How Much Does Window Replacement Cost?
A new set of replacement windows can give your home a much-needed face-lift. The national average for window replacement cost is typically $650 per window, or between $200 and $1,800. The average price to replace windows on a 3-bedroom house is between $3,000 to $10,000.
- Typical Range: $200 to $1,800 per window
- National Average: $650 per window
If the windows in your home aren’t opening and closing like they used to or if they’re letting in the cold air, it may be time for replacement windows. Knowing the overall cost of window replacement can help keep you within the project’s budget and avoid any surprise costs down the road. The typical window replacement cost is between $200 and $1,800 per window, and the national average is around $100 to $650 per window, depending on window frame material and glass type, among other factors. Labor adds to the overall window replacement cost and can run approximately $100 to $300 per window. The most common factors that affect window replacement cost are the type of window, window frame material, window size, and energy efficiency.
Factors in Calculating Window Replacement Cost
There are many factors that go into calculating window replacement cost. Windows, including the glass and the frame, cost on average between $100 to $650 and can even go up to $1,800 depending on the window type. Labor can cost up to an additional $100 to $300 per window. Prices can vary widely due to the differences in window frame material, type of glass, location of the window, the overall age of the house, and whether the replacement will be a full-frame replacement or a retrofit replacement. Cost is also dependent on the geographical location of your home and whether you live in a warm or cold climate.
When replacing windows, you’ll likely have the option of choosing the window frame material. The most common window frame materials are vinyl, wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and composite. Standard vinyl windows are the most popular and have an average price range from $100 to $900 per window. Vinyl is one of the most affordable, durable, and energy-efficient varieties. Wood frames run from $150 to $1,300 or more. Wood frames offer a classic architectural look, and some areas may require wood frames if your home is located in a historic district or is a historic landmark. Fiberglass window frames run approximately 15 to 30 percent more than vinyl frames, and the national average cost of window replacement is usually $500 to $1,500 per window. Fiberglass frames are more durable than vinyl and have similar insulation properties. Aluminum frames can cost anywhere from $75 to $400 per window with some window types costing up to $1,200 or more for large or high-end windows, but they don’t insulate as well as other materials. Composite windows run between $300 and $1,200 per window. They are the most durable and are constructed of a mix of PVC polymers and wood fiber for maintenance-free frames.
Different window types affect the overall cost of window replacement. Before installing replacement windows, be sure to consider the window’s size, function, and look. Each window type serves a specific purpose. The most common window types are single-hung, double-hung, picture, casement, sliding, storm, custom, pocket, bay, and bow windows. Generally, the larger the window, the more the window replacement cost will increase.
Window locations can affect total window replacement cost, as replacement in some areas will tack on additional costs per window. Basement window replacements can run from $250 to $1,000 or more, and basement egress windows can cost from $2,500 to $5,000 or more. These windows provide additional escape routes out of a house in case of an emergency, and most areas require egress windows for basement-level bedrooms. Bathroom or bedroom windows can cost from $300 to $700 each, and windows in a foyer or dining room usually run from $300 to $700. If they’re large picture, bay, or bow windows, the cost can easily double or triple. Replacing windows on an upper floor of a house increases the overall time of window installation and requires additional equipment and labor, therefore increasing the total cost of window replacement.
Glass Size and Type
The type of glass in replacement windows can help lower utility bills and boost energy efficiency. Tinted glass is good for reducing harmful UV rays, and impact-resistant glass may be recommended depending on the house’s geographical location. Depending on the location and age of the home, tempered or safety glass may be required by law. Older homes may not have standard-size window openings, and replacement windows may require removal of the frame.
Number of Glass Panes
Windows with multiple glass panes will generally cost more to replace. Bay windows have three panes of glass and cost $1,800 on average. Bow windows typically have a minimum of five panes and cost between $1,000 and $4,500.
Homeowners with older homes, usually 70 years old or more, will usually have to double or triple projected pricing. Older homes come with unique challenges, such as unusual window sizes, which can necessitate custom windows as well as the need to repair or replace damaged or rotting trim, match the historical architecture, remove counterweights, upgrade to current building codes, and fill in empty space with insulation.
Full-Frame Window Cost vs. Retrofit Replacement Cost
The difference between full-frame window replacement and retrofit replacement is a nail fin, which is a flange around the edge for attaching the frame directly to the studs and is found in new construction. Retrofit, or replacement windows, are 10 to 15 percent cheaper than new construction and require less labor. For existing homes, it’s recommended to use retrofit windows. If a homeowner decides to utilize full-frame windows or new construction, this can increase the window replacement cost by 50 to 100 percent. The additional cost comes from the replacement of the entire window frame in addition to the window. Full-frame replacement is recommended for new construction projects, in existing buildings when stripping the walls to the studs, or for a remodel due to wall and window damage.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for window replacement cost, there are additional cost factors and considerations to keep in mind. Most window replacement professionals average $40 per hour for window installation. Labor costs can vary due to window size, location, and level of expertise required to correctly install custom windows. Structural repairs, insulation, waterproofing, job location, and disposal and cleanup costs can add to the total window replacement cost.
Labor and Work
On average, the labor cost for window replacement is about $40 per hour, with a typical range of $30 to $65 an hour. Urban areas with a higher cost of living usually entail higher labor costs. The more windows you replace at once, the more you’ll likely save. Labor costs are also usually higher for a home that requires custom replacement windows to match the historical architecture.
Removing and repairing damaged or rotted wood frames can also add to window replacement cost. This total can change after the initial estimate due to the contractor not knowing exactly what will need to be replaced or repaired until they get a good look at the structure when they start replacing the windows. Repairing trim, siding, or drywall can also drive up the cost of window replacement, and costs can range from $300 to $1,100 or more.
Insulation and Weatherproofing
Insulation and weatherproofing involve inserting insulation in the gaps surrounding a window. The cost of this work can range from $450 to $3,000.
The geographical location of your home can significantly impact the cost of window replacement. Local ordinances and codes could dictate the type of frame and glass that are required for window replacement in your area. If you live in a cold climate, more expensive triple-pane windows are the best option for optimal insulation and energy efficiency. If your home is located in a warmer climate, double-pane windows will usually provide adequate insulation and protection.
Disposal and Cleanup
Disposal and cleanup costs are sometimes taken into account when a contractor estimates labor costs, and sometimes they are added as a separate charge. Window replacement professionals can remove all job-related debris and clean all interior and exterior work areas.
Window Replacement Cost Types
There are many options to choose from when deciding to replace windows. The two main factors that affect window replacement cost are window frame material and window design. Beautiful options abound in single hung, double hung, arched, awning, bay, bow, casement, sliding, and more. When choosing a replacement window for your home, consider where the window will be located, how often the window will be opened, and what the function of the window will be.
Single-hung windows usually cost between $100 to $400. These classic vertically opening windows are very popular. With a single-hung window, only the bottom sash slides open and the upper sash remains stationary. These windows are typically installed on the first floor only due to the dangerous nature of leaning out the window to clean it.
Double-hung windows are similar to single-hung windows, but the big difference is that both the lower and the upper sashes move to open the window. A double-hung window typically runs anywhere from $150 to $650. A double-hung window provides increased circulation when the lower and upper sashes are open. These types of windows offer easy cleaning since both sashes tilt inward for easy access.
Arched windows usually cost $325 to $500 on average. An arched window is a rounded top window that is added to other window types for additional design aesthetics.
Awning windows can run from $420 to $760 per window. Awning windows work well in rainy climates due to the way the window creates a water-resistant awning when opened. These windows open via a crank that doubles as a lock and resists the wind blowing it open or closed.
A replacement bay window costs $1,800 on average. Bay windows protrude from the exterior wall and create a small shelf inside. Bay windows use flat windows set in an angled frame—a flat center window and two side windows set at a 30- to 40-degree angle. They usually add to the value of the home due to the increased square footage the design provides. These windows tend to cost more due to the large size of the window and the needed expertise of a skilled window installer.
Bow window replacements cost $1,000 to $4,500. Bow windows rely on custom curved windows that create a circular area. They’re similar to bay windows but have a minimum of five panes of glass as compared to three. The overall cost of bow window installation depends on the number of window panels used and the overall large size of the window.
Casement windows can range anywhere from $150 to $1,000 depending on size and material type. Casement windows swing out to the side to open. Some models will open from the left or right side with a hand crank. These windows are made from solid glass and offer a less obstructed view. A casement window usually comes with one casement pane on the left and one on the right.
Circle windows can be full-round, half-round, elliptical, or oval. Circle windows can cost anywhere from $250 and $750. They usually do not open, but they can add visual interest to your home.
Garden windows cost around $1,000 to $4,000. Garden windows are small bay windows that are intended to be used as little greenhouses that protrude from the side of your home. They provide extra square footage, additional shelf space, and natural light for houseplants, herbs, or flowers.
Skylight window installation costs can range from $960 to $2,400. Skylights add more natural light if you’re limited on exterior wall options.
Sliding windows can run from $150 to $800 depending on construction material. Sliding windows work like a single- or double-hung window, but they move horizontally instead of vertically. They are available in styles that allow one or both sides of the window to move.
Storm windows can cost a total of $50 to $300 each, including the price of labor. On average, homeowners spend $5,000 to install storms on all windows. The benefits of storm windows are that they increase energy efficiency, help protect window trim, and increase the value of a home.
Do I Need a Window Replacement?
Some reasons for window replacement are obvious: there’s cold air leaking through the windows, visible damage or rot to the frame or glass, condensation forming on the inside of the glass or in between panes, or the windows no longer operate smoothly. All of these factors can increase your utility bill by causing the furnace to work overtime in the winter months. Investing in energy-efficient window replacement will help you save money with heating and cooling costs. Here are a few specific reasons to consider window replacement.
Difficulty Opening and Closing
Windows become difficult to open and close for a few reasons: an old house that has settled around the frame, an incorrect installation that resulted in balance issues, or frames that have warped and rotted are just a few of them. Windows that don’t close properly may not lock, which also creates a safety issue. Windows should open and close with ease and create a tight seal against leaks.
One of the clearest signs you need to replace your windows is visible damage. This includes cracked or broken glass panes and decaying, damaged, or moldy frames. Broken and damaged windows are serious issues and need to be fixed before they get worse. Take a close look at your windows. If you notice signs of decay, rot, mold, or other damage, it’s probably time for new windows.
Higher Energy Bills
If you notice drafts or that the windowpane is cold to the touch in the colder months, that means your furnace is working overtime, driving up energy costs. Leaky and loose-fitting older windows are not energy efficient and lack the correct insulation and tight seal to keep your home warm. Newer windows that keep your home comfortable when the temperature rises in the summer and drops in the winter can help significantly lower heating and cooling costs over the course of a year.
External Noise Infiltration
Older windows don’t provide adequate sound insulation and absorption like newer windows. Older windows transfer sound vibrations from the outside to the inside of your home. Newer energy-efficient double- or triple-pane windows absorb everyday outside sounds, which is beneficial if you live on a busy street or in a busy neighborhood.
Leaky windows can lead to mold growth. The longer you wait to replace windows that leak and have water damage, the more serious the issue can become. Mold spore inhalation can cause serious respiratory illness, and the best way to avoid this is to replace the entire window.
No Double Glazing
Single-pane windows aren’t energy efficient, and they also don’t offer proper insulation or soundproofing. The biggest benefit of installing double-glazed, or double-pane, windows is the increase in energy efficiency. The internal temperature of your home will likely be easier to maintain, and the thermal efficiency can be improved by up to 80 percent. While the initial window replacement cost will be higher, the windows will pay for themselves with reduced energy costs. If you have single-pane windows in your home, consider an upgrade to double- or triple-pane windows to make a difference in your energy bills and improve the curb appeal of your home.
As wooden window frames are exposed to moisture, serious safety issues can develop. Built-up moisture and water damage leads to decay, rot, and mold growth. If you notice that your windows are showing signs of decay, a window replacement is in order.
Window Replacement Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
There are several advantages to hiring a professional window installer. A professional is more likely to know how to deal with several issues that may arise during the process of window replacement installation, such as:
- Mold. Mold growth is a serious issue and will likely need to be treated by professionals.
- Window damage and structural issues. Wood that is rotted or damaged can impact the structural integrity of the windows in load-bearing exterior walls.
- Measurements. If the measurements are not done correctly, the window will not fit and seal correctly, resulting in wasted money and time.
- Home age and code requirements. Homes that are in historic neighborhoods or those that qualify as historic landmarks may not have standard window sizes. Replacing them may require more than a simple retrofit. This can involve removing the frame and installing a new supporting structure that must meet modern code requirements.
- Location. Local ordinances and codes could dictate the placement of new windows. Local professionals are most likely to know what is required in your area.
While it is possible for a homeowner to buy Home Depot windows or windows from another retailer and install them themselves, individuals may not have access to options for a variety of different window designs that are available to a professional window installation company. While a homeowner may save money on labor by installing their own windows and saving on window replacement cost, the additional costs incurred from purchasing the appropriate tools, renting a dumpster for cleanup and hauling away debris, and acquiring additional equipment such as ladders and scaffolding can quickly add up. It’s unlikely a homeowner will save money by replacing windows themselves.
How to Save Money on Window Replacement Cost
A window replacement project is considered expensive, and window installation can strain a homeowner’s wallet. Buying cheaper windows is one way to lower window replacement cost, but there are a few other ways to save money without compromising on window quality.
- Use contractor- or builder-grade windows. Terminology matters when buying replacement windows. An architectural-grade window will likely be more expensive than a contractor-grade or builder-grade window. A builder-grade window from a major window company will be a good-quality window that can last for years to come.
- Install standard window styles. Common styles and shapes often make for more affordable windows, while interesting and unusual shapes tend to increase window replacement cost. The most affordable window styles are double hung, single hung, sliding, fixed, and casement windows.
- Stick to the basics. Window companies commonly offer additional features that drive up the price of window replacement. Integrated grills, between-glass shades, and trim and hardware supplied and installed by the company may not be important enough for you to spend the extra money on them.
- Negotiate a lower price. Window companies compete for your money by allowing room in their prices for negotiation. The replacement window industry expects price negotiation and will likely leave room for compromise.
- Get multiple quotes. Getting at least three to eight quotes can yield the best price options for you. Don’t hesitate to let a window company know that you are getting multiple price quotes—they may work with you to match a lower price.
Questions to Ask About Window Replacement Cost
Asking a professional window installation company the right questions can minimize miscommunication and help get the price range and quality of work you want. Here are some questions to ask about window replacement cost before beginning a project.
Before the project:
- Can I expect energy cost savings with my new windows?
- Can I match the design of the replacement windows with the overall home design?
- What are other color options?
- What installation method do you use?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- How long will the project take?
- Are there hidden fees?
During the project, if there is a problem:
- How can this be fixed?
- What are the next steps?
- What additional costs will be added?
After the project:
- Can you explain the operation of specific windows?
- Where can I leave a review?
Choosing the best replacement windows for your home and keeping the overall window replacement cost down can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about window replacement to help guide you in your decision.
Q. How much does it cost to replace all windows in a house?
Replacing windows costs an average of $300 to $700 per window. This price estimate assumes that the replacement windows are going into existing and structurally sound frames on the ground floor. A full window replacement in a 3-bedroom, single-story home with up to 10 windows can run from $3,000 to $7,000. If you have a 2-story home, this price estimate can easily double.
Q. Should I replace all windows at once?
Ultimately, this decision depends on your budget. Window size, style, and material can affect overall window replacement cost. If you’re interested in replacing a window with a bay, bow, or other specially shaped window, it could be a successful one-time project. If there is widespread damage to every window or if the windows are over 20 years old, a full replacement would be in order. Sometimes budgetary limitations will only allow for a few windows to be replaced at a time. In most situations, you may qualify for volume discounts or promotions if you decide to replace all of the windows at once.
Q. What is the best material for windows?
Deciding on window frame material is a personal decision. It’s important to consider what each window offers in terms of function, style, and overall cost. Wood replacement windows are more expensive, offer a natural look, and can be painted or stained. They can provide more style options and add to the overall curb appeal of your home. Fiberglass windows require less maintenance than wood windows and are less expensive. They’re strong, sturdy, and offer energy efficiency. Vinyl windows are affordable, functional, and don’t require painting, staining, or refinishing. Vinyl windows are among the most energy efficient of all window types. They are a great choice for louder environments and have the insulating quality of wood with the added option of foam installation. Key factors to consider when choosing the best window material are appearance, maintenance, price, durability, and energy efficiency.
Q. What are the most expensive types of windows?
The most expensive types of windows are bay, egress, bow, skylight, casement, garden or box windows, sliding, awning, and glass block windows. Bay windows are the most expensive because they project outward to create additional seating or storage. It’s a large window that can only be installed by an expert installer using quality tools and equipment. That’s why you’ll be likely to part with a minimum of $1,800 for a bay window.