If your living room windows are looking outdated or feeling drafty, you may be thinking about replacing them. Installing new windows can add curb appeal, increase the value of your house, and improve its energy efficiency. But, how much should you expect replacement windows to cost? We've done the research, and we have the answers for you.
The cost of a living room window, including installation, ranges from $200 - $850 for most types of windows. Bay, bow, and garden windows range from $1,150 - $4,000. Skylights and roof windows cost between $1,000 - $2,100.
In this article, we'll describe the five factors that influence the cost of new windows, break down the material and installation costs of various types of living room windows, explain how to decide when it's time to replace windows, and discuss the logistics of installation. Keep reading to learn more about replacing your living room windows!
How Much Does A Living Room Window Cost?
Five factors -- window type, size, frame type, glass type, and labor costs -- determine the cost of replacing your living room windows. We will discuss each of these factors in detail below.
As you start thinking about replacing windows, you may also be thinking about the furniture that's in front of the windows or how you can revamp the space. Check out this post for more ideas: 8 Furniture Items To Put In Front Of A Window.
1. Window Type
Single-hung windows feature two panes: a stationary upper pane and a lower one that slides open vertically for ventilation. These windows are generally used in mobile homes and sheds. They range in cost from $75 - $200, depending on their quality. Installation typically costs an additional $100 - $150 per window.
Double-hung windows have two sashes, both of which move up and down to provide ventilation. Most tilt inward for easy cleaning. Their combination of utility and convenience makes them highly popular. They are more expensive than single-hung windows, ranging in price from $250 - $600. Expect to pay an additional $100 - $150 per window for installation.
Double-hung windows are popular for their convenience and ventilating properties.
Sliding windows also have two sashes, one which slides horizontally over the other to open the window and provide ventilation. The long axis of the window is usually horizontal, rather than vertical. Sliding windows are most often used in basements and bathrooms, but they can also be placed in living rooms to provide light and ventilation.
Sliding windows come in many different sizes; thus, their price range is broad. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a small, lower-quality product to $1,100 for a large, top-quality window. Installation ranges from $100 - $200.
Casement windows consist of a single sash, or a pair of sashes side-by-side, which swing inward or outward, usually by means of a crank. This style of window creates a modern look and provides a clear view, unbroken by framing. With prices ranging from $150 - $600, plus about $150 for installation, new casement windows can be an excellent investment, adding style and improving energy efficiency.
Tall casement windows provide a beautiful view.
Like casements, awning windows consist of a single sash. They are hinged at the top, and they open by pushing the bottom of the sash outward. The open window deflects rain like an awning, while still providing ventilation. Awning windows range in cost from $200 - $600, with installation costs from $100 - $150.
Awning windows push outward to provide ventilation in rainy climates.
One of the most common window styles for living rooms is the picture window, so named because its large expanse of glass provides an unimpeded view of the outdoors, looking almost like an oversize picture on the wall. Picture windows are prized for the natural light they introduce to a room, as well as for their aesthetics.
Picture windows do not open. In classic older homes, they may be flanked by double-hung or transom windows that can open to provide ventilation. In contemporary homes like the one pictured below, multiple picture windows may be placed side by side or above/below each other, creating a modern, wall-of-windows effect. Individual picture windows can cost from $250 - $650, plus installation of approximately $150.
A modern multi-segmented picture window provides a beautiful view of the outdoors.
Jalousie (pronounced JAL-uh-see) windows are common in tropical climates because their thin slats of tempered glass tilt outward at the bottom, providing ventilation while shedding rain. They are among the least expensive window options, with an average cost of $100 - $250, plus approximately $75-$100 for installation. Jalousie windows do not insulate well, and they lack the attractiveness of other types of windows.
Transom windows are rounded or rectangular windows placed above or alongside doors and picture windows to provide additional light and a sophisticated accent. They typically do not open, and they may be embellished with stained glass and/or decorative inserts. They cost between $100 - $400, with installation costs averaging about $100.
Transom windows enhance the modern look of this room.
Like transom windows, arched windows are decorative. They are placed above picture windows to provide additional natural light and architectural interest. The cost of an arched window ranges from $100 - $400, plus $100 - $150 for installation.
An arched window adds a classic look to this architecture.
Circle windows are also primarily decorative, adding architectural interest particularly in Gothic and Victorian houses. They do not open. The average cost of a circle window ranges from $150 - $600, plus $100 - $150 for installation.
A bay window typically consists of three sashes - a central one and two side windows flanking it at 30- to 40-degree angles -- built into a frame protruding from the exterior of the house. Inside the home, storage cabinets or a seating area may be built under the windows. The picture below illustrates a stately bay window, with a center comprised of three sashes, each side panel containing two sashes, and built-in storage cabinets beneath.
Both installation and materials costs are substantially higher than those for single windows. Depending on the complexity of the installation, the quality of windows you select, and whether you are replacing them or building a new bay window, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,100 - $3,500, including labor.
Speaking of bay windows, check out this post for inspiration: 5 Bay Window Living Room Layouts You Should See.
Like bay windows, bow windows are installed in a protrusion built out of the home's exterior. A bow window is rounded and features five equal-sized windows with custom-curved glass. Due to the complexity of installation and the cost of the custom glass, replacement of an existing bow window ranges from $1,400 - $2,500, while building a new one can cost up to $4,000.
Garden windows also protrude from the side of the home, but they are much smaller than bay or bow windows. As their name implies, they are intended for growing plants within the home. A garden window features a wooden platform for a floor, with glass "walls" on three sides and a glass "roof" above it. Thus, it functions as a mini-greenhouse.
Garden windows require extensive installation work; they range in cost from $1,000 - $4,000.
Skylights are installed, as their names imply, in the roof. Their primary purpose is to admit natural light into a room, although some can be opened for ventilation. The cost for the windows themselves ranges from $150 - $900, with installation starting at $500 and, depending on the height of the roof and the complexity of the job, topping out at as much as $1,500.
2. Window Size
A second important factor in determining the cost of a window is its size. Naturally, a larger window requires more materials (glass and framing) to manufacture it. Additionally, picture windows and other large windows may require multiple workers, specialized tools, and extra costs for transportation and installation.
3. Type of Frame
The type of frame you select is a critical factor in the quality and cost of your windows. The frame provides the window's structure: a high-quality frame can extend the life of a window from years to decades.
Vinyl windows are the most commonly used, due to their relatively low cost. The frames are constructed of extruded PVC. Vinyl windows do not warp, chip, crack, or peel, and they are energy efficient. Their major drawback is that they are not as strong as other types of frames, so even high-quality vinyl windows have a relatively short lifespan.
Aluminum windows are more expensive than vinyl but less costly than wood. They are durable and long-lived, and their frames do not warp, chip, crack, rot, or mold. They impart a sleek, modern feel and can be painted to blend perfectly with their surroundings. On the other hand, aluminum is the least energy-efficient of window frames.
With a look similar to vinyl but a much higher cost, fiberglass windows are relatively uncommon. They are, however, durable and highly energy-efficient. Although fiberglass windows are dull in appearance, they can be painted to provide more visual appeal. They resist cracking, chipping, warping, and rotting, and the frames expand and contract in harmony with the window's glass when outdoor temperature and humidity fluctuate.
Wood windows add charm and warmth to a home. They are strong and durable and can last for decades if properly maintained. The presence of wood windows (provided they are in good condition) adds value to a home. Two major drawbacks are cost and maintenance: wood windows cost substantially more than any other type, and they must be carefully maintained to avoid warping and rot.
4. Type Of Glass
In addition to style, size, and framing material, several factors related to the glass will affect the price of your windows. While windows have traditionally consisted of a single pane of glass embedded in a frame, technological advances over the past several decades have made a range of options available to increase comfort and energy efficiency.
Two panes of glass with low-E glazing and argon add about $40 to the cost of a typical window, a small figure compared to the long-term savings on energy costs.
Double-pane windows have replaced cumbersome storm windows in providing insulation and reducing or eliminating draftiness. Of course, using double the glass increases the initial cost of the windows; however, the savings in energy costs over the lifetime of the windows easily makes up for the up-front expense.
Another factor that improves the energy efficiency of your windows is the use of Low-E (low emissivity) glazing. Low-E coatings reduce the amount of ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun that enters the home through the windows. This not only reduces heat loss in the winter and overheating in the summer, but it also protects furniture, carpet, and drapes from fading.
Filling the space between the window panes with argon gas also helps to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The main disadvantage is that, if there is even a tiny gap in the sealing, the argon can leak out and moist air can replace it, causing condensation on the interior of the window panes.
A more recent innovation is so-called "soundproof" windows -- windows that significantly reduce the level of noise that intrudes into your home from outdoors. Soundproof windows do not replace existing windows; rather, they install in special framing behind your current windows, adding another layer of airspace and glass to reduce noise. The cost of each soundproof window, including installation, ranges from $375 - $750.
5. Local Labor Cost
The final factor influencing the price of your new windows is the cost of labor in your area. In some rural areas, window installation can cost as little as $50 per hour; in urban areas, it is not unusual for the labor rate to be $100 per hour or slightly more. Before you decide to replace your windows, get bids from local contractors so that you can plan for labor costs.
How Long Does It Take To Install One Window?
Most windows require about half an hour for a professional installer. Bow and bay windows require substantially longer. When calculating installation costs, don't forget that picture windows and those on upper stories may also take longer to install.
How Do You Prepare Your House For Replacement Windows?
Take the following steps to get your home ready for the installation of windows:
- Deactivate all window alarms
- Take down window treatments
- Remove all breakable objects from the vicinity
- Move furniture 4-6 feet away from the windows and cover it with blankets or sheets
- Outside, trim any bushes or trees away from the windows; leave at least a 2-foot space for workers to move in
- Set up a work area for the installers, with at least one electrical outlet; in the garage, if possible
How Often Should You Replace Windows In A House?
After approximately 15 years, your windows will need to be replaced, or repaired via caulking, weatherstripping, replacing hardware, and/or re-glazing cracked panes. Some vinyl windows have a manufacturer's warranty that runs for 20 or 25 years. Aluminum and fiberglass windows should last 25 - 30 years. Wood windows, if properly maintained, can also last 30 years.
How Do You Tell If You Need To Replace Your Windows?
If you are experiencing any of the following issues, you should replace, rather than repair, your windows:
- Warped, bent, or broken frames let moisture and insects in.
- Condensation inside double-pane windows indicates holes in the seal, letting in moist air.
- Softness or rot on a wood window frame or windowsill indicates severe moisture damage.
- Windows that stick when opening or closing demonstrate age and warping.
- Drafts or high energy bills mean that your windows are not airtight.
Does Insurance Pay For New Windows?
Insurance policies do not pay to replace old or inefficient windows. The homeowner must bear this cost.
Does Home Depot Replace Windows For Free?
Home Depot and other window dealers/installers do not provide free windows or installation. They do offer free consultations, and, if you choose to buy your windows from them, they will communicate with a reputable local contractor to perform the installation.
If you are considering replacing windows in your living room, you have a variety of options. The style and size of the window, type of frame, attributes of the glass, and cost of labor determine the overall cost. New windows can add curb appeal, energy efficiency, and comfort to your home.