How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Window?

by Team HomeServe
two white male window installers installing windows in a living room during renovation

If your home is feeling drafty or lackluster, it could be time to invest in window replacement. Installing new windows is an expensive project, but it can drastically improve your home's exterior appearance and even reduce your energy bills.

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Use this cost guide to help you budget for your window replacement — whether you’re getting one new window or a whole house of them.

What Are Some Signs Your Windows Need to Be Replaced?

The most obvious reason to consider window replacement is damaged windows. Cracked or chipped panes make your windows less energy-efficient and allow intruders easier access to your home. There may be damage to your windows that you can't see if the glass appears foggy or there may be condensation on the inside of the window. However, condensation between the glass layers or on the outside is usually no cause for alarm.

It may also be worth replacing your windows if you notice signs that your existing windows aren't energy efficient. Drafts, substandard installation or rocketing heating bills could all indicate inefficient windows. You may also wish to invest in window replacement if your windows look dated or are difficult to open. Sometimes, old windows allow too much UV light inside your home, causing floors, furnishings and wallpaper to fade prematurely.

What's the Average Price Per Window?

According to Forbes, the national average window replacement cost is around $300 (CAD 410) per window. You might pay anywhere between $150 and $1,500 (CAD 205 and CAD 2,048). The overall cost depends on the types of windows and frames you want and the labor rates in your area.

What Other Factors Affect the Cost of Window Replacement?

Window replacement costs vary widely, depending on a range of factors. Larger windows generally cost more, so expect to pay extra to replace large fixtures, such as bay or basement egress windows. Windows with multiple panes of glass are also costlier. For example, HomeGuide says you should expect to pay between $300 and $1,300 (CAD 410 and CAD 1,775) to replace a basic picture window, but costs go up to an average of $2,000 to $6,000 (CAD 2,730 to CAD 8,191) for a bay window with three panes.

Energy-efficient or tinted glass is more expensive than regular glass. Some areas mandate tempered glass for certain homes, so you may not have a choice there.

The frame material also makes a significant difference to the overall window replacement cost. Vinyl window frames are usually the most affordable option, costing between $200 and $1,500 (CAD 273 and CAD 2,048) per window. Meanwhile, pricier composite window frames could set you back between $400 and $2,300 (CAD 546 and CAD 3,140) on average.

Finally, your home's age could affect the cost of replacing your old windows. Replacement windows for an older property can cost more than double the price of a newer build because the surrounding structure may require repair or updating. You may also need custom windows to replace nonstandard window sizes. Older homes are also less likely to have retrofitted windows. Retrofitted windows are cheaper to replace because they allow the installer to remove and replace the glass without interfering with the frame or surrounding walls.

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How Much Do Window Installers Charge Per Hour?

HomeGuide says you should expect to pay between $100 and $500 (CAD 137 and CAD 683) in labor costs per window, or up to 35% of the total cost of window replacement. However, the going labor rates vary widely depending on where you live. Generally, window installation labor is more expensive in places with higher costs of living. You may also need to pay more for challenging or unusual window installation jobs requiring specific skills and expertise.

Are Energy-Efficient Windows Worth the Extra Cost?

Energy-efficient windows carrying the government-endorsed Energy Star certification are generally more expensive than regular glass. However, they could save you a significant amount of money on your energy bills because they provide better insulation and prevent heat loss from your home. Some energy-efficient windows also limit the amount of UV light that can pass through, protecting your furnishings and decor from sunlight damage.

According to This Old House, you could save between $101 and $583 (CAD 138 and CAD 796) per year by replacing your single-pane windows with energy-efficient windows. Meanwhile, you could save $27 to $197 (CAD 37 to CAD 269) per year when you replace clear, double-glazed glass with Energy Star-approved windows.

Therefore, it's important to weigh up the potential energy savings compared to the added cost of installing energy-efficient replacement windows. Many homeowners also feel that paying extra for energy-efficient windows is worth it because it reduces their energy usage and makes their homes more environmentally friendly.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.