Cheap windows are basically bargain windows without all the bells and whistles that you might like. However, before you invest in any new or replacement windows, including inexpensive ones, you need to assess what you’re trying to accomplish with replacement. You won’t be able to have costly add-ons like gas-filled glass or triple-pane glass in cheap windows, but it still may be possible to find attractively priced, useful replacement windows with a little research and ingenuity.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Cheap Windows
Avoid buying windows that have been obviously (and badly) used. It may look like a good deal price-wise, but the hassles of trying to install wrecked or misaligned windows won’t be worth the lower cost.
If you do plan on buying used windows, pay extra attention to the frame. While glass can be easily replaced, it’s the frame that gives windows their shape and size. Solid, square, and level frames are what you want as anything less will present problems with installation. Aluminum could be your best option, since it is both inexpensive and sturdy; however, aluminum frames can be wholly unattractive against some decor. You will simply have to weigh the pros and cons if you end up in this situation.
Also, avoid mix and match windows. Your home will look like a patchwork quilt and it will be very obvious where you cut costs.
Finally, if cheap window prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. Be very careful of low-ball prices on cheap replacement windows. Remember once again to check the frames for issues and closely inspect the rest of the parts that it does have to be sure things work as they are supposed to.
How to Find Cheap Windows
Check out the websites of the more expensive window manufacturers like Andersen, Pella, JELD-WEN, and Milgard. These sites often have design and price calculators, along with a complete listing of energy-efficient windows, window options, styles, and other handy tools to help you in your quest. No, they are not cheap windows or cheap replacement windows, but they will give you a good baseline on how to next approach your search.
Outlets like Home Depot and Lowes offer a great selection to help you find cheap windows or cheap replacement windows. Work with their design consultants (the estimates are free) on window selection and design for your home. Remember, there’s no obligation and, armed with the information you receive, you may be better equipped to drive a better bargain elsewhere.
Many places have local resource stores where lightly used or scrap home fixtures are sold at low prices. If you’re looking for something basic, these places can have just what you need.