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Window Replacement Cost Guide 2021

Whether you want to replace your home’s windows for an affordable price or you’re looking to upgrade for better functionality and energy efficiency, the This Old House Reviews team has got you covered. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some average price ranges for different types of windows and framing materials to help you plan your window replacement.

New Windows in Home Adobe

While the average window replacement cost is between $200 and $1,800 per window, this doesn’t take into account the unique features of your house or the different types of windows currently available. In this guide, we’ll break down average window replacement costs by the framing material, type of window, and other considerations so you can form a better picture of how much money it costs to replace a window.

Factors That Affect Window Replacement Costs

Two of the most important factors that affect the cost of a window replacement are the material of the window frame and the type of window, which we’ll discuss in the next few sections. Here are a few other important factors that will affect the cost of a window replacement:

  • The location of your windows determines cost, as windows on the ground floor of any building require less labor to replace than basement and upstairs windows.
  • The age of a home can increase labor costs, as older homes can come with non-standard window sizes and structural issues that require more careful installation.
  • Window frames that need additional insulation and weatherproofing will cost more.
  • Beyond just the style of a window, the type of the glass itself can affect the price. Double-pane windows, which have two layers of glass, are more expensive than single-pane windows, but they block sound, heat, and cold air much more efficiently. Tinted, tempered, and safety glass are all a bit more expensive than standard glass, and larger or unusually sized windows will incur additional costs.

The good news is that replacing the windows in a home is less expensive than installing them during new construction. Using retrofit window replacements instead of full-frame windows, which contain a nail fin that your house already features, will save you a substantial amount of money.

How Much Do Different Window Framing Materials Cost?

The framing material of a window is just what it sounds like: the structure between the glass of the window and the walls around it. This material determines the look of a window, its energy efficiency, and how easy it is to maintain.

Vinyl

Vinyl window frames are the most common, given vinyl’s durability and affordability. This PVC material is a good insulator and thus makes for an energy-efficient window. It isn’t the strongest or most aesthetically pleasing option, but it is budget-friendly. Vinyl windows typically cost between $100 and $900 to replace, but the average replacement cost is between $400 and $600 per window.

Aluminum

A strong and lightweight metal, aluminum is a popular choice for window frames because of its resistance to bending or warping. Unfortunately, it’s not a good insulator, so it makes for a less energy-efficient window. In general, aluminum window frames cost around $275–$1,285.

Wood

Wood windows provide a classic look, which is usually the reason homeowners choose wood as a framing material. Functionally, wood doesn’t expand or contract with heat, and you can repair individual parts of the frame rather than needing to replace the entire window. However, you may be stuck with multiple repairs in the future, since wood can crack, peel, and warp.

Depending on the type and quality of the wood, wood frames can cost anywhere between $150 and $1,300 per window, though the average is around $600 to $700 per window.

Composite

Made of a mixture of wood fibers and polymers, composite window frames are some of the most durable. They’re as energy-efficient as vinyl, lowering energy bills by insulating window openings, but they’re a little more expensive than wood, costing $300 to $1,300 per window.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass window frames combine the energy efficiency of vinyl with the sturdiness of aluminum, and they’re available in an appearance that mimics painted wood. The drawback, however, is that they tend to be more expensive than any of the other listed materials, as the cost to replace a fiberglass window is between $500 and $1,500.

How Much Do Different Types of Windows Cost?

In addition to framing materials, the type of window affects the cost of a window replacement. Below are the most common types of windows and their associated replacement costs.

Picture

Picture windows, sometimes called fixed windows, are made of just one sheet of glass in a frame that doesn’t open. However, picture windows often have unique sizes and shapes, which means you might need a custom window that can vary between $80 and $800 to install.

Single-Hung

A single-hung window consists of an upper pane of glass that’s fixed in place and a lower pane that slides up and down or swings inward. These are popular, low-cost windows, though they’re typically found only on ground floors. The cost to install one of these windows typically ranges from $100 to $400.

Double-Hung

A double-hung window is similar to a single-hung window, except the top sash can slide down or swing open. These are slightly more expensive than single-hung windows and cost between $150 and $650 to replace.

Bay and Bow

A bay window typically consists of three large panes of glass in an angled frame that extends out from the side of the house. Because of the size of the glass, these windows are typically quite expensive to replace and can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500. Similarly, bow windows consist of at least five large panes of curved glass and will typically cost at least $1,000 to replace.

Casement

Casement windows open by means of a hand crank, typically on a left-to-right axis. Depending on the size of your casement window, you’ll pay between $150 and $1,000 for a window replacement. A casement window with a hinge at the top, called an awning window, costs between $420 and $760 to replace.

Glass Block

Windows composed of glass blocks are most common in bathrooms, since they let in light while offering some privacy. Again, size and shape will play a large role in glass block window replacement price, which is typically in the $400 to $1,100 range.

Sliding

Sliding windows are essentially single- or double-hung windows that open horizontally instead of vertically. The replacement cost for standard-sized sliding windows will range from $150 to $600, but the replacement cost for full-size sliding glass doors ranges from $1,000 to $2,500.

Skylight

As you might expect, skylight windows are expensive to replace due to the relative difficulty of installation. Depending on your skylight’s size, shape, and how it opens, expect to pay anywhere from $900 to $2,400 for a skylight window replacement.

Storm

Storm windows are panes of glass that are installed inside or outside existing windows to protect the window and provide further insulation. They can be permanent or removable. A single storm window isn’t that expensive and usually costs between $150 and $450 to replace. However, homeowners typically opt to protect all of their home windows, which can cost around $5,000.

How To Calculate the Cost of a Window Replacement

As you budget for replacing your windows, decide what type of framing material you want. Pick a material that matches the interior decor of your home and provides proper insulation for the climate you’re in. You’ll also want to consider how many windows you want to replace. Finally, take labor costs into consideration, as professional installation is recommended.

After budgeting for your window replacement, consider these options to save more money:

  • Select windows labeled as “contractor-grade” or “builder-grade” from major window companies—these will be high-quality but less expensive than “architecture-grade” windows.
  • Stick to standard window styles and shapes without extra features that you might not need or use, as these will be cheaper than custom windows.
  • Get multiple quotes from professional window installers to negotiate a good price.

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