Building Tips

Does It Pay to Splurge on Windows?

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From previous experience with building and remodeling, we quickly found out how spending a little more money on windows was well worth it. There are so many places that you can overspend on a build or remodel, but going for a higher-end window is one place you will never regret.

If you are in the planning stages, I would strongly suggest going ahead and budget for a higher-end window and cut the cost on another area.

Deciding Factors and Why You Should Spend the Extra Money

So, the question is: why spend the extra money on windows? For us, there were several deciding factors that went into us choosing a higher-end window. For the new house, we chose Windsor Aluminum Clad Casement Windows. Here is our thinking and reasons as to why we felt it was well worth the extra cost.

The first reason is the overall look. As mentioned before, we went with a casement window. A casement window does typically run a little more than a double-hung window. We chose casement because we liked the look better with our style of home. The style you are trying to achieve could make this amount go up or down.

To us, a window is so important for the overall look. It can seriously either make a house look great or even horrible. Unfortunately, we loved the look of the casement window so it was quite a bit more.

Henry and I not only feel it is important for the outside to look great, but the inside should look just as good. One thing we love is how black on the interior of a window gives them that steel frame look of the past. The interior black is like a piece of art. It adds so much and we couldn’t leave it off.

Another thing that was a must, was SDL’s or simulated divided lites. This means that the grilles are on the outside of the glass and gives the window a more authentic look. I feel like going with SDL’s is really important with black windows as the black grilles can sometimes be hard to see during the day. So having the grilles on the outside of the glass makes them more visible.

It was also very important to us that we chose a very solid, durable, long-lasting window. This will be a big factor in resale later down the road. When going to Builder’s First Source where we purchased our windows, we had a chance to play around with the different types and styles of windows in the showroom. It’s amazing how you can get a good feel for each window just in the showroom. My eyes were first drawn to Windsor above any other window in the showroom. There was just something about it that looked like a higher-quality window.

When playing around with the different windows, we also noticed how sturdy the Windsor casement window was. I will say, this was not the case with every brand in the showroom. I was pretty sold at this point.

Along with appearance, another important reason to go with a higher-end window is energy savings. We were very impressed with the reviews and ratings of Windsor Windows. They meet Energy Star Ratings, they’re NFRC certified, and ensure superior energy sufficiency. Paying more upfront on this end will lead to future savings over many years.

Ways to Cut Cost with a High-End Window

We knew we wanted the Windsor Windows, but they were a little out of our price range. However, we decided to bite the bullet and go with them, but try and save some money tweaking our window order. It was time to get creative!

Our building material sales rep suggested reducing the grille pattern. We started with a very busy colonial grille pattern because we felt like it was more of a cottage style that went better with our home. Even though it seems obvious now, we found out that more grilles equal more money. We were able to keep the same look by reducing the pattern by two. This saved us around $2,500 dollars off the overall cost. We actually ended up liking this look better. It was cleaner and less busy.

Eliminating a few windows also saved us a few thousand dollars. I’m not talking about front windows that would completely change the look of the house, only ones that we felt were unnecessary.

9ft tall window in the new house dining room.

For example, we already had several windows in our basement and decided to eliminate a couple there. Since the basement won’t be a primary living area, we felt like this was a good place to remove a few.

There was also a huge 13ft tall window configuration in the dining room that we reduced by a third. We were still left with a 9ft tall window. We feel like with everything else (beams, shiplap, and huge pendant light) that will be going on in the dining room, we felt like the larger window might have been too much visually.

Eliminating these windows was a savings of $7,000 dollars off the total.

Another way to save money is to choose a white-only window. Going with black interior and exterior is around a 20% upcharge which I will break down for you in the next section. It can be challenging to choose if either white or black windows will work best in your home, but it definitely can save some money going with white.

Final Window Cost and Specifics

As I mentioned previously, we went with the Windsor Pinnacle Aluminum Clad Black Casement Window. They are black on both interior and exterior with matte black hardware. The total cost for a total of thirty-two windows is $36,644.31 dollars with taxes.

To break it down a little more for you. A basic 28 x 72 window was $686.96 with our largest window 64 x 72 at $1,498.57 each. Also keep in mind, to get interior black was a custom charge of around 20% more. If we were to have gone with white on the inside, this would have been a savings of around $6,677.79 before taxes.

With eliminating a few extra windows and changing our grille pattern we saved several thousand and were able to purchase Windsor Windows for our home. We feel like we made the right decision and are thrilled with the overall look and quality!

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  • Reply Tatiane

    Great article as always. I am so happy that you are going with black windows for the new home too. I can’t wait to see everything together.

    August 7, 2019 at 1:50 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thank you so much Tatiane! Even though some say they are just a fad, we think they actually add character. Black steel windows were used in earlier years in historic warehouses and buildings. We love the look with brick!

      August 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm
  • Reply heather

    Is it difficult to clean the windows with the grills on the outside? I like the look better with the grills on the outside, but worry about keeping them clean.

    August 8, 2019 at 12:12 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Heather! I agree, I look this look better also. We have had them in our current farmhouse and of course in our new build and haven’t really found them that hard to keep clean.

      August 8, 2019 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Kari de Lavenne

    Hi curious to know if you considered Marvin, although I know the grids live on the inside panes. We are doing white windows, and the front is North-facing, so it’s a must for us (mold and algae here in the PNW). The black would be ok though and the Windsor is a beautiful option. Price-wise, I was curious, thanks for posting!

    August 18, 2019 at 7:00 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Kari!

      We did look at Marvin, but after comparing all brands, we are pretty sure they ended up being cheaper with Windsor.

      January 27, 2020 at 1:29 pm
  • Reply Jordan Thompson

    Do you mind sharing what the window cost was on your current home that you live in now?

    October 13, 2019 at 2:49 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Jordan!
      We will be doing an article very soon after we move on these details.

      January 27, 2020 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply david deatsch

    We are building a new modern farmhouse home and this blog with all the details is VERY helpful. Can you tell me did you use a combination of fixed and casement or are they all functioning casement windows? Also, width did you use on the SDL grills? Thanks

    January 26, 2020 at 10:01 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hi David!
      We are so glad you find our blog helpful, that is our main goal! To this point on every build we have went with double hung, but our new build is all casement. We do see lots of people doing a mixture in which could save you some money. The width of our grills are 7/8.

      January 27, 2020 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply TheDIYWarrior

    Shopping for windows for our new build as we speak! We were getting pretty serious about going with Anderson, however, will definitely look at the Windsor Pinnacle Clad Black Casement Window before making a final call. Thank you for writing this article and including so much detail! ***** stars as always Brooke and Henry!

    June 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm
  • Reply JP

    Great article, and very helpful. Our builder is recommending Windsor Pinnacle Clad Casement windows for an addition, and we like the look and the good air sealing properties of casement windows. Thanks for the tips on saving by reducing grills and the comments for the extra cost on the black interior. Do you mind letting me know the dimensions and sill height and ceiling height of the windows here, where the floor and ceiling is visible? We are in then middle of selecting that, and these are some great photos that help put it in perspective. Having the dimensions would really help us out. Also do you have photos of any of the windows when open? Thanks!

    September 15, 2020 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply Rick

    Thanks for the insightful article on Windsor windows. Its terrific to hear input from customers. After reading through it, I found myself with a few questions. Are the windows in the picture aluminum on the exterior and wood in the interior? Does the up-charge for black apply to the interior only or is there also and added cost for black exteriors? Do you have a rough estimate on the savings of going with Windsor instead of a major manufacturer like Andersen, Marvin or Pella?
    Thank you,

    January 30, 2021 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Elizabeth

    Hi! Can you please share what size the sdl grids were on your plygem windows on the previous house? Thanks!

    March 15, 2022 at 7:41 pm
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