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How Much Does It Cost To Install Bay Windows?

National Average
$2,250
Low End
$400
High End
$3,250

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On This Page:

  1. Cost Breakdown
  2. Installation Considerations
  3. Pros and Cons of Bay Windows
  4. Bay Window Framing Material
  5. Conclusion

Bay windows are an attractive feature for a house. On the outside they increase curb appeal and can draw the eye towards parts of the house that you may want highlighted. On the interior, they add space, increase warmth and lighting, and can be as functional as they are decorative with the addition of shelves or seating.

Cost Breakdown

When getting quotes for the cost of a bay window, you need to be sure whether the contractor or dealer is giving you the cost of the window or the cost of the window plus installation. The type of bay window will affect the cost. Bay windows come in two types: boxed bay and full bay.

Boxed bay windows are, as the name implies, box-shaped. They resemble a half of a box with glass on all sides. The panels usually meet at a 90-degree angle. They are often small, usually 3x3 to 4x4 feet, and are normally found in kitchens. Most people use them for small kitchen gardens or herb gardens. Each one has to be custom fit to the kitchen window. They tend to cost around $500.00 to $900.00.

Full bay windows are much larger than box bay windows. The panels normally meet at about a 45-degree angle. These are most often found in living rooms, formal dining rooms, or luxurious master bedrooms. A typical full bay window measures about 4x8 feet and can cost around $1,750.00 by itself.

Installation

A labor quote for installing a bay window should include removal, disposal, and cleanup as well as the actual installation itself. How much this is will depend on the scope of the job. Which floor the window is on, how large the window is, and whether the window is simply replacing an old bay window or is an entirely new installation will affect how long the labor takes.

Installing a new bay window isn’t as easy as installing a traditional flat-pane window. Supports must be built to hold the extended window. Also, a roof of sorts must be added to the top of the bay window. This is sometimes made to resemble the roof of the house itself, but many people have decorative roofs, such as copper, placed instead.

If you’re doing a straight replacement like replacing a window damaged by a storm, a skilled team can get the job done in 2 to 3 hours or so. At about $30.00 an hour, the labor could cost you from $60.00 to $100.00. Add to this the cost of hauling the debris away and dump fees for disposal of non-hazardous waste (usually around $40.00) and your installation costs could be $100.00 to $140.00.

If you’re replacing a flat pane window with a bay window, the labor will most likely cost more, around $38.00 an hour. The supports and the header will add to the cost, as will the labor involved in widening the opening. (Bay windows and flat windows often have different dimensions besides their construction requirements.) A good team can do the job in about 8 hours. Budget around $300.00 to $500.00 for labor costs. However, complexities, workloads, permitting fees, etc., have been known to incur a labor cost of around $2,000.00!

In general, depending on the complexity of the job, your total costs for the window, installation, and removal of debris should be from around $500.00 on the low end to over $3,000.00 on the high end.

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Installation Considerations

Sometimes, simply having the budget isn’t enough to think about. Before you start shopping for windows and contractors, think about the following things:

  • A bay window will add to your interior, but it will take away from your exterior. Make sure your plan doesn’t impede walkways or patios.
  • Bay windows normally are installed with asphalt shingle roof sections. Upgrading to copper or other non-standard materials will increase the cost.
  • Certain options, from tinting and finishes to the hardware, can affect the total cost of your windows. Tinted windows cost most homeowners between $300 and $1,000 to install. You can expect to spend on the higher end of that range to tint all bay window panels
  • Taxes and permit fees may apply.
  • If you need to open up a wall for your window, you can expect to pay $55.00 to $75.00 per square foot.
  • Some contractors will lower unit prices if three or more windows are being replaced.
  • If you’re upgrading your windows, check with your local authorities. You may qualify for a subsidy if you upgrade to energy-efficient windows.
  • Installing bay windows on upper floors or other hard-to-reach areas will increase your cost.

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Pros and Cons of Bay Windows

As beautiful as bay windows are, they have their good points and their bad points. It’s important that you consider each of these points when you start thinking about installing bay windows.

Pros

  • Bay windows allow a lot of natural light into the room.
  • The angled part of a bay window allows natural breezes to be captured and circulated through the room. This can help keep a room cooler and more comfortable in warm weather.
  • Thanks to the multiple angles of daylight, they are ideal for houseplants.
  • Bay windows add about 3 feet of space which can be used as shelving or as seating. Because of this and the increased window space, a bay window can make a room look bigger.
  • Bay windows improve curb appeal. Most people consider them very attractive, and the increased floor space adds value to your home.

Cons

  • Bay windows can allow a lot of natural heat into a room. To mitigate solar heat gain you’ll need to go with higher efficiency windows, which can increase the cost. If you prefer to sleep in a totally dark room, you’ll want to invest in heavy drapes.
  • It can be hard to find window treatments. The angles can also make it tricky to install hardware for blinds, etc.
  • Bay windows reduce the privacy of a room, especially if they face a busy street.
  • Because they extend from a house, you have to be sure they don’t obstruct a narrow walkway or a patio.
  • Poor installation can lead to serious problems. The windows used must be load-bearing, and you must be sure that your foundation isn’t prone to settling. This is not a good DIY project, and you’ll want to be thorough in checking out your contractors. You should hire a professional for this job.

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Bay Window Framing Material

After deciding to install bay windows, you need to think about the frame material. There are four options for most bay windows to suit your tastes and budget: vinyl, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass.

  • Vinyl - Vinyl is very affordable, being about half the price of comparable wooden frames. It is very durable and has low maintenance requirements. Though it can’t be painted, it is available in different colors. Maintained or not, however, vinyl can become brittle and discolored with age and sun exposure.
  • Wood - Wood has a natural, organic look that many homeowners prefer in spite of the higher price. It requires regular maintenance such as staining and sealing, and will expand and contract with temperature and humidity swings. It has excellent insulation, and some wood frames can be vinyl clad on the outside but natural on the inside. They cost more, but many feel the added expense is worth it for the longevity and aesthetics.
  • Aluminum - Aluminum windows have many benefits. Like vinyl, they are very deterioration-resistant. However, unlike vinyl, they can be painted. Aluminum costs about the same as wood, but it can withstand some intense weather situations.
  • Fiberglass - Fiberglass is the most expensive of the four options, but is very durable. As maintenance-free as vinyl, it doesn’t require the addition of strengtheners or stiffeners as vinyl does. It doesn’t conduct heat or cold very well and can be painted easily. It doesn’t expand or contract with humidity and can hold large panes of glass without any special supports.

Two other materials are worth mentioning, though they aren’t normally found in residential buildings. These are steel and composite.

  • Steel – Steel is fire-resistant and is significantly stronger than the other materials. Though normally found in commercial and industrial buildings, it can be found on many pre-war homes. It is insusceptible to molds, fungi, and insects, and can withstand severe storms, snow loads, and other natural stresses. It does need to be painted, however, because steel will rust if not treated.
  • Composite – Composite windows are made of wood mixed with plastic. They are very durable but also very affordable, being between vinyl and wood in cost. They are water and air tight and resist warping, denting, and fading. They are low maintenance and are easily recyclable.

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In Conclusion

Bay windows are an attractive feature on any home, but they should be carefully considered before being installed. Once you do make that decision, be sure to have them professionally installed to ensure you get maximum enjoyment from them.

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