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How Much Does A New Window Cost in California?
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How Much Does A New Window Cost in California?

Before buying new windows for your California home, get familiar with how much new windows cost.

Roubina Al Abashian

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7 min read

May 23, 2022

There’s nothing more exciting than giving your home a full makeover, especially when it gives you a chance to upgrade often overlooked items like your windows. Opting for the best windows available is always a good idea because even if you choose to put your home on the real estate market in a few years, you will have spent the time in your home in a more energy-efficient and comfortable way.  Replacing your older windows with newer versions, however, is not always an easy job. The process may be more time-consuming and costly than you’d expect. But despite it all, it can also be fun.

One thing to keep in mind before embarking on the journey of replacing your windows is that there are a few factors worth taking into consideration. Another important thing you can do is try to determine the estimated cost of new windows, to avoid unexpected surprises later on. On average, replacing a window in California will cost you around $650; or anywhere between $200 and $1800. Yet, there’s only one way to calculate the precise price of your new windows, and that is through defining all of your preferences and choosing window features. The factors that play into the formula include window type, size, and energy efficiency. Once you’ve got all that figured out, you can finally have a clearer idea about the cost of your windows.

Factors That Affect Window Replacement Costs

Some of the features that factor into your window replacement cost have to do with window material and type, house age, and labor costs, among many others. In order to have a good discussion with your contractor regarding prices, make sure you cover all of the important factors that make a window resilient as well as aesthetically pleasing. 

The frame of a window plays a major role in increasing or decreasing the price of the window.

Frame 

A frame not only adds to the efficiency and durability of a window, but it also adds to the charm of your house. When it comes to frames, you’ll have a long list of options to choose from — so long that it might get confusing at times. Your choice should clearly depend on your taste, the feel of your home, the durability of the material, local weather, and window costs. Vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood are the most popular frame materials, and you can start your quest of which material suits your home best from here. Keep in mind that prices vary widely between these options.  

  • Vinyl Frames
    Vinyl is the most popular and in-demand frame material available. It’s one of the most affordable materials, it’s energy-efficient, and it’s durable. In short, vinyl window frames are a catch. On average, a vinyl window can cost you anywhere from $100 to $900 per window. 
  • Aluminum Frames
    You won’t find many homeowners praising the insulation properties of aluminum frames, but you’ll find many praising their durability.  The average cost of a new window made of aluminum can go from $75 to $400. For larger, high-end aluminum windows you can expect to pay up to $1,200. 
  • Fiberglass Frames
    Like vinyl frames, fiberglass frames have great insulation properties, yet can cost almost 30% more. The reason behind the price parity is that fiberglass windows are extremely durable. You can expect to spend between $500 and $1500 on a single fiberglass window.
  • Wood Frames
    Wood frames can effortlessly add charm to your California home. The aesthetically pleasing material doesn't necessarily come cheap though, especially if you’re looking into beautiful styles. A single window can cost anywhere from $150 and upwards of $1,300.

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Window Type

The cost of new windows highly depends on the type of window you plan on installing. Some windows have simpler designs, while others are more complicated, and installing them takes a lot of time and effort. Single-hung, double-hung, picture, casement, sliding, and storm are a few of the most popular window types, and each one of them serves a different purpose and has characteristics of its own.  Naturally, the larger and more complicated windows will cost you more than smaller, simpler ones.

Energy-efficient windows immediately increase the value of your house.

Glass 

The main reason why you may change the glass of your windows (if they haven’t met the bitter fate of a derailed baseball) is if you’re going to replace them with more energy-efficient ones. Living in California’s greenest cities can alone be encouragement enough for you to look into upgrades. When it comes to getting new energy-efficient windows, you should aim at getting double-pane windows, or even better, triple-pane or Low-E windows. These types of glasses help control the temperature inside your house, and even protect you from annoying noises and harmful rays. Glass prices vary depending on how many layers of glass the window has, the type of insulating gas, and the microscopic metal sheet inside. To give you an idea, a triple-pane bay window could cost you around $1,800. 

Window Location

New window costs change depending on where your window is located in the house. Installing the first-floor window costs less than installing a second-floor window, considering that the higher you go the more equipment and labor you’ll require. Prices also change depending on the room the window is in. An egress window for a basement-level bedroom can cost between $2,500 and $5,000, while regular bedroom window prices range from $300 to $700.

Older structures usually come with extra challenges that have to do with architecture, design, and size.

House Age

The older the house, the more challenges it brings to the table. With older houses, you should expect to pay double or even triple the projected price for any typical home improvement project. The challenges usually have to do with the architecture, design, and size of the house and its windows. You might also face problems with rotting trims and inconsistencies with current building codes. Just make sure to have those potential challenges in mind when you’re calculating your window replacement costs.

Labor

Depending on where you live in the Golden State, labor could cost you anywhere between $40 and $80 an hour, with the median being $50. If you live in an urban area, you can expect to pay higher labor costs, considering the cost of living is higher in those areas. Labor costs change depending on the number of windows you’re replacing. The higher the window count, the lower the costs. An additional factor that might affect labor costs is the age of the house. Older houses usually require more work, as the windows replaced should match the historical architecture of the house, and so the can cost increase significantly. 

Window Replacement Costs By Window Type

After taking these factors into consideration, you’re left with one final thing to consider when trying to determine how much new windows cost in California, and that is window type. Window pricing varies hugely depending on the type of window you choose to install and let’s just say that the options are many. To know what type of windows to go for, you should first consider where the window is located in your house and then its intended function is in said room. Once you’ve figured that out, you can choose between the many beautiful window styles based on aesthetics. 

Single-Hung Windows

Single-hung windows are one of the most popular window options. The classic window comes with a stationary upper sash and an operable lower one that opens vertically. A single-hung window can cost between $100 and $400, depending on the material used.


Double-Hung Windows

It may be difficult to differentiate between single-hung and double-hung windows in terms of looks, but functionality-wise, they differ quite a lot. Both lower and upper sashes of a double-hung window are operable, making it easier to clean than a  single-hung. A double-hung window could cost you between $150 and $650. 

Picture Windows

A picture window is a standard window that can be produced in a variety of shapes. Thanks to their flexibility, a new picture window costs a little more than expected. You might pay anywhere between $300 and $800 to replace your older picture window. 

Arched windows can add an enlightening amount of character to rooms with tall ceilings and are a great, if more pricey, choice to opt for.

Arched Windows

Add romantic charm to your regular window by adding an arched window on top of it. These windows owe their beauty to their rounded shape and added light intake. On average, replacing an arched window costs between $325 and $500. 

Awning Windows

When opened, an awning window creates a water-resistant awning shape, which in turn protects you from the rain outside. On harsh winter days, you’ll be happy to know that your California winter cabin is protected by awning windows. Because of their effectiveness in harsher weather, awning windows can cost between $420 and $760.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are one of the most popular windows out there. They are the windows that swing out to the side when you open them. Most casement windows come with two panes, opening to either side. Casement windows can cost you anywhere between $150 and $1,000, depending on size and material.  

Bay windows increase the square footage of your house and thus its selling value.

Bay Windows

Whether you own a California beach house or one in a more rural area, installing a bay window or two can immediately add to the aesthetic of your house. These dreamy windows extend outwards from the exterior wall of the house and expand the space inside the room they are in. They have a perpendicular middle unit and two side units that stand at 30- or 40- degree angles. And even though replacing a bay window can cost upward of $1,800, it is worth remembering that they can increase the value of your home.    

Bow Windows

It’s really easy to confuse bow windows with bay windows. While bay windows usually have three panes of glass, bow windows have at least five, and they combine to form a circular shape instead of angular. Due to the high number of panels and their overall large size, you can easily pay between $1,000 and $4,500 to replace an old bow window. 

Sliding Windows

As the name suggests, sliding windows slide open, but unlike single and double-hung windows, they open horizontally. Depending on the design, sliding windows can either open from one side or both. You might pay between $150 and $800 for a replacement sliding window in California.

Storm Windows

A storm window is not a window in itself, but rather a protective layer mounted on the inside or the outside of an original glass window. A storm window, therefore, adds to the efficiency of a window and helps protect the trim, thus increasing the value of the house. Storm windows can cost anywhere from $50 to $300.

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