Whether you go to a big company or a local contractor, your advertised vinyl window replacement cost will range from as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 to install a simple double hung vinyl window.
While $200 for a new vinyl window is really cheap, and $1,000 is way too expensive, the devil is always in details. So let’s take a look at how much replacement vinyl windows actually cost – both for the unit itself, as well as the installation.
In this post, we will stick to to the real cost of vinyl replacement windows. For other materials, installation cost is nearly the same, while wood and fiberglass window options are at least $300 more expensive than average quality vinyl.
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$189 and $200 New Vinyl Windows Gimmick (SCAM)
Basically, no company can make money selling vinyl windows for $200 installed.
The cost of materials, installation (big contractors hire sub-contractors, and pay them for each window installed), sales commission overhead, and profit will be way more than $200.
Most of these low cost windows are very small, typically UNDER 79 U.I., while typical home window is over 89 U.I. (measured in United Inches or U.I., which is the sum of height and width of the window).
Moreover, there are other VERY serious restrictions on what you actually get for this advertised price. These restrictions work so that most clients CANNOT get windows for $200, because they will need a bigger unit than is included in this price.
Lastly, these prices also DO NOT include any energy saving upgrades, which are important and are often required by local building codes.
$3,520 - $6,895
Also, not included in $189 or $200 replacement windows price tag are the following NECESSARY items:
- Window insulation
- Wrapping of exterior frame
- Window stops
- Low E / Argon
- Welded frame / sashes
These windows also do not include additional features, which are nice to have, such as: grids, good locks, decent weather stripping, etc.
For $189 window installation cost you can get a basement size lowest quality “window” that will not be any better than old single-pane windows you want to replace in the first place.
Bottom line – most homeowners will not get for the advertised $200 price.
Vinyl Window Prices
The replacement windows described below are VINYL. The average cost to replace windows made of high-end fiberglass or wood will typically be at least $300 – 400 more that mid-range vinyl windows.
If you go to any Alside location, there is a windows catalog available, which includes LIST PRICES for all windows, options and accessories. Contractors get their OWN prices, which are much lower than a list price – typically a percentage off list.
I get about 65% off list price, which is VERY good (I compared my prices with other contractors). Big clients get (by my estimate) 70-75% off, depending on volume.
Here is how much you will pay to install new replacement windows, how much each window costs and how much your contractor is paying SUB-contractors (if subs are involved):
|Low End Window||Mid-range Window||High End Window|
|Total Cost to Install||$352||$470||$590|
|Cost of Window||$109||$189||$278|
|Sub’s cost to install||$60-80||$65-85||$65-85|
|Contractor Profit (before expenses)||$163||$196||$227|
In the table above, I used high cost for subs to minimize confusion. Also, in this price list, installation includes fiberglass insulation between the window and window opening, and reusing old window stops.
Each window comes with LOW-E + Argon Gas and has double pane, with standard weather stripping and insulators for each window line.
Low-end windows have MECHANICAL Frame + Sashes.
Mid Range windows have Welded Frame + Mechanical Sashes.
High End windows have Fully Welded Frame + Sashes.
These prices do not include exterior frame copping (metal wrap) which costs $50-90 depending on the contractor, window size and how high off the ground window is. Also not included: Grids or Triple Pane glass. Triple pane is optional only in High End windows and costs $30-40 per window.
You can use our Windows Prices Calculator to estimate the cost of replacing windows in your home.
How Does The Low Cost Of Vinyl Windows Work?
Big window companies typically use a large supplier (such as Alside) for their windows. They cannot use a smaller local company, as they cover big territories, and logistics of dealing with a small manufacturer would kill profit margins.
Sears (and according to our sources Window World) as well as other “contractors” used Alside (as of 2012) for their vinyl windows, and I also installed these same windows for my customers, so we will use them (and their prices) for the purpose of this guide.
Other manufacturers offer nearly the same lines and prices, so it is not that important who made the windows (except for Anderson – they make their own windows and charge much more for them, compared to other manufacturers).
Alside Windows Prices
Alside basically has 3 lines of vinyl windows, and a couple more “lines” that are a mirror image of these 3 main lines, with just a few minor differences in design, and a different name.
1. Ultra Maxx / Sheffield (High End)
Fully welded frame and sashes, thick vinyl frame walls, good insulator, available with triple-glazing and Crypton / Argon gas. Can have an equivalent of up-to 6.7 R value.
2. Excalibur II (Mid-range)
Welded sashes and frame, better insulator, thin vinyl walls, double glazing only. These are OK, but not great.
Century (Low End)
Mechanically constructed frame and sashes, thin vinyl walls, low-end insulator. I would not install these windows for a client, and these are usually put in rental properties.
All of the above products can be outfitted with Low-E, and Argon insulation gas for better energy efficiency.
If you got a price for a new window in the range of $200, you are getting a “Century” type window, under 79 U.I. without any options, and probably without insulation.
The reason I list Alside windows here (and not Andersen or Pella or any other brand) is because I worked personally with this manufacturer, and installed their windows for all of my clients.
$3,520 - $6,895
I have 32 windows, all regular sized windows, nothing big, for the Alside Mezzo, and replacing exterior window wrap, I was quoted 34,000.00 by a low cost window installation company in Western MA
That is crazy – Mezzo is practically low to mid-range window … MEZZO window with all bells and whistles & upgrades (3-glazing, Low-E + Krypton gas, best spaces, etc) is list price about $425. Then all Aside contractors get certain % off list price. Say 35-40% off … So $300-350 …
When I worked for Sears/Bil-Ray as a windows / siding sub-contractor, their best windows sold for $900-1000 … that was with huge markups, “Sears Warranty” and predatory sales tactics, etc. This “low cost window installation company” is full of ***p.
You shouldn’t be paying more than $550-650 per window. Metal trim maybe another for $100 each window.
Got a quote today from Pella. $35k for 35 series 250 windows. Feel like I am getting ripped off.
Not in Florida. The Ultramaxx 3 doesnt even have a full metal sub-frame and is considered a garbage window here. The Ultramaxx 3 comes in at a DP50 rating which meets minimum Florida code. A good Florida window with a DP70 and impact glass is going to be $1000 plus from any window company
I love the commercial where they stand on the glass. Won’t happen. It is plexi-glass. They (Window World), are great at bating switching.
I sell Alside and there is no way you got 9 windows with triple pane glass for $2300.
Spending more money does not equate to higher quality. Tell you what. I’ll buy two McDonald’s cheeseburgers and sell one to CC for $1.50 and the other to you for $8.99. His cheeseburger is JUNK but yours, OMG you paid 8.99 for it, therefore it HAS to be better.
This article is a complete joke and I lost all respect for the author when they said that that these inexpensive windows are no better than the single pane you already have. You, Brittany and the Author are the royal family of assumptions. I’d love to see what your world looked like if you actually threw some actual facts in with all of your conjecture. You spent a crapton of money on your windows that is on you, don’t knock someone else for saving money because you make a bunch of assumptions about what they got when you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.
So….if I want a really good insulted window, its going to be about $900 each?
More if you want a really good window. If you want a decent vinyl window then yes about $900-$1200. Also depends where you live. If you live in a place that gets hot vinyl isn’t a good option. But if you live in an area that the weather is moderate year round, then it’s a fine option.
I totally disagree with your pricing for “decent vinyl windows” at $900-$1200 … unless you mean installed, and even then it’s still a reap-off!
I bought top of the line Alside Ultramaxx 3-lite slider with 3x glass, thickest frame, all the energy upgrades for about $400-500 (don’t remember exact price, but I have like 9 windows for $2300 total.
All are either sliders or casements, which are naturally more expensive than regular double-hung units.
Oh, and did I mention that my sliders are like 90″ x 46″ … that is an 8 foot wide slider for less than $500!
So $900-1200 is insane!
And even in areas that get hot, vinyl still works great. I never lived in Florida or Texas, but when I traveled to Israel, which is at least as hot, the vinyl windows the perform just fine.
I do think fiberglass windows are better, but their price makes me choose vinyl for my home… although to each his own.
If you want really good window, it should not cost more than $600-700 per unit. In most cases around $500. That is unless you are looking for windows with insulated frame … those are expensive.
But for a good 3-glaze fully welded window, $500 is a pretty competitive price.
Think of it this way – an expensive installer will charge $200-250 per window to put it in (and take out old windows), and a 90 UI (say 35″x55″) window with triple glass, Low-E + argon/krypton will cost the installer $250-300 or less (don’t count here Anderson and Pella windows – those are expensive with no real benefit over many other manufacturers). So there is your rough $500 price.
If you want grid, fancy trim, etc, those will be extras. But for window in and out that is your price. You can actually find better deals! $200-250 for install is kind of expensive. I think it won’t be hard to find $150/window basic install if you have 10+ windows to replace.
Oh and also $250-300 window price is also expensive. I can get Alside Mezzo window with triple glaze for about $170 (with my 15-years old volume discount)! Most contractors will be able to get it for about $200.
My windows were 189 any size installation everything. Window World.
That’s because window world has cheap windows with no insulation in the chambers and cheap glass that break if you look at it the wrong way, unless you upgrade in which case you are spending $755 on a decent window. They also don’t do things by code such as tempering glass that by law needs to be tempered (letting the home owner “waive” this and not adding lead safety removal per window on houses built before 1979 which is against city code as well. And they are not energy efficient by any means, so I don’t know why the even use the energy star logo. Must be .27 u factor in our area, so don’t put that they are energy star for ALL areas. Shady.
CC, yea that’s cool. Your windows are junk! I will publish a video soon of these Window World windows after 1 year, leaking air, not closing and falling apart! You get what you pay for buddy.
I have two Vetter 36×60 white pro v vinyl 1lt.w/hipro 4 glass single hung tilt in windows. The jam liners have failed on one and I have not been able to find replacement jam liners to repair them. We are thinking of selling and would like to repair or replace these two windows. If you can repair or replace these windows I would like an estimate. thanks John B. Howard