Windows are an essential part of any home, providing light, ventilation and a connection to the outdoors. However, when it comes to choosing the right windows for your home, the decision can be overwhelming.
With so many options available, it can be challenging to know whether to go with custom-made windows or store-bought options. Custom windows are tailored to fit your home’s unique specifications, while store-bought windows are manufactured in a standard size to fit most homes. Both options have their pros and cons, and choosing the right one for your home can make a big difference in terms of energy efficiency, aesthetics, and overall functionality.
WindowPRO has helped Saginaw and Southeast Michigan homeowners find the perfect windows and doors for their home since 1923. Even if you do not purchase your windows from us, we still want you to have a top-notch window replacement experience. This is why we make information available in our Learning Center that most companies do not. We answer questions from how much new windows can cost to tips on choosing a trustworthy contractor.
In this blog article, we will explore 5 key differences between custom and store-bought windows, weighing the pros and cons of each option. We’ll take a closer look at factors like cost, energy efficiency, design flexibility, and installation requirements to help you make an informed decision. So, whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, we’ll lay out the benefits and drawbacks of custom and store-bought windows.
1. How Much Do Custom And Store-Bought Windows Cost?
When searching for the right replacement window for your home, cost is naturally a top of mind consideration. Let’s take a look at how much custom and store bought windows will cost.
How much Do Custom Windows Cost?
In Saginaw and Southeast Michigan, custom windows can cost anywhere from $1,500-$3,000 (this price includes installation) for a standard 3ft. x 5ft. window. This is a large range because there are many different types of window frames, panes and customizations that affect the price of your new windows.
How Much Do Store-Bought Windows Cost?
Store-bought windows can cost anywhere from $200-$1,000 for a standard 3 ft. x 5ft. window. This price range estimate is based on options from big box home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. This does not include the cost of installation.
Size, material, shape and customizations are the biggest drivers behind window cost, whether they are store-bought or custom.
2. What Are The Differences In Durability Between Custom And Store-Bought Windows
You want windows that will perform well and give you the benefits you’d expect. The performance of a window depends on what it’s made of, how it’s made and proper installation.
What Is The Durability Of Custom Windows?
Custom windows range in their durability, just like their cost. Typically, high-quality, custom windows are extremely durable and long-lasting. Custom windows that are made well and installed properly can last for 30+ years before they start showing signs of wear and tear, easily lasting as long as you live in your home. However, very cheap or poorly made custom windows will not reach that kind of longevity. It’s extremely important to research and talk to a window contractor about different types of window brands and materials.
What Is The Durability Of Store-Bought Windows?
Similarly, store-bought windows also range in their durability. A pre manufactured window can also be poorly or well made. The cheapest window you can purchase at a big-box retailer will not be as durable or energy efficient as the most expensive one. Store-bought windows range in energy-efficiency, but it’s important to note that you won’t be able to customize your windows to fit your energy needs like you would with custom windows.
If installed correctly, store-bought windows will likely last for several years before needing a replacement. If you plan to buy windows from a big-box retailer, doing your research on window types and installers is extremely important.
3. What Are The Design Differences Between Custom And Store-Bought Windows?
Replacement windows are also about improving the aesthetics of your home. When shopping for a replacement window, you’ll want to consider how important designs and customizations are to you.
What Design Options Are Available For Custom Windows?
Custom windows can be, well, customized! Depending on the window brand you choose, you can select nearly everything on your replacement window including style, grid, grille patterns, hardware, shape and much more. Some window brands may offer less customizations, but you will still have options. If you want to be able to choose the details of your window, custom is certainly the route to take.
What Design Options Are Available For Store-Bought Windows?
Store-bought windows are little to no custom options. They are mass produced, and typically what you see on the shelf is what you get. You can of course customize the window after purchase by painting, applying window tint and changing hardware, but this will likely void the warranty.
There’s no doubt that custom windows offer more customization. If design is important to you and you’d like to create something that fits your unique home, a custom window is your best choice.
4. What Are The Differences In Warranty Between Custom And Store-Bought Windows?
Another big differentiating factor between custom and store-bought windows is the warranties they come with.
What Kind Of Warranty Do Custom Windows Have?
The warranty for a custom window will vary by manufacturer. Overall, custom windows have longer and more expansive warranties than store-bought windows. Many custom windows come with glass coverage for 5-10 years and limited lifetime warranties. Limited lifetime warranties typically cover the window for as long as you own the home.
What Kind Of Warranty Do Store-Bought Windows Have?
If a store-bought window has a warranty, they will be shorter than a custom window warranty because store-bought windows are not meant to be lifelong solutions. Generally, a good warranty for a store-bought window is 10-15 years with glass coverage being 5 years or none at all.
Custom vs Store Bought Windows: Which Is Best For You?
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the differences between custom and store bought windows and which is the best fit for your home.
Custom windows will be the better option if:
- You’re a long term homeowner
- You want to invest in a lifelong solution
- You want to customize your window to fit your needs and style
A store-bought window may be a better solution if:
- You’re a short-term homeowner or house flipper
- You aren’t looking for a long term solution
- You are just looking for a simple window and don’t need design options
- You don’t need a warranty
Top-Rated Window Replacement In Saginaw
According to the National Association of Realtors 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, replacing your windows is one of the top 5 highest cost recovery exterior projects. Cost recovery refers to the amount of the project cost that is recouped by an increase in your home’s value and sale price. Rest assured knowing your window replacement is a smart investment in your home.
WindowPRO has served Saginaw and Southeast Michigan homeowners since 1923. We’re a top-rated window replacement company and are proud of the accolades we’ve earned from our customers.
Ready to replace your windows with a Saginaw contractor you can trust? WindowPRO offers high quality window replacement and has a large selection of windows, including highly rated windows from brands like ProVia and Marvin. If you’re ready to get started on your window replacement, we’d love to see if we’d be a good fit for your project. Contact us today to set up your free, no-hassle consultation.