You know a thing or two about windows, such as that it’s time to replace yours. While you’ve reached out to a few window companies and compared quotes, you’d like to avoid spending a fortune on the work if you can. Keep reading further to find out about DIY Window Replacement Cost.
Average Cost of a DIY window replacement project.
Given that you’re still paying for the windows, your cost per window may be as low as $200-$300 per window if you decide to do vinyl windows.
However, if you decide on wood windows, your cost may be closer to $600-$900 per window
Where you really save money is with installation, since you’re not paying anyone to do this. Thus, for however much you spend for the windows plus tools and equipment, that would be your total project price.
In this article, we will elaborate more on pricing per window as well as which tools you need and their prices. We’ll also discuss the necessary skillset you should have before handling your own windows. Keep reading!
How Much Does a DIY Window Replacement Project Cost?
The appeal of a DIY window replacement is certainly easy to see. Instead of having your life disrupted by strangers in your home for days on end, you can take care of the project on weekends or when you have time. You cut out labor charges because you’re the one doing all the hard work. There are no installation fees either, as that’s something else you’re taking care of.
While a do-it-yourself project like this does present great cost savings, it’s by no means free. You still have to obtain the windows first and foremost. What’s the cost for today’s replacement windows?
Well, that will depend. What kind of windows did you have your eye on? If it’s vinyl windows, then you may be able to skate by and spend less. Here’s a breakdown of vinyl window price estimates for different window types:
Vinyl Window Replacement DIY Costs (National Average)
- Siding vinyl windows: $200-$300
- Single-hung vinyl windows: $150-$250
- Custom shaped vinyl windows: $400-$800
- Double-hung vinyl windows: $200-$300
- Casement vinyl windows: $300-$600
- Bay vinyl windows: $1,000-$2,000
- Awning vinyl windows: $350-$450
Wood Window Replacement DIY Costs (National Average)
If vinyl windows do not interest you, then perhaps wooden windows are more your style. However, with their unmatched elegance, as great as it makes your home look, it is going to cost you. Here’s a pricing review. Keep in mind there is a big gap in price based on the options and sizes you want.
- Double-hung wooden windows: $500-$1000
- Casement wooden windows: $650-$1,200
- Bay wooden windows: $3,000-$6,000
- Awning wooden windows: $650-$1,000
While the above prices are just estimates, you can see how much higher the price of wooden windows is compared to vinyl ones. By the way, in case it wasn’t clear, each figure listed is per window, not for the overall cost.
Another factor that can influence your window reno project pricing is the brand you shop from. If you choose lesser-known names in windows, then surely you can get your project underway for a steal. Keep in mind that it might be worth it to investigate some of the better brands in windows and doors, such as Marvin or Andersen.
For the extra money you spend, you get expertly-crafted, well-designed, lasting windows that increase your home’s curb appeal and even its resale value. It’s up to you whether you’d rather pay less now for cheaper windows and potentially have to replace them in three to five years or if you want to spend more and have your replacement windows for a decade or longer.
Which Tools Do You Need for a DIY Window Replacement and How Much Do These Cost?
Once you make the all-important decision of which types and brand of windows you’re most interested in, you’re not done spending yet. You also need to invest in a slew of tools if you don’t already own them. Here’s what you need as well as a price estimate for each:
- Small pry bar: $10 to $45
- Utility knife: $3 to $15
- Putty knife: $1 to $9
- Screwdriver: $3 to $8
- Power drill: $25 to $150
- Hammer: $10 to $35
- Level: $10-$50
- Tape measure: $2 to $12
- Waterproof shims: $1 to $5
- Caulk gun: $15-$50
- Safety gloves: $3 to $20
- Safety goggles: $3 to $25
- Mitre saw:
Now, granted, most of these tools aren’t expensive, with the exception of a good power drill or caulk gun. You’re talking somewhere between $100 on the lower end and $400+ on the higher end for overall tool pricing. That’s not much to tack on to the whole cost of your DIY window replacement.
What Should You Know Before Replacing Your Own Windows?
Even if you do have the funds to spend on your window project, you need the expertise as well. You may want to start with insert replacement windows if this is your first time, as these slip right into place. Insert replacement windows also require less deconstruction, in that there’s no need to remove your trim or window frame.
The simplicity of this project means you can do it relatively quickly and have your new windows up and ready to admire by the time the weekend ends.
If you have tinkered around with window work before, then you may be interested in a full-frame replacement window project. As the name implies, this job does involve you taking out both the window frame and the trim while installing the new window. Since it’s more complex, you could pay more for the materials to do this job yourself.
Also, it’s going to be more time-consuming. For each window, you have to install on your home’s main floor (the one that’s ground level), expect to work for at least four hours. It may even take you six hours.
You’ll also have to add considerably more time to your project when the time comes to install the windows on the home’s upper floors. The only exception would be if you have a single-story house.
How do you choose between insert windows or full-frame windows? Don’t just pick one type based on cost and time intensiveness. If your windows are in pretty good shape, with frames that haven’t decayed or worn down, then insert windows are a smart choice for you.
If a.) your trim no longer matches your home, b.) it’s worn down or rotted, or c.) you’re buying a bigger window or one in a different shape, then you need a full-frame window replacement.
What Do You Do with the Old Windows?
If you do opt for a full-frame window replacement, you’re going to have a lot of old windows and trim to deal with. While normally, your window installation company will take care of the removal of these parts, since you went the DIY route, that onus is now on you.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as old window parts can be useful in a lot of ways. You can hold onto the wood and reconfigure it for other household projects. You may also recycle the parts, including the frames and sometimes even the window glass.
However, if recycling isn’t an option, look for a local waste transfer station. Typically this is where contractors dispose of their old windows and other debris.
Should You Choose DIY Window Replacement or Let the Pros Do It?
Replacing your windows is a big job. If it’s done incorrectly, your home could be blemished. Even worse, you’ll have to turn around in a few years and pay for new windows all over again. Thus, deciding whether to do this yourself or let a professional handle it is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If your window frames are in good enough shape that you only need insert replacement windows, then you can probably save yourself the money and do this project on your own. For full-frame replacement windows, we recommend tackling this yourself if you’re completely comfortable with all facets of the job.
If you just spent a fortune on new windows, such as wooden windows or those from Marvin or Andersen, then it might be worth letting a pro step in. They will handle your new windows with the care they need. The team can also ensure that installation will be done right the first time, maintaining the integrity of your pricy new windows.
Replacing windows is a job normally reserved for window companies, but many homeowners have begun tackling this project themselves. You can do so as well, saving some money in the process. After all, instead of paying for labor and installation, you only have to buy your windows and related tools.
If you’re seriously contemplating a DIY window replacement, the information in this article should act as a great starting point. Good luck!