How Much Do Storm Windows Cost?
The costs of installing storm windows are lower than replacement windows, yet they provide many of the same advantages. Each storm window costs about $90 to $120 and requires some additional costs during installation for labor and supplies. Expect each window to require about two hours for installation with labor costs at about $30 to $65 per hour. The additional supplies will add about $15 to $25 per window.
Average minimum cost to install storm windows: $164
Average maximum cost to install storm windows: $287
Storm windows are generally made from two transparent panels of glass or plastic such as Plexiglas or acrylic. Glass offers the advantage of greater visibility and durability, being more scratch-resistant than any type of plastic pane. However, Glass is heavier and more fragile than storm windows made with plastic panes, which are also the more affordable choice.
Storm windows can be configured to include a combination of panels and screens. They are often framed in lightweight and durable materials such as aluminum or vinyl, particularly when intended for exterior installation. Aluminum is a popular choice as it is both lightweight and durable. The nature of the material, however, allows easy heat transference and thus does not provide any assistance in energy efficiency — the feature that most often draws homeowners to considering the installation of storm windows. Heat conductance is lower through wood, making storm windows made from traditional wood frames a nice option when it comes to both energy and aesthetics. Keep in mind, however, that wood frames are usually most appropriate for installation on the interior of the home.
The materials required for installing storm windows include exterior caulking, perimeter insulation, flashing, drip caps, fasteners and shims. These all act to seal the frame, preventing excess air exchange and moisture accumulation.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The primary reason for choosing to install storm windows is to increase a home's energy efficiency in colder months. This is achieved when storm windows are fitted over existing single-pane windows. By reducing heat loss, storm windows make a home feel more comfortable during chilly weather while also lowering heating bills. Many homeowners are surprised to find that the added insulation provided by storm windows also helps make the home interior more comfortable during summer months as well. By preventing excess air exchange through the windows, storm windows help ensure the indoor air temperature generated by heating or air conditioning is regulated in a desired range. As a result, storm windows help save on overall energy costs throughout the year. An additional benefit of the added window insulation provided by storm windows is to decrease the effect of any street noise surrounding the home.
The complete range of advantages and disadvantages of any given storm window will be characteristic of the precise type of window chosen. Generally speaking, storm windows are created in interior and exterior styles with four different possible types of installation. Each of these configurations includes its own benefits and drawbacks.
Advantages of Storm Windows
Interior storm windows have a great number of advantages including highest energy efficiency. They are also much easier to install and remove than other types as they are simply mounted to the existing window frame from within the home. This is particularly appealing in homes that are multilevel, making interior window installation not only simpler but also safer. Interior windows also provide the added benefit of remaining discreet from the outside. This is an attractive feature for anyone living in an historic neighborhood or in any other home for which exterior storm windows would appear out of place.
Exterior storm windows are mounted outside the home, which means they must be fabricated from materials sufficiently durable during all weather conditions. One great advantage of this option is the protection it provides to existing window frames. The physical barrier against the elements that is created by exterior storm windows helps ensure that the life of existing frames is extended. This is particularly appealing in cases of inclement weather when the more durable storm window acts to also protect glass of the existing window from damage. For the best weather protection, choose exterior storm windows made from polycarbonate plastic or laminated glass.
Another benefit of exterior installation is the possibility to choose a storm window style that can create a fresh look to the home exterior. There are, however, a few disadvantages to this option. In order to prevent moisture accumulation that would lead to destruction of the window frame, exterior storm windows require the inclusion of a small drainage hole. It is for this reason that they can not be as energy efficient as interior options.
The installation of storm windows will depend on the type of existing window over which it will be fitted. Double-hung windows can be fitted with two-track or triple track storm windows. Two-track models allow the bottom portion to slide up and allow fresh air to enter through an outside screen. A triple-track storm window provides greater flexibility by allowing both the screen and exterior pane of glass to slide up, creating a fully-opened space through the window when desired.
Slider windows can be fitted with two-track slider storm windows. These function much like two-track windows with the exception that two-track slider windows move left and right rather than up and down. Picture windows can also be fitted with picture, or "basement," storm windows. These single pane windows attach with latches added to the existing window for easy removal when desired.
The many options for storm window styles include:
Panes: plastic or glass, with or without screens
Frames: aluminum, plastic or wood
Installation: interior or exterior
For double-hung windows: two-track or triple-track
For slider windows: two-track slider
For picture windows: picture or "basement"
Last updated on Apr 22, 2014
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