There are some important material considerations for maximizing the cost-value and ROI. And of course, an entry door may include more than just the front of your home.
Cost Information – Part 1
When it comes to replacing your windows, wood is the more expensive material, but not so with doors. There are primarily three material types for main entry doors: wood, steel, and fiberglass. Aluminum, vinyl and glass doors are less popular for main entrances, yet for storm doors and sliding doors they tend to be the most cost-effective options.
Door installation can be a DIY project, though that depends a bit on the project and the door type. What generally takes the average homeowner five to seven hours to install takes a crew of two experienced contractors less than 2 hours to install.
For a single, steel front entrance door, the average cost ranges from $1050 to $1,850 installed. Wood jumps up on the low end to $900, but on average, wood doors can range from $1,100 to $1,550 installed. Fiberglass door costs about $1,800 to $3,500 on average for full installation.
You’ll certainly see prices much higher than this, for doors alone. While also seeing prices for doors that are under $500, but the above information assumes middle of the road on door quality and about 2 hours of time for a quality contractor to do the work.
Most properly installed residential windows will generally last between 15 and 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.
Note: In this guide, we are not concerned with the new construction windows, as they can only be installed once, while a house is being built. Instead, our focus is on the replacement of existing windows, as that is one of the most popular projects for homeowners wanting to improve the look and comfort of their homes. To this end, we cover current window replacement costs for vinyl, fiberglass, and wood windows. We also explain the factors impacting replacement costs, and pros and cons of different window frames.
The national average cost to install a typical double-hung, mid-range Vinyl replacement window can range between $550 and $850 per window installed, depending on your home’s location and other variables. Therefore, homeowners can expect to pay between $5,500 and $8,500 for a typical project to replace 10 double-hung windows with mid-range double-pane, Low-E Vinyl-frame replacement windows.
However, depending on the type of the window-frame material, the price can range from $450 to $1,850+ per window installed, which accounts for much of the variation in the window-frame material (from the lowest to the highest: vinyl, fiberglass, wood), window type and size (double-hung, casement, etc.), brand (Andersen, Pella, Milgard, Renewals by Andersen are some of the most expensive brands), and the local differences in pricing from contractor to contractor within the same market.
Practical Fact: Normally, the more replacement windows you purchase for a single project, the less you will pay on a per window basis. Most jobs involve between 5 and 10 replacement windows per project, meaning you can ask for an additional discount for a larger project.
Planning Considerations:Window replacement projects tend to be fairly basic in terms of planning because there are only three main types of windows for homeowners to choose from: vinyl (basic), fiberglass (better), and wood-clad (high-end). Yet, the number of window glass panes, along with the window energy efficiency considerations (Low-E glass, Argon gas filled), and window-frame material’s durability and longevity are all important factors to consider when weighing the replacement costs of different options.
How a Window Style/Type, Size, and Frame Materials Impact Costs
Double hung windows are what most residential homes have. These are characterized by having sashes on both the upper and lower part of the window, and thus both parts can slide vertically up and down. Depending on the material (whether vinyl, fiberglass, or wood frame) and brand of the window, the average unit cost can range from $250 to $950 per window (for materials only).
Classic windows (single-hung) look about the same as double-hung, but only the bottom pane moves, while the upper one remains stationary. Single-hung windows generally cost between $250 to $450 per unit and are less commonly available in today’s market. One exception is the popular brand of fiberglass windows, Milgard that offers fiberglass frame windows as a single-hung fiberglass Ultra series (premium $$$-$$$$) option. Notably, Milgard, also offers vinyl-frame windows available as a double-hung option like many other brands that carry vinyl replacement windows.
Controlling the climate of your home during chilly months requires a heating source and way to distribute that energy. A modern gas furnace can be your best option for a home heating source. Selecting the ideal furnace for your home can be done in a few steps that we’ll guide you through.
New Gas Furnace Cost Installed
For a fully installed furnace, plan to spend between $4,100 and $6,500 on average. The furnace units themselves are usually under $1,500, but professional installation is in your best interest, for reasons we’ll explain below. The current national average is about $5,000 for a new furnace fully installed.
HVAC contractors typically charge $50 to $75 per hour for their work, and may include an assistant, or team of three, to complete the job faster. Their helpers often earn $50 an hour as well, when you consider worker’s comp on top of their base pay.
Professional Installation generally requires 10-man hours at minimum, but can easily go up due to many reasons, usually related to adjusting or updating the forced air system.
If significant updates are needed to your per-existing ductwork (or if there is no ductwork currently in place), this can add up to $5,000 to $15,000 the total cost of the job. Typically, it is under $10,000 and often these additional charges are only steep if converting from say an electric furnace or oil boiler to a gas furnace, which requires ductwork for forced air heating to work.
Other costs that may be included are removal and disposal of an older furnace (about $500 extra), and miscellaneous materials needed to complete the installation.
Gas Furnace Prices for Top Brands
If you look just at the Energy Star list, which shows the many models on the market that have their stamp of approval (for being high in energy efficiency), you’ll see a good 30 brands. At least one of our top recommendations is not on their list, even though their models obtain an impressive 98 AFUE. Go figure!
Another thing you may not realize is that many popular manufacturers normally make more than one brand of gas furnaces, with each brand typically falling into either the basic, mid-range, or premium product category.
For instance, Carrier is considered a premium brand with reputation for reliability, while Payne is considered “budget friendly.” The technology among the devices is nearly identical. 😉
Here are the Top Five Gas Furnace Brands:
1. Goodman – these are made by the same company that manufactures the more popular Amana brand. Goodman has basic models that come in at 80 AFUE and high efficiency models with up to 98 AFUE.
Warranties range from 20 years (for basic models) to lifetime (for premium models). You may not find the latest and greatest features in their lineup, but the ones we’ve mentioned are available. And most importantly, they are affordable, ranging from as low as $500 (for their electric furnaces) to $2,500 for the highest premium (gas) model.
You can reasonably plan to spend $900 to $1,500 for a Goodman furnace, though this doesn’t include the installation.
2. Day & Night – again made by the same company that makes Carrier and Bryant brands. While the external structure looks different from the other brands made by the same manufacturer, the inner technology is nearly identical! 😉
Similar to Goodman, top models can achieve up to 98 AFUE, have 20-year warranty, and features that rival premium brands, such as modulating heat.
Like Goodman, Day & Night lacks on reputation, but not on quality. You can reasonably plan to spend $850 to $1500 for a Day & Night furnace, not including installation.
3. York is a long-established brand. York also makes Coleman, and Luxaire.
York warranties range from 5 years to lifetime depending on the model. They have multiple offerings in their furnace lineup ranging from the 80 to 98 AFUE.
Tip: Never buy a furnace that comes with less than 10 year warranty.
York basic model is affordable at around $900, but their mid-grade and premium models jump to $1,500 or more.
York furnaces have a reputation for having noisier than average equipment, though their technology has evolved to include noise dampening features.
4. Trane and American Standard are sister products. Both are on the premium side of brand names.
Trane is considered a top choice on the commercial product line of furnaces and thus their technological prowess is well known. For residential, they are pricier than our top two choices.
Trane AFUE goes up to 97.3, while they never skimp on features in their lineup. You can plan to pay $1,500 and up for a quality Trane furnace, not including installation.
5. Carrier rounds off our list based mostly on their reputation for reliability. They are another premium brand and arguably over priced considering what Day & Night is offering.
Carrier AFUE ranges from 80 to 98, and their features are essentially identical to the Day & Night offerings. Still, there are many thousands of satisfied Carrier customers who enjoy having a unit that will last 20+ years.
Plan to spend $1,500 and up for Carrier furnaces, not including the cost of professional installation.
One final note, you can plan to spend more for the installation on premium brands than what you would normally spend for the installation of a new gas furnace from more affordable brands.
Part of this is the prestige factor that comes with being a ‘certified brand seller’. The market for premium furnaces allows for greater markup on those units.
Thus, a basic Day & Night furnace such as Performance 80 may cost between $2,500 and $3,500 installed, while the lowest you’ll likely find the Carrier basic model installed is $3,500 and up.