How Much Does a Garden Window Cost to Install?
Installing a garden window can bring the outdoors in and create the perfect sunny spot for plants or pets. Garden window cost ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 and has a national average of $2,500.
- The typical cost range to install a garden window is between $1,000 and $4,000, with homeowners across the country paying an average of $2,500.
- Some of the main factors that affect the total cost include the window size, material, brand, and installation location; the type and number of glass panes; and the cost of labor.
- Garden windows can offer homeowners numerous benefits including additional natural light, the ability to grow plants indoors, added ventilation, and aesthetics.
- Window installation is a complicated project that involves properly sealing joints, cutting holes in walls, and adding framing to support the window. For this reason, it’s recommended that homeowners hire a professional to install a garden window.
Plant lovers, those who enjoy using fresh herbs in cooking, and anyone who wants an additional sunny spot in their home may want to consider installing a garden window. Built into the side of a home and extending farther than a standard window, or even a bay window, a garden window provides the perfect place to grow plants and enhances views from the interior of the home.
According to HomeAdvisor, installing a garden window costs between $1,000 and $4,000, with the national average being $2,500. This guide will break down the factors that affect garden window cost, including the window material, size, customizations, installation costs, and necessary permits. Adding a garden window can offer many benefits including bringing in natural light, creating a great spot for an indoor garden, and enhancing outdoor views.
What are garden windows?
A garden window, sometimes referred to as a window greenhouse, extends from the side of the house and features two glass side panels that jut out at a 90-degree angle and a sloping roof that is also made of glass to allow for maximum light exposure.
The side windows can be stationary or operate like a casement window, and the front window is typically stationary. An operable garden window allows for extra airflow throughout the space. The extended windowsill provides the perfect place for plants to soak up extra sunlight.
Garden windows are often placed above kitchen sinks, giving homeowners a place to put their plants for optimal sunlight and to enjoy the plants while doing dishes or grab fresh herbs in the midst of cooking. But they can be installed anywhere extra light and a place to grow plants is needed. Because the entire garden window is framed in glass, it also creates an expanded outdoor view.
Factors in Calculating Garden Window Cost
Calculating garden window cost is based on a number of factors that can vary greatly depending on location, the services offered in the area, the availability of the materials, and the materials themselves.
While the national average provides a good gauge, checking with local contractors and pricing materials at local stores will help homeowners create a more accurate estimate of the cost. And because garden windows have a different shape and different material needs than a standard window, these averages will be adjusted for individual projects.
The window material can make a difference in garden window cost depending on whether the windows are made with vinyl, aluminum, or wood. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks to consider in the final window material choice.
Vinyl and aluminum windows are known for their durability and low maintenance needs. Aluminum is very strong and creates a sleek and modern look. Wood imparts warmth and natural beauty and has been used for centuries as a window material.
Vinyl windows, however, aren’t as strong as those made of aluminum or wood. Aluminum, while strong, easily conducts heat and cold, which can make them less energy efficient. Wood requires more maintenance than other materials and can swell, warp, or rot if not properly maintained.
The cost of the material itself, the cost of installation, and lifetime maintenance requirements all factor into choosing the garden window material. Each of these window materials and their average costs are described in a section below.
The window size dictates the amount of materials that will be needed to complete the project, which impacts window prices. Once the homeowner has chosen the material (or priced out each material before deciding), they’ll need to determine how much of that material is needed based on the size of the project.
Garden windows sizes range from much smaller than a standard window to much larger. A small garden window will measure just 24 inches by 24 inches and costs around $800, while a large garden window can measure up to 60 inches by 72 inches and costs upwards of $6,000.
Depending on the materials, the cost may average out; for instance, a smaller window with more expensive materials and a larger window with less expensive materials may end up costing a similar amount. Planning ahead and deciding on the size of the window and materials will help give a good estimate of the garden window cost.
Some of the best window brands include Pella, Andersen, Milgard, and Simonton, though there are many others to choose from. Pella windows cost less than those from other brands in some cases, though the exact price will depend on many other factors. Before choosing a window company, homeowners will want to determine whether it offers garden windows, check online for reviews, see if a local contractor installs them, and get some estimates. Below are some price estimates for a few different window brands, some of which may be available through popular home improvement stores like The Home Depot.
|Window Brand||Average Cost|
|Simonton||$210 to $380|
- Andersen: Andersen offers garden windows—called box bay windows—in both its 400 Series and E-Series lines. They have wood frames that are protected with a vinyl Fibrex composite, or aluminum exterior. Andersen garden windows start at $700.
- Milgard: Milgard garden windows include a shelf that allows for more plants, and side vents that slide vertically to provide additional ventilation. They start at around $1,000 for a 35-inch-by-35-inch window.
- Pella: Pella defines a garden window as a “designated place for plants to grow in the sunlight of the window” and the company includes bay and bow windows as well as a typical picture window with a wider windowsill in this definition. Pella garden window prices fall between $800 and $2,200. ThermaStar by Pella windows start at around $500, and pricing varies by size.
- Simonton: Simonton Windows specializes in energy-efficient vinyl windows, and the company’s garden windows cost between $210 and $380 per window plus about $435 for installation for a total of between $545 and $815 per window.
The more complex a project is, the more it will likely cost in terms of labor. This means that the location can impact garden window costs. While garden windows are more common on the first floor than on the second, they can be installed on a second floor, which may impact the cost. A garden window that’s installed in a location that’s difficult to access could also come with an additional cost.
Kitchen garden windows cost between $800 and $1,800. Bedroom garden windows cost between $900 and $3,800, and living room garden windows cost between $1,100 and $6,000.
The wall material at the installation location will also impact installation costs. For instance, the cost to install a garden window in a brick wall as opposed to installing it in wood-frame construction with vinyl siding will likely be higher.
Glass Pane Type
Glass pane options for garden windows include the number of panes and coatings and whether gas is used to fill the space between the panes.
Opting for windows that reduce UV rays and infrared light, include more panes, or are filled with gas can be more costly initially, but blocking certain types of light can keep interior carpets, furniture, and rugs from fading over time as well as reduce heating and cooling costs. The following are some cost estimates for the different types of garden window glass, including installation.
|Type of Glass Pane||Average Cost|
|Double-pane||$900 to $2,500|
|Triple-pane||$1,500 to $3,300|
|Low-e coating||$1,000 to $2,700|
|Argon-filled||$1,300 to $3,200|
|Spectrally selective||$500 to $3,250|
- Double-pane: Double-pane windows consist of two glass panes that occupy a single frame. The panes are installed in the frame with space in between them that creates additional insulation. A double-pane garden window costs between $900 and $2,500.
- Triple-pane. Triple-pane windows have even more insulative power than double-pane windows and cost between $1,500 and $3,300.
- Low-e coating. Low emissivity, or low-e, windows are coated with metallic oxide that, while invisible to the eye, protects the home from UV rays and infrared light. Low-e windows cost between $1,000 and $2,700.
- Argon-filled. Some double-pane windows include argon gas in between the two panes of glass. This gas helps to improve insulation and durability. Because it doesn’t conduct heat it can prevent frost buildup in the winter and better protect the home from heat in the summer. Argon-filled windows cost between $1,300 and $3,200.
- Spectrally selective. Similar to low-e glazing, spectrally selective windows allow certain parts of the solar spectrum to enter through the glass while blocking others. This can help deflect more heat away from the windows, possibly reducing cooling costs. Spectrally selective glass costs between $1,100 and $3,000.
Number of Panes
The number of panes in a garden window affects the initial cost as well as the energy efficiency over the life of the windows. Double-pane glass is the standard, and it consists of a window frame that has two panes with a gap in between that creates additional insulation; the cost of double-pane windows typically makes them one of the most affordable options. A triple-pane window consists of three panes of glass and two air pockets. In triple-pane windows, the interior pane is clear glass while the two exterior panes can be coated with low-e or spectrally selective coatings. In both types of windows, the air pockets can be filled with argon gas, which further increases energy efficiency.
Garden windows are typically double-pane windows to increase insulation and energy efficiency. Small double-pane windows, including labor, cost between $300 and $750. Medium double-pane windows cost between $400 and $1,850, and large double-pane windows cost between $650 and $4,500. Triple-pane windows will increase the energy efficiency of the garden window, but they will also increase the cost, coming in between $1,500 and $3,300 installed.
Number of Windows
The number of windows will also impact the overall cost of garden windows. Homeowners will want to make sure that the estimate takes into account the sizes and locations of the windows rather than estimating for one and multiplying the number by how many windows will be installed. The location of the window and its accessibility as well as its size will affect labor and material costs, so the more information included on the cost estimate, the better.
Because of the added windowsill depth of a garden window and the added potential for leaks along seams, one major consideration for homeowners to include in their budgeting is proper installation. Because a garden window extends farther than a standard window, it puts more pressure on the construction and can therefore be prone to leaks.
Installation by a skilled professional is helpful for getting a garden window installed correctly. Labor costs vary depending on the home’s location and the contractors in the area and range from $300 to $1,000 per window.
Additional Costs and Considerations
As with any home improvement project, there are additional costs and considerations associated with installing a garden window. These include whether it’s a new or replacement window, whether it’s operable or inoperable, and the cost of necessary permits, all of which can cause the cost of a garden window to vary.
New vs. Replacement Window
The cost to replace a garden window that’s already in place will typically be lower than the cost to install a garden window in a new location. Window replacement costs are typically less than the cost of installing a brand-new window because there is less labor required than if a hole had to be cut and the new window framed in. So replacing an existing garden window can be more cost-effective than installing a new window.
Window glass replacement cost can be an affordable alternative to replacing an existing garden window, and new glass can refresh the appearance of the window. Opting for energy-efficient glass can also help reduce heating and cooling costs.
Replacing what used to be a standard window with a garden window may require additional work to adjust the size of the space as well as the framing needed to support the garden window structure, increasing the cost of the project. Typically, installing a new window can cost up to 50 percent more than replacing an existing window.
Operable vs. Inoperable
Choosing an operable garden window allows for more airflow to the plants and into the room, but it will also impact the garden window cost versus an inoperable, stationary window. Fixed windows typically cost less than operable windows, so this decision will impact the overall cost.
Some garden windows have operable panels on the sides for increased ventilation—homeowners can typically choose sliding panels or single- or double-hung panels for easy operation. A garden window with one operable panel will typically cost less than a window that has two operable panels.
Garden Window vs. Bay Window
A garden window and a bay window are similar depths, and they provide lots of windowsill space on which to place plants. However, a bay window is typically taller and wider than a typical garden window. The sides of a bay window are angled between 25 degrees and 45 degrees from the exterior of the home, and the top is covered with a roof. A bay window is intended to allow lots more natural light into the room and creates expanded views to the outdoors. The cost to install a bay window ranges from $910 to $7,100.
A garden window isn’t as large as a bay window, allowing it to create the greenhouse effect that makes it particularly perfect for plants. The sides jut out of the home at a 90-degree angle, creating more room for plants. And perhaps the most significant difference is that the roof of the garden window is also glass, which allows more light in to help plants grow.
Customizations can increase the garden window cost. The color of the frame, custom dimensions, the type of glass, or any other specification that deviates from the norm can add to the cost. Other customizations that can impact the overall garden window cost include choosing operable versus fixed windows, windowsill details, and whether to include a shelf.
The permit requirements for home improvement projects can vary widely depending on individual states, counties, and cities. The contractor doing the work will be knowledgeable about local building codes, but doing the research to determine whether a permit is needed can help homeowners prevent any surprises. Applying for and securing the appropriate permits will need to be done well in advance to ensure that the project stays on schedule. If there is a cost associated with applying for permits, the homeowner will want to take this into account when determining the overall garden window cost.
If the property is part of a homeowners association (HOA), the homeowner will want to check the HOA requirements to make sure the rules allow for this type of home improvement project.
Types of Garden Windows
The type of garden window chosen will impact the cost depending on the materials chosen. This is because not only do materials themselves cost different amounts, but the material may also change the amount of time and labor that it takes to install it, which will impact the overall labor cost.
|Window Frame Type||Average Cost (Including Installation)|
|Aluminum||$900 to $2,000|
|Fiberglass||$1,100 to $3,200|
|Vinyl||$1,000 to $2,400|
|Wood||$1,200 to $3,800|
Aluminum windows are highly durable and incredibly strong. The slim profile of aluminum windows complements modern styles, and they are available in a range of colors that can fit the home’s aesthetic. However, even though aluminum is very strong, it is susceptible to dents and scratches and, when exposed to moisture, it can corrode over time. Another consideration is that aluminum is a good conductor of heat and cold, which can negatively affect energy costs unless thermal breaks (insulation built into the frame) are installed to reduce the amount of conduction. Aluminum windows typically cost between $900 and $2,000, including installation.
Fiberglass window frames are relatively new to the window frame game, but technological innovations have allowed this material to be used to construct window frames. Fiberglass is incredibly durable and resists expansion and contraction due to moisture and temperature changes. It won’t warp, rot, or swell, and it can be powder coated to match the aesthetic of the house. Fiberglass windows cost from $1,100 and $3,200 for materials and installation.
Vinyl windows are low maintenance and energy efficient. Vinyl is easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance. Because it is energy efficient, it can help reduce the overall heating and cooling costs of the home. It is also available in a range of colors that makes enhancing the aesthetic of the home easy. This is also a lightweight material that can help lower the cost of labor. Including installation, vinyl garden windows cost between $1,000 and $2,400.
Wood is a traditional window frame material and has all of the natural charm that wood brings to a project. This material requires significant maintenance over its lifespan, and a wood garden window may require sanding, painting, sealing, staining, and replacing cracked or rotten pieces. Wood expands and contracts with changing temperature and moisture levels, so these windows must be checked frequently for signs that they are rotting, warping, or swelling. To reduce the amount of required maintenance, wood frames can be clad in aluminum or vinyl, but this affects the cost. Garden windows with wood frames cost from $1,200 to $3,800, including installation.
Benefits of Garden Windows
Garden windows offer a number of benefits once they’re installed, and the one-time price tag can lead to long-term enjoyment. From increased natural light to a perfect sunny spot for thriving plants and increased ventilation, the benefits offered by garden windows can enhance the look and feel of the home.
Natural light is known to boost moods and enhance sleep, so adding more natural light into a space is rarely a bad thing. Natural light can also help reduce heating costs by introducing more warmth into the home. The unique design of a garden window with its glass roof adds natural light in a way that standard windows can’t. And indoor plants will love this added sunshine.
Whether the goal is a kitchen herb garden, a sprawling vine, or a beautiful bloom, a garden window gives plants natural light and increased airflow to create the right environment for them to thrive. Creating a little natural oasis indoors can be the perfect mood booster, especially in areas that see clouds, rain, or lots of snow. Adding a shelf to the garden window can allow for even more space for an indoor garden.
Operable side panels for the garden window create additional ventilation into the home. This can help manage heating and cooling costs throughout the year and improve the home’s environment with fresh air.
Aesthetically, garden windows add beauty to a home in the way of adding natural light and views to the outdoors. From the exterior, garden windows allow a peek at pops of green, reds, blues, purples, and oranges. The garden window frame itself can enhance the home’s aesthetics through material and color choice.
Garden Window Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The difficulty level of installing a garden window depends on a number of factors, including location, whether the window is new or replacing an old one, and the size of the window.
Replacing an existing garden window could be a DIY project with some basic window installation experience. Removing the existing window, constructing an extended windowsill, and installing the garden window will require common tools and a helping hand to help set the window in place. Ensuring proper insulation and making sure all joints are sealed properly is key to a successful and long-lasting garden window installation.
Installing a new garden window will require additional skills in order to properly cut the hole for the window and add framing to support the new window. Hiring a professional can cut down on the time it takes for the project to be completed. While this project can be completed with common household tools, the additional skills and knowledge required make this a good candidate for professional installation by one of the best window replacement companies.
When considering the DIY route, it’s important for a homeowner to take the time factor into account. Even if they have all the tools and skills at their disposal, it helps for them to look at the time it will take to complete the project. If it can’t be completed in 1 day, homeowners will want to remember that replacing a window will require an opening in the wall at some point. Making sure there is adequate time to get the hole covered or the window installed can help prevent leaks and other unwanted outcomes, such as birds in the house or a pest infestation.
How to Save Money on Garden Window Cost
Saving money on a home improvement project is often a priority. But it’s important to make sure not to cut corners or make decisions that could create problems later. The following are a few ways to save money on garden window cost without compromising quality.
- Choose high-quality materials. While these may cost more up front, they will last longer, increase the window’s energy efficiency, and may cut down on maintenance.
- Get quotes from multiple installation professionals. Installation costs can vary, so getting estimates from a few installation professionals can help ensure the best deal.
- Install in the off-season. Most people replace windows in the summer, but it may be cheaper to have them installed in the winter when installers aren’t as booked.
- Install a smaller window. While there are benefits to installing a large window, installing a smaller window will require less materials and labor and will help save money.
- Prepare the space. Labor costs can depend on the complexity of the installation as well as how long it takes, so preparing the space ahead of time—ensuring easy access, removing unnecessary materials, etc.—can help save money as well.
Questions to Ask About Garden Window Installation
When it’s time to install a garden window, asking the right questions can ensure homeowners will find high-quality installation by a qualified professional. Asking about the cost, the time frame, and materials will keep a homeowner in the know and reduce any surprises that can come with a home improvement project. The following are a few questions to ask about garden window cost and installation.
- What is the overall cost estimate for the project?
- Is interior and exterior trim installation included in the estimate?
- What are the payment terms?
- How long will the project take from start to finish? How will the weather factor in?
- Is there any prep work I should do before installation begins (moving furniture, clearing a path to the location, etc.)?
- What materials do you recommend for this specific project?
- Will you be doing the work, or will you be subcontracting it?
- Do I need to be here during installation?
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you provide references from past customers?
- Is the consultation and/or estimate free or is there a fee?
- What local building codes must be met, and are any permits required?
- Where can I leave a review?
Adding a garden window can make a home brighter and increase outdoor views as well as create the perfect spot for plants to grow and thrive. Homeowners who still have questions about garden windows can review the answers to the following commonly asked questions.
Q. Why do I need a garden window?
A garden window provides an opportunity for indoor gardening and adds natural light, so it’s perfect for anyone with a green thumb. If the home lacks natural light or adequate shelving or windowsills for plants, a garden window may be the best solution—and much more affordable than the cost to build a sunroom. A garden window in a living room or den brings a bit of the outdoors in. And a kitchen garden window can create a space for homeowners to grow fresh herbs to use in recipes year-round.
Q. How big should my garden window be?
The size of garden windows varies, so a garden window will need to be as big as the space and budget allow. The size also depends on the location. Garden windows above a kitchen sink or in a bathroom are typically 24 inches by 24 inches, but garden windows in other spaces, such as a living room or a den, can be much bigger, measuring up to 60 inches by 72 inches.
Q. How deep should my garden window be?
The depth of the garden window also depends on the overall dimensions. Garden windows are typically between 16 inches and 24 inches deep to allow plenty of space for plants to soak up all the sunlight.
Q. How long do garden windows last on average?
Garden windows, like most windows, have a lifespan between 15 and 30 years depending on materials, maintenance, quality of installation, and weather conditions. When properly cleaned and maintained, a garden window can be reliable for many years.
Q. Can I open my garden window?
Garden window panes can be stationary or operable depending on the type of window that is installed. Stationary glass will allow for lots of natural light and may have a better seal than an operable window. Operable windows, however, allow for increased airflow and fresh air, though there are more seals that could fail and lead to eventual leaks.
Q. Will garden windows increase my home value?
It is possible for a garden window to increase the home’s value, but it will depend on the current market and what features are most desired. The increased natural light and outdoor views can have a positive impact on home value.
Sources: HomeAdvisor, Fixr, Pella, Modernize, Broadview Windows & Doors