Windows play an important role in your home’s look and function. But your window itself is not the only piece of the puzzle. They need the right trim to help cover gaps, provide a finished appearance, and enhance your house’s curb appeal and interior design.
The trim is the finish molding installed around your windows, both inside and out. It comes in several styles and materials with a wide range of associated costs. The national average range for installing trim is between $125 and $275 per window. Most people pay around $200 per window for painted Craftsman cedar exterior trim. At the low end, you can install composite interior trim for around $80. At the high end, you can install exterior Victorian brick garden window trim for $500.
|Window Trim Installation Costs|
|National average cost||$200|
Window trim is installed on both the interior and exterior of your home. Both types have many similarities, but they can be made of different materials. For example, it is common to match your exterior trim to your siding, so vinyl would be used with vinyl siding. However, it is more common to use wood or MDF indoors. It also comes in various styles, colors, and designs, so any window can be customized to fit your needs.
Installation is also slightly different. Exterior trim covers the gap where the siding ends. Interior trim is used to give the windows a decorative appearance. There can be some overlap in costs, depending on the material, style, and size.
|Type||Average Cost Range per Linear Foot (Labor Included)|
|Interior||$6 - $20|
|Exterior||$9 - $25|
For interior projects, the average cost to install a window casing is $6 to $20 per linear foot, depending on the material and level of labor required. It is usually more decorative and designed to match other trim in the room, such as baseboards or crown moldings. It can be made of many materials, including inexpensive MDF and polystyrene to more expensive hardwoods.
The cost to install an exterior window trim ranges from $9 to $25 per linear foot. It is usually less decorative but needs to be strong and durable to withstand the elements. For this reason, it is more common to use things like laminated wood, insect-resistant wood like cedar, or man-made materials like vinyl or aluminum that hold up well long term. This is usually matched to the rest of your exterior trim and is usually installed at the same time as your siding.
Trim comes in various widths. Different sizes work better for some applications than others. For instance, a decorative model might be larger to create more visual interest. Slimmer models might be better for simple window installations where aesthetics are less of a concern. No matter the size, it should fit well and cover gaps near the opening. If the material is more expensive or the project is custom, these prices may be higher than average.
|Width||Interior Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|½ Inch||$0.60 - $0.75||$0.65 - $0.85|
|1 Inch||$0.80 - $1||$0.90 - $1.60|
|2 Inches||$0.90 - $1.10||$1.10 - $2.20|
|3 Inches||$1.20 - $1.40||$1.35 - $2.45|
|4 Inches||$1.70 - $1.90||$1.85 - $3.20|
|5 Inches||$1.80 - $2||$1.90 - $3.25|
|6 Inches||$2.35 - $2.60||$2.85 - $4.25|
Window trims come in a wide range of materials, and all have different attributes and price points. Some materials can be used both indoors and out, but other materials are best suited to one area. In general, if you can use a specific material outside, it can be used indoors, but it may not be available in the styles and sizes you want for interior use. If a material is designed for interior use, it should not be used outdoors unless specified by the manufacturer.
|Material||Interior Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|MDF||$0.60 - $4||$0.75 - $6|
|Softwood||$0.60 - $6||$1 - $7|
|Fiber Cement||$0.70 - $4||$2.50 - $5.50|
|Hardwood||$0.75 - $6||$4 - $10|
|Vinyl||$0.75 - $7.40||$0.75 - $30|
|Reclaimed Wood||$1.25 - $10||$3 - $12|
|Aluminum||$2 - $4||$2.50 - $6|
|Polyurethane||$2 - $4||$3 - $6|
|Steel||$5 - $18||$1 - $20|
The least expensive material for this project is MDF, which is $0.60 to $4 for interior spaces and $0.75 to $6 for the exterior per linear foot. Many types of composite trim exist, but MDF is the most common for use with windows. This material is an engineered wood product that is more durable and stronger than other wood materials. It may include other substances like straw or plastic along with wood chips, resin, sawdust, and wood shavings.
Cedar and other softwoods cost about $0.60 to $6 for interior use and $1 to $7 for the exterior per linear foot. Some softwoods are less expensive, such as pine, redwood, fir, and cedar. Cypress, Douglas fir, and red cedar tend to be at the higher end of the price point. Softwood can be a good choice for window trim, but it generally needs to be stained, painted, or oiled. However, wood is quicker to rot and can become damaged, needing extra maintenance. Softwood can also be used to make brick trim, which fits next to brick areas near windows.
Moving away from wood, fiber cement ranges from $0.70 to $4 on interior projects and $2.50 to $5.50 on the exterior per linear foot. This material resists rot, making it excellent for outdoor use. However, it also is used in interior spaces in some cases. It is often used to replace wood if the original material rots or experiences other durability issues.
Per linear foot, hardwood is about $0.75 to $6 for the interior and $4 to $10 for the exterior. Many woods are categorized as hardwood, such as inexpensive options like red oak, white oak, poplar, and beech. Ash, bamboo, and mahogany are medium-priced options for this type of installation. Other more expensive options include ipe, teak, and walnut. These woods are typically more durable, and they tend to be stronger than softwood.
Vinyl is $0.75 to $7.40 for interior use and $0.75 to $30 for the exterior per linear foot. It is a popular choice for both spaces since it has few maintenance needs and offers a high level of durability, making some homeowners prefer it over aluminum or wood for this specific project. Vinyl is used for casing and other trim needs for windows and can be simple or intricate depending on a homeowner’s needs. This is another kind of material that can be used to make brick trim for use near brick walls or fireplaces.
As window trim, reclaimed wood costs $1.25 to $10 for the interior and $3 to $12 for the exterior per linear foot. It is an aesthetically pleasing and inexpensive option that can be used for all kinds of openings. The main reason homeowners choose reclaimed wood for this project is that it looks like aged wood, which looks great in vintage or rustic areas. In addition, the color has already been developed, and the wood is strong and durable.
Aluminum ranges from $2 to $4 for the interior or $2.50 to $6 for the exterior per linear foot. This is typically used on the exterior, but it can also be installed inside a home. Many homeowners select this trim to match the aluminum siding on a home. Some benefits of aluminum include high durability and the ability to retard flames and resist insects. However, it can fade, dent, and become damaged, requiring additional maintenance.
Polyurethane costs about $2 to $4 for the interior and $3 to $6 for the exterior per linear foot. The best locations to use polyurethane are those that experience moisture. In addition, this material can be used for built-up and detailed design to create visual interest at the windows. The material feels and cuts much like traditional wood but needs to be painted at the time of installation. This increases the price and makes it cost more to install.
Steel is about $5 to $18 for the interior and $1 to $20 for the exterior per linear foot. Steel trim is not the same as the steel frame that goes around the window. In most cases, it is made through roll forming to build a hollow piece that is built upon to create the desired shape. This type of window trim is highly durable and strong, so it lasts longer than most other options.
Windows come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, and they can all be trimmed both inside and out. The trim itself does not change costs much for most windows, but the size dictates the project’s cost. Larger units cost more to trim than smaller ones. The one difference is rounded or curved models, which need a specialty trim that can be more expensive than square or rectangular option. Below are some of the average costs for various types, assuming the most common sizes for each window. Other styles exist, but this gives insight into the most common ones in a residence.
|Type||Interior Prices (Materials Only)||Exterior Prices (Materials Only)|
|Casement||$60 - $80||$75 - $100|
|Single-Hung||$60 - $85||$80 - $100|
|Double-Hung||$85 - $100||$90 - $115|
|Picture||$120 - $175||$150 - $250|
|Bay||$150 - $200||$175 - $225|
|Arched||$175 - $225||$200 - $250|
|Custom||$175 - $750||$250 - $750|
|Garden||$200 - $300||$225 - $350|
|Skylight||$200 - $500||$200 - $500|
Casement windows cost $60 to $80 to trim for interior projects and $75 to $100 for exterior, depending on the material and size. Casement models are tall and thin and they are trimmed individually. Because of their shape, they are easy to trim and do not have substantial or thick moldings. Trimming a casement window is similar to other models except that an extended sill is typically included at the bottom. The trim used on the bottom can be used on the top and sides.
On average, trimming a single-hung window costs $60 to $85 for the interior or $80 to $100 for the exterior. This is one of the most common types of windows, so professionals will be experienced with installing the trim associated with it. However, the chosen material and size impact prices. The parts of trim that are traditionally installed include the interior jamb, casing, ledge, apron, and plumb.
Trim installation on a double-hung window costs about $85 to $100 for a home interior or $90 to $115 for the exterior. The main difference between a double-hung window and a single-hung variety is that the former has two sashes that move, while the latter only has a single movable sash. Adding trim to a double-hung window provides a vintage or contemporary style, depending on the materials chosen.
Picture windows may have wider trim to complement their larger size and cost $120 to $175 a window for the interior and $150 to $250 for exterior ones. Picture windows are larger-sized windows that are trimmed individually. While bigger, they are still usually square or rectangular, so they are easy to trim. A standard installation is typically used with these windows since the aesthetic comes from the style.
Bay windows often include very elaborate trim to help complement their appearance. Trim installation ranges from $150 to $200 for interior projects or $175 to $225 for exterior ones. Bay windows may need more trim, depending on how they are formed. They can be made of several panels, each with its own trim or trimmed out at once. Installation involves introducing facia to the skirt, placing molding, and adding any needed hardware.
Homeowners pay $175 to $225 for interior arched windows and $200 to $250 for interior ones. Rounded windows or curved windows need specialty trim designed to match the curve of the window. This can be more expensive for the trim and installation, so even if the window is smaller, the costs are usually higher. Round-arched windows can be made using a single pattern, while it is more complicated to add trim to curved windows.
Prices vary for custom window trim, with costs from $175 to $750 on the interior and $250 to $750 on the exterior. Since custom trim is made for specific windows and customized to meet a homeowner’s needs, the prices range from average to expensive. However, it can be made of any material to match the style of any home. It can be simple or elaborate but will never look the same as another trim selection in someone else’s home.
Garden window trim costs $200 to $300 on the interior or $225 to $350 on the exterior. This unique model offers a large ledge where homeowners can place items. It is often found in kitchens and used for plants, herbs, and other items that need sunlight to flourish. The trim for this window protrudes away from the wall and can be made of many types of material.
The cost to trim an interior or exterior skylight is the same at $200 to $500, depending on materials, size, and other factors. A common form of trim for a skylight is a grid, which is functional and adds character to the window. It is most often rectangular and can be made of various materials, although wood is the most common. The edges of the grid are mitered, and a stain or paint can be used to finish the process.
Like other types of house trim, window trim can be created in many styles. Some can be achieved by layering one molding over another, while others are created using decorative filets and other elements. Some styles are more expensive to create than others, particularly as you get more decorative or elaborate.
Depending on the material chosen, it often comes in various styles. Based on the way you want your home to look, you can choose something simple, something that is more modern, something with a historic and vintage appeal, or an intricate style that works with the architecture of your home.
For example, flat stock is a very simple type with a flat face used in all sorts of homes. Ranch is a similar choice. However, Colonial is a more detailed, historic trim that looks similar to homes from the 17th and 18th centuries. Unlike either of these, Craftsman is more modern with a widened top instead of center. Trim that is scalloped, Victorian, or Windsor style has much more details and interesting angles or profiles to really stand out from a home.
The best way to choose a style is by considering the aesthetic you want. Then you break down your options based on whether they are more functional or intricate and if they look better with modern or vintage elements of your home. Below you can see the average price for some of the most common styles for the home’s interior and exterior.
|Style||Interior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|Flat Stock||$1 - $5||$3 - $8|
|Colonial||$1 - $5||$4 - $10|
|Bullnose||$1 - $5||$5 - $9|
|Craftsman||$1 - $6||$4 - $10|
|J-Channel||$2 - $5||$3 - $8|
|Scalloped||$2 - $5||$4 - $10|
|Ranch||$2 - $6||$5 - $10|
|Provincial||$2 - $7||$4 - $10|
|Windsor||$2 - $7||$5 - $10|
|Victorian||$3 - $10||$8 - $15|
The labor cost to install window trim varies from one project to the other, depending on the window’s style and material. It also varies for indoor and outdoor projects. If you are installing windows, in addition to trim, keep in mind that these are often distinct processes with their own costs. Be sure the professionals you hire are willing to do both jobs if you want them completed at the same time.
Indoor installation costs between $50 and $150 a window, depending on the material and how involved the installation is. The most common labor charge per window is $75. Exterior installation costs start around $100 a window and go to $400 a window for second-story windows, large windows, and elaborate design.
Trim can be installed by a handyman or carpenter indoors. However, your siding installer most likely installs it on the exterior. The different professionals involved make the labor costs different between the interior and exterior trims. Regardless of who installs it, it generally takes under an hour to handle the project. The process involves installing all pieces that go around a window, such as molding, casing, stool, apron, and jambs at the top and bottom.
|Rates||Interior Costs (Labor Only)||Exterior Costs (Labor Only)|
|Per Linear Foot||$3.20 - $8||$9.50 - $12|
|Per Hour||$65 - $105||$70 - $120|
Size is one of the factors that comes into play in the cost to replace trim around windows (or install it for the first time). For larger units, more labor is required to place all the different sections. Most people find that their final costs fall somewhere in the middle of this range depending on other aspects that determine window trim installation prices.
Small windows are typically the least expensive to install trim on since less material and labor are needed. However, prices can go higher if the windows are higher off the ground or located in basement wells. Most windows are average-sized, including an array of sash and casement windows. It is the most common trim to install and will generally be inexpensive unless the job is particularly challenging. Large windows can be very expensive to trim, depending on size. However, most are not overly huge compared to average windows, which can drop the price. Installing trim for a huge picture window or skylight will be the most expensive.
|Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Small||$50 - $150|
|Average Size||$100 - $200|
|Large||$150 - $400|
In most cases, window trim on the inside of your home does not need to be replaced unless you want to update your interior’s look and style. However, if the interior or exterior trim is rotten or starts to break down, many homeowners choose to replace it. The cost to replace rotten window trim (or otherwise damaged trim) is about $70 to $180. On top of the cost to replace interior or exterior window trim, there may also be a removal and disposal fee. In most cases, this will be a flat fee of $20 to $30. When both fees are considered, the final cost to replace the trim of a window is $90 to $210.
Window sills usually need replacement before the rest of the trim. This is the flat ledge that sits at the base of the window, and its placement means that moisture may collect there. It can also be used to set items, but this causes it to stain and wear out. Replacing a sill is more expensive because it requires more labor. The average rotten window sill replacement cost is $150 to $250 per window.
If you have an exterior window with trim that is high-maintenance or rotting, you can have it capped rather than replacing the window and trim. Capping wraps the frame and trim in another material like vinyl or aluminum to reduce damage and is only done on exterior windows. There is no need to remove the existing trim before adding capping. It can lower the maintenance of your exterior windows and trim, but it detracts from the appearance because it can cover up the natural wood grain.
The average cost to cap a window is around $75, but it can be as high as $150 for larger windows. The cost to install capping is determined by linear foot of material. Capping installation is $1 to $2 for each linear foot. The most common materials used for window capping are vinyl and aluminum. However, other options include fiberglass and rolled aluminum. Aluminum is recommended and is the most common because it prevents damage to the window frame.
|Material||Cost per Linear Foot (Installed)|
|Vinyl||$7 - $21.50|
|Aluminum||$7 - $22|
Adding vinyl wrap as window capping for a window ranges from $7 to $21.50 per linear foot with labor and materials included. It has a smooth appearance, is available in many colors, and does not require a large amount of maintenance to keep it looking great. Pressure or spray washing it once or twice a year might be needed since it attracts dirt. It also is more likely to crack and be damaged than aluminum capping for windows.
Aluminum capping for windows is another great choice that costs about $7 to $22 per linear foot. It comes in many styles and fits homes ranging from traditional to modern. It also comes in several colors, hides any imperfections in the trim underneath, and looks new for years to come. It tends to be more durable than vinyl wrap and handles extreme weather and high temperatures.
Proper measurements are the first step to take to ensure it fits properly. On the exterior side of things, proper installation prevents moisture from entering the home. For the interior, it helps avoid drafts. Below is how to measure the amount of trim you need. This can be used to calculate the price for the windows in a home.
For exterior installations, the first thing to do is measure along the bottom of the window from one corner to the other. Next, measure up each side of the window. Include the width with these to get measurements for the sides. Measure the top of the window next. Add the width of the vertical items to get the length.
Interior projects are slightly different. Measure from one inside corner to the other one on the bottom. Tack on a 1/2 inch for the measurement. This provides a gap that you need for installation. Now, measure from the bottom to the top inside corners and add 1/2 inch to that. Next, measure from one inside corner to the other on the top for the last measurement you need.
Some window trim arrives primed and painted, and others do not require painting at all. If you have one that needs painting, expect to add another $1 to $4 per linear foot to the project. This covers the labor, paint, and other materials required to create aesthetically-pleasing window trim. Some professionals charge a flat fee of $25 to $50 per window.
Crown molding is the large, substantial molding used where the walls meet the ceiling. While it is not suitable for windows, you can get the same look using a larger and more substantial window molding, which costs between $7 and $16 a linear foot. This is one of the most traditional types of molding for windows and complements other interior trim in the same style. It comes in several materials such as wood, vinyl, plaster, aluminum, steel, and more.
Rosettes can be installed on the corners of the window trim for a more formal or decorative look. These cost $5 to $30 each, depending on the material and style. One benefit of rosettes is that they remove the need to make complicated miter cuts, which means it can be installed quickly and easily. These often create an intimate, elegant feel in a room.
It can have a range of costs based on whether it is on the interior or exterior of the home, where the home is located, and what architectural details are chosen. Basic interior trim in inexpensive locations might cost as little as $50. However, detailed models with extra features made using expensive materials on a second or third floor could be $500.
It depends on the size of the window, the type of trim chosen, and other factors. However, the average price is about $100 to $175 for each window. If a basic installation with inexpensive materials is chosen, this price could be as low as $50 in some locations. On the other hand, a high-end installation might be as much as $350.
For the interior, this is a style decision, while on the exterior, it should be replaced with the siding or when it softens and begins to rot. If you can push a screwdriver into your trim, it should be replaced.
On the exterior of your home, it is necessary to cover the gap between the siding and your window. On the interior of your home, this is purely a style choice.