What Are The Basic Expenses For Window Replacement?

There are at least three basic considerations when calculating the expense of a window replacement.

  • Replacement Window Unit
  • Labor to Replace the Window
  • Materials and Supplies

Replacement Window Cost Per Unit

The first consideration for this expense is the purpose, quality, and availability of the window replacement unit.

Some people think that the only purpose of a window is to provide an opening to break up the interior design of the home. Others consider the light available from the window and still others think of the energy cost replaced by an open or closed window. Each of these considerations begin to declare the purpose of the specific window you choose.

Quality can range from a single pane to a three pane thermal vacuum. The sash of the window can be dense or light weight, rigid or flexible. The aesthetic considerations bring in wood, vinyl, or aluminum frame.

Availability of the purposed, quality window replacement can determine if you can purchase it at a volume price, discounted price, or full retail price. A search directly to the factory or manufacturer, or big box home improvement store can provide a great variety of prices for the exact same type and model. A little research can result in a great savings or, at minimum, an advantage in bargaining a cost saving, lowest price possible.

Window Replacement Labor Costs

These can vary a lot from one window installer to another. You must be very clear with any professional window replacement service as to the specific work to be performed.

Will you do the preparation for the window to be replaced or will you expect the window replacement installer to do a turnkey price? Will you remove the old window from the casing, or leave it to the installer? Will the installer also paint or drywall or brick any gaps left from the original window and the newly installed window? Will the window replacement labor include complete cleanup and hauling off of the old window?

Materials and Supplies

Most consumers don’t realize the additional expense of flashing, drip sleeves, perimeter foam insulation, caulking, sealants, and the like. These costs add up and are very dependent on the number of windows to be replaced, the type of construction or building material preexisting, and may even require a building permit or contract.

A little research as to permit or building fees may provide just the difference needed to decide between several bids or window replacement services. If the costs are rolled in to the quoted price or if you are supposed to secure certain materials will make a difference to your final costs.

Perhaps the table below will help sum up the three considerations for the cost to replace a window.

Replacement Window Average Cost


Replacement Window Unit 1 window $250 $375
This example uses the standard retail price for a lowE double pane glass, .35 U factor, Argon insulated, limited warranty, PVC frame 48×48 size builder type window      
Replacement Window Labor 3.5 hrs $110 $225
The approximate labor cost for a replacement window installation:

·       Prep, repair to interior and exterior not included in bid

·       Job plan, preparation, protective barriers, equipment, materials, setup and take away, cleanup included in bid.

·       Remove old window unit

·       Place window unit in opening.

·       Level and flush to fit (shimming material and jambs)

·       Affix to framing at original opening

·       Exterior house wrap and insulation secured

·       Cleanup

Replacement Window Supplies 1 window $20.00 $25.00
·       Insulation foam

·       Caulking

·       Shims and jambs

·       drip cap

·       flashing

·       fasteners

·       Permits or fee not included

Totals – Average Cost to Install 1 Replacement Window  1 window $380 $625


HWReplacement Pros
4001 W Devon Ave #432
Chicago, IL 60646

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