Quality windows can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Whether your windows are old and in need of replacement or you simply want an upgrade to reduce your energy bills, there are tons of choices out there.
It might seem like a simple task but buying new windows is more complex than you might think. From the size of the window to the shape and material, it all affects the cost.
Your neighbor’s windows likely won’t cost the same as yours, even if your homes are similar. So, it’s easy to see why trying to price up a new installation can be confusing and stressful.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way! Keep reading on so you know what to expect.
What Influences the Cost of a Window Replacement?
The two largest factors that influence cost are the type of window and what it’s made of. We’ll go into more detail about that later on, but let’s first look at a few other things that could increase costs.
Windows on the ground floor will be cheaper than the basement or upstairs windows. This is because the labor costs of installing them are lower. They’re easier to access and need less specialist equipment.
Age of Your Home
Older homes can increase labor costs because they often have oddly-shaped windows. There could be structural issues to be aware of too, which means they need to be more careful.
If you have window frames that need extra insulation this will put the cost up. So will weather-proofing if you want to include that (and we recommend it!). Custom windows that need odd-shaped frames will also add to the price quoted too.
Type of Glass
Double-pane windows will have two layers to them with an air pocket between them. This is to help prevent air leaks and thermal leaks.
They’re better at insulating your home and keeping noise out. On the flip side, they’re more expensive than single-pane.
Safety, tinted, and tempered glass is also more expensive than your standard options. If the window is larger or the glass needs to be an unusual shape, this will also add to the price.
Existing Home vs New Build
Yes, even this affects the cost. It’s cheaper to replace windows in an existing home than install them in a new build. This is because at construction you need to use full-frame windows that have a nail fin. When you reinstall them, you’re only using retrofit windows which saves your wallet.
Window Frame Materials: How Much Cost Difference Is There?
The window frame is what holds the glass panes in place and fits them into the wall around them. The material affects the look, energy efficiency, maintenance, and of course, the cost. Here are a few material options you can choose from and what to expect when it comes to prices.
For those wanting a classic look for a period home, wood windows can achieve this. This is often the biggest reason why homeowners opt for this material. A good thing about wood windows is heat doesn’t expand or contract them.
If you get damage on a wood frame you can replace the damaged part without a full-frame replacement. But prepare for a lot of repairs as wood can warp, peel and crack from moisture. So there are pros and cons to using wood.
Depending on what type of wood you want and the quality, you’re looking at a cost between $150-$1,300 for each window. On average though, each window should cost you somewhere in the middle at $600-$700.
The most common material used for window frames is vinyl. This is because it’s durable and within most people’s budgets.
PVC is good at insulating your home too, so there are energy-efficiency benefits. It’s also very easy to keep clean and in good condition.
Vinyl isn’t the strongest material on the market though and it’s not the prettiest to look at either. But if you’re on a budget, it’s a solid option that will serve your home well.
You’re looking at costs between $100 and $900 per window. On average, most people spend $400-$600 on each window.
Aluminum is a lightweight metal that has a lot of strength to it. It’s popular for windows as it’s got resistance against warping and bending.
For insulation, it’s not the best performer which makes it less energy-efficient. In general, you’re looking at around $275 to $1,285 per window.
Fiberglass is a mixture of vinyl’s energy efficiency and aluminum’s strength. You can also get them to match the appearance of wood window frames.
The drawback is they’re on the pricer end of this list of materials. You’re looking at a low of $500 up to a high of $1,500 per window if you want to use this material.
This is a mixture of polymers and wood fibers to make a composite material. These are some of the most durable windows you can get on the market.
They match the energy efficiency of vinyl too which should see lower energy bills. Again, they can be more on the pricer side at between $300 and $1,300 per window.
What Is the Cost of the Different Window Types?
As well as materials, the type of window you choose will affect the price. Here are the common types of residential windows and how much you’d be looking to spend on them.
Single-hung windows have the top pane of glass fixed in place. The lower pane then slides up and down, or it might swing inwards.
They’re popular and low-cost but you’ll only find them on the ground floor. If you want to install one single-hung window, it’s around $100-$400.
Like single-hung windows, they’re the same but the top pane can also slide down or open up. They’re a little more expensive than their single-hung counterparts though. You should expect to pay between $150 and $650 per window.
Also known as fixed windows, picture windows are one pane of glass and they don’t open. Often, they’re unique shapes and sizes so you might need custom windows made for your property. Because of this, you’re looking at $80 to $800 for one of these windows.
Bow & Bay
Bow winders often have at least 5 large glass panes that curve around a little. You’re looking at about $1,000 for one of those.
Bay windows usually have three large panes that sit in an angled frame. These usually come in at $500 to $2,500 for a new one.
Casement windows need to be hand-cranked to open, usually left-to-right. Depending on how large your window is, you’re looking at $150 to $1,000 per window. If you want to replace a casement window with a hinge at the top, you’ll pay $420 to $760 per window.
As the name suggests these are blocks of glass and you’ll find them most often in bathrooms. They let the light in but you get some privacy too. Again, shape and size will be a big price factor but you’re looking at between $400 and $1, 100.
Sliding windows aren’t much different from single and double-hung ones. What sets them apart is the fact their opening is horizontal, not vertical.
For a standard-sized sliding window, you’re looking at $150 to $600 to replace it. If you need to replace a glass set of sliding doors that’ll be $1,000 to $2,500.
These are glass panes installed outside or inside your current windows. They will provide extra insulation and also offer protection from bad weather.
One storm window isn’t too expensive, you’re looking at around the $150 to $450 mark. As most people opt to protect all the windows, that’s where the cost can spiral to about $5,000.
Skylight windows go in the roof (often of kitchen extensions) to let in more light from above. Due to their complicated installations, they can be expensive to replace.
The shape, size, and how you open it will determine the price. On average though, you should expect to pay in the region of $900 to $2,400 for this type of window replacement.
What effect Does the Location Have on the Cost?
You might not think it would but the location of your windows could affect the price of replacing them. In most cases, bathrooms, foyers, and bedroom windows will be on the cheaper side. This is because they’re more likely to use standard windows.
In the kitchen and living room, you’re more likely to add decorative or specialist windows. This is where you’ll start to see the costs climb.
Basement windows will vary based on which type you choose. It could be as little as $200 per window or climb to over $1,000.
If you then want to install some egress windows for a basement bedroom, you’ll see a huge jump in costs. It’ll range between $2,000 to a whopping $5,000 or more.
They’re specialty windows that are large enough to get out of in an emergency situation. In most cases, you’ll need a professional window replacement company to install them.
You should also expect higher labor and installation costs for upper-floor windows. They’ll take more time to complete, will need equipment like scaffolding, and that all comes at a price.
How Much Do Labor Costs Add to the Bill
The cost of the windows isn’t the only thing you need to pay out for. You need someone to install them and there are labor costs for this. Installing windows shouldn’t be a DIY job unless you know what you’re doing.
When you call in a window replacement company, you should expect to pay $38 to $40 per hour. Some do it per window so for each regular window you could expect labor costs of $100 to $300.
The more complicated the installation is the higher the labor costs go. For niche, specialty windows you could see the labor costs at $800 to $1,200 per window. Standard installations could be as short as an hour, but difficult jobs could be 8 hours or more.
Options For Better Energy Efficiency
If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your utility bills, having the right windows can help. You can get huge results with the right types of frame and glass, here is some more information.
The most basic type of window in most homes is the single-pane. They are only one sheet of glass and this isn’t enough to insulate your home.
As such heat will escape in the winter and get into your home in the summer. It’ll be impossible to get a consistent, comfortable temperature inside your home.
Your AC will have to work harder, pushing up the bills. They’re the cheapest options so work for people on a tight budget but over time you could spend more on bills.
Double-pane is more energy efficient as it uses two panes of glass with gas between them. This gas is usually krypton or argon. It’s nontoxic, orderless, and colorless so don’t worry about safety.
The gas acts as a layer of insulation that helps trap the boiling heat and freezing cold. As a result, the extreme air won’t affect the internal temperature of your home.
If you want extra protection you can opt for triple-pane glass. As the name suggests, it’s three panes of glass. This is a pricier option than the other two options coming in around $500 to $1,800 per window.
To make the most of energy savings you should look for Energy Star certified windows. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) backs these products. They’ll attest to their energy efficiency and ability to save you money.
Energy Star state that if you use their certified windows, you could see an annual bill reduction of 12%. And that’s only from changing your windows! For single-pane windows you’re looking at savings of $101 to $583, for double-pane, it’s $27 to $197.
The Window Treatments
On top of using energy-efficient windows, you can add special coatings that block out UV rays. Low-emissivity (Low-e) coatings control how the heat moves through the glass panes. On the outside of the windows, it stops heat from getting into your home without losing the sunlight.
Tinted windows are another option and use solar film to keep the UV rays out. It’s like the window tinting on cars but not as noticeable. You can get a variety of shades to offer privacy without ruining the look of your home.
How Can You Estimate Your Window Costs?
The first step when budgeting for window replacements is to pick the material type. Pick one that suits the exterior of your home but gives the right insulation for your climate.
You also want to think about how many windows you’re replacing. Professional installation is the way to go, so work out how the window locations affect labor.
If you’re coming in at a higher cost than you thought, you can select the builder or contractor-grade windows. They’re still of high quality, but they’re not as expensive as architecture grade.
Choose standard windows and avoid custom-made or odd shapes. Do upgrade to features you likely won’t use either, it’ll work out cheaper and the features won’t go wasted.
Are There Incentives Available to Help With Costs?
There are a few options out there to help cover the costs of a window replacement. Start by calling your local utility company as many offer incentives and rebates.
They usually only cover professional installations and Energy Star-rated windows. There are also rebates on offer from some window installers themselves so give them a call.
Some states also offer rebates and tax credits too. Make Sure you check the DRISE Database to see what’s on offer in your area. If you don’t you could miss out on saving some serious money.
What to Look For In a Window Replacement Company
Look At Their Local Reputation
Look at how many years of experience they have and what past customers think. Online reviews can help here and always ask any company for references.
Make sure you do your research and ask around. Ask friends and family who they used, as they might have recommendations to give you.
Check Their Installers Have Certifications
Over time, a bad installation will cause damage to your home. When looking for window installers make sure they have experience and qualifications. This will help ensure the quality of their work.
Not only will a reputable installer deliver quality work, but they’ll also stand behind it. You can rest easy knowing they won’t damage your home and your new windows will be up to scratch.
Do They Offer Warranties?
Strong warranty terms show that a manufacturer and installer stand behind their product and service. Ask your chosen companies questions like:
- How long does their warranty cover you?
- Do you get a manufacturer and installation warranty?
- What does the warranty cover?
These companies should be able to give you a detailed manufacturer’s warranty. They should also have a labor warranty that covers damage for a period of time.
Check What Their Customer Service Is Like
You’re going to work with this company for a while so make sure the customer service is up to scratch. You want to make sure they’re there for you before, during, and after they make the sale.
Check things like:
- How they make you feel when you talk with them?
- How prompt they are with emails, texts, and calls?
- How open they are to answering your questions?
- Do they make you feel pressured to make decisions quickly?
Consider how open and easy it is to communicate with the entire company. From the receptionist to the salesmen to the warranty team, everyone should make you feel comfortable.
What Is Their Selection of Windows Like?
When budgeting for your replacement you’ll have already looked at your options. You want to pick a company that offers your choice of windows for a start. Otherwise, you might not get the style you want or will go way over budget.
If you are still on the fence then you’ll want to see a healthy selection that can match your home and unique style. Can you customize the windows on offer or do they come as is? Compare each company’s offerings for frames, shapes, glass, and hardware.
Check What Their Prices Are and Their Value
Price is something we can all get hung up on, after all, it’s the whole point of this article. If you have a budget, you want to stick to it, but beware of cut-price deals.
Quality materials have a price tag and you can’t compromise on craftsmanship or installation. If you cut corners to save on the initial cost, you might end up paying out more in the long run to fix mistakes.
So look past the price sticker for a moment and think of the long-term investment. Think of factors like:
- How much could you save on your utility bills?
- How much do the windows cost to look after?
- What is their life expectancy?
Over time, you may find that a higher initial cost will pay off better over time. Think about the cost, but also think about the value the windows bring.
Window Replacement Costs: Know What to Expect
When you’re in the market for a window replacement you must know what to budget for. Many factors determine prices such as frame material, glass type, shape, and size.
You also need to factor in the location of your windows and the labor costs involved. Make sure you consider everything so you can have a rough idea of what to expect.