If you love plants and growing things but do not have a dedicated, protected space for your plants to thrive, a garden window can be a great addition. Garden windows protrude outward, creating a space for plants. The windows have glass on the top and sides, creating a greenhouse effect for the plants and letting in sun and warmth. Garden windows can be installed in any room but usually in southern spaces to capture the most light.
The national average cost to install a garden window is $1,500 to $5,000, with most people paying $3,000 for a 48” x 48” vinyl garden window with a shelf and double-pane glass with a low-E coating and three moving windows installed. This project’s low cost is $800 for a 24” x 24” aluminum garden window with double-pane glass and all fixed panels. The high cost is $6,000 for a 60” x 72” wooden garden window with glass shelves, triple-pane, argon-filled glass, and a spectrally selective coating.
|Garden Window Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$3,000|
Garden windows, or greenhouse windows, are large, box-style windows that protrude from your home. They consist of four panes - one on the front, one on the top, and one on each side to allow maximum sun exposure. At the bottom of the window is usually a built-in 1 shelf or shelves. The purpose is to allow you to place plants of many types and sizes. The plants benefit from the added sun and heat. Because the window protrudes outward, it is more space-saving than having a table or shelf setup below a standard window, giving you more space to grow various plants, start garden seeds, or create a full indoor garden. Most garden windows open on the sides for ventilation. Some also allow for an awning opening on the front, where the front panel can tilt outward for additional ventilation.
Garden windows are available in a range of sizes, usually starting at 24” x 24” and reaching 60” x 72”. The first number is the height, and the second is the width. The depth of most garden windows is around 15½” on the interior, protruding roughly 17½” inches outward, including the frame. Most garden windows slope down, so their highest point is at the frame where it attaches to your home. The window slopes and narrows down toward the front, maximizing heat and light for the plants by creating a small greenhouse box.
Because there is so much material involved in the manufacture, the larger the window, the higher the total project costs. Below are the most common sizes for garden windows and their costs for the window and completed project.
|Size||Window Cost (Unit Only)||Window Cost (Installed)|
|24’’ x 24’’||$500 - $700||$800 - $1,700|
|30’’ x 30’’||$550 - $800||$900 - $1,800|
|36’’ x 48’’||$600 - $2,000||$1,100 - $3,800|
|48’’ x 48’’||$1,200 - $3,000||$1,500 - $4,500|
|60” x 72”||$2,000 - $4,500||$2,500 - $6,000|
Garden windows come in two types - fixed and moving. A fixed window means all panes are fixed and do not move. A moving window may have casement windows 2 on either side and potentially an awning window in the front or top for ventilation. A moving garden window allows you to open the window for better ventilation on hot days. However, moving windows are more likely to develop issues with leaks or require more repairs. They are also more expensive to purchase than a fixed window, but the cost to install both remains the same. Below are the average costs for fixed and moving 36” x 48” garden windows and their costs installed.
|Type||Window Cost (Unit Only)||Window Cost (Installed)|
|Fixed||$600 - $1,800||$900 - $3,300|
|Moving||$900 - $2,000||$1,200 - $3,500|
Garden windows are available in a range of frame materials. Your frame is important because it holds the structure together. Poor frame material can cause energy loss, warping, or leaks, while a good frame material prevents these issues. Vinyl and fiberglass are the two most common materials for a garden window frame, but aluminum and wood are also available. Vinyl is a low-maintenance material that insulates better than aluminum while remaining low-cost. It can melt in hot weather and crack in very cold temperatures, so it is best used in moderate climates.
Fiberglass is a good insulator that does not warp or crack. It is also low maintenance, so while it is more expensive, it is a popular material for homeowners in most climates. Aluminum is a poor insulator that often fades and requires frequent repainting. However, it does not crack or warp and is one of the lowest-cost materials available. Wood is a very good insulator and a classic material that can enhance your home’s beauty. However, it can warp and requires periodic repainting. It is also one of the more expensive frame materials. Below are the average costs for a 36” x 48” window made from the different materials and the total costs installed.
|Material||Window Cost (Unit Only)||Window Cost (Installed)|
|Aluminum||$600 - $800||$900 - 2,000|
|Vinyl||$700 - $1,000||$1,000 - $2,400|
|Fiberglass||$800 - $1,800||$1,100 - $3,200|
|Wood||$900 - $2,000||$1,200 - $3,800|
Because of the amount of glass involved in the construction of a garden window, most are made of various types of energy-efficient glass. This means that, at a minimum, your garden window has double-paned glass. Most also have the option of a low-E coating. If you want more efficient windows, you can also get your garden window with triple-pane glass, spectrally selective coatings, or fill the glass with argon or krypton gas. Remember that you can layer different effects. For example, you can have double-pane or triple-pane glass with a gas filling and a low-E coating. The more you do to the glass, the more energy efficient you can make your window, and the higher the costs of the final design. Most garden windows are double-paned or double-paned with a coating. Because different types can be layered, there is a range of costs. Below are the average costs for a 36” x 48” garden window with various glass types and the costs for that window fully installed.
|Glass Type||Window Cost (Unit Only)||Window Cost (Installed)|
|Double-Pane||$600 - $1,000||$900 - $2,500|
|Low-E Coating||$700 - $1,200||$1,000 - $2,700|
|Spectrally Selective Coating||$800 - $1,500||$1,100 - $3,000|
|Argon-Filled||$1,000 - $1,700||$1,300 - $3,200|
|Triple-Pane||$1,200 - $1,800||$1,500 - $3,300|
|Krypton-Filled||$1,500 - $2,000||$1,800 - $3,500|
Most reputable window brands also make garden windows. This includes brands like Simonton, Pella, and Milgard. Each company makes garden windows in various sizes with frame and glass options. Each company also makes fixed and moving windows for more options. If you have other replacement windows nearby, you may want to match that window brand and type for continuity. For example, if you have Simonton or Andersen windows throughout your living room, you may want to get a garden window from the same line.
The one exception is if you are working with Ventana USA, who specializes in bay and garden windows. While other companies make a range of windows, including those like Simonton and Pella with budget vinyl lines and costly window types, Ventana specializes in windows that protrude from the home.
All companies offer several good choices. When looking for budget costs, Pella garden window prices and Milgard garden window prices tend to be slightly lower. However, all brands have a range of costs and styles. Below are the average costs for medium-sized garden windows from the most popular brands.
|Brand||Window Cost (Unit Only)|
|Pella||$800 - $2,200|
|Milgard||$800 - $2,700|
|Simonton||$1,300 - $3,500|
|Harvey||$1,200 - $3,800|
|Ventana USA||$1,200 - $4,000|
|Andersen||$1,400 - $4,000|
Labor costs for installing a garden window vary depending on the window size, frame, location, and how the space is currently finished and framed. Garden windows are installed by most window installers, but this is a more complicated installation than a simple standard window because the window protrudes from your home. Expect installation costs to range from $300 for small windows in an existing window frame that requires no modifications to $1,500 for a large garden window that may need modifications to support it, such as enlarging the window space or reinforcing the frame. Most typically spend $500 to $1,000 on labor. If you have the interior area of the window finished with shelves, decorative jambs and trim, and other attributes, you could have higher costs than simply installing the window. If this is new construction, your costs could be lower than if you are replacing an existing window with a garden window because this requires modifications to the window opening.
If you have an existing garden window and are replacing it with a new one of the same size and shape, your total costs are comparable to a new window installation. The old window must be removed and disposed of, costing up to $200, depending on the company. However, because the wall is already prepared to hold a garden window, modifications are likely unnecessary, making the new installation smoother, faster, and less expensive. If you replace a smaller window with a larger one or the window frame and other surrounding areas are damaged, you could have higher costs to repair these areas or make the changes for the new window. However, most replacement garden windows have a similar cost range of $1,500 to $5,000 fully installed.
Garden windows can be installed anywhere a normal window is installed in your home. They do best with southern exposure for maximum sunlight but can technically be placed anywhere you desire. The most common areas are the kitchen, bedroom, and living room. Kitchen garden windows are most commonly installed above the sink and are usually the smallest. A kitchen garden window usually costs less than the others, but you can install a larger window there or a smaller one somewhere else. Most people place larger garden windows in living rooms because this room tends to have more space, with bedrooms generally having more moderately sized windows. This tends to be a guideline rather than a hard-and-fast rule.
Your project’s total cost varies depending on the glass type, frame type, and window’s operation. In all three locations, it is common to ensure the window is operational rather than fixed. Below are the average costs to install a garden window in each location, based on the most common sizes for that space.
|Location||Window Cost (Installed)|
|Kitchen||$800 - $1,800|
|Bedroom||$900 - $3,800|
|Living Room||$1,100 - $6,000|
Most garden windows are energy efficient, with a minimum of dual-paned glass. This is because the windows contain a lot of glass and protrude from the home, making this a big source of thermal transfer. Many take their garden windows a few steps further, giving them triple-paned glass or gas-filled panes and using a more energy-efficient frame like fiberglass or wood rather than low-cost aluminum. You can find garden windows with an Energy Star rating because most are designed for good efficiency. Old garden windows tend to be inefficient.
Garden windows have the same maintenance as other windows. The only difference is that a garden window is larger, contains more glass panes, and extends out rather than sitting flush with the walls. Maintenance can mean cleaning more glass, making sure that all sides are caulked or sealed, and operational areas move freely. If you keep plants in your garden window, keep a tray or shelf beneath them to prevent water from leaking into the sill or causing damage to the wall. If you choose a window with an aluminum or wood frame, you may have additional maintenance involved in repainting the frame periodically because aluminum may fade and wood may chip or peel.
Bay and garden windows stand out from the home, creating more interior space. How they are formed is very different. A garden window is essentially a box with a slanting lid and four glass panes. The side panes may be operational or fixed, and the front panel may act as an awning window or be fixed.
A bay window is made of three windows sitting at roughly 45º angles. The windows on either side are smaller and may be operational, while the window in the center is usually fixed. Bay windows come in several styles and sizes and usually include a seat on the inside. This seat may be used for storage, decoration, or seating, while a garden window’s interior shelf is generally designed for plants. Garden windows are shorter than bay windows, making them difficult to sit in. The two windows generally have comparable costs, with garden windows tending to cost slightly more because they are not as common as bay windows and not as readily available. Below are the average costs of installing both types.
|Window Type||Unit Cost (Installed)|
|Bay||$1,350 - $3,600|
|Garden||$1,500 - $5,000|
It is very common to install shelves in garden windows. This allows you to fill the space with plants, seedlings, starters, or simply arrange the window better. Shelves are not necessary for the window’s use but can enhance its function. Most shelves are glass or wood, and you can choose different sizes or styles. They have costs starting at $20 to $30 a shelf, depending on the material, and while most need to be installed with the window, some can be added later.
No, they are just not very common. Most people find them to be a great addition with few drawbacks if they remain in good condition.
A garden window in the kitchen is usually installed above the sink. It gives you a place to grow indoor plants or create a small indoor herb garden.
The largest garden windows are around 60” x 72”, but you may find some as large as 72” x 72” with specialty companies.
Yes, most garden windows are operational. The side panes are usually casement and can open out, while the front pane may operate like an awning window.