Cost to Replace Windows in an Old House: Is it Worth it?

Richard Elmers

Richard Elmers

Home improvement expert

If you’re the proud owner of an old house, you probably already know that replacing windows can be a costly and daunting task. But is it worth it in the long run? Investing in new windows can not only add to your property’s aesthetic appeal, but also provide numerous benefits such as improved energy efficiency, better security, and a more comfortable home environment. In this article, we will explore the costs associated with replacing windows in an old house and discuss if it is worth investing in new windows for your home. 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the content of this article may be outdated or contain inaccuracies. If you are considering replacing windows in an old house and would like to receive expert advice specific to your situation, we recommend consulting a local contractor or window specialist. Advance Roofing LLC has been providing Spokane, WA with top quality roofing solutions for many years now and is always happy to help. 

What are the Benefits of Replacing Windows? 

When considering a window replacement project for an old house, it’s important to weigh the benefits of replacing your current windows with new models. The right type of windows can positively impact your home in a number of ways, from reducing energy costs to improving structural integrity. But with so many types of windows available on the market – from single and double-pane to wood and vinyl frames – it can be tough to decide what’s right for you. Below, we’ll explore some of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right type of windows for your home. 

What Type of Windows Should I Consider?

When it comes to window replacement, homeowners have several different types of windows to choose from, each with its own set of benefits. The type of windows you choose can make a significant difference in the energy efficiency and overall aesthetic of your home. When selecting new windows for your window replacement project, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you get the right type of windows for your home. 

  • Firstly, consider the type of frame you want for your windows. Vinyl windows are a popular choice for homeowners, thanks to their affordability and durability. On the other hand, wooden windows offer a classic look and are an excellent choice for historic homes.
  • Secondly, consider the number of panes you want in your windows. Single-pane windows are the most basic type of window, typically featuring one sheet of glass. Double-pane windows, on the other hand, feature two sheets of glass separated by a layer of gas, providing better insulation and energy efficiency. 
  • Finally, homeowners should think about the size of their windows and how they’ll impact the overall look and functionality of their home. Large picture windows can provide stunning views and natural light, while smaller casement windows can add a touch of charm and ventilation. 
  • It’s important to remember that environmental factors should also be considered when selecting new windows. For instance, if you live in a hot climate, energy-efficient windows can help reduce cooling costs. Similarly, regional building codes may require specific types of windows, which should also be taken into account during the window replacement process. 

Selecting the right type of windows is an essential part of any window replacement project. Homeowners should consider the type of frame, number of panes, and size of their windows, along with environmental factors and regional building codes, to ensure they get the perfect windows for their home. With options like single-pane and double pane windows, vinyl and wooden frames, and energy-efficient windows, homeowners have plenty of choices to suit their needs and preferences. 

Replacing Old House Windows Costs a Certain Amount

Replacing old house windows can be a significant investment for homeowners, but it’s often necessary to improve energy efficiency and the overall condition of your home. The cost of window replacement can vary based on several factors, including the type of windows, frames, and size of the project. In this section, we’ll break down the average cost of single-pane and double-pane window replacement, as well as additional costs for custom or wood frames. We’ll also explore how energy-efficient windows can impact your monthly energy bills and help you save money in the long run. Let’s dive in! 

Cost of Single-Pane Window Replacement 

If you are looking into replacing the windows in your older home, you might want to consider single-pane window replacement as a more budget-friendly option. On average, the cost of single-pane window replacement ranges from $150 to $400 per window, depending on the size, style, and material. Of course, the cost could go even lower or higher, depending on factors such as the window brand and the type of professional window installer you choose. 

One of the reasons why single-pane window replacement is usually less expensive than double-pane window replacement is due to the lower materials and insulation costs. Standard single-pane glass is the least insulated and often found in older homes, making it a more affordable option. However, it’s important to note that choosing this type of glass might not be the most energy-efficient solution in the long run.

Despite being less expensive than other options, single-pane window replacement can still provide significant benefits, including improved aesthetics and increased comfort. Moreover, you could still achieve some cost savings on energy bills compared to your old, drafty windows. 

If you’re considering single-pane window replacement, it’s essential to choose a reputable window company with professional window installers. These experts can help guide you through the process, advising on the best type of window for your home’s needs and ensuring proper installation. 

Cost of Double-Pane Window Replacement 

Double-pane window replacement is a popular choice for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of their older homes. The average cost for double-pane window replacement ranges from $350 to $800 per window, depending on the size, style, and material of the window frame. 

Vinyl frames are often the more affordable option, with an average cost range of $350 to $550 per window, while wooden frames can cost between $500 to $800 per window. These prices are just a general range, and the cost could vary significantly depending on the type of replacement windows you choose. 

Customization options, such as special finishes or unique shapes, can add to the cost of double-pane window replacement. However, these options can also provide added value and improve the aesthetics of your home. Be sure to discuss any customization options with your window company to get an accurate idea of the potential additional costs. 

Other potential additional costs to consider may include the transportation and disposal of your old windows, any repairs needed to the window frame, or additional labor costs if any structural changes are required. It’s important to discuss any potential additional costs with your window company upfront to avoid any surprises and ensure that you stay within your budget. 

Overall, while the cost of double-pane window replacement may be higher than single pane window replacement, the long-term energy savings and improved structural integrity of your home can make it a worthwhile investment. It’s essential to work with a reputable window company with professional window installers to ensure proper installation and get the most out of your replacement windows. 

Additional Costs for Custom or Wood Frames

When it comes to replacing windows in an old house, custom or wood frames may be a consideration for those looking for a unique touch. However, these options do come with additional costs to consider. 

Custom frames are a great way to add a unique and personalized touch to your window replacement project. However, this customization comes at a price. Depending on the level of customization, the cost for custom frames can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. 

Wood frames are a popular choice for their classic, timeless look. However, they may require more future repairs due to their susceptibility to rot, warping and termite damage.

Additionally, wood frames can be more expensive than other materials, with an average cost range of $500 to $800 per window. 

It is important to note that the initial cost of custom or wood frames may vary depending on the type of frame chosen and the level of customization required. In addition to the initial cost, there may be additional expenses to anticipate, such as increased labor costs due to the custom or wood frame installation process. 

If custom or wood frames are chosen for the replacement windows in the old house, additional tools or materials may be necessary to complete the project. For example, custom frames may require specialized machinery for cutting or shaping, or unique hardware for installation. With wood frames, it may be necessary to purchase additional materials such as sealant or paint to protect against the elements. 

The decision to choose custom or wood frames for replacement windows in an old house comes down to personal preference and budget. While these options may come at an additional cost, they offer a unique touch that other standard frames don’t. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and work with a reputable window company to ensure proper installation and the most out of your investment. 

Average Energy Bills Before and After Window Replacement 

If you’re living in an old house, chances are you’ve experienced high energy bills at some point or another. This can be attributed to many factors, such as outdated appliances or insulation, but one key culprit may be your windows. Older windows often lack the energy saving features of more modern options, resulting in higher energy costs for homeowners. 

Luckily, swapping out old windows for energy-efficient ones can lead to significant long term savings. While the upfront cost of window replacement may seem daunting, the savings on energy bills over time can offset the initial investment. 

There are many energy-efficient window options to consider when deciding on replacement windows. Double-pane or triple-pane windows are an excellent choice as they provide additional insulation, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Some other energy-saving options include vinyl or composite frames, which are durable and low-maintenance, and low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, which can significantly reduce energy consumption. 

It’s also crucial to pay attention to the framing materials and glass types when selecting replacement windows. Energy-efficient frames made from materials like fiberglass or vinyl are excellent choices as they offer thermal resistance and durability. Additionally, selecting Low-E glass coatings can help keep your home comfortable by reducing heat transfer through the window. 

Replacing old windows in an old house with energy-efficient ones offers several benefits besides cost savings. It can also improve indoor comfort and contribute to the overall energy efficiency of your home. By selecting the right options, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more comfortable home while reducing your energy bills. 

Saving Money in the Long Run with Energy-Efficient Windows

One of the most common reasons why homeowners consider replacing their old windows is the opportunity to save money in the long run due to the energy-efficient options available today. By upgrading to energy-efficient windows, homeowners can enjoy reduced monthly bills as they generate less demand on heating and cooling systems. 

Moreover, investing in energy-efficient windows can qualify homeowners for energy efficient windows tax credits, which can provide them with a cost reduction of up to 30% on the installation. This makes it a smart investment in terms of cost savings as well. 

When deciding to replace old windows with new ones, it’s crucial to find a reputable window company that can provide high-quality installation and follow appropriate safety protocols. 

Homeowners can also explore several energy-efficient window options, including triple pane windows, which offer exceptional insulating properties. Opting for Low-E coatings on these windows can help reduce heat transfer, allowing for improved energy efficiency and cost savings. 

In addition to triple-pane windows, homeowners can also consider wood or fiberglass frames that offer not only thermal resistance but also durability. Another window option to explore is the suspended-film insulating-glass windows or glazing units, which can help reduce heat transfer even further, improving energy efficiency. 

Investing in energy-efficient windows is an excellent way for homeowners to save money in the long run. By exploring reputable window companies and choosing the right types of windows, such as triple-pane windows or suspended-film insulating-glass windows, homeowners can enjoy improved indoor comfort and significant energy savings. 

Types of New Windows to Consider

When it comes to selecting new windows for your home, there are many different types to choose from. Single-hung and double-hung windows are some of the most common options, but you can also consider awning and casement windows. Vinyl and wooden frames are also popular choices, and you’ll need to decide whether to go with standard window sizes or opt for custom options. Understanding the characteristics and benefits of each type can help you make an informed decision for your home. 

Single-Hung vs. Double-Hung Windows 

Single-hung and double-hung windows are two of the most common window types for residential homes. The key difference between them lies in the way the sashes operate. A single hung window has only one movable sash, while a double hung window has two movable sashes. 

The cost difference between single-hung and double-hung windows can vary depending on the brand, size, and material. Generally speaking, double-hung windows tend to be slightly more expensive than single-hung windows due to the added complexity of their design. 

There are benefits to both types of windows that homeowners should consider when selecting replacement windows. Single-hung windows provide a more classic look and their simpler design often makes them more affordable. They can also help to reduce air infiltration, improve home security, and require less maintenance due to their fewer moving parts. 

Double-hung windows, on the other hand, provide greater flexibility in terms of ventilation. They can also be easier to clean due to their ability to tilt inward. Additionally, their independent sash movement means that they can be adjusted to maximize natural light and airflow. 

The average cost of a single-hung window ranges from $100 to $400 per window, while the cost of a double-hung window falls between $300 to $800. 

For homeowners seeking an affordable and energy-efficient option, single-hung replacement windows are a popular choice. These windows help improve insulation and provide energy savings while maintaining a classic look. They are also more cost effective than full-frame replacement options. 

Overall, the decision between single-hung and double-hung windows ultimately comes down to the homeowner’s needs and preferences. Both options offer distinct benefits and can enhance the value of your home depending on what features are most important to you. 

Awning and Casement Windows

Awning and casement windows are two types of windows that have a lot in common, but also some key differences. Both are hinged windows that swing out from the frame, but the way in which they open and close is different. Awning windows are hinged at the top and swing outwards from the bottom, while casement windows are hinged at the side and swing outwards from the opposite side. 

One benefit of awning windows is that they can provide ventilation even during light rain or snow since they can be opened slightly while still providing protection from the elements. Casement windows can also provide considerable ventilation since they can be fully opened, allowing fresh air to enter easily. However, they do not offer the same protection from precipitation as awning windows. 

The price ranges for these windows can vary based on the material, size, and customization options. Generally, awning windows are slightly less expensive than casement windows, but this can vary depending on the specific brand and style. Factors such as local climate, noise pollution, and energy efficiency needs can also play a role in the decision-making process of which type of window to choose for your home. 

For example, if you live in an area with high levels of noise pollution, you may want to look for either awning or casement windows that offer soundproofing features, like double or triple-pane glass. Similarly, if energy efficiency is a top priority, both awning and casement windows can be found with energy-saving features like low-E coatings, gas fills, and weatherstripping. 

It is also important to consider the window frame material when choosing between awning and casement windows. Vinyl frames are a popular and affordable choice for both types of windows, while materials like wood and fiberglass may provide added energy efficiency and durability.

Ultimately, the decision between awning and casement windows comes down to your personal preferences and needs. Both options offer unique benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice for your home will depend on a variety of factors. 

Vinyl and Wooden Windows

When it comes to selecting a window frame material, there are two popular options: vinyl and wood. While vinyl windows have been growing in popularity over recent years, traditional wooden windows still hold a special appeal for many homeowners. Here, we’ll compare the pros and cons of each material and offer insight on which may be the right choice for you. 

Vinyl windows are known for their durability and cost-effectiveness. They’re typically made from polyvinyl chloride, which is a strong and long-lasting material, making them perfect for homeowners looking for low-maintenance solutions. Additionally, vinyl windows can come in a variety of styles and colors, so you can easily choose an option that complements your home’s aesthetic. However, some people may feel that vinyl windows lack the classic, timeless feel that wooden windows possess. 

On the other hand, wooden windows have a certain charm that’s hard to resist. They provide excellent insulation properties that can keep your home’s temperature consistent, reducing your energy bills. Plus, they provide a unique, traditional look that can add character to a variety of home styles. However, wooden windows do require more maintenance than their vinyl counterparts, as wood can rot or warp over time. Additionally, wooden windows are often more expensive than vinyl, particularly when custom sizes or shapes are needed. 

The cost range for each material varies depending on the style and size of the windows desired. On average, vinyl windows can cost around $450 – $600 per window for standard sizes, while wooden windows usually start at around $800 per window and go up from there. Of course, these are just rough estimates, and the actual cost can vary depending on many factors. 

When selecting between vinyl and wooden windows, there are a few key factors to consider. 

  • For example, the aesthetic style of your home may be an important factor in your decision. If you have a traditional or historic home, wooden windows may be more in line with the overall feel of your house. 
  • Additionally, you’ll want to consider the maintenance required for each material. Wooden windows may require more upkeep, so make sure you’re able to commit to the necessary maintenance before making your decision. 
  • Finally, think about the level of thermal resistance you’re looking for. If energy savings are a top priority, wooden windows may be the better option due to their superior insulation properties. 

Both vinyl and wooden windows have their pros and cons. Vinyl windows may offer durability and cost-effectiveness, while wooden windows provide a classic aesthetic and insulation benefits. Ultimately, the right choice for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and certain home design factors. Consulting with a professional window installer can help you make the best choice for your home. 

Standard Window Sizes vs. Custom Options 

When it comes to replacing windows in an old house, deciding between standard window sizes and custom options can be a difficult task. Understanding the difference between the two can help you make an informed decision that balances both cost and character preservation. 

Standard window sizes are pre-made windows that come in common sizes. They are a cost-effective option and can often be found at local home improvement stores. However, when replacing windows in an old house, standard window sizes may not always fit the existing openings. In such instances, custom windows are required. 

Careful measuring is essential when replacing windows, especially in older homes. When dealing with older homes, it is common to encounter window openings that are not standard in size and shape. To ensure a proper fit, it is important to measure carefully, account for any irregularities, and select the appropriate window frame. 

While custom windows can be more expensive than standard sizes, they offer a perfect fit for non-standard openings. Additionally, they allow you to preserve the charm of the home by replicating the windows’ original design. 

It is important to keep in mind that replacing windows not only affects the house’s appearance but also the maintenance required. Old homes require thorough maintenance, and new windows should be easy to maintain. While custom windows may preserve your home’s appearance, it is essential to keep maintenance costs in mind when deciding between standard window sizes and custom options. 

Choosing between standard window sizes and custom options ultimately depends on careful measuring, cost-effectiveness, and character preservation. Whether you opt for standard sizes or custom options, it is important to balance both cost and character preservation while keeping maintenance needs in mind. 

Finding a Reputable Window Company

When it comes to replacing your windows, finding a reputable window company is essential. Here are some tips on how to find a reliable installer: 

  • Start by researching window manufacturers’ certified installation professionals. Many window manufacturers have a certification program for installers that ensures they have the technical skills and knowledge to correctly install their products. You can usually find a list of certified professionals on the manufacturer’s website. 
  • Consider asking friends and neighbors for recommendations on local window installers. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insight into the quality of installation and the professionalism of the company.
  • Check online reviews for homeowners’ experiences with different companies. Websites like Yelp and Angie’s List are excellent resources because they allow homeowners to leave reviews and ratings of their experiences with local window companies. 

When speaking with potential installers, ask about their fees for estimate requests, professional certifications and licenses, insurance for their workers, and financing options. A professional and reputable company will be happy to answer these questions and provide you with all the necessary documentation. 

Finding a reputable window company requires some research and due diligence. By following these tips, you can be confident in your decision to choose an installer who will provide you with excellent service and high-quality work. 


The decision to replace windows in an old house should be made after considering the potential energy savings and enhanced appearance against the cost of window replacement. With so many types of windows and frames available, homeowners have the flexibility to choose the best option for their specific needs and budget. 

Questions & Answers: Replacing Windows in an Old House – Cost and Benefits

What are the benefits of replacing windows in an old house?

Replacing windows in an old house can improve energy efficiency, add to the home's character, increase its value, and enhance its curb appeal.

What should I consider when selecting a window company?

When selecting a window company, you should consider their fees for estimate requests, professional certifications and licenses, insurance for their workers, and financing options. You should also look for reviews from other customers to make sure they provide good service.

What types of wood windows are available?

There are several types of wood windows available including single-hung windows, double-hung windows, casement windows, and upper sash replacement units. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits.