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How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Picture Window?

Picture windows are large panes of glass that are typically seen in the living room of a home. These windows are stationary, rectangular in shape and usually do not open. They are very beneficial because they allow a lot of outside light to enter the room, creating natural warmth and plenty of sunlight throughout the day. If too much sunlight is entering a room, there are hundreds of window treatment styles that are specially designed for these large window panes. If the window is oversized, multiple sets of vertical blinds can be used. Many times, these windows will be paired with other types of windows in order to provide a good amount of ventilation. Double-hung windows are the most common types to pair with picture windows.

The Costs

  • Minimum: $341

  • Maximum: $451

Picture windows are some of the most energy-efficient windows available. Since they are inoperable, these windows are the ideal choice for seasonal allergy sufferers. Picture windows are low maintenance and easy to clean. They can be used for framing scenery, which can add more aesthetic value to a home, and are available framed in wood, aluminum, vinyl or fiberglass.

Framing Materials Used for Replacement Picture Windows

The same framing materials used for replacement picture windows are also used for various other types of standard window installation. Fiberglass is one of the most popular materials used due to its long-lasting strength and the small amount of maintenance involved. Fiberglass is a composite structure that consists of fiber reinforcements, which have been bound together in a resin matrix. This combination of materials will not break easily, and are good for both compression and tension situations. Fiberglass frames for picture windows are available in a wide assortment of finishes, colors and textures so that they coordinate well any type of home exterior design.

Aluminum window frames are some of the most budget-friendly on the market, and that makes them an excellent choice for replacement picture windows. Since these windows are so large, additional framing material is needed in order to install the window pane properly. Going with an affordable, yet reliable option for framing is a good way to balance a home renovation budget. While it doesn’t offer the same variety of colors and styles as fiberglass, aluminum window framing looks great in its original form. The material has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It can be recycled in the future, and it is resistant to corrosion from harsh chemicals.

The idea of installing plastic windows in a home has come a long way since the early 1990s when the task seemed unthinkable. However, there are many benefits to installing a replacement picture window, or any other window in a home, with vinyl materials. Vinyl is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance over the years. It is practically indestructible and durable enough to last for many years to come. It is also an excellent insulator, which can help to keep heating and cooling costs down throughout the year.

Out of all the framing materials used, wood is the most desirable among today’s home owners. It has a classic look that will never go out of style and allows for infinite designing ideas. A solid wood window frame will add more value to a home, but at a hefty price. Wooden window frames can be some of the most expensive frames in the industry; therefore, they are not recommended for those remodeling on a tight budget. While wood frames can provide an elegant look, they also have many flaws that make their lower priced competitors more desirable. Wood is not strong enough to be installed with modernized double-glazed thermal units. And in order to keep it looking its best, regular maintenance is required.

The Benefits of Picture Windows

The primary benefit of picture windows is to frame an amazing view. They are recommended for homes with high or vaulted ceilings and will often be installed as an arched window over doors, other windows or vaulted areas. Also since picture windows are fixed, there are no mechanical parts to repair or replacement parts to buy in the future. The heat from the sun warms up the room during the winter and can help reduce high heating costs. Picture windows are also available in various shapes and sizes, and even the smallest can provide a large amount of natural light during the daytime. 

The Disadvantages of Picture Windows

While they are beautiful additions to any home with a large family room, picture windows can also have their disadvantages. These windows can provide an abundance of natural heat in the winter, but they will also keep rooms warm during the hot summer season unless the right type of window treatment is used. And since they are non-operable, they do not provide any ventilation to the room, which can make an area feel stuffy. That is the reason why most picture windows are installed along with other windows that will open and close freely.

Replacing the picture windows in a home requires some expertise in the area of window installation. These large, fixed window panes are typically the least expensive to have installed by a professional because they do not require any operating hardware. However, as the size of the window increases, so does the price of the window itself as well as the installation costs.

Homeowners who choose to take the DIY approach will need to have the exact measurements and decide on the right type of framing material for their home before they begin shopping around. Replacement picture windows can be purchased from most major DIY retail stores or directly from the window factory or manufacturer. Replacement windows can also be purchased from a variety of online retailers who offer a wide selection of options when it comes to sizes, styles and framing materials.

Last updated on Apr 23, 2014

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