Window Replacement Costs

Windows that are exterior facing must close against weather and intrusion as well as satisfy personal taste. Window choice can help reduce energy usage, increase comfort, increase property value, and increase security.

The cost to install average windows depends upon type, material and finish grade, number of units, preparation and special needs, and the labor rate.

Material and cost summary

The common material choices are shown in the following table. The Cost relationship is based on the average window of the material indicated.

MaterialProsConsCost
AluminumNo paint, no rustHigher thermal transferLow or lowest

Thinner frameLubricating maintenance

Lighter weightDifficult color matching
VinylNo paint, no rustWider frameLow or lowest

Low/no maintenanceDifficult color matching

Scratches do not show

WoodStylish appearanceSurface maintenanceHigher

Best color matchingOrganic material rot

No rust


Type and cost summary

The common type choices and their typical cost per single installed 48” wide x 48” tall (except Bay Window) wooden unit of good quality products with insulating glass include:

TypeProsConsCost
PictureUnobstructed viewNon-ventilating$888

Lower leakageClean from exterior
SlidingVentilatingSome view obstruction$1,091

Clean from interior

SashVentilatingSome view obstruction$1,245

Clean from interiorHeavier opening
CasementHighly ventilatingOutward opening$1,489

Clean from interiorSome view obstruction
BayIncrease interior spaceExterior obstruction$2,666

VentilatingSome view obstruction

Clean from interior

Other considerations and costs

  • The window installation influences curb appeal directly and flaws are glaring ones.
  • Typical upgrades and accessories are reviewed in the related Cost Guide.
  • These prices are for service in the immediate area of the provider.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • If the installation requires a new opening of a wood-framed exterior wall, that work will cost from about $900 to $1,200 per window unit of 4’ x 4’ (or $56 to $75 per square foot generally), depending mostly upon local labor rate.
  • During contractor inspection the homeowner should be informed of any repair concerns like rot, and the cost to adapt the existing window-opening structure.
  • A project to replace more than 2 windows should enjoy a unit price discount.
  • There may be local or national subsidy for energy efficiency improvements.

DIY considerations

  • This project may not be suitable to an able and prepared DIY person with typical contractor’s tools.
  • Skillful carpentry is required, and a critical closure deadline is common.

References

  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.   

Cost to replace windows in my city

Cost to replace windows varies greatly by region. To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.