Even though your window frames are an essential part of your home, many people make the mistake of overlooking them because they blend right into your replacement windows. Window frames help keep your home insulated to help save on your heating and cooling bills, and you may need to look into window frame repair if you notice that they’re rotted, cracked, broken or in disrepair. You may end up doing something simple like filling in the cracks, or it may require a complete window frame repair that involves the sills, sashes, or the frame itself. No matter how small it is, you want to address it straight away to minimize the damage.
A proper window frame repair will help solidify your windows and make them stable, and they also play a critical role in allowing both air and light into your home. They protect your home against outside elements too, so you want to make sure there is no visible damage or gaps. This is especially important in older homes or if you routinely use a window air conditioning unit because it can put a lot of stress on your window frames. Taking it out or putting it back in each season can easily cause damage that leads to window frame repair.
The average window frame repair cost ranges from $150 to $600 for every window. Most people will end up paying $480 to perform a window frame repair on a single window. This price goes up if said frame isn’t made out of mid-grade aluminum. The window frame repair costs also depend on the type of repair you need and the size of the window. Generally speaking, larger windows will cost more to repair or replace than smaller windows. So, if you had an average of 10 windows that measure 40-inches by 55-inches each, your window frame repair costs would range from $1,5000 to $6,000.
If you’re considering repairing all of your window frames and you’re not sure how much money you should set aside, this is for you. We’re going to outline the biggest factors that influence your window frame repair costs, and you can see which ones apply to your situation. We’ll go over materials, sizes, common issues, and much more below.
Keeping your window frames in good repair is one big key to protecting your windows and ensuring they last for years. Doing periodic checks is very important, and you want to contact a professional to help fix any issues as soon as you spot them. U.S. Navy Seabee prepares a window frame by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa / CC BY 2.0
Costs for Different Types of Repairs
No matter if you have hurricane-proof windows or single-pane windows, there are several potential repairs you want to keep in mind. The type of repair your frame needs will impact your window frame repair costs. So, you want to consider it with the window frame’s material and size. We’ve listed some of the most common window frame repairs you can perform below.
- Cracks or Hole Sealing – $100
- Dry Rot Repair – $175 to $275
- Fin Replacement – $100
- Hardware Repair – $75.00 $200
- Repair Rotted Frame – $300 to $700
- Repair Rotted Sash – $100 to $250
- Repair Rotted Sill – $185 to $300
- Window Resealing – $150 to $200
- Window Sash Repair – $150 to $175
- Wood Rot Repair – $185 to $300
Common Issues with Your Window Frames
There are several window frame repairs you could have to do over the course of the window’s life. Most of these are minor and don’t require a lot of effort since the company you call in does a lot of these same window frame repairs. We’ve picked out the most common ones you’ll run into below.
Broken or Leaking Nail Fin
A nail fin is the part that works to attach the studs to the window frames to anchor them into place. They can break and corrode with normal wear and tear, and this means you’ll have to replace or repair them. Depending on the location of the broken or damaged nail fin, your contractor will give you advice on how to fix it as fast as possible. It’s normal to remove the old fins and replace them with new ones.
Although hardware is durable, it’s not invincible. When the locks or handles on your windows break, you’ll have to replace or repair them. How long they last will depend on the material, environment, and how much you use them. A broken hardware repair encompasses everything from replacing screws that go missing or fixing damaged locks and handles. Some might be easier to replace rather than try to repair, and it shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars for this window frame repair.
Broken Sash Interlock
Newer window designs come with a sash interlock that locks the window and sash to each other. This helps to create a very strong seal to keep moisture, humidity, or the cold out. If this sash breaks, the seal won’t be nearly as strong, and it can be inefficient for the window. If you don’t fix it when you notice it, this relatively simple window frame repair can turn into a full and expensive replacement.
Cracks or Holes
The extreme cold or heat with exposure to the wind, sun, or other elements can slowly wear down the window frame materials. In turn, it’s easy for your frames to develop holes or cracks that can get worse if you don’t address them. You can call a professional to perform this window frame repair, or you could DIY. You’ll need a high-quality wood filler to patch these areas, and it shouldn’t take a lot of time to check and repair each window on your home.
The glass seal and the window frame can separate or get damaged over time. This can lead to condensation buildup on the outside or inside of your window’s glass. When your windows develop condensation, it’s a solid assumption that you have a frame or seal issue that you want to address very quickly. Once you identify the problem, your contractor will tell you which type of window frame repair will work best to fix it. This usually involves resealing your windows, and you may get a discount if you need multiple windows done at the same time.
If your windows develop leaking seals or gaps, it’s easy to feel the cold air drafts coming in around the window frame. This isn’t a good thing for several reasons. However, the biggest one is that it can negatively impact your cooling or heating costs all year-round. Additionally, the constant stream of air can bring moisture that can cause more damage to the frame and require a more extensive window frame repair than others.
Rotting wood can quickly develop into a very serious issue, and it can build up over time due to moisture exposure. However, there isn’t a window frame repair you can do to rotting wood. You’ll have to strip out the rotting wood and replace it with a treated, dry wood that comes designed to withstand the elements. If the entire frame doesn’t have a rot problem, you may be able to do a partial replacement instead of a full one to save a little money.
There are several common issues that could happen with your window frames, but it’s important to catch them early. The longer you let it go, the more extensive the damage will be to your home. In turn, this can drive your window frame repair costs up. Close-up of an electric drill in the hands of a handyman by Ivan Radic / CC BY 2.0
How Different Materials Impact Your Window Frame Repair Costs
The material you use in your window frame will have a large impact on your total window frame repair costs. Aluminum is a very popular mid-range material to use because it withstands the elements very well while being lightweight. Composite, fiberglass, vinyl, and wood are all other nice examples of common window frames. You’ll need to consider the material along with the repair type when you create your budget.
A lot of people will pick aluminum for everything from hot tub enclosures to window frames because there is very minimal maintenance with it. Aluminum is also a material that is much more resistant to wear and tear from the elements. However, this material can twist and expand over time, and this can result in broken glazing. The glazing is what makes the window waterproof. So, if it breaks, you can develop leaks. Your window frame repair involves re-glazing the entire frame, and it’ll cost between $250 and $500 per window.
If you choose composite material for your window frame, the window frame repair is more limited and complex. In turn, this can drive your costs up. The frames come designed to be extremely durable, and this makes them less likely to need repairs in the first place. This material can split and crack over time, but they usually come with relatively quick and easy fixes to them. If you choose to patch your window frame that uses a composite material can take three to four hours for every window you do. Your costs will range from $400 to $650 per window.
In terms of the work involved and your costs, window frame repair for fiberglass and vinyl are very similar. A lot of the time, you may end up replacing the entire frame instead of trying to repair it because it’s quicker and more cost-effective. Your most common window frame repairs with fiberglass include filling in cracks or fixing smaller damaged pieces. Your contractor can also perform color matching to give you a seamless look at an additional charge. The contractor will spend around three hours per window, and the costs will start at $300 and go up to $600 a window.
One big reason why people choose vinyl siding is the low maintenance costs, and this is the same reason people choose vinyl for their window frames. It will crack over time with the different temperature ranges the season brings, and this can lead to periodic window frame repair needs. However, most people use a very simple fiberglass gel patch. The sealant can break, and you’ll know if this happens because fog will build up on your windows. If it happens, you’ll have to replace the sealant. Most window frame repair costs for this material fall in the $300 to $600 category per window.
Wooden frames are relatively easy to fix, but it’s one of the most common materials that will need replacing or repairing because it’s easy to damage. Wood is very porous, so the elements will affect it. The heat and sun can easily dry it out, and this can cause it to split or crack. You could have to do no more than fill in the cracks that appeared as the house settled, or you may have to remove the broken frame and replace it. If you stain or paint the frames, they can last much longer. A professional window frame repair will run between $175 to $300 a window, and a full replacement sits right around $700 each.
Replacement Costs for Window Frames
Sometimes, it’s better to scrape the window frame repair and go straight to a replacement to save you both time and money. If the damage is simply too extensive or the issue isn’t something you can feasibly repair, replacing the entire frame may be your best bet. We’ll talk about the common window frame replacement costs by material below with the average lifespan.
Aluminum has an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years once you install it, and this makes them fairly durable. Additionally, if they get damaged to the point where it’s better to replace them than perform window frame repairs, it’s not very expensive. The average cost for a full replacement for an aluminum window frame ranges from $150 to $300.
A composite window has an average lifespan of 50 years and up. However, you may run into circumstances where you need to replace the window frame much sooner. If you do check your composite window frames and find that they’re so damaged that replacement is necessary, you’ll pay between $800 and $900 per window frame.
Fiberglass windows are nice if you want an update from more traditional vinyl, and this is why you see it on a lot of interior doors. You’ll get a lifespan that ranges from 40 to 50 years. If the frame gets damaged or cracked, window frame repairs can be time-consuming, and this is why many people opt for a total replacement. A professional should do the work for you, and you’ll usually pay between $300 and $500 per frame.
If your frame rots, whether it’s wood or another material, it’s always best to replace it instead of trying to perform window frame repairs. This will allow you to strip out all of the rotted and rotting material so it won’t cause any further damage to your home’s structure or the window. You’ll have to take out the old frame before replacing it with a new one, and this can drive your costs upwards of $700 per window.
Vinyl is popular for a window frame material because it usually lasts a long time without the need for any or very low maintenance. However if the seals fail beyond repair or if sustains a lot of damage, you may need to replace the whole thing. There is an expected lifespan of 20 to 40 years with this material, but it’ll cost between $300 and $500 a window to strip out and replace.
When you notice your wood frame starting to splinter or crack, it’s time to take it out and add a new one. Depending on the wood species you pick out, there will be much different costs involved in the replacement. On average, you can expect your costs to fall between $600 to $800 per window for a full wooden frame.
The material you pick out for your window frame will dictate how much it costs to repair or replace it. It’ll also give you an idea on how often you’ll do maintenance on it because some materials are far more durable than others. Window by indigo_veil / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Cost to Paint Window Frames
Staining or painting your window frames can help cut down on the window frame repairs because it can help seal the frame and protect it from the elements. This helps give the frame a longer lifespan while providing a thin barrier from the elements. It can also add a small touch of style or drama to your decor scheme, and this can boost your home’s value. You’ll pay between $1.50 and $3.50 a linear foot to paint your window frames, and this ranges between $175 and $425 a window.
Prices to Improve or Enhance Your Windows
Along with the normal window frame repairs, there are other things you can do to enhance or improve them to keep them looking nice and working well for years. Some of these are optional, but others are ones that you may seriously want to consider.
Repair Stained Glass
When it comes to window frame repair, you may find yourself in need of stained glass repair. Stained glass isn’t something you want to take on by yourself unless you have extensive experience because it has a very delicate nature. A repair project can encompass cleaning it, repairing minor cracks, tightening carnes, or replacement cement that will cost around $500 per window.
Window Glass Replacement
In some cases, your frame may be okay and you won’t need window frame repair, but you’ll need to repair the actual glass in the window. If the fame has enough damage that your windows are fogging, you may want to upgrade your window glass to avoid further broken seals. If you have a standard double-pane window, your costs will range from $300 to $450 each.
Weatherstripping is a very critical component that can help balance your home’s climate. It’s a way to help cool down your rooms in the summer and retain heat in the winter. In addition to your window frame repair, you should think about adding weatherstripping around each window. This is a fairly inexpensive process to have installed. Depending on how many windows you want to apply it too, your costs will range between $75.00 to $250 for the whole project.
Window Frame Repair Costs for Labor
Window frame repairs usually require a window installation and repair expert. If you buy windows and they come with a warranty, you should use this company that installed your windows in the first place. This will help you avoid voiding your warranty. Typical window frame repair usually involves filling in cracks, splits, or cracks with wood filler or putty, or they may remove and replace parts of the frame that have more damage.
Your window frame repair costs will vary on several factors. The size of the frame and the window is the biggest one, followed by the material you picked out for your frame. These two things have the biggest influence on your window frame repair costs. The type of repair that you want done also plays a small role. The more labor-intensive and detailed your project is, the more your pieces will go up.
On average, it takes between two and four hours to complete a window frame repair, and most professionals will charge per hour for their labor. They’ll add on additional charges for any materials they need to bring in to finish the project. Some companies do charge per window, and they may offer a discount if you want to do multiple windows at one time. So, be sure you ask when you look around for quotes. Typically, you’ll add $65.00 an hour for labor onto this window frame repair budget if you don’t do it yourself.
Maybe you have an emergency and need repairs right away. If your window frame repair can’t wait and it’s outside of normal business hours, your contractor might charge you premium rates or an emergency fee for the repair service because of how urgent it is. When you’re calling about an emergency repair, make sure you take note of any additional fees you’ll be on the hook for at the project’s end.
Additionally, consider your roof access and whether or not the company will need a ladder to get the window frame repair project done. If so, you’ll most likely pay more for this service because there is more effort and an increased risk involved in finishing the project when you compare it to having the same work done on a ground-level or first-floor window.
Where to Find Window Frame Repair Experts Near You
When you start to shop around for estimates, you want to call at least two or three different companies and get quotes. This will help you get the best price for your window frame repair work without sacrificing quality, and you can start here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing what to ask when you contact the different window framing companies will help ensure you get a good understanding of the project and that you know why the price can fluctuate from one project to the next. Framed by MissTessmacher / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. Is it possible to repair UPVC window frames?
Yes, it’s possible to repair UPVC window frames some of the time. This is true if the problem involves the frame leaking or window beading at a capacity. You can usually opt for repairs instead of a full replacement to help save money if this is the case.
2. What is the average window frame repair price?
The average repair cost will depend on the type of repair you need and the frame you currently have. The national average price for a window frame repair is $480. So, you should have at least this much set aside if you only have one window to fix.
3. How much does it cost to replace wooden window frames?
On average, you’ll pay around $700 per window to completely pull out and replace the frame. This price does include all of the labor and materials needed, including pulling out the old frame, putting the new one in, sealing it, and adding weatherstripping.
Your window frame repair costs have several important factors for you to consider when you start considering this project. Ideally, you’ll take care of all of your windows at the same time to help reduce your costs because many companies offer discounts for bulk projects instead of fixing one window at a time. Shop around, maintain your windows, and enjoy the benefits of having well-maintained window frames for years to come.
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.