Window installation prices are an important consideration when budgeting for building a new home or remodeling an existing one. This window installation cost guide gives well-researched prices for installing new and replacement windows. Factors affecting the cost and how you can save money on window installation are included. We’ll help you select a window contractor that you’ll be satisfied with too. Finally, you’ll find window installation prices submitted by readers to give you a better idea of the range of estimates you might receive – and you’re invited to submit yours too. If you’re looking for window prices for supply and installation together then check out the “window prices” section of our price guide website.
Main Sections – Jump To: Reasons to Replace | Window Installation Cost | Factors Affecting Price | Choosing a Contractor | User Submitted Installation Prices
Reasons to Consider Window Replacement
A home is built only once, but its windows will be replaced many times. That means it is most likely you’re replacing existing windows rather than picking out windows for new construction. Why do homeowners replace their windows? Here are the most common reasons:
The windows are worn out: Your windows might suffer from one or more of the common issues. These include worn out hardware, rotted or cracked frames, warped frames that stick or allow air gaps, broken seals that produce air drafts and condensation, hazy glass and discoloration that is unsightly. Windows of poor quality that aren’t maintained might need replacing in less than ten years while good windows that have been given proper care often last more than 25 years.
Improved Appearance: Replacing boring windows with something fresh and stylish gives the whole house an updated look. Today’s best windows from Pella, Andersen, Marvin, Jeld-Wen, Simonton and other top brands are gorgeous and come in many fantastic styles from traditional to very contemporary.
Energy Efficiency: Old windows leak heat in the winter and allow heat and humidity in during the summer. Both issues make your HVAC system work harder. While good windows with Energy Star glass packages are expensive, you’ll see a significant drop in your energy use and utility bills when you install them. Make sure the window frames are properly caulked and choose energy-efficient window treatments, and new windows will start paying for themselves in month number one!
What Window Installation Costs
We’ve researched actual prices for window replacement, so our numbers should reflect what you receive when you get window replacement cost estimates. Keep in mind that in this guide we are focusing on the cost of installation only; the cost for the windows is not included since the vast differences in prices would confuse the numbers. If you’re looking for window prices supplied and installed then check out our guides for window prices by type and window prices by brand. For a range of local window prices check out our user submitted prices.
There are several categories of windows, and the cost for each varies. The types are:
- Fixed windows: These are windows that don’t open, and they come in many shapes (rectangle, round, half-round, hexagonal, etc.) and sizes.
- Operational windows: Windows that open and close include single-hung, double-hung, sliding/gliding, awning and casement. They, too, are available in many sizes.
- Bay, bow and garden windows: These types are really combination windows because they typically include several windows joined in a window system. For example, a bay window might have a fixed center window and a casement or double-hung window on either side.
Now, let’s look at prices for window installation in your home. Below, you’ll find an explanation of the factors that affect the price and create the significant range of costs over and above what you see in the tables below.
Replacement Window Installation Costs
The following table provides an overview of the average replacement window installation cost you’re likely to pay:
|Window Types||Installation Cost Per Window|
|Fixed Windows||$105 to $315|
|Operational Windows||$132 to $367|
|Bay, Bow and Garden Windows||$600 to $1,155|
New Construction Window Installation Costs in a New Home
The following table provides an overview of the average new window installation cost you’re likely to pay in a new build home:
|Window Types||Installation Cost Per Window|
|Fixed Windows||$85 to $275|
|Operational Windows||$115 to $325|
|Bay, Bow and Garden Windows||$535 to $950|
New Construction Window Installation Costs in an Existing Home
The following table provides an overview of the average new window installation cost you’re likely to pay in an existing home:
|Window Types||Installation Cost Per Window|
|Fixed Windows||$125 to $370|
|Operational Windows||$150 to $400|
|Bay, Bow and Garden Windows||$635 to $1,400|
The figures above can be confusing because, as you see, installing new construction windows can cost both less and more than installing replacement windows. Here’s why: Replacement windows and new construction windows are two different products.
- New construction windows include a full frame plus the sashes, hardware and glass – what we think of as an entire window
- Replacement windows are kits that include just sashes, glass and hardware
This difference means that replacement windows usually cost less than new construction windows of similar quality. There is less material in a replacement window than in a new construction window, and that equates to lower cost. Here is how installation costs for new construction windows vs. replacement windows are affected:
- Installing new construction windows in a NEW home costs LESS than installing replacement windows in an existing home
- Installing new construction windows in an EXISTING home costs MORE than installing replacement windows in an existing home
To summarize, installing new construction windows in an existing home is the most expensive type of window installation. The reason is that it requires much more carpentry. The window trim must be removed on the interior and exterior of the home. The entire window frame is removed. The window opening often has to be made larger or smaller to accommodate the new window. Then, the trim must be replaced.
In new construction, the window openings are framed to accommodate the size of the windows, and installation is quite fast. Less labor time means lower window installation estimates. In an existing home when replacement windows are being used rather than new construction windows, the replacements are custom made to fit the existing window frame. Installation is fairly easy, and that is reflected in the lower replacement window installation estimates.
Additional Factors Affecting Window Installation Costs
Besides the differences in new construction and replacement windows and where they’re being installed, here are a few more factors that will affect the window installation estimates you receive.
Window type: As you’re selecting a package of windows for your home, keep in mind that fixed windows cost the least, operational windows are in the middle and bay or bow window systems cost the most to install.
Level of difficulty: Any time ladders or scaffolding have to be used to install windows, the cost estimates will go up based on the increased difficulty.
Who does the work: DIY installation costs nothing for the labor, but only if you do a good job. Poorly installed windows cost money in many ways including energy inefficiency, potential water leaks leading to costly damage and reduced durability and longevity of the windows. A handyman with good experience might do a good job and save you some money, but the concern about job quality comes into play, and the handyman might not be bonded against faulty work. Labor supplied by the window manufacturer is the next step up the price scale. Finally, a licensed and bonded contractor will produce the highest window installation price estimates, but also gives you the best chance for quality installation. So, from cheapest to costliest, window install prices looks like this:
- Unlicensed handyman
- Manufacturer-supplied labor
- Window installation contractor
Disposal of old windows: This is one of the costs homeowners commonly forget to take into consideration when planning a budget for new windows. Expect the disposal cost to be $10 to $25 per window.
Permits and inspection: If you’re required to get a permit where you live, it will cost $35 to $100+. The good news is that it will include an inspection to make sure the work is done properly. While some see the permit requirement as a hassle and unnecessary expense, it really is a safeguard that has saved many homeowners from the costs associated with poorly installed windows. Contact your city or county building department to find out whether a permit is required for new window installation.
How to Choose a Window Installation Contractor
The quality of the installation is just as important as the quality of the windows you choose. As we’ve noted, when windows aren’t installed correctly, major headaches can result such as high energy costs, water damage, windows that don’t operate properly and the need to replace the windows sooner rather than later.
Keep these tips for hiring a window installation contractor in mind as you interview companies for the work.
- Get estimates from at least three companies, and about the crew’s experience (not just the owner’s or foreman’s)
- Ask whether they are licensed and insured, and request copies of the license and insurance
- Let the contractors know you’re getting multiple estimates, and this will help ensure they give you their lowest prices
- Ask for a written estimate showing your total window installation prices, so there won’t be any hidden cost surprises
- Call references and/or check out the contractors with the Better Business Bureau
- Ask whether you’re eligible for any discounts such as military or AARP
- Ask about a warranty on the labor (the warranty on the windows is the manufacturer’s responsibility)
- Ask whether the contractor plans to get a permit
- Ask how problems with installation are handled, should any arise
- Ask when the contractor can begin the work and how long the installation will take
When you follow these proven tips, you’re most likely to enjoy the combination of reasonable window installation prices and quality labor, ensuring your new windows will perform as they should in the years ahead. To get an idea of your project cost, use our window installation cost calculator tool.