According to USA Today, many Americans are still working from home and may continue to do so for a while. If you’re one of them, you might be starting to feel a bit boxed in by the walls of your home and think an additional window would be liberating. Or perhaps you just want to brighten up a shadowy room but you’re concerned about the cost to add a window to an existing wall.
How much you’ll actually pay to add a window depends on the size and type of window you install, the contractor you choose and the difficulty of the job. But if you are making plans to sell your property, adding natural light to a dim room may add scale-tipping appeal to your home.
To give you the most current costs and value adds, we spoke with top real estate agent Sandi Van Camp, who works with 82% more single-family homes than her peers in Canandaigua, New York, and consulted with the Pella Corporation, which has manufactured window products since 1925.
Window addition cost overview
As of November 2021, HomeAdvisor reports that the typical cost range to add a window to an existing wall is $2,949-$9,304.
In November 2019, Legacy Service estimated that the cost to add a window to an existing wall was $1,000–$5,000 The apparent increase in estimated costs may be a reflection of recent labor shortages and supply chain challenges.
The average installation cost is approximate $150–$800 per window or $40 per hour for labor.
Methodology: HomeAdvisor tracks millions of user-submitted project estimates and correlates them with local professional estimates to deliver accurate averages.
Real-life cost to add a window
Because there are so few online resources that list the current cost to add a window to an existing wall, we spoke with Pella Public Relations and Brand Communications Manager Nicolle Picray. According to Picray, you can get a window estimate on the Pella website. However, she warns, homeowners should use caution budgeting a window remodel based only on their online costs. Pella’s window estimator is really a tool designed for installers more than homeowners.
All Pella windows are custom-made and prices are difficult to estimate without details about your location and project. Instead, homeowners should contact a local Pella rep for accurate pricing and recommendations.
Pella online example prices for double-pane vinyl-frame windows
|Window type||Cost in the Phoenix area|
|Casement window (35”X48”)||$844.42|
|Single-hung window (36”X48”)||$372.42|
|Double-hung window (36”X48”)||$738.17|
|Awning window (48”X36”)||$930.06|
|Sliding window (36”X48”)||$371.48|
You’ll also pay for labor as well as the cost to reroute any wiring and for the material required to repair and finish the wall around the window. We break down these costs below.
Major cost factors to consider
As illustrated above, what a homeowner might expect to pay to add a window to an existing wall can fall in a broad range because every project is different. The final cost depends on a number of factors beyond just the price of the window itself.
Picray emphasizes that a window is only as good as the installation. Improper installation can result in low window efficiency and difficulty opening and closing moving sashes.
According to HomeAdvisor, some of the expenses involved in putting a window into an existing wall include:
- Labor and installation: $30–$50 per hour
- Framing: $1,000–$2,500
- Drywall repair: $1.50 per square foot
- Siding repair: $300–$1,000
- Insulation: $450–$3,000
- Rerouting electrical: $150–$500
Other cost considerations include:
- Whether the wall is load-bearing or gabled, (triangular)
- Whether there is plumbing in the wall
- Accessibility of the exterior and interior of the wall
- Whether the window will be installed on a second level, requiring scaffolding and safety harnesses
- Whether the window will be installed in a basement
- Whether your home is located in a high altitude location, requiring windows that can withstand the pressure
- Whether your windows will need to withstand extreme heat or extreme cold
Additional cost contributors
In addition to the hardware and installation, the price you pay for a window will vary depending on what style you want, how it opens, the frame material, and how insulating it is (how many panes of glass it has).
Window cost by style: $100 to $2,500
The factors that affect how much you’ll pay are the design of the window and the materials used. Most of these example window designs below are available in a variety of materials. According to HomeAdvisor, these are the costs for different style windows as of October 2021:
- Double-hung: $150–$650. A double-hung window has top and bottom sashes that both move up and down. Sashes on some of the more expensive double-hung windows also tilt inward for easier cleaning.
- Single-hung: $100–$400. The bottom sash of a single-hung moves up and down while the top sash is fixed.
- Sliding: $150–$800. One or both of the sashes in a sliding window slide from side to side rather than up and down.
- Casement: $150–$1,000. A casement window cranks open from one side or the other and can be opened fully for ventilation or egress (escape in an emergency).
- Egress: $650–$2,000. An egress window is designed to allow escape in an emergency such as a fire or natural disaster. Egress windows are most commonly added to bring basement bedrooms up to code.
- Bay: $600–$2,500. A bay window is actually three windows. It is made up of a large stationary picture window in the center with two smaller windows — one on either side. The side windows may be sash or casement windows.
Window cost by pane: $150-$1,000
The number of panes of glass in a window affects how insulated the window is, how soundproof the window is, and how much it costs.
- Double: $150–$800. A double-pane window is made of two panes of glass that are separated with a spacer. Air or gas between the two panes holds the glass in place, provides insulation and acts as a sound barrier. Double-pane windows can last eight to 20 years. The average price for a double-pane window is $250, however, how much you pay depends on the frame you choose.
- Triple: $500-$1,000. A triple-pane window is similar to a double-pane window except that it has three panes of glass separated by spacers. They are stronger, more energy-efficient, and more soundproof than double-pane windows.
- Energy-efficient certification: $325–785. An energy-efficient window can be either double- or triple-paned and maybe vinyl or wooden. The more energy-efficient the window, the more you’ll pay. The quickest way to identify an energy-efficient window is to look for the Energy Star logo. In northern climates, you’ll want a window designed to let in infrared light and trap warm air inside your home. In southern climates, you’ll want a window designed to keep the heat outside your home.
Window cost by frame: $256–$1,300
The frame you choose will affect the cost of your window, how durable and insulating it is, how much maintenance is required, and most importantly, how it looks in your home.
- Vinyl: $256–$600. Vinyl framed windows are low maintenance and durable. They don’t swell or shrink when the humidity changes. They come with warranties, some as long as a lifetime. Although they’re not as aesthetically appealing as wooden frames, the price point and warranties make them a popular choice.
- Fiberglass: $750. A fiberglass frame is up to times more durable than vinyl and can last up to 50 years. However, they are higher maintenance than vinyl and can fade or peel over time. The high cost makes them less common to install in a home
- Wood: $1,300. Wooden frames offer an authentic aesthetic with a traditional look that is more attractive than vinyl or fiberglass. The wooden frame is an ideal insulator for hot or cold weather. They require regular maintenance, such as painting and finishing to protect the frame from the elements.
Window cost by size: $150-$760
The cost of your new window will increase the larger your window gets.
- Living room size: $420–760 (picture window). A dim living room is not a happy space. The size of the window you choose depends on your wall space, how much glass you want to clean, the exterior view, and how much light you want in your space. Picture windows are the most common choice for the living room and come in many sizes and styles, including borderless. They range in size from 12 to 96 inches tall and 24 to 96 inches wide.
- Bathroom size: $300–$700. How many windows you put in your bathroom also depends on how much space you have, your view, how much sunlight you need, and how much privacy you want. The standard size for a sliding window in your bathroom ranges from 26 to 84 inches wide and 24 to 60 inches tall. The cost to add a large picture, bay or bow window ranges from $600 to $2,000.
- Hallway size: $150–650. A standard single-hung window is most common in the hallway. The size you choose depends on the size of the exterior wall in your hallway and how much natural light you want for this space. They range from 36 to 84 inches wide and 24 to 60 inches tall.
Coronavirus premium on building materials
The pandemic is another factor in how much you’ll pay for a window. Supply chain issues, including a shortage of shipping containers and trucks, manufacturing delays and even closures, and a shortage of available staff have caused an inflation in the cost of building materials and services. According to Bob Vila the price of wood windows rose around 3.2% in 2020.
Other ways to add light to your home
A window isn’t the only way to bring natural light into your home. If you’re interested in exploring all your options, consider:
Skylight: $960–$2,423. Don’t be afraid to add a skylight, says Van Camp. When they’re installed correctly, they’re a fabulous way to add light to a dark room.
Light tube: $500-$1,000. Also known as a solar tube, a sun tunnel, or a solar skylight, this is a metal tube that extends from your roof to the ceiling below. It has a weather-resistant acrylic cap on the outside and a diffuser on the inside that distributes light evenly. A light tube is a great way to add daylight to a small or dim space. A 10-inch tube can illuminate a 200-square-foot space while a 14-inch tube can light a 300-square-foot area.
Window wall: $700–$1,600 per linear foot for windows and installation and $1,000–$3,000 for a door. Also known as a curtain wall, a ribbon window, a window wall is a large section of glass installed between the floor and ceiling. A window wall is thicker and stronger than a standard window and requires additional structural support.
For example, if you install a 20-foot window in a standard 8-foot tall living room, and you throw in the cost of the door, you might pay $141,000 on the low end or $323,000 on the high end.
Will adding a window to an existing wall increase home value?
According to Van Camp, bringing natural light into your home always adds appeal. To maximize the appeal, consider what kind of view the window will add. A garden or lake view adds aesthetic appeal. However, adding the view of a street, driveway, or view into the neighbor’s bathroom is a bit less appealing.
Also, consider your climate when adding a window. South-facing windows bring in cozy natural light in colder climates, whereas north-facing windows are a better value-add in warm southern climates.
Van Camp explains that “appeal” may translate into ROI or strengthen your position on your asking price. However, since windows don’t change a home’s square footage, and don’t necessarily count the same in an appraisal the way other upgraded features might, it’s difficult to estimate how additional or improved windows will move the ROI needle. If maximizing the value of your home is your ultimate goal, Van Camp recommends replacement windows. Replacing drafty, inefficient windows is one of the best ways to add value to your home. For more information, check out our article detailing how much you’ll pay for replacement windows and how much of the cost you’ll recoup.
Header Image Source: (Roberto Nickson / Unsplash)