Often thought to be a type of bay window, bow windows are a similar (but different) type of window that offer similar benefits. These curb appeal-enhancing features are expensive, however–even more than a bay window. On average, a bow window can cost you around $4,270, but most homeowners pay anywhere from $2,190 to $6,140.
To compare, the average cost for a standard window replacement is only $670.
One factor that determines the cost of a bow window depends on if you’re getting replacement bow windows or completely new ones. A bow window’s material, number of panes, type of glass, labor, and brand also affects its price.
In this pricing guide, you will find information on the following:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Window Frame Material
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Replacement Bow Windows
- Related Services
- Cost by Location
Average Bow Window Costs
|National Average Cost||$4,270|
|Typical Price Range||$2,190 – $6,140|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$10,000+|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$1,800|
Across the nation, homeowners pay an average of $4,270 on bow windows and their installation, but the cost can range between $2,190 to $6,140. However, the price can shoot up to more than $10,000 depending on how elaborate of a bow window project you have in mind.
A new bow window can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars if you use windows made of expensive materials and if you’re installing a bow window in a house that wasn’t built with them in mind. If you’re installing multiple bow windows, that will drive up the price too. If you want to save on your project, you can:
- Use bow windows made of cheaper materials
- Buy a bow window from a more affordable brand
- Install only one bow window at a time
- Get quotes from multiple contractors so you can compare prices and find the one that suits your budget
Aside from the labor cost and the bow window itself, the cost of a new installation will also increase if you need additional work done on your home to accommodate this style of window.
Cost Estimator by Window Frame Material
The main cost drivers of bow window home improvement projects are the windows themselves, specifically the different customization options that are available for you to choose from. Since these windows are made with four, five, or even six panes that create their bow shape, it’s not uncommon to expect their cost to be double or triple that of a standard window.
The customization factor that affects bow window cost the most is window frame material. Vinyl and wood are the most common materials for a bow window’s frame, but sometimes you can find ones made of aluminum, fiberglass, or even composite.
Here is each bow window frame material ranked in terms of cost from least to most expensive:
- Least expensive: Vinyl
- Most expensive: Fiberglass
Vinyl is the most affordable frame material, so the average cost of a bow window is based on windows made of vinyl. Vinyl bow windows are the ones sold ready to install. Aside from its affordability, vinyl is a popular choice for windows because it is low-maintenance and energy-efficient. However, you can’t paint it; you’re stuck with the color options that the manufacturer has.
Wood is a classic material that allows for more design options, but custom wooden bow windows cost more than those already prefabricated. Wood bow windows cost more than ones made of vinyl. While wooden bow windows are more aesthetically pleasing and come in more stain and color options, they need more maintenance and are less energy-efficient than vinyl bow windows.
Aluminum, fiberglass, and composite bow windows are the most expensive options, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, they are harder to find.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
Of course, the window frame material isn’t the only factor affecting the cost of a new bow window. Other customization options, brand, labor, and structural work also influence the cost of a bow window installation. Since bow windows are so similar to bay windows, many of the cost factors that affect bay windows will also apply to bow windows.
These additional cost factors include:
Number of Panes
The number of glass panes your bow window has is a significant cost factor. The general rule of thumb is that more window panes–also called lites–make a bow window more expensive; a four-lite bow window will almost always be less expensive than a six-lite one.
Glass panes also affect the energy efficiency of your bow windows. More glass panes make for more energy-efficient windows, but they can easily double the cost of even standard windows. It’s safe to say that bow windows will follow the same rule. However, additional glass panes will save you money in the long run because they can help lower your energy costs.
Type of Glass
Like other windows, your bow windows can have special glass and window treatments that help boost their energy efficiency. While these increase your bow window’s cost, they can help you save on energy costs in the future. Bow window glass can be double-glazed, tempered, low-e-coated, tinted, or laminated, and each adds to the overall cost of the window.
Window manufacturers have separate product lines and series, each with their own added features or aesthetics, that are all priced differently. Some product lines are more affordable than others even when compared to window options within the same brand because they don’t have all the bells and whistles.
Here are a few window brands that offer bow windows and their price ranges with installation costs already added. However, the prices you find when you inquire about this type of window may differ based on your area.
|Bow Window Brand||Cost Range|
|Andersen||$1,500 – $5,300|
|Marvin||$1,100 – $4,150|
|Pella||$1,000 – $5,500|
|Simonton||$1,400 – $2,850|
The size and complexity of bow windows make them more difficult to install than the standard window. If your house isn’t built to accommodate a bow window, there will be more work that needs to be done, which means higher labor costs.
Expect labor costs close to that or even more expensive than that of a bay window installation, which can be as little as $170 or as much as $2,600; most homeowners pay around $450 in labor fees (this does not include the cost of the window itself or the necessary hardware for installation).
Like bay windows, bow windows may need extra structural work to make the installation possible. This may involve opening load-bearing walls, extending the foundation, and adding to your home’s roof to prevent the elements from wreaking havoc on your home’s interior. A roof costs around $200 to $3,000 per square (100 square feet) to install.
Cost of Replacement Bow Windows
Do you have an existing bow window that just needs to be replaced? Replacement windows are more affordable than installations and new construction, especially if you’ll be replacing your old bow window with a similar one. The average cost of a replacement bow window is anywhere between $1,300 to $3,380 per unit.
If you’re getting a new bow window installed or an old one replaced, then you might be interested in these services, too.
Window Replacement and Repair
Revamp the rest of your home with new windows to go along with your new bow window. You can also make sure that all of your windows will match and function properly, especially if your current windows are rather old. Windows cost an average of $670 to replace, but the cost can range between $310 to $1,330.
If your existing windows are in relatively good condition, then it will be much cheaper to repair any damage instead of replacing them. Expect to pay anywhere from $170 to $565–or an average of $360–for window repairs.
Both new bow windows and replacement bow windows will benefit from insulation installation. To keep your family safe from the outside temperatures and your energy bills low, you can insulate all of your windows–not just the bow windows–for around $3 to $20 per square foot.
Like bay windows, bow windows will also likely require major structural work to be done on your home. If you want to be completely sure that your siding matches all throughout your home, you can get new siding installed for around $2.33 to $15.33 per square foot. If you only want to repair your broken siding instead of fully replacing all of it, be prepared to pay anywhere between $214 to $1,468, or an average of $630, for repairs.
New bow windows might require new drywall to be installed, too, which costs around $1.45 to $3.20 per square foot on average. To repair your existing drywall–especially before getting replacement bow windows–you will need to pay an average of $445, but drywall repair can cost anywhere from $250 to $765 depending on the scope of the damage.
If you do end up getting major structural changes done on your home, you also have to worry about changes to the interior of your home. You can get your interior walls painted for $1.90 to $4.80 per square foot and have a pro install new flooring for around $1.90 to $22 per square foot. With these services, your whole home interior will match.
If you’re getting a roof extension to accommodate your new or replacement bow windows, then you could also get roof work done. Replacing an aging and worn roof will cost you anywhere between $5,706 to $11,185, or an average of $8,446. If your roof is mostly fine and only needs fixing, a roof repair will run you about $348 to $1,186, or about $767 on average.
Bow Window Cost vs. Other Window Types
Bow windows aren’t your only option when it’s time to install a new window or replace an old one. Each window type has its own pros, cons, and function.
Some windows are better if you want a good view, like bow, bay, and picture windows, while others are better for ventilation. There are types of windows that work better with certain home styles. Your budget can also determine what type of window you can add to your home.
Here is a table of window types and their average cost. Keep in mind that installing new windows is usually more expensive than replacing an existing one, regardless of the type of window.
|Window Type||Typical Price Range|
|Bow window||$2,190 – $6,140|
|Arched window||$345 – $925|
|Awning window||$295 – $655|
|Bay window||$1,125 – $4,790|
|Casement window||$155 – $970|
|Circle window||$250 – $825|
|Double-hung window||$250 – $975|
|Egress window||$2,445 – $5,265|
|Folding window||$835 – $2,200|
|Garden window||$1,050 – $4,000|
|Glass block window||$410 – $1,235|
|Hopper window||$200 – $665|
|Jalousie window||$165 – $400|
|Picture window||$200 – $775|
|Single-hung window||$115 – $410|
|Skylight window||$800 – $2,200|
|Sliding window||$180 – $870|
|Storm window||$125 – $415|
|Tilt-out window||$350 – $1,500|
|Transom window||$160 – $365|
|Single-pane window||$160 – $390|
|Double-pane window||$425 – $950|
|Triple-pane window||$500 – $1,865|
|Custom window||$300 – $3,000|
Cost of Bow Windows by Location
Homeowners living in colder areas can expect to pay more for new or replacement bow windows because of the added energy efficiency costs. These costs include more glass panes, special window treatments, Energy Star-rated glass, and insulation.
The cost of installing or replacing bow windows is also dependent on your local economy. Different areas have varying labor costs, supply chains, and regional store pricing. Geography also plays a part, as installing bow windows may be more expensive if you live in an area that’s not flat.
For an accurate bow window cost estimate, contact a local window installer today.
FAQ About Bow Windows
Bow windows are still quite popular, especially in the Northeast and the Midwest. While they’re often found in Victorian-style homes, bow windows work with any home style. Like bay windows, they are sought-after, visually appealing, and useful focal points that can raise your property value.
You can convert flat windows—like picture windows or casement windows—into bow windows. Just make sure that your home can support a bow window or have a pro do the necessary prep work if it currently can’t.
Bow windows and bay windows are very similar types of windows that accomplish similar goals. But if you want more natural light or a greater illusion of space, then bow windows may be the choice for you. However, bow windows are more expensive to install, replace, and maintain than bay windows because they have more window panes.
You can add a window seat to a bow window for extra seating inside your home. This also increases your property value, adds more storage, and makes the room look bigger than it is. If your bow window is made of casement windows, then your ventilation improves, too.
Installing and replacing bow windows are not DIY projects that the average homeowner can pull off. Because of the complexity involved and how badly your property can get damaged by incorrect installation, bow window installation and replacement are best left to the pros. This is doubly true if you need to make major structural changes to your home.
Pros can also buy windows at a cheaper price and provide warranties on your new window.
If you’re making major structural changes, you might be required to secure a permit before you install your new bow window. If you’re not sure, you should consult a professional and check your local regulations. If you do need a permit, it will add to your bow window project cost.
How to Find a Pro to Install Your Bow Window
Although bow windows are more expensive than the average window, these curved four- to six-paned fixtures offer many benefits to your home. Their added visual appeal and extra square footage make your home more valuable. Contact a window pro in your area so they can add this classic feature to your home.
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