Window Replacement Cost: Window Types and Pros & Cons

Most properly installed residential windows will generally last 15 to 25 years before requiring a replacement. The materials that make up each window will usually last much longer (up to 50 years), but home windows are about function as much as they are about aesthetics, view, insulation value, ease of use, and security.

via Pella

Note: In this guide, we are not concerned with a brand new, full window installation which normally includes building frames where each window is hung, or installed. The costs are similar to window replacement project and there is much overlap in the work that each project entails, but our focus is on the replacement of windows, their costs, the factors impacting those costs and their pros and cons.

Pricing Information – Part 1

Window replacement projects tend to be fairly basic in terms of planning because the frame will likely determine the material of the updated windows. Wood windows in wood frames, vinyl windows in vinyl frames. Yet, types of panes (glass), along with considerations for energy efficiency and potential needs for repair make it so an average cost for replacement only goes so far.

The national average cost for a window replacement is between $500 and $750 per window installed, depending on your home’s location and other variables. The price can range from $350 to $1,400, which accounts for much variation in material type (from highest to lowest: wood, fiberglass, vinyl), window size, window brand (Andersen, Pella would be most expensive brands), and differences in pricing from company to company. More often than not, the more windows you purchase for a single project, the less you will end-up paying on a per window basis.

How a Window Style/Type, Size and Materials Impact Costs

Double hung windows are what most residential homes have. These are characterized by having sashes on both the upper and lower and thus both can slide vertically, up and down. Depending on the material and brand of the window, the average cost can range from $300 to $800 per window.

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Fiber Cement Siding Cost and Pros and Cons

Fiber Cement as a siding option continues to be quite a popular choice. A review of U.S. Census data for new single-family houses sold in America shows Fiber Cement garners nearly a quarter of all siding materials.

Brick, Wood and Vinyl are on a downward trend while Fiber Cement continues to gain in popularity. Stucco is, perhaps surprisingly, the #1 siding option in America where its popularity in the Western portion of the U.S. is enormous, but so is Fiber Cement in that region. The two materials combined account for a whooping 92% of the overall market out west.

Fiber Cement is commonly referred to as James Hardie, which is the company that originally created this plank board. It’s also called Cement Board, as the materials are made of cement, wood pulp, clay and sand. Fiber Cement is relatively heavy, quite sturdy and will last up to 100 years, while its surface usually needs repainting every 20 to 40 years.

Pricing Information – Part 1

Due to its weight, Fiber Cement routinely requires two workers to install each piece. For this reason, along with the idea that waste adds great expense to the project, the material is not well suited for DIY installation. There are essentially four styles of Fiber Cement: lap siding is the most common, shake and shingle, vertical panels, and artisan lap, which equals architectural grade of lap siding.

Fiber Cement lap siding costs $8.00 to $11.00 per sq. ft. installed. The other styles usually exceed $12.00 per sq. ft. Sticking with lap siding, the overall project cost for installing cement board on a typical two bedroom American home is $18,000 to $28,000. As there are numerous factors that impact the price, we will help explain that, but first let’s break down the costs. Note: this is a ballpark estimate example based on the national average cost of materials and job tasks.

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Wood Siding Options, Costs, and Pros and Cons

Wood siding has many different options. In this guide, we’ll focus on styles such as Bevel, Board-and-Batten, and Split Log. There is also a more traditional cedar shingles and shakes siding option explained in the following article.

via Real Wood Siding

The many styles and options of wood siding are what other, competing materials such as Vinyl, Fiber Cement, Engineered Wood and other synthetic materials routinely mimic. Wood though, has a natural beauty that is very hard to match, and yet, with that comes the need for ongoing maintenance.

Two decades ago, wood siding used to be the #1 option for residential siding in America, and historically it has ruled over all others. But, not anymore.

According to the 2015 U.S. Census data, Stucco and Vinyl are at the top, while wood has declined to just 3% of all new-single family homes having such cladding.

Wood still offers much versatility, decent insulation and installation that doesn’t necessarily require as much expertise as some other siding options.

Cost

The labor costs for installing wood siding, particularly bevel and board-and-batten planks, is comparatively low (compared to fiber cement siding). A handyman can do the job, as can a do-it-yourselfer. Like all home improvement projects, a professional contractor will handle installation more efficiently and provide warranties on their service.

Wood siding averages between $6.50 and $14.00 per sq. ft. installed. Split log would be on the upper portion of this range, board-and-batten on the lower end with bevel in the middle. Lots of factors impact the costs for wood siding which we’ll address below.

A typical two bedroom sized home will generally cost between $18,000 and $30,000 for wood siding installed by a professional contractor. That’s for all 3 materials included, which is why the range is so great. If we break down the prices by type of style, it helps understand project costs more acutely.

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