How Much Does It Cost to Replace Windows?

Living room windows
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The cost to replace windows is a crucial deciding point since window installation is expensive compared to other home projects. While each window may cost a reasonable average of $700 to $725 per unit, whole-house window installation is common. So, a typical window project might cost from $7,000 to $18,000, depending on the number and type of windows.

Costs for Window Types

The average window replacement cost starts at a low cost of about $475 to $500 and ranges up to an average high cost of around $1,450 to $1,500. The average window replacement cost is $975 to $1,000 per window.

But because this comprehensive window estimate includes high- and low-cost outliers like storm windows, jalousie windows, and skylights, a more focused window replacement cost is on average about $850 per window for the most common window types: single-hung, double-hung, casement, picture, and sliding.

Window Type Average Cost Low Cost High Cost
Single-Hung  $336 $202 $570
Double-Hung $596 $270 $900
Casement $576  $355 $797
Picture $578 $340 $815
Sliding $1,453 $660 $2,245
Average Total $708 $365 $1,050

Factors to Consider

The number of windows that you install is one of the most important multipliers or factors when determining window replacement cost. You'll also want to consider the window materials, the location of the windows, and the brand of the windows.

Window Materials

Fiberglass or composite windows are sturdy, and this sturdiness translates to thinner frames and more window glass area. But vinyl and aluminum window materials are two to three times less expensive than fiberglass and composite.

What Are Composite Windows?

Composite windows have a solid core made from resin and fiberglass, unlike vinyl windows which are hollow inside or filled with insulation.

Window Location

Ground-level windows take less time for installers to put in, plus installation is safer and requires less equipment. Second- and third-story windows increase the cost and take longer to install.

Brand of Windows 

Premium and name-brand windows usually cost more than builder- or contractor-grade windows. Choosing a less popular brand of windows is one way to save money on the cost of window replacement. 

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • Labor costs vary by location and season.
  • Wood windows not only cost more but must be primed and painted, further increasing costs.
  • If the home is old and in poor condition, carpentry work may need to be done to the walls so they can accept the new windows.
  • Double-glazed windows are considered standard in most areas. If you would like triple-pane windows, this may increase the cost per window by another $200 to $500.

Do I Need to Replace My Windows?

Due to the high cost of window replacement, it's financially smart to hold onto windows as long as they are still in good working order. So, how do you know when it's time to replace them?

Windows that are broken, leaking, or cracked, including fogged windows, should be replaced. Consider replacing windows that no longer dampen exterior noise or that allow sunlight to fade carpeting and fabrics. 

Drafty windows that you're not able to repair with draft stoppers, window seals, and caulking should be replaced. High energy bills may result from poor windows, indicating the need for replacement.

When to Replace Windows

  • Broken or cracked
  • Fogged
  • Leaking
  • Drafts can't be fixed
  • Noise
  • Energy loss

DIY vs. Professional Window Replacement

An experienced do-it-yourselfer working in dry, favorable weather can replace windows starting at around $150 to $200 per double-hung white vinyl replacement window. 

But DIY window replacement is not common. Due to the complexity of window replacement and the need to work quickly, it is usually best to hire a window company to do the job.

Questions to Ask About Window Replacement

Speaking to a window company representative should be an active dialogue, not a one-way sales pitch. Important questions to ask about window replacement:

  • Do I need to replace these windows? Asking a window company if you need replacement windows is a litmus test for whether you want to hire this company. Though you may end up replacing all the windows, few houses need every window replaced.
  • Can you tell me about your installers? Look for experience and continuity of employment. If yours is a unique job, ask if the installers are experienced at dealing with your type of project. 
  • Can I see your insurance? Sales reps typically have proof of insurance and bonding on hand when they make sales calls. Look at the insurance and bonding and make sure that they are up to date.
  • Can I see your work? At the least, view a portfolio of work that the company has done in your area. At best, ask for a couple of addresses so you can drive by and see them in person.
  • What are the warranties? Verify that the windows come with limited warranties and ask for copies or links so you can read them in detail. The company should also offer a warranty on the labor component. 
  • Is it cheaper to replace all windows at once?

    It might be less expensive on a per-window basis to replace all windows at once since some window installation companies offer better prices on larger-quantity installations. In addition, the style of windows will remain consistent and all of the windows will age uniformly.

  • What time of year is best for replacing windows?

    The best time of year to replace windows is when the weather is temperate for your area: dry and warm but not hot. For most regions, this is late spring or early fall. Even so, most window companies can replace windows throughout the year in all but the most severe weather.

  • What is the cheapest way to replace windows?

    The cheapest way to replace windows is to install vinyl windows. Vinyl windows are generally less expensive to install than fiberglass, composite, metal, or wood windows.

Article Sources
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  1. Update or Replace Windows. United States Department of Energy.