The High Cost of Replacement Windows

There are several reasons why it’s worth saving and maintaining old windows. One example is using window inserts from Indow.

Window Replacements Cost More

Window inserts and new vinyl replacement windows perform similarly. In some cases, window inserts will outperform new double-pane windows. For example, Indow window inserts have a better U-Value than double-pane windows with a ½” air space and can provide superior noise reduction. So, why pay more for replacement windows?

Vinyl replacement windows cost more than window inserts when you factor in installation costs. According to Remodeling, 2020 costs for vinyl window replacement is $17,000 where the equivalent job for Indow inserts is $4,000.

While this cost does include installation services, it does not factor in continuous replacement, common breaks that cannot be repaired on vinyl windows, or the fact that once one vinyl window is installed, others usually follow.

It’s Better to Preserve Historic Windows

Replacement windows are meant to be replaced. The warranty provided with new vinyl windows is only 10 – 20 years, which will definitely not last as long as the rest of your home.

“They promise you their product has a “lifetime warranty” which it does, but only on “non-glass materials”. They don’t tell you about the 10 or 20-yr warranty on the glass.”

The Craftsman Blog

The glass is often first to go because of the seal. Once the seal has gone, so is your view, but with it your draft protection. And you cannot replace just one part (whether it is the glass or one of the non-glass moving parts that fails) you must replace the entire unit.

If you find yourself with a successful vinyl window installation that lasts, most people end up replacing the remainder of their windows so they all match. You may think you are only investing in one window that needs an update, but eventually the cost will add up.

Why Window Inserts are a Better Choice

Indow inserts are more energy efficient than replacement windows. According to Consumer Reports, replacement windows that are Energy Star certified can lower your energy bill by an average of 12%. Indow inserts can lower your energy bills by an average of 20% according to third party studies.

This means that window inserts save money initially and over time. Window inserts cost less to purchase and install and save more money every month they stay installed in your home.’ If you need to fix a damaged window, from water or just age, find a professional to help restore it before getting your insert installed.

Window inserts also work better with the overall look and feel of your home. Your home was designed with a particular look that included your windows. Once original windows are removed and replaced with vinyl windows, that vision is ruined.

Indow window inserts press into the inside of your window frames without the need of mounting hardware. They cannot be seen from the outside and are barely visible from the inside, so do not compromise the design of your home.

Why Indow Inserts are the Best Choice

Indow window inserts are handmade in Portland, Oregon. Each one is custom built to your window’s specifications. The insert has a compression system that seals the window when installed and can be reset by removing and reinstalling. Unlike replacement windows, an Indow insert seal will never fail.

Indow was founded with two things in mind: making people more comfortable in their space and preserving our built environment. We’re proud to be in historic buildings across America, including many on the National Register of Historic Places. We share our passion for preservation in our annual window zine. Our fourth edition is coming out later this year. Replacement windows cost more in money, failed parts, and landfill. Indow inserts are backed by data, hard work, and passion for preservation.


By Emily O'Brien

Emily O’Brien writes about old homes and traditional buildings. She’s the senior digital editor for Old House Online and the managing editor for Traditional Building. Recent (print & digital) publications include New Old House, Period Homes, Traditional Building, and Arts & Crafts Homes & The Revival.

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