How Much Does Window Replacement Cost? (2022)

Can you increase window size?

The answer is: Absolutely! While many window companies offer replacement windows, they do not offer alterations or make adjustments to the window opening, they simply place the same size window into the existing opening.

How Much Will it Cost to Add a New Window?

If you’re looking to add a window into an existing brick wall or another type of wall, you’ll want to know the potential costs before you begin. No two projects are the same, so we will not be able to provide you with an exact price, but we can give you a range that you can expect. Adding a window into an existing wall requires a combination of siding, framing, and finishing work, so the price range will usually run between $1,000 and $5,000 per window.

The factors that will affect a new window installation into an existing wall include:

  • Framing typically costs between $1,000 and $2,500.
  • The installation of insulation can cost between $450 and $3,000.
  • Rerouting electrical will usually cost between $150 and $500.
  • The cost of trim repair can range between $300 and $1,000.
  • Siding repair will typically cost between $300 and $1,100.
  • Drywall installation tends to cost about $1.50 per square foot.

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Wooden Picture Windows

Wooden picture window frames are generally the most expensive as they offer a classic, timeless window look that people love. They are strong, but they can be affected by weathering over time. Wooden frame windows can truly make a picture window look beautiful in your home. Many homeowners love to install a wooden picture window with two casement windows on each side as pictured below.

Picture Window Sizes

The most common widths for picture windows are 2 ft, 3 ft, 4 ft, 6 ft, and 8 feet wide. Standard picture window heights can range from 1 foot to as tall as 8 feet. Large picture windows can run as big as 72 inches in height and width.

For any window larger than 72 inches in width or height, you would need to consult with a local window contractor on custom sizes available and associated costs to install.

When selecting a picture window, it is important to think about what effect you want to create in your home. If you are trying to make a small room appear larger, the picture window should take up a large portion of your wall. When used in a larger space, you may want to install several picture windows, or to use the them as part of an overall architectural feature to keep it from looking small on such a large wall.

Picture windows are all about aesthetic and should be placed strategically to create the look you are going for. If unsure about which size you should install for the layout of your home, you should speak to a window installer near you to get a better idea for your project.

What is a bay of windows?

What Is A Bay Window? A bay window is a three sectioned window that bows outward. The center window is a picture window and on either side of the picture window is another style of window. The side windows are usually the same type of window.

Retrofit Windows vs Replacement Windows

Another way to refer to replacement windows is to call them retrofit windows. A replacement or retrofit window uses your home’s existing opening. It also uses the existing trim. This means that no new construction needs to take place to install your window. You do not need to remove the siding, and you do not have to make drywall repairs after. Whether you prefer to call the project a retrofit or replacement, the result is the same.

Types of Window Enlargements

There are three basic ways that you can get bigger windows… a cut-down, an enlargement or a cut-up.

Window Cut-Down Option

A cut-down involves expanding the window opening downward. If you qualify for the “cut-down” option, this is the key to keeping the price down! Why? Well because a cut-down doesn’t affect the header above the window or the studs around it.

Because the structural integrity of the walls surrounding the windows is not challenged, cut-downs usually don’t require a municipal building permit.

A cut down also requires less work than enlarging the width of your window and, as a result, costs less money than other options.

Office window before and after “cut down&#82
Office window before and after “cut down”

Here’s a before and after of my office window. It’s the same width (about 60″) but enlarged downward from 14″ to 50″ in height! If you are lucky enough to have crappy windows that are placed high on the wall and are very wide, you are the perfect candidate for what’s called a “cut-down.”

Now you can save some money!

Window Enlargement Option

The enlargement option is the most expensive. An enlargement of your window means that you are either extending the window left of right (the width).

If you want to enlarge your window width, your project will require a permit from your city/borough. 

Window Cut-Up Option

There’s also the “cut-up”, which means the window is small and you want to increase the height of the window upward. This may be combined with the cut-down to increse your window height in both directions.

Performing a “cut up” on a window also requires a permit.

This option is always more expensive than a cut-down because you are affecting the studs (enlargement option) and/or the header above the window (cut-up) option. In fact, I’d estimate this would run around the same cost as an enlargement.

DIY Vs. Hiring a Pro

Replacing the windows in your home is not a project for the faint of heart, and even more daunting of a task if you have a two-story house. There are many different possible failure points where you could easily end up with having invested many frustrating weekends. In the worst-case scenario, you need a professional to come to your home to redo the installation. When you hire the right professionals to do the work, it will be done fast and flawlessly.

Why Hire a Professional?

The task of replacing the windows in your home is not as straightforward as it may appear in a YouTube video. Advantages of hiring professional window installer include:

  • Excellent work – This is a craft that the professionals you hire have spent years learning and perfecting. Each window will be installed with no gaps left for heat transfer to keep the climate in your home just the way you want it.
  • Equipment and tools – Professional window installers will have all the tools required to install your windows.
  • Better prices – Professional installers typically have access to better materials and better prices than a member of the public.
  • Faster – Professional window installers will be 8 to 10 times faster than the average homeowner who has decided to do the work themselves.
  • Cleanup – When the last window has been installed, and everything looks perfect, your installation team will load up the original windows and cart them off to be disposed of properly.
  • Issues – In addition to being able to measure everything accurately before any windows are ordered, they will also know how to deal with situations like rotting wood, and mold, as well as do the work, so it complies with any city ordinances, HOA rules, or building codes specific to your area.

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How Does Window Location Affect the Cost?

The location of your windows can add to the expenses of a window replacement project. For example, the costs for windows in the foyer, bathroom, or bedroom will stay relatively low because they use standard size windows. However, your costs will increase as you update rooms with multiple specialty or decorative windows (i.e., kitchen or living room).

Basement window replacement costs depend heavily on the type of window you choose. Replacing basement windows can cost between $200 and more than $1,000. However, if you choose to install basement egress windows for a basement bedroom, your costs will increase to the $2,000–$5,000+ range. Egress windows are specialty windows that are large enough to use to escape during an emergency. These windows usually require a professional for the installation.

You can also expect additional costs for windows on the upper floors. Those installations require additional labor costs, special equipment, and more time to complete the project.

Wrapping Up

So, today we’ve learned that the cheapest way to get your windows enlarged is the cut-down option, which means enlarging the window downward vertically on the wall.

We also learned that this can be about $1000, plus the cost of window so it’s actually not THAT cheap. But, it’s about half the price the alternative. Enlarging or cutting-up a window involves getting a permit and adjusting the header and studs, which affect the structural integrity of your home.

I also included a few tips for working with contractors on your window project. Ask around to get some referrals. Sometimes the best option is to choose someone based on the recommendation of a trusted family member, friend or neighbor.

Even if you are really happy with a referral, you should still get three quotes with line-item estimates. It’s just good practice to do so to make sure that you are paying the appropriate price. Paying too little can be just as bad (if not worse) than paying too much. You don’t want to regret your decision when the damage is already done.

In addition, make sure you ask about extra things like repairing/replacing exterior brick or siding, finishing off the trim (inside and outside) and ensuring that the window selection and finish work will match the other windows in your home.

Don’t forget to discuss payment terms and warranty information, too!

Lastly, trust your gut. Don’t always go for the cheapest bid. Consider other factors like… Was the contractor friendly? Did he/she make you feel comfortable?

Developing relationships with contractors is an important part of being a home owner… you never know when you may need their services again so take the time to find a good one!

I’m interested in knowing if anyone else has had a cut-down window enlargement project done. Comment below if you would like to share the price of your project so that we can see what it would cost in different areas other than the Northeast Pennsylvania region. Thanks for reading and as always let me know if you have any questions.

-Amy

Major cost factors to consider

As illustrated above, what a homeowner might expect to pay to add a window to an existing wall can fall in a broad range because every project is different. The final cost depends on a number of factors beyond just the price of the window itself.

Picray emphasizes that a window is only as good as the installation. Improper installation can result in low window efficiency and difficulty opening and closing moving sashes.

According to HomeAdvisor, some of the expenses involved in putting a window into an existing wall include:

  • Labor and installation: $30–$50 per hour
  • Framing: $1,000–$2,500
  • Drywall repair: $1.50 per square foot
  • Siding repair: $300–$1,000
  • Insulation: $450–$3,000
  • Rerouting electrical: $150–$500

Other cost considerations include:

  • Whether the wall is load-bearing or gabled, (triangular)
  • Whether there is plumbing in the wall
  • Accessibility of the exterior and interior of the wall
  • Whether the window will be installed on a second level, requiring scaffolding and safety harnesses
  • Whether the window will be installed in a basement
  • Whether your home is located in a high altitude location, requiring windows that can withstand the pressure
  • Whether your windows will need to withstand extreme heat or extreme cold
Source: (Guzmán Barquín / Unsplash)
Source: (Guzmán Barquín / Unsplash)

Energy-Efficient Options for Replacement Windows

If you are looking for ways to lower your energy bills, there are several ways to help improve your home’s energy efficiency with the right replacement windows or glass type.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Single-pane windows are the most basic type of windows used in homes. As the name suggests, these windows use a single layer of glass. They do not provide insulation or energy efficiency protection for your home. The outside temperatures seep through the windows and affect your home’s internal temperature. Single-pane windows cost less, making them the best option for a strict budget, with average costs around $100 to $350.

Double-pane windows offer better energy efficiency by using two panes of glass with gas trapped in between the panes. The gas used, typically argon or krypton, is nontoxic, colorless, and odorless. Double-pane windows use this gas as insulation, helping to trap frigid cold or sweltering heat without affecting your home’s internal temperatures. You can expect to pay between $400 to $900 for each window installed in your home.

If you need additional protection, you can install triple-pane glass windows with three glass panes. They cost the most out of the window options, with pricing from $500 to $1800 per window.

To maximize your energy savings, you can install replacement windows that are Energy Star certified. These products are backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their cost-saving energy efficiency.

According to Energy Star, using these certified windows in your replacement project will lower your household energy bills by 12% annually, on average. By upgrading your non-certified products, you can save $101–$583 a year for single-pane windows and $27–$197 annually for clear, double-paned installations.

Energy-Efficient Window Treatments

In addition to using energy-efficient windows, homeowners can opt for glass with special coatings that block ultraviolet (UV) rays. Low-emissivity coatings (or Low-e) help control how heat energy moves through the panes. Low-e coatings on the exterior of the glass will prevent heat from passing into your home without blocking the sunlight.

Tinted windows are an alternative to Low-e windows that use solar window film to block UV rays. They are similar to car window tinting but are less noticeable and don’t take away from the aesthetics of your home.

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Window Replacement Costs

Window replacement costs $550 on average with most homeowners spending between $400 and $1,000 per window including installation. The cost to replace every window in a 3-bedroom house ranges from $4,500 to $9,600 depending on the sizes, frame materials, type, and the number of windows. Labor cost for professional installation is $159 to $258 on average.

 Window Replacement Cost    National  Average Cost

Window Replacement Cost
National Average Cost $550
Minimum Cost $200
Maximum Cost $2,000
Average Range $400 to $800

Egress Window Location

Egress window costs will be different depending on

Egress window costs will be different depending on its location, as well. It is not the same installing one window at the attic or in the basement. The primary difference is in digging the window well, which increases the overall price of the job.

Before starting, you need to get permits from your local building authorities. Then, you need to hire a professional to install the window. In general, city fees and a skilled expert will cost you from $1,500 to $2,500.

On the other hand, installing an egress window above the ground is a simple DIY weekend project. If you chose this option, you can lower the egress window costs to around $500 to $1,000.

Additional Costs and Considerations

When buying windows, homeowners may incur unavoidable costs related to their purchase. For example, many homeowners may not consider themselves qualified to install windows and will therefore hire professionals to do the installation or replacement for them. Labor usually runs $30 to $50 an hour, and most contractors will bid a flat rate with labor included. Labor costs can vary, though: If windows are installed on the second or third floor of a home, limited access can increase the total paid. Additional costs can be incurred, such as if there is custom work to be done or if the window replacements or installations are to be done on a historical property.

Installation and Labor

According to HomeAdvisor, window installation costs on average $5,860, or between $2,950 and $9,051. Labor typically costs $150 to $800 per window, or about $40 an hour per person. A single window unit can run between $300 and $1,200 for standard sizes, and custom or bay windows can cost up to $2,000 or more on average. Installing windows on the second floor or above will likely require additional equipment such as scaffolding, ladders, and safety harnesses, so it is likely to be more expensive. The price of labor is usually included in the total quote provided by a professional. To find more specific pricing for window replacement or installation and labor, contact a local window installer. Alternatively, searching for “window replacement near me” can help provide answers.

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Permits

Permit requirements vary from city to city and state to state. Some cities do not require a permit for simply replacing windows, while others do. There are some cities that require a permit if your home is located within a designated historic district or is a historic landmark. Most cities will require a permit if you decide to change the size of a window or want to convert a window to a door or vice versa. It’s recommended to check if you’ll need a building permit for window installation or window replacement in your area before starting work on your home.

Photo: depositphotos.com

FAQs

  • How often should you replace windows?

This depends on many factors. If your windows are leaking, old, or no longer functional, they should be replaced. Otherwise, you may find that sealing or repairing your existing windows does more for efficiency.

  • How much does it cost to install common window types?

The average cost to install a single-window is around $550 to $750 but can be higher or lower, depending on the size and frame type.

  • What factors affect the cost of window replacement the most?

The window type, frame material, and glass affects the cost of your window replacement the most.

  • Is window replacement worth all that money?

This depends on many factors. If your windows are drafty, leaky, or out of date, upgrading is often worth it. When upgrading to new wood windows, those have the highest ROI at 68%. Most other window types have lower returns.

  • How much does it cost to replace all windows in a house?

The average house has around 22 windows. Assuming a mixture of types and styles, this has a cost range of roughly $10,000 to $28,000.

  • Should I replace all windows at once?

You get the best price for doing them all at once. There are volume discounts per window that you do not receive if you replace them in smaller numbers.

  • What time of year is best to replace windows?

There is no one time of year. However, as long as the weather is good, winter and summer are the two slowest times of the year, which could get you better prices.

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