Window Replacement Cost

In this guide

Simple replacement vs. new construction
Window panes
Energy star efficiency
Types of windows
Materials
Factors affecting cost
Labor
Removal of the old windows
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install or replace windows?

Windows are an integral part of every home. They let in sunlight and air, and provide a view to the outdoors. No window lasts forever, though, and it's common to need to replace your windows roughly every 20 to 25 years, if not sooner. Common reasons to replace windows may include wanting to increase the energy efficiency of the home, rotting frames or sheathing, water leaks, which have lead to mold or insulation problems, or the desire to increase the value of your home.

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of window replacements. The material, size of the window, condition of the existing frame, and the type of glass can all impact your final cost. The national average cost of replacing a 3-foot by 5-foot double hung, vinyl 2 window is $1,500, while using a wood window frame costs an average of $1,875 for the same project.

Simple replacement vs. new construction

If there is no damage to the existing window frame, and you're replacing your windows for energy efficiency or resale value, the replacement will cost significantly less than if the frames need to be rebuilt. New construction, meaning that the window frames must be created on site to accommodate the new windows, costs approximately 50% more than a simple replacement. So, for the same double-hung vinyl 1 window, the cost would be $2,300, or a nearly $800 difference.

Window panes

A large percentage of the cost of your new windows will come from the type of window pane you choose. Windows come with several options, which can not only affect the cost, but also the efficiency of the window.

Glass TypeProsCons
Single ($47)Least expensiveNon-insulating, fewer options, less availability
Double ($96)Better insulating, more common, lots of optionsCostlier than single-pane glass
Low-E ($110)More comfortable rooms, better energy efficiencyMore costly, can cause problems with nearby vinyl 1 siding
Triple ($128)Better insulating, energy efficientMore costly, less availability
Laminated ($750)Reduces noise, increases strength of large windowsCostly, cannot be combined with some other options
Tempered ($750)Safe, unlikely to break during wind or stormsCostly, cannot be combined with some other options
Argon Filled ($40 to $55/sq.ft.)Much better insulating than other window types

Costly, may be difficult to find in some window types


  • Single panes refers to a window with one pane of glass on its own
  • Double pane refers to a window with two panes of glass beside one another
  • Triple pane refers to a window with three panes of glass beside one another
  • Low-E glass has been treated with a metallic oxide to prevent heat transfer
  • Laminated glass has been covered with a transparent coating under heat to increase strength
  • Tempered glass has been treated with heat to increase its strength and prevent breakage
  • Argon filled glass refers to two or more panes that have invisible argon gas between them to insulate

Energy star efficiency

Many types of window glazing, or glass, including gas filled and Low-E glass, are recommended by Energy Star to improve the performance of the windows and lower your energy bills. While things like Low-E glass cost about 15% more than standard glass, you can save about 30% to 50% in energy loss, which results in lower energy bills.

Types of windows

There are many different types of windows you can choose from. Your style choice will affect the total cost of your project. A range of prices is provided below for each window type (window materials only). Lower prices correspond with lower quality materials, while higher prices correspond with higher quality materials.

TypePros Cons
Awning ($90 - $400)Ventilation, privacyVery small, opens outward
Double hung ($150 - $400)Easy cleaningSome view blockage
Sliding ($220 - $760)Can be cleaned from interiorSome view blocking
Half Round ($300 - $400)Decorative, many stylesView blocking, non opening
Round ($300 - $500)Decorative, comes in many stylesFixed, non-opening, difficult to install
Sash ($300 - $850)Can be cleaned from interiorSome view blocking, heavy and harder to pen
Casement ($300 - $1,400)Wide opening, can be cleaned from interiorOpens outward, rather than up
Picture ($450 - $880)More open views, better curb appeal and lightDifficult to clean exteriors, non opening
Bay Window 2 ($1,200 - $3,500)Adds interior space and visual appealLimited areas of placement

Materials

MaterialProsCons
Aluminum ($75 - $300)No rust, thin frame, lightweight, inexpensiveThermal transfer, not widely available
Vinyl 1 ($130 - $500)Low maintenanceLimited colors
Wood ($150 - $800)Appearance and style, lots of color optionsHigh maintenance, peeling, repainting
Steel ($300 - $1,500)Durable, fireproof, low maintenanceHeavy, expensive
Fiberglass 3 ($750 - $1,500)Insulating, durable, paintableNot widely available, expensive

Factors affecting cost

There is a number of factors that can affect the final cost of your windows. In addition to the material, type of window, and type of glass that you choose, the size of your window, it's location, and in some cases the color of the frame may also play a role. Generally, larger windows will increase the cost. Windows for skylights will also be more expensive than traditional windows, with the average skylight running around $450 - $1,500, as will any window installation that requires additional framing, such as a non-standard sized window or increasing the size of a current window while replacing it.

Labor

Window replacement labor generally adds between $100 and $200 per window to the total costs. This involves removing the existing window, making any necessary repairs to the frame, installing the new window and caulking 4 or sealing up any air gap surrounding it. Windows are installed from the exterior or outside of the house, so ladders or scaffolding 5 may be required to assist in the installation. Windows located in difficult to reach locations may cost about 12% more to install than those that are accessible from the ground if scaffolding 5 is involved. On average, each window takes around 30 minutes to replace and install providing that the frame is in good condition and requires no additional work.

Removal of the old windows

In the vast majority of cases, the company installing your new windows will both remove your old windows, and dispose of them properly once they are done for no additional fee. If you wish to keep your old windows, you will need to notify the installation team prior to them getting started.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Type of glass

You may want to opt for tempered, safety, or impact resistant glass if you live in an area subjected to things like natural disasters or hail stones. This may increase the cost of the windows by about $14 per foot of glass.

Energy efficient windows

Opting for Energy Star rated windows will decrease energy loss by 30% to 50%. These windows typically cost about 15% more than traditional windows of the same size.

Look for windows with the National Fenestration Rating Council sticker on them. The NFRC rates each window for insulating properties, how well light passes through, potential air gap, and solar heat gain, or how well the windows resist unwanted heat gain during the summer months, the lower the number, the better the resistance. The NFRC label shows all of this at a glance, making it easier for you to choose a window that meets your needs.

Sealing the perimeter

Sometimes it's not the window that's causing energy loss, but the air gap around the frame. This can be fixed by sealing the frame with caulk 4, and can be done at the same time as a window replacement. Some installers will do this free of charge, while others will add on a cost of around $30 to the project. All window installers will strive to create a watertight seal around the window frame by tightly fitting the new window, and potentially caulking 4 this area as well.

Additional considerations and costs

  • The choice of replacement window you make may be influenced by the area and climate you live in. Very hot and very cold climates may need more insulating windows with things like Low-E coating or argon filled panes, while areas with more moderate temperatures may make do without these additions.
  • The age of the home may affect the final cost, as older homes may require additional carpentry to fit new windows.
  • Local building codes may require permits or variances for certain types of window installation; always check with your town hall before proceeding.
  • While windows can be expensive, some installers will allow you to make monthly payments to finance the replacements. Speak to your installer to find out your options.
  • Rebates may be available for some energy efficient windows. Check with your local government for more information.
  • Your new windows may come with a warranty. It is common for the installation to be warrantied for one year, and the windows themselves for 10 or more years. Always ask what warranties may be available for the windows you are purchasing.
  • Some windows may be easier to maintain than others. Vinyl 1 frames, for example, are easier to maintain than wood. Double-hung windows are easier to clean than single-hung. Take your lifestyle into consideration when choosing which windows will be best for your home.
  • Window installation is not a DIY project. The frame must fit tightly in order to create a watertight seal. In addition, an older window may have mold, which needs to be treated growing around it, or there may be structural integrity or building code issues that need to be addressed; always opt for professional installation to get the best results in your window replacement.


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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
2 Bay window: A set of 3 or more windows that projects beyond the outside wall of a building. These are great for allowing light into a room
3 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
4 Caulking: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
5 Scaffolding: A temporary structure used during construction/maintenance/painting projects to raise and support workers (or one worker), required materials, and equipment

Cost to install or replace windows varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Batavia, IL
+28%
Bellevue, WA
+13%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Boulder, CO
-4%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Cary, NC
-5%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Cocoa, FL
-16%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Gooding, ID
-41%
Hampton, GA
-11%
Hayward, CA
+31%
Houston, TX
+24%
Hutchinson, KS
-33%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Indio, CA
-6%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Kennesaw, GA
+10%
Lakewood, CA
+16%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Manassas, VA
+12%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Pennington, NJ
+28%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pinedale, WY
-1%
Portland, OR
+11%
Raleigh, NC
-3%

Labor cost in your zipcode

Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources