s included. They specialize in hiring unskilled installers that cut corners leaving your home cold, wet and drafty shortly after your new windows have been put in.

What corners are cut exactly?

  • Foam insulation is skipped
  • Flashing and capping, which seals against water penetration is not included
  • Low quality materials and installers are used
  • Low-E & argon gas don’t come standard
  • Haul away of old windows is not included

If you ask their salesperson to add all of this, the price of the window won’t be $189. It’ll shoot up to somewhere between $400-$500 and for that amount of money, you’re still receiving a low-quality window.

2 Types of Installation Methods

What you also need to understand is that there are two types of installation methods for replacement windows. Each come with a different price tag — pocket and full frame replacement. And depending on your home, you won’t have a choice in the matter as to which replacement method you need.

Pocket replacement

A pocket replacement is the least expensive method because the original moldings and frames are left intact, but here on Staten Island, only 5 percent of homes qualify. Pocket replacement installations are for homes that were generally built before 1950 and have the old wood sashes with weights inside the frames.

What happens using this installation method is the old window is taken out and the new one is put in. But it’s not as simple as that. After the new window is set in the existing pocket, it must be shimmed, squared and leveled inside of it. Insulation and capping are next, followed by caulking on the interior and exterior of the window.

Full frame replacement

Because most Staten Island homes were built after the 1960’s, it’s more likely that you’ll need a full frame replacement, which is more labor intensive. For a full frame replacement, the original new construction window, jambs and moldings are removed, leaving behind an unfinished opening that will need to be re-framed before installing your new window. Once the window is installed into the new frame, exterior stops are added along with interior extension jambs and moldings.

What factors into the cost of your replacement windows?

  • Window quality
  • Quality of materials
  • Installation method
  • Window mechanics experience
  • Window options

Here are some basic line items that are included in labor for a pocket replacement installation:

Removal of existing window: $15 per window
Installation of the window: $100 per window
Exterior flashing and capping: $75 per window
Haul away: $10 per window
Interior stop moldings: $15 per window

Here are some basic line items that are included in labor for a full frame replacement installation:

Removal of existing window: $45 per window
Installation of the window: $100 per window
Exterior flashing and capping: $75 per window
Haul away: $10 per window
Interior moldings & extension jambs: $75 per window
Exterior brickmold: $50 per window

How much do we charge for replacement windows?

At The Men With Tools for a pocket replacement installation, we typically charge between $499 – $799 for the labor and materials per window depending on the model and quantity. The more windows you have, the more you will save.

For a full frame replacement installation, typically the price goes up $150 because of the extra labor and materials needed, so it’s between $649 per window, $949 depending on the model and quantity again.

All of our Soft-Lite windows come with a lifetime warranty as well, so you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing if something does happen, you’re covered. We also cover labor costs, which a lot of window manufacturers omit.

“Everything is included in our pricing,” said The Men With Tools Owner, John Kolbaska. “Spray foam insulation, flashing — we’re never going to put a window in without flashing the exterior. Why would you do something like that? We’re going to give you a high-quality window with high-quality materials down to the screws.

“The spray foam insulation is a low-expansion spray foam meant for window and door installations, the silicon we use is guaranteed for 30 years and stands up to the weathering, and we use a heavy duty trim coil for the exterior capping, so it doesn’t dent easily.”

What other factors can add to the cost of your windows?

Replacement windows come in an array of styles and options, so depending on what you choose, the price can increase. There are casement windows, bow, bay and garden windows, sliders and double- and-single hung. Choosing glass upgrades like — triple-pane, solar Low-E coatings and krypton gas, for example — will add to the price.

For our Soft-Lite Elements window, there’s an option where you can add blinds in between the glass. This costs more. Grids, custom colors on the exterior and interior wood grain packages are also added costs.

If you’re looking to replace or add a bay window, call up your contractor first to find out a rough estimate and what that includes.

“Your average bay or bow window including the material, installation and labor, I’ve seen advertised for $2,500 to $7,500,” John said. “Typically, our bay and bow windows are priced between $3,500 and $5,500 depending on the options and models and there’s companies out there charging up to $15,000.”

‘Bait and switch marketing’

The companies who advertise $189-$259 windows plus installation are using this as a bait and switch tactic just to get you through the door. Again, no reliable replacement window contractor is going to charge you $189 for a window with Low-E & argon gas with all the bells and whistles — installed. These $189 advertisements are for windows with clear glass, no insulation and a poor installation by inexperienced contractors, which means you’ll be replacing your windows again in the next 5 to 10 years.

Once you start adding all of the additional costs from these companies, that $189 window will shoot up to $400 for a pocket installation and around $500 for a full frame, and again, it’s for a cheap window.

“We go in and do the necessary installation methods needed,” John said. “We don’t play games and say, ‘Oh, you can take this off and that,’ because we don’t want you to have problems with your windows.”

How much do other companies charge for windows?

Another thing to keep an eye out for are home center prices. These places typically sell a low-quality Pella 250 series, which is a very cheap window for $600 to $800 installed for a pocket installation and $750 to $950 for full frame installation. Then there’s the Pella 350 series, which is around the $800 range for pocket, but can easily reach $900 to $1,000 with the molding packages for the full frame installation.

On Staten Island, the typical market for replacement windows installed meaning double-hung, under 101 UI, with basic options — Low-E & argon gas, double-pane, white vinyl and white composite — is between $400 to $2,000 per window.

Do your research before handing over your hard-earned money to a replacement window contractor. You’ll be happy that you took the extra time to make sure you get the installation experience you need and a high-quality window. Remember that the lowest priced window contractor isn’t offering you the most value. Read between the lines and choose carefully.

Are you in the market for replacement windows? Check out The Men With Tools on Staten Island, NY. Call us today at 347-815-4151 for a free estimate.

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