2022 Guide To Understanding Replacement Window Pricing

You can find pricing and detailed information online for most of life’s largest purchases, including a new home or vehicle. Why, then, is it nearly impossible to find good information on the true cost of replacement windows? We don’t think it should be, and on this page we’ll give you some specific price ranges to use as a rough guide as you shop for windows in 2022.

How Milwaukee Area Homeowners Can Evaluate Replacement Window Costs

While we can’t give you a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to what you should pay for replacement windows, we can give you a general price range, plus some ways to evaluate cost differences.

Our policy at HomeSealed is to ALWAYS be transparent and honest, so we’ll start off by telling you that the general range of pricing for a good window installed from an established, reputable company should fall somewhere between $800 and $2000 fully installed. There can be exceptions to this rule on the low and high end based on a variety of factors, but based on the 2022 Cost vs Value report from Remodeling Magazine, the average installed price for a quality replacement window in our area is around $1500.

To understand our recommended price range, here are five key points every homeowner should know:

Key Point #1: Here’s Why You Should Avoid ‘Super-Cheap’ Windows

When it’s time to buy a car, do you want the very cheapest one you can find? Probably not.

In a similar way, buying the cheapest replacement windows can also turn out to be a lousy deal. Cheap does not equal value! In fact, lousy windows will cost you more in lost energy-efficiency and hassles, not to mention the possibility of having to replace the windows a second time.

There are several places to go for replacement windows in Milwaukee that offer lesser quality at cheap prices: Big Box Stores (think Home Depot and Menards), Discount Retailers (think $189 installed), or ‘A Guy & His Truck’ contractor that represents a high percentage of the home improvement industry.

Here is what Milwaukee area homeowners need to know about each of these choices:

Big Box Stores: These huge home stores sell products primarily with low prices in mind, because that’s their specialty: selling product. While there are some decent-quality windows mixed in at higher price points, a lot of the offerings are low-grade to meet the low price demand of their customers.

But an even bigger issue is installation. Because their pay rates are so low, these home stores end up with a revolving door of unreliable subcontractors that do work of questionable quality. This is definitely an area where the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. Excellent craftsmen require excellent pay, and these stores don’t pay much.

Discount Retailers: Discount retailers (think of “Window” and add your choice of World, Depot, Rama, King, etc.) claim great products at super low prices. They say this is possible because of their high-volume business model. It is true that a high-volume national chain can buy windows for a LITTLE bit less than an established company, but that’s not near enough to explain any price differences.

The real savings are coming in the form of inferior products and especially in cut-rate installation.

It’s true that sometimes you’ll see some good reviews right after installation for these discounters, but dig a little deeper and you find out that many of the problems with these windows start appearing just a few years after installation. All windows seem nice on day one, but theses are typically ready for replacement by year ten.

‘Some Guy & His Truck’ Contractors: This is perhaps the riskiest option of all. On one hand, you may find an excellent craftsman that simply likes to work for himself, and will do a great job, but even in the best-case scenario, most carpenters are poor n the financials side of the business.

Odds are that a ‘Chuck-In-A-Truck’ contractor with no physical location for you to visit will be out of business in just a few years. In fact, according to smallbiztrends.com, nearly 70% of contractors fail in the first 5 years of business! This makes home contractors the WORST performing sector in existence.

If you have a problem down the line, there is often no one to call for help to fix the work.

Unfortunately, this isn’t even the worst-case scenario with a “Some Guy & His Truck” business. There are many, many cases where a guy takes a hefty down payment on a project and you never see him(or your new windows) again.

Key Point #2: How Product Options Work

If you read above that our general recommended range is $800 to $2000 per window, you might think that is a fairly wide range. You might also think there might be circumstances where you want to deviate from that range.

You’d be right on both counts, so let’s dig into the numbers a little more.

Product Options & Price Differences

Here’s an example of what makes replacement window pricing so confusing for homeowners: even a basic, white double-hung vinyl window can vary by hundreds of dollars per window. Much of this comes down to options.

For example, if you want the very best, most energy-efficient glass package versus the standard glass, that will have a significant impact on the price tag (although on the flip side, a better glass package can also have a very positive impact on lowering your monthly energy costs!).

Certainly, if you go above $1,500-2000 per window, you will want to know exactly what benefits make it worth that.

If you want to understand how different options and choices effect the price tag – and why sometimes you want to invest more for a better window – it’s essential to find a company that offers multiple options so you can get a real ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison.

Which brings us to…

Key Point #3: The Size & Scope Of A Project Affects Price

Another price factor is the size of the window project. In general, the larger the project, the better the pricing per window because of the fixed expenses associated with any project. It costs the same amount to coordinate, set up, and tear down a one replacement window project as it does a 15 replacement windows project.

Even larger projects (20-30 windows or more) can generally expect to see special pricing accordingly, where a one or two window project will have a significant premium (many companies won’t even take them on).

Key Point #4: Installation Choices Affect Cost Of Replacement Windows In Milwaukee, WI

There are different installation options and the type you need will impact the overall project total.

Would you prefer a simpler replacement window installation, or do you want a full-frame (new construction) style window installation? This decision alone can change the cost per window $500+. If you choose to do a cut-in window installation or a cut-in patio door installation, the scope of the project can become more involved with labor, planning, and permits, and the cost can rise quickly.

Sometimes the extra cost is worth it, and sometimes it’s not necessary. We can help you understand how to decide. If you aren’t sure which installation method would be best for your home, our free, no-risk consultation provides the answers you need.

And The Final Key Point… Don’t Pay Too Much, Don’t Pay Too Little!

The best advice we can give for Milwaukee area replacement window shopping is avoid the extremes. Don’t pay so little that you end up with installation headaches, higher energy bills, and windows that don’t last. But you also don’t want to pay upwards of $2500 per window JUST because it is a well-known brand. Compare performance ratings and installation details to make sure that you are truly getting a PREMIUM finished product.

It really is possible to get a fair and reasonable price on absolutely terrific windows installed by a proven local company. Talk to us; we PROMISE to be 100% honest and transparent with you when telling you what you get for your investment.

Want to find out more about us and our established track record of excellence? Visit our Reputation page.