Is It Cheaper to Replace Windows Yourself?
Are you thinking of replacing your windows as a home renovation project? Learn when to hire a professional for replacement windows in Los Angeles.
Home windows have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. If your windows are starting to age, you should invest in window replacements. However, is hiring a company to install replacement windows in Los Angeles worth it, or should you DIY the project?
We’ve found all you need to know about the costs of hiring a professional and compared those with the DIY method. That way, you can decide which is worth the cost, labor, and time.
Read on to learn whether you need to hire a professional or DIY it:
Average Professional Window Installation Cost
You should consider each cost, from the window size to installation prices, to determine if professional installation is right for you. Below, we’ve provided an in-depth look at the individual and total cost of having a professional install window replacements.
Costs for Window Size, Glass, and Frame Type
The cost of windows largely depends on their size, glass type, and frame material. The larger the size, the more glass is required, making the window more expensive than smaller windows.
The quality of the glass type also influences the price. If you choose a specialized glass type, expect to pay a higher price. Similarly, aluminum or vinyl windows are cheaper than wood or fiberglass. All these factors contribute to the overall price per window.
If you want to aim for an average of $300 to $800 per window, we suggest buying windows that are considered middle-of-the-road. That way, you don’t compromise on quality but don’t have to spend too much on windows alone.
Labor Time Cost and Fees
Installation prices vary depending on the installation company, the number of windows that need to be replaced, and the location of both the windows and the home. The average installation costs between $100 and $300 per window or $40 per hour per laborer.
For example, installation may cost around $300 to $900 if you want three windows replaced. This may seem like a high price, but with professional installers, you minimize damage and incorrect installation, making it worth the price.
Total Cost of Professional Installation
It’s time to total everything up. When all prices are combined, the total cost for windows and professional installation is approximately $800 to over $2,500.
Of course, the exact cost depends on the difficulty of the project, the chosen window elements, and the installation company. However, with this rough estimate, you can decide if getting windows professionally installed is worth the price.
DIY Window Replacement
Now that you’ve seen the individual and total costs of professional window installation, let’s take a closer look at what it would cost to DIY it. Below are the common costs of the project and the total if you were to DIY replacement windows:
Cost of Windows
Depending on the size, type of glass, and frame material, replacement windows cost anywhere from $300 to $800. Remember that figure is per window, so if you needed to replace three windows and wanted all the window elements to be of the best quality, you might spend upwards of $2,400 just on windows.
Cost of Tools and Materials
Once you decide on the type and number of windows you want, you must go tool shopping. Below are the listed tools you’ll need and their estimated price points:
- Small pry bar: $15 to $55
- Utility knife: $5 to $20
- Putty knife: $5 to $10
- Screwdriver: $5 to $10
- Power drill: $35 to $160
- Mitre saw: $55 to $200
- Hammer: $8 to $30
- Waterproof shims: $3 to $6
- Caulk gun: $20 to $45
- Tape measure: $5 to $15
- Level: $5 to $45
- Safety gloves: $5 to $25
- Safety goggles: $5 to $30
The lowest possible total you can spend on tools is approximately $171. However, if you want to buy higher-quality tools to ensure good craftsmanship, the total may be around $500 to $650. Remember, if you were to hire a professional, this expense wouldn’t be needed.
Also, consider what you are going to do with the tools when you’re done. After all, many of the needed tools become obsolete if you don’t have another project to complete.
Buying tools not only takes up valuable home space, but they are costly to purchase if they’re just going to sit in a garage. You can rent tools, although you’ll likely have to pay added fees for insurance or the time rented.
We suggest hiring an installer if you don’t have another up-and-coming project. After all, money will go directly to the installer for their time rather than several tools that will sit unused in a garage.
Total Cost of DIY Installation
In theory, the total price of a DIY window replacement is about $300 to $2,000. Now, just by looking at that figure, you may recognize that DIY is a bit cheaper.
However, keep in mind that the figure isn’t just a rough estimate; it also doesn’t consider additional purchases due to damages or incorrect installation. For instance, say you damage the glass pane or install it wrong; you may have to buy additional supplies to fix the damage or the mistake.
Doing a window replacement by yourself is complicated and risky for your wallet. While it may seem like it will save you time and money, remember that if you mess up, you’ll need to either redo it or hire a professional installer.
As a result, ask yourself if you want to pay more upfront or in the long run. Hiring an installer requires you to pay a larger amount upfront, but there are no extra costs after payment. While DIY may seem like a good alternative, you risk paying more throughout the project than if you would hire an installer from the start.
Should You DIY or Hire a Professional to Install Replacement Windows in Los Angeles?
If you want the best replacement windows in Los Angeles, we suggest hiring an installation company. If you DIY it, you risk damaging the costly windows or performing the installation incorrectly, which can further damage your home.
We at American Vision Windows take pride in helping our neighbors have a stress-free window installation experience. Our team of certified experts will help you choose the best windows for your needs and install them promptly.
Contact us today for a free window replacement estimate.