two men replacing windows

How Much Does Window Replacement Cost?

Emma Tomsich8-Minute Read
May 07, 2022

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Replacing your home’s windows is like going to the doctor — nobody wants to do it, but it needs to happen from time to time. Like a trip to the doctor, replacing your home’s windows can be expensive. But luckily, your house will look and feel much better after an upgrade. In the same way that you need to keep yourself healthy, you also need to keep your house healthy.

Replacing your home’s windows can result in huge energy savings, provide a more comfortable home environment and even increase your home’s value. Read below to learn about window replacement costs and how much to budget for the project.

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How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Window?

The cost of replacing your windows depends on the size, condition of the windows and type of replacement.

The average cost to replace a window is typically $175 – $700 each for basic windows, and $800 – $1,200 for windows with more energy-saving features. Installation costs can depend on several factors.

There are many benefits of replacing windows, including increasing home value and comfort.

As you look into your options for window replacement, be sure to do your research and compare contractor prices.

Type of Window

There are many different types of windows, each with their own costs. As we mentioned, the size and type of window can affect the estimated replacement cost. There are many different types of windows, each with their own costs. Double-hung windows are the most popular among homeowners and are also some of the most affordable.

Here are estimates for the various types of windows:

  • Single-hung windows: Single-hung windows have a single operable sash on the bottom and a single fixed sash on the bottom. As a result, the bottom part of the window slides up and down while the top remains in place. Single-hung windows range from $100 — $400.
  • Double hung windows: Double-hung windows are made of two sashes, or panels, that both slide up and down. Double-hung windows range from $150 — $650.
  • Arched windows: Arched windows have square bottoms and rounded or half-circle tops. Arched windows range from $100 — $400.
  • Awning windows: Awning windows have hinges at the top of the window frame that allow the bottom half of the window to swing outward. Awning windows range from $200 — $1,400.
  • Bay windows: Bay windows project outward, forming a bay in a room. They are typically made up of one main window in the center and two other smaller windows on the side. Bay windows range from $1,000 — $4,500.
  • Casement windows: Casement windows are attached to a frame by one or more hinges at the side and are used either on their own or in pairs within a window frame. Casement windows range from $200 — $1,400.
  • Picture windows: As the name suggests, picture windows are designed to give viewers a clear view outside without any obstructions. Picture windows are typically one large, fixed-pane window with no glazing bars. They range from $300 — $1,200.
  • Transom windows: Transom windows are typically stationed above doors, separating the door from the window above it with a bar. Transom windows range from $200 — $575
  • Sliding windows: Sliding windows move back and forth horizontally, rather than up and down vertically. Sliding windows range from $100 — $400.

Window Frame Material

If your window frames are in good condition, you may consider leaving them and only replacing the glass. But if your frames are rotting or decaying, they’ll need to be replaced. This will impact the total cost.

  • Aluminum: Aluminum frames are not the most durable type of window frame, but they are the most affordable. Aluminum frames won’t peel and they can have wood-clad interiors. Aluminum frames are typically $159 per window.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl window frames score the highest in terms of durability. Vinyl frames won’t peel, bend or warp, and they look like wood windows. Vinyl window frames also have good energy-efficiency, which increases their cost to $409 per window.
  • Wood: Wood window frames offer the real, authentic wooden aesthetic, and they won’t crack, bend or warp. Wood window frames typically cost $586 per window.
  • Composite: Composite window frames are newer types of window frames that can be compared to your car’s bumper. They’re made of materials including resin and fiberglass, making them flexible yet strong. Composite window frames range from $295 — $1,325.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass window frames look like wood windows and can have wood-clad interiors. Fiberglass window frames won’t crack, and they range from $475 — $1,575.

Energy-Efficient Window Upgrades

Energy-efficient windows prevent cool or heated air from escaping your house and reduce your home’s energy usage. This allows you to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, all while reducing your monthly home heating and cooling bills.

Energy-efficient windows have features available that may affect the total cost of your window installation. Buying energy-efficient windows is more expensive upfront, but the costs pay off in the long run. Future savings are a major benefit of energy-efficient windows. We’ll discuss this further and offer more ways to save later on in the article.

Installation And Labor

We’ll be honest with you, installing your own windows is not an easy task. In most cases, it’s best to leave installation and labor up to a professional contractor. Additionally, there are some window types that require expert assistance or extra installation work.

Labor rates can vary depending on location, and window installation costs can vary both on the type of window and the size. Double-hung windows are the most popular kind and cost about $350 maximum for a pair.

Here are some basic estimates for the most common types of windows:

  • Single-hung windows: $286 — $365
  • Double-hung windows: $114 — $173
  • Arched windows: $325 — $875
  • Awning windows: $365 — $574
  • Bay windows: $1,325 — $2,672
  • Casement windows: $421 — $811
  • Picture windows: $485 — $603
  • Transom windows: $200 — $575
  • Sliding windows: $360 — $980

If you choose to hire a professional contractor to help with your window installation, it’s possible that they’ll agree to replace multiple windows for a discount.

Other Considerations For Your Window Replacement Estimate

Some additional factors that could impact your window replacement costs are warranty length, glass types, custom windows, the age of your home and the location of windows in your home. Be sure to do research and keep these factors in mind when totaling up your window replacement estimate.

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How To Save On Your Home Window Replacement Cost

Luckily, there are many ways homeowners can save on window replacement costs.

Even if you don’t have to replace all the windows in your house, you’ll likely still pay thousands in total costs. You can often apply for financing directly through the manufacturers.

A lower-cost option is to borrow against the home’s equity with a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit. A home equity line of credit usually has fewer fees than a cash-out refinance, but the interest rates are adjustable, tend to be higher than current cash-out rates and will vary with the market. A cash-out refinance has the option of a fixed interest rate and may provide more money. Either way, these options will help lessen out-of-pocket costs while taking advantage of your home's equity.

As we mentioned earlier on, energy-efficient windows also maximize future savings. According to the Department of Energy, 25% – 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use is wasted because of inefficient windows. There are many benefits of energy-efficient windows, like saving money on utility bills.

Energy-efficient windows are determined by an Energy Star rating. This is an official government rating that consumers can trust.

When choosing new windows, homeowners can look for windows that include:

Double- or triple-paned glass: Triple-paned windows are the gold standard and can result in huge cost savings for consumers. Double-paned glass is still better than single-paned, but not as efficient as triple-paned.

High Energy Star ratings: Look at windows with high Energy Star ratings. This will show which windows will help the most.

Argon gas fills: Filling in windows with Argon can result in a more energy-efficient window system.

Low-E coatings: Low-E glass filters through some of the light that comes through the windows. This can reflect heat and reduce your energy costs.

Can I Get A Grant To Help Pay For My Window Replacement Costs?

There are few grants available for those who want or need to replace their windows. Homeowners who live in older houses may be eligible for historic preservation grants or tax credits through their state or local government.

Additionally, some states offer rebates or tax credits with local utility companies or through the Energy Star program for energy-efficient upgrades. These will vary depending on where you live. Visit energystar.gov and enter your ZIP code to see a complete list.

Finally, the U.S. Department Of Energy offers a Weatherization Assistance Program that reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy-efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety. 

Window Replacement Cost FAQs

Here are some of the common questions that homeowners have about window replacement:

Can I replace my windows myself to save on costs?

There are pros and cons of homeowners wanting to DIY window replacements to help save on labor costs. In many cases, a DIY project can be as effective as one done by professional contractors. However, replacing and installing windows is a difficult job and requires those with experience. It can also be a time-intensive job, taking about 4 — 6 hours per window, depending on the complexity of the install.

What does new construction mean in window installation terms?

Installing windows in a new home is more expensive than replacing windows in an existing house, but updated windows will likely last longer.

New construction requires trim work and consists of nailing fin frames. Labor typically ranges from $150 — $800 each. On the other hand, window replacement consists of sliding pieces into existing holes with no finishing work needed. Labor typically ranges from $100 — $300 each.

Are window replacements worth the cost?

Replacing old windows with new ones can reduce drafts in your home and provide a more comfortable atmosphere overall. You’ll enjoy your house more when you install new windows.

Homeowners will see their home value increase when they replace their windows, but usually only by 74% of the cost of replacement on average.

According to a 2018 survey, the ROI for a vinyl window replacement was about 74%, while a wood window replacement was 69%. These are national averages.

Of course, homeowners don’t just see the ROI when they list the home for sale. Some data from the Department of Energy says that you could save $126 – $465 a year. In some cases, it can take several years or even decades to see the break-even point for new windows based on energy savings. 

How often should you replace windows?

Typically, windows should last 15 –  20 years before you need to replace them. Wear and tear from storms, age, weather and more are all signs you might need your windows replaced. If your energy bills are increasing, there’s visible damage to your windows or you’re struggling to get them opened or closed, it might be time for a replacement. Before replacing your windows, check to see if there’s a warranty on your windows that could help you save money.

The Bottom Line

The cost of replacing some or all of your windows is often significant. However, the added comfort and beauty that a window upgrade can bring should not be discounted. If you’re interested in new windows, you might want to look into financing options. 

A cash-out refinance can make large projects like window replacements more affordable, as it lets you leverage the equity you’re building up in your home to take out a large sum of cash at what are typically highly favorable loan terms.

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Emma Tomsich

Emma Tomsich is a student at Marquette University studying Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations. She has a passion for writing, and hopes to one day own her own business. In her free time, Emma likes to travel, shop, run and drink coffee.