Skip to main content

New Financing Offer: 0% Interest for 6 Years. That's No Interest Until 2030!

«  View All Posts

Window Replacements

What Do Replacement Windows Cost?

June 11th, 2024 | 15 min. read

What Do Replacement Windows Cost?

Print/Save as PDF

Replacement window costs vary widely, from $200 for a cheap DIY project all the way up to $4,000+ for a custom, professionally-installed window. It all depends on multiple factors, like the style of window (casement, double hung, slider, etc), frame material (should you go with cheap vinyl or more expensive fiberglass?), and labor costs (DIY or professional). 

While you can't know exactly how much your window project will cost until you get a quote from your installer (or retailer), you can still get a good estimate by understanding the 6 major window cost factors.

In this article, we'll go over these cost factors and provide you with handy tables to make estimating your price a breeze.

Table of Contents

How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost?

The national average cost for window replacement is around $500 to $1,000 per window, including materials and labor. However, prices can vary widely based on the factors mentioned earlier.

Cost Range Average Cost per Window Common Features Suitable Scenarios
Low-Cost $200 - $600 Basic frames, single or double-pane glass, standard sizes Budget-conscious, rental properties, large quantity replacements
Medium-Cost $750 - $2,500 Quality frames, double or low-E glass, some customization Balance of cost and quality, energy efficiency
High-Cost $2,500 - $5,000+ Premium frames, triple-pane glass, extensive customization High-end homes, historic properties, long-term value

Low-Cost Window Replacement Projects

Low-cost window replacement projects typically fall between $200 and $600 per window. Usually these are very cheap windows you can pick up at Lowes or Home Depot, and you'll either install them yourself or hire a cheap contractor.

One drawback to these windows is that they are often (though not always) sized in 1/2 inch increments, which may not be exact enough to fit properly into your wall opening. If the window is too big or too small, it could cost you thousands of dollars in additional work.

Average Cost per Window: $200 - $600

Common Features of Low-Cost Projects:

  • Basic vinyl or aluminum frames
  • Single-pane glass
  • Standard window sizes and styles
  • No customization
  • DIY installation or cheap contractor

Suitable Scenarios for Low-Cost Projects:

  • If you're on a really tight budget
  • You have a rental properties where better features are unnecessary
  • You're replacing a very large number of windows at once to save on bulk costs

Medium-Cost Window Replacement Projects

Medium-cost window replacement projects usually range from $750 to $2,500 per window.

Average Cost per Window: $750 - $3,000

Common Features of Medium-Cost Projects:

  • Higher-quality vinyl, fiberglass, or composite frames
  • Double-pane and/or low-E glass for better insulation
  • A mix of standard and custom sizes
  • Some customization options for finishes and hardware

Suitable Scenarios for Medium-Cost Projects:

  • Homeowners looking to split the difference between cost and quality
  • Projects where energy efficiency and aesthetics are important
  • Homes in climates where additional insulation is beneficial

High-Cost Window Replacement Projects

High-cost window replacement projects typically cost $3,000 to $5,000 or more per window.

Average Cost per Window: $3,000 - $5,000

Common Features of High-Cost Projects:

  • Premium wood, fiberglass, or composite frames
  • Double-pane or triple pane with high-performance glass with advanced coatings
  • Custom sizes and unique styles
  • Extensive customization options, including specialized finishes and hardware

Suitable Scenarios for High-Cost Projects:

  • Your "forever home".
  • Projects focused on maximizing energy efficiency and noise reduction
  • Homeowners seeking long-term value and high-quality craftsmanship

The 6 Big Factors In Replacement Window Costs

When considering window replacement, several key factors influence the overall cost, including frame material, window type, which glass types you use, what kind of colors and finishes you choose, and which brand you buy.

1. Frame Material

Frame material is a major cost factor because different materials vary considerably in strength, longevity, and how complex they are to manufacture. The most common frame materials are:

  • Vinyl (budget-friendly): Vinyl is very affordable, lasts up to 30 years, and is very low maintenance. It's a great budget option.
  • Wood (expensive): Wood offers a classic look but requires more maintenance to prevent mildew and rot and is generally more expensive.
  • Aluminum (budget friendly): Aluminum is durable and lightweight but one of the least energy-efficient options.
  • Fiberglass (expensive): Fiberglass is very durable (lasting up to 50 years), and can be made to look virtually indistinguishable from wood without the maintenance requirements. It's also the most energy-efficient window frame. Of course, these advantages come with a higher price tag.

2. Window Type

The style of window you choose also affects the cost. Some common types are:

  • Single-Hung and Double-Hung: Traditional styles, with double-hung offering more flexibility but at a higher cost.
  • Casement: Hinged windows that open outward, usually costing more than double-hung windows.
  • Sliding: Slide horizontally to open, typically less expensive.
  • Bay and Bow: Create a protruding feature, adding charm but significantly increasing the cost because of their size and complexity.

3. Customization

Custom features, such as unique shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes, can also drive up the cost. While standard sizes and designs are more budget-friendly, customization allows you to achieve a specific look and functionality tailored to your home.

4. Glass Type

The type of glass impacts both the price and energy efficiency:

  • Single-Pane: Single-pane is the least expensive but offers very poor insulation.
  • Double-Pane: Double-pane is the standard for almost all modern windows. It offers great insulation and noise reduction, and costs more than single-pane.
  • Triple-Pane: Triple-pane offers superior insulation and noise reduction but is the most expensive. This is not typically recommended for residential homes.
  • Low-E Coatings: Low-E coatings are also standard on most modern windows, though you can get windows without them. They improve energy efficiency and (because they're so common) usually won't add much more to your cost.

5. Labor Costs

Installation labor is another significant factor. Costs can vary based on the complexity of the installation, the number of windows being replaced, and local labor rates. While you may be tempted to skimp on an installer, this is almost always a bad idea. Contractor quality varies immensely in the home services industry, and cheap installations not only mean early window failure, but can even damage other parts of your home. Bad installations can drive your energy bills up, cause your windows to fail in just a few years, or cause mold and rot if the window seal fails.

Choosing a reputable installer ensures the job is done correctly, saving you money and time in the long run.

6. Brand

The brand of the windows can also influence the price. High-end brands typically offer better quality and longer warranties but come with a higher price tag. 

Window Replacement Cost by Frame Material

Let's explore the different frame materials available, their costs, and what you can expect in terms of material and labor expenses.

Material Cost
Vinyl $200 - $3,000 per window
Wood $2,800 - $9,000 per window
Aluminum $350 - $2,800 per window
Fiberglass $1,500 - $5,000 per window
Composite $2,500 - $4,000 per window

Each window frame material offers unique benefits and comes at a different price point. The main materials you’ll encounter are vinyl, wood, aluminum, fiberglass, and composite. Understanding these options helps you select the best fit for your needs and budget.

Vinyl

Vinyl is a popular choice due to its affordability and low maintenance. It’s energy-efficient and resists moisture, making it a durable option. Low-cost vinyl windows can run as low as $200 (DIY), while high-end vinyl can cost up to $3,000 (installed).

Average Cost: $200 - $3,000 per window

For a more detailed discussion of vinyl window costs (including the costs for vinyl casement, bay, and sliding windows) check out How Much Do Vinyl Windows Cost?

Wood

Wood frames provide a classic, attractive look and offer excellent insulation. However, they require more maintenance and are typically more expensive.

Average Cost: $2,800 - $9,000 per window

For a more detailed discussion of wood window costs (including the costs for wood casement, bay, and sliding windows) check out How Much Do Wood Windows Cost?

Aluminum

Aluminum frames are known for their strength and lightweight properties. They’re less energy-efficient but are a good option for larger windows due to their durability.

Average Cost: $350 - $2,800 per window

For a more detailed discussion of aluminum window costs (including the costs for aluminum casement, bay, and sliding windows) check out How Much Do Aluminum Windows Cost?

Fiberglass

Fiberglass frames are highly durable and energy-efficient, withstanding extreme weather conditions. They are more expensive but offer long-term value.

Average Cost: $1,500 - $5,000 per window

For a more detailed discussion of fiberglass window costs (including the costs for fiberglass casement, bay, and sliding windows) check out How Much Do Fiberglass Windows Cost?

Composite

Composite frames combine the benefits of different materials, often offering the look of wood with the low maintenance of vinyl. They are durable and energy-efficient but come at a higher cost.

Average Cost: $2,500 - $4,000 per window

Window Replacement Costs by Window Style

The type of window you choose significantly impacts the cost of replacement. Different styles offer various functionalities and aesthetic appeals, with corresponding price ranges. Let’s explore the average costs associated with popular window types, including material and labor expenses.

Window Type Average Cost
Picture $280 - $4,600 per window
Single-Hung $200 - $3,800 per window
Sliding $200 - $3,800 per window
Double-Hung $350 - $4,200 per window
Awning $450 - $3,600 per window
Casement $450 - $5,000 per window
Bay/Bow $5,000 - $15,000 per window

Picture Windows

picture window in bathroom

Picture windows are large, fixed windows that provide expansive views and plenty of natural light. They do not open and are typically less expensive in terms of labor.

Average Material Cost: $280 - $4,600 per window

Single-Hung Windows

single hung window with lift lock

Single-hung windows have a fixed upper sash and a movable lower sash. They are one of the most affordable window types.

Average Cost: $200 - $3,800 per window

Sliding Windows

sliding (gliding) window

Sliding windows open horizontally along a track. They are easy to use and provide a modern look.

Average Material Cost: $200 - $3,800 per window

Double-Hung Windows

endure double hung windows

Double-hung windows have two movable sashes, offering better ventilation options. They are more versatile but come at a higher cost than single-hung windows.

Average Material Cost: $350 - $4,200 per window

Awning Windows

black awning window

Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward, providing good ventilation while keeping rain out.

Average Material Cost: $450 - $3,600 per window

Casement Windows

casement window in living room

Casement windows are hinged on the side and open outward with a crank. They provide excellent ventilation and unobstructed views.

Average Material Cost: $450 - $5,000 per window

Bay/Bow Windows

marvin wood bay window

Bay and bow windows extend outward from the house, creating more interior space and offering a panoramic view. They are among the most expensive window types.

Average Material Cost: $5,000 - $15,000 per window

Replacing Your Windows?

Whether you're looking to replace your windows or add new windows to an existing wall, reach out to Southwest Exteriors for a free consultation. We've been providing San Antonio homeowners with the highest quality products and service since 1989, and we're happy to help you find the perfect windows for your home.