Building Tips

Does It Pay to Splurge on Windows?

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 to go ahead and budget for a higher end window and cut the cost on another area.

Deciding Factors and Why Should You 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 was 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. Its 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 a very high-end look.

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 the energy savings. We were very impressed with the reviews and ratings of Windsor Windows. They meet Energy Star Ratings, 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 Window

We knew we wanted the Windsor Windows, but they were so out of our price range. Although, we kept going back to how important they are in the overall look of our home, the long term energy savings, and resale value for later. 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 supply guy suggested reducing the grill pattern. We started with a very busy colonial grill pattern because we felt like it was more of a cottage style that went better with our home. We didn’t know that more grills meant more money. We wanted to keep with the same look, but left off two grills for a savings of around $2,500 dollars off the over all cost. We actually ended up liking this look better. It was cleaner and less busy.

The other place that saved us several thousands of dollars was eliminating a few windows. Im not talking about front windows that would completely change the look of the house, only ones that were actually 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 the leave 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.

Final Window Cost and Specifics

As I mentioned previously, we went with the Windsor Pinnacle 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 went 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 thousands 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 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
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