When you’re worried about energy costs or bad weather and you’re looking at replacement windows, wondering about the average storm windows cost is normal. Storm windows work to help insulate existing windows, stop energy transfer and airflow, and they work best when you install them over single-pane windows. You can choose from several different sizes, styles, and manufacturers when you start looking at these windows, and these factors can all impact your total storm windows cost. Additionally, you want to consider how many windows you have in your home before you take on this project.
What is your desired frame material? What type of pane and where are these windows located? How about the track style? These are also important factors. You have to consider the labor and installation costs because this project is best taken on by a professional. You could void warranties if you choose to do it on your own, or you could end up with less effective windows because they don’t seal correctly. Additionally, some manufacturers include installation in their original quotes, so be sure to ask.
Since these windows come in many types, they can impact your total storm windows cost. For these windows, you’ll spend an average of $2,000 to $5,000. To install eight double-track exterior storm windows with a Low-E coating and a vinyl frame will spend right around $2,800. Depending on the materials you choose and the work needed, your storm windows cost will fluctuate. If you pick out a standard aluminum storm window and install six of them, your storm windows cost will fall around $990. On the other end of the spectrum, 10 triple-track windows with a wooden frame, Low-E coating, and insulated panels will cost $7,000.
Since there is the potential for your storm windows cost to go to the high end very quickly, it’s essential that you know exactly what makes them fluctuate in price. This guide will help you break down the average storm window cost using the most important considerations. You can take the estimates and go to local window installers and see how it stacks up. At the very least, you’ll have a rough estimate with a better understanding of the project’s scope by the end.
Installing new storm windows can boost your home’s curb appeal while adding another layer of protection to your house. They also provide insulation all year-round. Storm windows by charlie vinz / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Defining a Storm Window
A storm window is a type of window that comes designed to fit outside or inside your main glass windows on your home. They feature various materials and have different frames and tracks. Originally, they were designed to offer more protection against harsh weather conditions and storms in certain planting zones. They can give your home more insulation by preventing heat loss during the colder months of the year. In turn, they can reduce your energy bills, block noise, and offer more security than standard windows provide.
Storm Window Cost by Location
You can choose to install your storm windows on the exterior or interior portion of your windows, and the installation type you pick will impact your storm windows cost for labor and material. Exterior windows are permanent while interior windows can be fitted by the homeowner and removed as needed. The average costs based on location are:
Exterior Storm Windows
Exterior storm windows are the more common option out of the two choices. Since this is usually a permanent fixture on your home, a professional will need to install it. They get fitted right to your home’s exterior, and this allows them to work as a protective barrier to ward off storm damage.
You won’t have to worry about putting them on and taking them back off as the seasons change since they’re permanent. Your storm windows cost will be more per panel for this location, and each one costs between $100 and $400.
Interior Storm Windows
This is a much more affordable storm windows cost out of the two locations, and they may be the only pick for people who are renters and aren’t allowed to make permanent changes to the home. People living in historic homes may only have this choice as well because they don’t or can’t make changes to the property’s exterior. These are usually single panels that you put on and take off as needed.
You can install them in the fall months before the colder winter temperatures come up and remove them again in the spring. They’re very easy to install, and you can do it without having a professional come in and do it for you. In turn, this reduces your storm windows cost for labor. They can be just as effective as exterior options, but they won’t protect your existing windows from storm damage. Your average costs range from $100 to $300 each.
Price Points for Different Frame Materials
When you consider your storm windows cost, you have to think about the frame material. There are a few different choices available, and each material gives you different functional qualities and appearances. Some materials give you better insulation and are more aesthetically pleasing. The frame material will impact your storm windows cost in a large way because some materials are much more expensive. The most popular frame materials are:
Aluminum frames may be low-maintenance and inexpensive, but they’re also very poor insulators. They won’t lower your energy transfer as well as the other materials. They won’t peel with exposure to the elements, but the paint can fade and require touch ups with new paint every few years. They’re the least expensive option, and you’ll pay between $100 and $250 per window, depending on your style and size.
These frames insulate better than aluminum but not as well as wood. This is another low-maintenance option that won’t require you to paint it, but the style and color choices are more limited. You should also know that once you expose vinyl to sunlight, the colors will slowly start to fade. You can find wooden and vinyl combination frames that insulate better and have lower maintenance requirements. Your average storm windows cost for these frames is between $150 and $300.
Wooden frames have the best insulation and they’re very aesthetically pleasing. They go very well in homes that feature natural elements in the design or in older homes. However, wooden frames have a higher price tag attached to them, and they need more maintenance than the other two materials because you’ll stain or paint them periodically to make them last.
In extreme weather conditions, these frames struggle because they can contract and expand, depending on the temperature. They can be more difficult to open in winter and loose in the frame during summer, so you want to avoid them in areas where temperatures swing throughout the year. They can be thick and heavy too, and this can obscure your view and limit how much light goes through. They’ll add between $200 and $400 each to your storm windows cost.
The different types of frames will impact your total project costs, and some are much more expensive than the others.You have to balance costs with aesthetics when you make your final choice. Our Last View by Richard Cahan / CC BY-NC 2.0
Cost for Different Pane Types
Storm windows have several options for panes or glass that make them up. Each type of material will impact your storm windows cost, durability, looks, and function. Some materials are more straightforward and cheaper but they have less resistance, and others are more energy-efficient and stronger. The common pane types with their prices are:
There are several acrylic or plastic windows you can buy, right along with plexiglass. They all come with similar disadvantages and advantages. These panes are very lightweight, stronger than glass in a lot of cases, and flexible. They’re more prone to general wear and tear over time, and your storm windows cost will vary from $100 to $250 each.
This type of window has two separate glass panes that are separated by the frame. You can choose from several styles and sizes, and this allows you to customize your choice based on your home’s outer look and enhance your curb appeal. These types of windows have a higher storm windows cost attached to them because of the additional materials, and they’ll fall between $150 and $400 each.
These types of windows are more durable than your average glass. They’re better for blocking noise, and this creates a peaceful environment when you combine it with soundproof flooring. Since they come laminated, they are far less likely to shatter. Additionally, they can protect your furniture from fading due to sunlight exposure. Your storm windows cost will range from $150 to $400 on average.
This is a very energy-efficient glass that comes designed to maximize your energy savings potential. They feature panes covered in a super fine coating that reflects the heat into the room rather than reflecting it outside. This will help save on your heating bills, and they range from $125 to $400.
This is one of the most affordable storm windows cost you can get on the current market. They’re not actually glass however. Instead, they’re a lighter and more flexible plastic. They’re very durable and easier to work with, but it’s easy to scratch. These panels may also start to degrade and turn yellow over time. You’ll pay between $100 and $250.
You can make storm windows from several types of glass, and 3/16-inch standard glass is the most common material. The glass won’t get altered, tinted, or treated. The standard design keeps it affordable, but it won’t come with any unique advantages like you’d get with Low-E or tempered glass. Your storm windows cost will range from $100 to $300 each with this option.
Toughened or tempered glass undergoes a special chemical or thermal process to maximize the glass’s strength. This type of window is more durable and resistant, and this makes it a great choice for planting zones that are plagued with storms because they’re less likely to shatter. They’re more expensive, and the average storm windows cost ranges from $150 to $400 per window.
Coated or tinted glass comes with a metal oxide applied to it, and this gives it a coloring or tinted look. Your windows will get a unique aesthetic quality to it that makes it difficult for anyone outside to look in as they pass by. It’s a great choice for people who value their privacy or they want to switch up the home’s exterior look. Your storm windows cost per window ranges from $125 to $400.
Track Options and Prices
You can classify storm windows based on track style. The track is the piece responsible for holding everything in place. You can usually slide the panes along the track to open the window. However, some tracks come fixed in place to prevent the windows from opening. There are several tracks available that will all influence your storm windows cost, including:
These types of windows are also referred to as picture or casement windows, and they get installed to be fixed in place and not open. They get made from a single piece of glass, and they work well on decorative windows to provide another layer of protection. Your storm windows cost for this option will range from $100 to $300 each.
With a triple-track style frame, you’ll get two panes of glass with three tracks and a single screen on each window. Each one can slide down or back up so that you can choose how you open your window. You can open it completely to pass something through, and this makes these windows very popular. Your average storm windows cost for one window in this style ranges from $150 to $400.
This window comes with a screen, dual panes of glass, and tracks. The part of the window that is furthest from the glass is a fixed pane with a screen on the bottom and the glass on the top. Neither the glass or the screen will move. On the inside, you get another pane of glass, but you can slide this pane up and down to increase the airflow and ventilation. You can’t open the screen, and your storm windows cost will range from $100 to $350 for a single window.
With this style window frame, you’ll get dual tracks that can slide open from side to side. You’ll find them on wider, larger windows. They work well for letting more air flow into your home during warmer months. Your storm windows cost will vary from $150 to $400.
The type of sliders you want will dictate how your windows open because some come fixed and won’t open while others offer multiple ways to open. Storm! By Lorna Mitchell / CC BY-ND 2.0
Price to Replace Storm Windows
If you already have storm windows in place but you’re ready to replace them, you may wonder what your storm windows cost for this project. Fortunately, you’ll pay more to install the windows the first time around than you will to replace these same windows. You will pay out more for labor to dismantle the existing windows and make any track or frame changes you need for the new windows. Per window, you’ll add between $50.00 and $400 to your storm window costs to switch them out.
Repairing your existing storm window can be a more budget-friendly choice if they have minor damage to them rather than replacing them fully. If there is too much damage or you want to change your window’s structure and size, you’ll need replacements. You should call a professional contractor first for a quote because they can explain your options more clearly.
Installation Costs for Storm Windows
Luckily, installation shouldn’t add a huge amount to your storm windows cost because it should only take a few minutes per window. The contractor will measure the window’s exterior to fit the storm window, and then they’ll adjust the window and put it into place. They’ll run a caulk bead around the storm window’s edge to create a seal before screwing the frame into place on the window’s exterior. They may add a second caulk bead to seal out any air gaps.
The actual labor costs will fluctuate based on the frame, window size, condition of the existing frame, and the location of the window. You can expect installation to start at $65.00 a window and go up to $300 for your storm window cost. Some companies will offer you a discount if you have multiple storm windows installed at the same time. If you want to install eight vinyl-framed, two track windows, your storm windows cost for installation would be around $1,200 of the project’s $2,800 total.
These types of windows do require a lot of maintenance to keep them functioning at peak levels. Both interior and exterior windows need maintenance. You have to remove interior windows each spring, clean them, and store them safely until you need them again. You may have to scrape off any excess caulk before you store them, depending on how the windows adhere in the fall.
You won’t have to remove any exterior storm windows because you can open them to let the air in. However, you do have to clean the tracks and lubricate them once a year so that they’re easy to open and close. Sometimes, you’re only able to do this from outside of the house, and this can be challenging on a two-story home. Also, caulking around the frame should get a maintenance check every year and replaced as needed. The frame may also need routine cleaning and painting to boost your home’s curb appeal.
Optional Improvements or Enhancements
There are a few other cost considerations to keep in mind when you’re figuring out your storm windows cost. Some of these things are optional but some aren’t, depending on the project. The most common improvements or enhancements include:
Removal of the Old Window
When you replace your old storm windows with new models, the contractors will charge to remove and dispose of the old windows. Depending on the window’s location, size, and how challenging them are to safely remove, this could add between $25.00 and $50.00 a window to your storm windows cost.
When you have window screens, you’re able to open the windows during the spring and summer months without worrying about bugs getting into the house. A lot of storm-style windows come with screens included, but they can increase your storm windows cost by $20.00 to $50.00 a window. If you have to replace or repair a screen, be prepared to pay between $25.00 and $200 a screen.
You can choose to add stabilizer bars to each of your windows. The function of this bar is to add more structural strength to them, and this can help them last longer after the initial installation. You’ll pay between $20.00 and $40.00 per bar.
Your storm windows can be more effective if you apply weatherstripping to your existing windows before you install the storm windows. Weatherstripping will seal the edges around your doors and windows, and this makes them more airtight. To weatherstrip an entire home, you’ll spend around $200.
Comparing Storm Windows to Standard Windows
A lot of people hesitate when they’re trying to pick between a storm window and a regular window. Both types of windows have benefits and drawbacks associated with them. For storm windows, they do have a higher upfront cost attached to them. However, it pays off in energy savings by reducing your utility bills.
Storm windows also have soundproofing qualities that can make your home quieter and more peaceful if your home is in a noisy area or on a busy street. They come in many styles, sizes, and materials to match different design aesthetics too. However, they require a lot of maintenance to function correctly, and they can cause less light to enter your home if you choose thicker frames.
Standard windows are less efficient, and they can allow heat to escape from your home very easily. They’re also less effective when it comes to reducing noise, and they’re not as protective or strong. They are easier to maintain and cheaper to install and buy. They also don’t obscure the light like some types of storm windows do.
Where to Find Storm Window Installation Experts Near You
If you’re considering installing these types of windows, you can get a more realistic storm windows cost estimate by getting in touch with local contractors. They’ll be able to advise you on which windows work best and any features you want to consider. You can find them here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing which questions to ask when you contact the local contractors will help you get a better understanding of the project’s scope. You should ask the same questions across the board to get accurate estimates. Storm Window by Terry / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
1. Is it possible to install storm windows over vinyl windows?
Yes, you can install your new storm windows over any type of existing window you have. This includes standard windows and vinyl.
2. What is the average lifespan of storm windows?
If you’re trying to justify your storm windows cost, look at the lifespan. High-quality storm windows can last 10 to 12 years with proper maintenance. If you get lower-quality windows or don’t maintain them, they’ll only last two or three years.
3. Should you caulk storm windows?
You want to caulk your storm windows during the installation process. You should also apply caulk whenever the original caulk fails from exposure to the elements.
Your storm windows cost has a large range of factors that will make it fluctuate. You can use this guide to get a rough estimate that you can take to your local contractors. This way, you’ll know how much money you need to set aside to cover your storm windows cost and replace them all at the same time.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.