The answer to that question is easy: far less than a cheap window! Or as Bob Vila says, when you buy a cheap window, whatever money you save initially will be lost later on down the road. That’s because cheap or poorly installed windows will cost you no end of grief eventually.
But we have all seen the ads, you know the ones that offer incredible prices on new replacement windows. The problem is you can’t get a quality window package for that little. It’s unrealistic.
Remember, a window is more than the glass you’re looking through—it’s the glass plus the frame, plus the manufacturing, plus the installation, plus the service and the warranty. That means when you buy a window, you’re paying for the quality of the materials as well as the quality of the installation and the quality of the customer service.
So when a company claims they can sell and install a window at rock bottom prices, you have to ask yourself, where are the corners being cut, and if not, how are they able to stay in business?
Here are some quick notes on what makes a window a quality window:
The Window Frame
Vinyl is not the best choice for a window frame. Even wood isn’t exactly a trouble–free investment. But Fibrex by Andersen is, and that’s because Fibrex is a patented wood and vinyl blend. When combined, the vinyl can’t warp and peel away from the wood, so no water gets to the wood, and the wood can’t rot. So you get lasting value—yet the price of Fibrex windows is comparable, or cheaper, than the name brand vinyl or aluminum–clad windows.
Price savings? You bet. Thanks to the strength of wood and the protective quality of vinyl, you’ll never have to replace your windows again.
How It’s Made
It’s not just what windows are made of… it’s also how they’re made that affects the price. A window made on an assembly line may cost less initially, but will end up costing you more. Why? For a window to open and close easily and have an airtight seal, it needs to fit your home perfectly. Problem is, every house is different and window openings are often different sizes. The better windows are custom measured, then custom manufactured to your home’s measurements—and then shimmed for a perfect fit.
Bottom line? Custom-made windows cost a little more, but the cost of choosing one–size fits all windows will cost you so much more. Poor energy efficiency, fogging glass, or rotted wood…
The Best Glass Package
Not all glass units are made equally. Make sure you take advantage of modern window technology by choosing window glass that has a Low-E coating. Are the cheaper window companies offering you the very best and the very latest that science has to offer? Now you can get the most energy–efficient Low–E coating on the market: SmartSun™ glass, only available on Andersen Fibrex windows. SmartSun™ is 70% more energy–efficient than regular double pane windows in the summer, and 47% in the winter.
Bottom line? Cool in summer, warm in winter and money in your wallet all year round.
Green Is Good
You may think that prices go up when products are made to protect the planet, but that’s not always true. In fact, green manufacturing often saves money. For example: Andersen doesn’t have to pay lumber companies to cut down more trees. They don’t have to pay truckers to ship those trees. And since they have one, centralized plant in Bayport, Minnesota, they recycle the wood and make the windows all in one place, saving more on shipping.
Bottom line: All those savings in fossil fuels and trees are passed right on to you—and more importantly, to the earth and to your children.
To get the best performance from a window, you need professional installation, and that takes time and money. Some installers are paid by how many windows they install in one day. Naturally, they want to put in as many windows as they possibly can, so they work quickly. However, at Mr. Rogers, our installers are paid by the hour, so they take their time and make sure your windows are installed perfectly inside and outside, and underneath the trim.
Bottom line? You get a worry–free, professional installation that’s guaranteed.
Repair, Service and Parts
Can you trust the company to continue carrying parts for your window? You have to take this into consideration too, because you don’t want to buy a window then end up having to replace the entire thing one day just because you can’t order one simple part. The better window companies keep parts in stock for years and years. Andersen, for example, keeps parts in stock for windows they made back in the 1930s!
Can you trust the window company to provide you with service and support if anything goes wrong with the window? Few window companies are so confident in their window and installation that they guarantee their windows to perform for life. Even fewer of them give a warranty that covers every problem—even accidental breakage.
I trust in the quality of Fibrex and the skill of my trained installers, so that’s why I provide a Worry–Free Windows For Life Performance Guarantee. That’s 100% parts and labor for as long as you have the home, no matter what the problem. (Yes, even the repair of caulk lines.)
We all have to watch our wallets these days, but when it comes to windows, cheaper isn’t wiser. Cheaper can cost you more than you bargained for. I have seen too many homeowners buy cheap windows only to regret it a few years later. Hans Andersen once said, “Only the rich can afford poor windows!”