Excess noise. Condensation. A draft when closed. Water-damaged wood frames.

These are all signs that your windows may need to be replaced. Windows generally last from 15 to 20 years — even longer if regularly and properly maintained.

Today’s homeowners have a wide range of materials and price points to choose from when it comes to replacing old windows. Here’s what you need to know.

Cost of new windows

Window replacement costs include the window itself as well as installation. These prices are usually anywhere from $300 to $1,000, with an average spend of $650 per window.

If you have older windows, consider repairing rather than replacing. Repairs could save you as much as $100 to $300 per window. Many older homes were built using wood grown naturally. This wood is stronger and more solid than newer windows made with farmed wood, which is given less time to mature. These repairs — done properly — may be make your old windows as energy efficient as installing brand new ones.

Anderson, Marvin, Loewen, and Pella are just a few of the brands available on the market. Prices will vary based on whether the installation is handled by the company directly or by a contractor.

New window materials

Replacement windows come with either double or triple pane glass. Double-paned windows can save you 25% on energy costs over time, while the heavier triple pane glass can save you as much as 50%.

Frames come in wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and composite materials. Wood frames are also available “cladded,” that is covered with aluminum, which may be pre-painted at the manufacturer in the color of your of choice. This innovation saves time and money when it comes to painting your home.

One question to consider when choosing replacement windows — do both the windows and trim need to be replaced? While inserting new windows without replacing the trim can save you money, you may not see the full energy savings. New windows without new trim don’t allow for insulating the gap around the inserted window.

Matching new windows to your home’s style

Aesthetics should play a big part in the replacement windows you choose. Replacing windows with other windows not suited to the style and overall look of your home not only takes away from its appearance, it may also decrease its value.

Try to match the original look as closely as you can.

The Bottom Line

Aside from energy saving, you’ll find modern windows are so much easier to clean. Be sure to take time to consider the many choices available before you settle on replacement windows. If you have a large home or are concerned about the upfront costs, you may want to consider replacing windows on one side of your home at a time. Just be sure that you’ll be able to match the style of the windows when it comes time to do the next side.