Impact Windows vs. Traditional Windows: A Cost Analysis

Replacing the windows in your home should always be seen as an investment. Homeowners often wait until their existing windows have reached their lifespan before making the move and installing new ones, but that’s not always the best approach. If homeowners have plans to upgrade from the current traditional windows to impact windows, it’s worth investigating the benefits offered. Focusing on the price doesn’t paint the whole picture, which is why a little research is necessary.

To help you make a more informed decision we want to provide you with a cost analysis when looking at impact windows vs. traditional windows. The results may surprise you and can help make the decision much easier.

Why Do Impact Windows Cost More Than Traditional Windows?

The first question we get asked by homeowners is why there is a price difference between impact windows and traditional windows. There are several reasons, but the most important is the materials used. Impact windows have a lot more innovation and technology behind them, and the materials are more durable and long-lasting.

Traditional windows are made of basic glass. They are standard and tend to be reasonably priced. Sure, basic glass windows may get the job done, but they don’t go above and beyond.

The construction of impact windows is more involved. They feature an exterior made from tempered glass and an interior that uses impact or laminated glass. Even the frame is stronger and is typically made from aluminium or vinyl. Upgraded and better quality construction and materials result in a higher cost to the customer.

How Do the Lifespans Compare?

Another important feature of impact windows is their lifespan. This is where the cost analysis becomes very clear. Traditional windows can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, but in many cases, they’re much closer to the 15-year mark.

There are some common signs to watch for with traditional windows that may signal it’s time to replace them. Here are a few:

Drafty WindowsIf you’re sitting near a window, you may start to feel a draft. Drafts mean air is escaping from your home and/or coming in from the outdoors. This will drastically affect your home heating and cooling bill, as it will be harder for your furnace or AC unit to maintain a consistent temperature.
Increased Noise from OutdoorsIf you feel like the noise from outside your home is suddenly getting louder while indoors, it could mean the integrity of the windows and frames is failing.
Cracks in Window FramesCracks in window frames allow for drafts and moisture to get in. Moisture build-up can lead to mold, which is an even bigger problem to deal with.
Crack or Broken GlassA window that is cracked or broken can’t be reliably fixed, it needs to be replaced.
Difficult to Open/CloseWindows can become very difficult to open and close as they age. Some even get “stuck,” and you may not be able to operate them.
Foggy GlassIf condensation forms on the inside of your window, it means air is leaking in. For houses with double or triple-pane windows, condensation can appear in the middle layer and linger for days or even weeks.


Remember, you don’t need to have all these signs to warrant replacement. Ideally, you want to replace your traditional windows before these issues occur.

So, let’s compare the lifespans of traditional windows and impact windows. Homeowners are often shocked by the difference in this category. When you install good-quality impact windows, they can last up to 40 years. That means homeowners could find themselves replacing traditional windows multiple times before replacing impact windows.

Generally speaking, windows cost $575-$1,475 per window, with an average price of $850 per window. Now, consider having to do that two times, as that is a more realistic cost comparison when looking at impact windows.

How Impact Windows Offer Better Value

Another important comparison between impact windows and traditional windows is the added value. Yes, impact windows have an increased lifespan, but there are so many other important features.

Here are some of the most important value-added features we recommend to homeowners.

  1. Because of the materials used, homeowners will notice a noticeable difference in energy efficiency. Impact windows do a much better job of limiting the air escaping and entering the home. This means your furnace and AC unit don’t have to work as hard or as often, which equates to lower utility bills.
  2. Impact windows are incredibly strong, so homeowners won’t have to worry about easily broken glass. Severe weather can also cause glass to break. Accidents happen, so it’s nice to know impact windows can withstand things like a ball hitting the glass, furniture banging into a window from inside, or even a tree branch hitting a window. Not having to replace a broken window means money saved.
  3. Because impact windows are so much stronger, it is much harder for would-be intruders to access your home, which means your home is at less risk of burglary.
  4. The materials used for impact windows are better at blocking UV rays. Homeowners don’t have to worry about faded flooring, walls, and furniture, which again is a money saver since they won’t have to worry about replacing those items as often.

Homeowners Need to Factor in the More Durable Frames As Well

Lastly, we like to discuss the frames used with impact windows. As mentioned above, they are typically made from vinyl or aluminum. Both do a much better job of standing up to the elements than traditional wooden frames. Wood is prone to cracking, rotting, peeling, and even breaking, all of which will compromise the integrity of the window.

A Cost Analysis Helps to Paint a More Telling Picture

As you can see, installing impact windows is much deeper than installing new windows in the home. They offer a myriad of benefits that must be factored into the cost analysis.

If you’re considering installing impact windows and would like a more customized cost analysis, be sure to give us a call at 305 925 0818. We’re here to answer all your questions and help you to make an informed decision.


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