window replacement costs
Replacement window benefits
Replacing the windows in your home is a major investment that can drastically improve energy efficiency, noise reduction, security, and aesthetics. Window replacement is one home improvement project with a huge upside.
The investment of window replacement pays off from Day 1–you don’t have to sell your home to see any financial benefit, like remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. Window replacement is also one of the least invasive home improvement projects. You won’t be dining out for six months like with a kitchen remodel, or have workmen in your home for weeks at a time.
Your energy bill should be drastically reduced, by as much as 30%. Also, by upgrading to security or “hurricane” windows, you could see a reduction on your home owner’s insurance premium. There are several elements that factor into custom window pricing, each of which can cause costs to fluctuate significantly.
There are quite a few factors to consider when replacing your windows. While “off-the-shelf” generic windows may look like they have a lower price tag, overall these products may wind up costing you more over the years. Custom windows will typically last longer and fit better which means a tighter seal and much less chance of water penetration. Water penetration can cause much unseen damage such as rotten wood or mold. Custom windows also give more options to upgrade your home’s aesthetic, adding value and curb appeal to your home. Chunky, vinyl, off-the-shelf products build out the opening to fit the window instead of fitting the window to the opening. This means less expanse of glass causing less light and a smaller view area. These chunky windows can cheapen the look of your home, and the value.
Here are a few factors that determine the cost of replacement windows:
The type of window you choose for your custom window replacement is the first major factor that will determine price. Basic window styles like single or double hung windows tend to be the most affordable options. More complex styles like bay or bow windows, casement windows, and specialty shapes often come at a premium.
Here’s an overview of window type costs:
- Single or double hung windows – Basic sliding windows with either one or two movable sashes. $455 – $1040 per window installed.
- Casement windows – Hinged windows that crank open to the side. $455-$1300 per window installed.
- Awning windows – Hinged at the top and open outwards. $455-$1300 per window installed.
- Sliding windows – Windows with two panels that slide horizontally to open. $650-$1950 per window installed.
- Bay windows – Three connected windows that project outward. $1300-$3250 per window installed.
- Bow windows – Five connected, curved windows that project outward. $3250-$6500 per window installed.
- Custom shaped windows – Unique shapes like circles, hexagons, triangles. $1040-$2600 per window installed.
As you can see, a basic double hung window could cost around $1040 installed while a large custom bow window could cost up to $6500 installed. The style you pick makes a major difference in total replacement costs.
The materials that make up your custom windows also affect pricing. Basic custom windows utilize vinyl framing with double or triple insulated glass. Upgrading to more premium materials like wood, fiberglass, or aluminum can add $130-$650 per window depending on the material. Insulated glass options can range from basic double pane to triple pane, Low-E, argon gas filled, or other energy efficient glazing. High end glazing upgrades can add $195-$1300 per window.
Some example window material upgrade costs:
- Vinyl frame basic double pane window – $650 per window
- Fiberglass frame with triple Low-E argon gas filled glass – $1150 per window
- Wood frame with triple Low-E argon gas filled glass – $1300 per window
- Aluminum clad wood frame with specialty glazing – $1950+ per window
The materials for frames, sashes, and glazing can all be customized to your exact specifications but will increase costs accordingly.
Larger window sizes naturally require more materials, construction labor, and technical expertise which drives up pricing. A standard 2′ x 3′ window may run $455-$1040 installed while a very large 8′ x 10′ specialty window could be $2535-$4225 installed. The larger the windows, the more you can expect to pay.
If your custom window project includes a combination of many large windows, costs add up quickly. Total costs for full home custom window replacement can range dramatically based on home size and number of windows. According to remodeling.hw.net, replacing 10 existing 3×5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-light vinyl windows with a custom-color exterior finish. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim is $20,091.
- Small home 10 windows – $6,500 – $20,000
- Medium home 20 windows – $13,000 – $31,200
- Large luxury home 40+ windows – $26,000+
When getting quotes for custom window replacement, the number of windows and sizes should be factored in.
Custom WIndow Features
Several other custom features for windows also impact pricing:
- Specialty glass options like privacy, security, hurricane, tempered, or bulletproof glass
- Integrated window screens
- Security features like laminated glazing, reinforced framing, and heavy duty hardware
- Automation features like remote operation, motorization, and smart home integration
- Decorative touches like etching, stained glass, and carved frames
- Mullion and grid patterns that divide window panes
- Frame inlays and interior trim molding
- Custom painting, staining, and finishing
These kinds of custom touches require extra steps in the manufacturing and installation process so you can expect to add at least $65 – $650 per window depending on the features you choose.
The complexity of the window installation job will determine labor costs. Basic window replacements in existing standard openings may take 2-3 hours per window. But an extensive replacement job with new custom openings, surrounding woodwork, and finishing can take 5-6 hours per window installed.
At $50 – $105 per hour for professional installers, labor costs can make up $300-$650 or more of the total window price. The installer may also charge extra for custom jobs that require more time and skill. These labor expenses need to be included in your budget especially if your home requires extensive customization.
Location in Home
Where the window is located in your home can also affect price. First floor window replacements are typically more affordable than second story and beyond. Scaffolding, equipment rentals, and safety considerations to access higher windows drive up costs. Large specialty windows on upper levels can be $650+ more expensive per window just for the additional install challenges.
With custom windows, delivery expenses from the manufacturing facility to your home need to be factored in. Standard sized stock windows may qualify for free shipping. But custom windows often incur transportation fees because of their specialized nature. This could be a couple hundred dollars for a small home project but up to several thousand for a full luxury home window replacement.
Be sure to ask your quote for itemized delivery costs based on your home’s location and job size. This is an easy hidden fee that can surprise you if not anticipated.
Pricing can vary between different custom window manufacturers based on their reputations and window quality:
Budget Custom Windows – $400-$1040 per window
- Builder grade materials and basic warranties
- Shorter lifespan and higher maintenance
Mid-range Custom Windows – $1040-$1950 per window
- Good quality materials from trusted brands
- Stronger warranties and less repairs needed
Premium Custom Windows – $1950-$3250+ per window
- Top tier brands and materials
- Exceptional warranties and minimal maintenance
- Energy efficient and long lasting performance
While more budget custom window companies may seem like a deal upfront, the longevity and performance likely will not compare to premium manufacturers. Investing in highly rated custom windows often pays off long-term in better energy savings, durability, and functionality.
Replacement vs. New Construction
It’s also worth differentiating the cost difference between installing custom windows in existing homes versus new construction homes. With new construction, the framing and structure is designed precisely for the windows. They are seamlessly integrated and sealed within the home’s structure.
With replacements, existing openings need modifications, patching, shimming and framing adjustments to fit the new windows. Extra flashing and waterproofing steps are involved, along with interior/exterior finish work. This often makes replacements 10-25% more expensive than installing the same windows in new construction.
Additional Cost Considerations
Some additional little details beyond the windows themselves impact the total replacement costs:
- Building permits for extensive replacement jobs
- Custom interior or exterior trim details
- Sheetrock and painting costs around interior windows
- Masonry, stucco, or exterior siding repairs
- Landscaping repairs for exterior access and installation
- Removal and disposal fees for old windows
While your window quote may cover the basic installation, these extra incidental expenses add up. Be sure to budget at least 10-15% above your quoted window costs for miscellaneous tasks and materials needed to fully finish the job.
The investment in custom windows for your home is significant. But by choosing the right styles, features, and manufacturing quality for your needs, you can maximize energy efficiency, comfort, aesthetics, and functionality for years to come. Keep the many pricing factors in mind as you research quotes and make decisions on your custom window replacement project.
Homeowners have traditionally turned to the bank for home improvement or home equity loans when financing a major home improvement project. Many service finance companies team up with window companies to offer attractive financing options for the convenience of the window customers.
For instance, Service Finance Company, LLC has teamed up with Renaissance Windows and Doors to offer several financing options. One very attractive finance plan is $0 Down, 0 Payments, and 0% interest for 12 months. The 12 months start once the windows are installed, so the clock isn’t ticking while you wait for your windows to be manufactured and delivered.
Another option is a fixed low monthly payment option for 60 or 120 months, at 9.99% interest. This may be more advantageous for some homeowners who want more than 12 months to pay back the loan.
Homeowners can forego financing and pay 50% down and 50% upon installation. Check with your window company to see what kinds of financing options they may offer.
Replacement windows can come with a hefty price tag but the benefits far outweigh the cost. Costs begin to be recouped from Day 1, instead of needing to sell your home to see any benefit. Custom windows from a reputable manufacturer will cost less in the long run due to quality and performance. Financing is available from many sources such as banks and service finance companies, making windows affordable for any budget.