Window installation includes removing old windows and their frames as well as installing an entirely new frame with glass in it. Aside from replacing a damaged window, many people choose to update their windows as a way to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Windows have three key components: the frame, the glass and mode of operation. New windows can be installed on any type of home, including ones with wood siding, vinyl siding, brick, aluminum or metal, and stucco or concrete. The type of window frame and glass as well as the accessibility of the window all play a role in the cost of installation. Most windows are sold by the united inch, which is the width plus the height of a window. (Window width + window height = united inch.) New windows are 10 percent to 15 percent more energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer credits and many states offer tax breaks for adding new windows to a home.
Type of window
The type of window, number of unified inches needed and type of glass are the biggest cost factors with window installation.
Wood, vinyl, fiberglass, composite and aluminum are common window frame materials. For energy efficiency, however, more and more people are swapping out their old aluminum frames for better performing frames that don’t allow for energy waste, says Erin Ennis of Good Guy Windows in Bothell, Washington. High-efficiency glass helps prevent energy loss and comes in a variety of options, including reflective, low-e (short for "low-emissivity"), tinted, gas-fill and more. Operating types include fixed panes, single hung, double hung, sliding, casement and many more specialty styles.
Some situations call for glass that’s tempered or that has grids, says Ennis of Good Guy Windows. Some homeowners may want to increase their low-e factor. Each job is unique. Thus, there’s not a standard rate for window pricing. Aluminum windows are typically the least expensive, but they also generally have the lowest energy-efficiency ratings. Windows that don’t seal in temperatures can actually cost more in the long run, says Chuck Thall of Raetrent Remodeling in Strongsville, Ohio. Differences in the quality of the window, the installation work and other materials used can be great. Most people only install windows once in their lifetime, so choices should not be based solely on cost but also on value and quality.
Here are two examples of costs for materials and labor to install a new, energy-efficient 3x4 window:
Raetrent Remodeling: Approximately $550
- Pricing can go as high as $5,000 for a bay or bow window with specialty glass and framing.
Good Guy Windows: $500–$550
For the same window size from a different manufacturer made with a specialty fiberglass exterior and all wood interior, the cost could go up to $1,500.
- All prices from Good Guy Windows include removal and disposal of old materials and window.
Having more than one window installed at the same time saves money. Although the overall cost will be higher for installation, the cost per window install will likely be less because the professional can maximize time and labor at one job site. Raetrent Remodeling offers about a 5 percent to 10 percent savings on the total bill for installing multiple windows in one location.
A standard window installation takes 1.25 to 2 hours, depending on whether trim work is needed. Good Guy Windows charges by the linear foot for trim repair. Trim work rates vary based on the amount and type of materials needed. Here are two examples of trim work costs from Good Guy Windows:
Line and case a window frame with an MDF product: $400
- Line and case a window frame with raw hemlock wood: $500
Financing can help diffuse the cost of new window installation. Financing enables customers to install multiple windows at one time and potentially earn a discount for installing more than one window and then pay for the job over time. For example, Raetrent Remodeling charges $3,000 to install five windows at one time. With financing, customers would pay $45 a month, or $1.50 a day depending on the terms, interest and financing period. Financing costs are offset by lower heating and cooling bills, thanks to the better windows. Ultimately, says Thall of Raetrent Remodeling, the net cost is really less.