How much does double glazing cost? Here’s what to budget

We take a closer look at the costs for UPVC, timber and aluminium double glazing
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  • There are several factors to think about when it comes to replacement windows. You need to weigh up the cost, from frame material to the glass spec itself. Made-to-measure windows manufactured to bespoke dimensions will cost more than off-the-shelf units. Installation and maintenance costs should also be factored into your calculations. So how much does double glazing cost? And is it worth it?

    Investing in double glazing is a great way to make your home more energy efficient and save energy at home. When looking at types of glazing, bear in mind that windows help prevent warmth from leaking out via the fabric of the building. According to energy.gov, heat gain and loss via windows is responsible for as much as 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. So you stand to save a decent amount of cash by ensuring your home’s glazing is efficient. Bear that in mind when doing your maths on how much to double glaze a window.

    ‘Upgrading from single to double glazing could save several hundred pounds a year in a modest-sized house,’ says Matt Higgs, director at Kloeber. ‘With energy prices rising all the time, this investment will become more beneficial as time goes on.’

    How much does double glazing cost?

    As an example, the cost of double glazing a 3 bed house might be around £10,000 at the cheaper end. But it’s difficult to estimate a ballpark figure when there are so many variables to account for. Upping your spec to a premium frame material, like timber, and applying a special coating to the glass could take the total cost closer to £50,000.

    Here, we set out the window, installation and maintenance costs for each double glazed window type.

    How much does UPVC double glazing cost?

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    UPVC is low-maintenance, secure and available in a wide array of colours and finishes. The quality of UPVC windows has improved significantly in the past 30 years. Installing double-glazed windows with plastic frames is the most economical option if your budget won’t stretch to more premium materials like timber or metal. The typical starting price, on a per m2 basis, is around £500.

    How much does double glazing cost?

    • Cost per window type According to Everest, the average price for a this type of casement window can be anywhere between £500 and £1,230. Casement windows are the most economical option. Next up are sash windows, which will cost around 50% more than standard casements. A bay window will generally cost at least double the amount of a casement window. Again, it all depends on the other aspects of your specification.
    • Installation costs According to Checkatrade, £25-£35 per day is the average rate for an experienced window fitter. However, these rates are likely to be higher in London and the South East. On the plus side, UPVC windows are probably the most common solution in the country. This means it shouldn’t be hard to track down a professional with the skills and experience to fit your new windows. ‘Installation costs are normally similar, regardless of the frame material you’re using,’ says Steve Rawding, sales and marketing director at SEH BAC. ‘It’s the cost of the products that change, depending on the frame material you’re using.’
    • Maintenance costs Beyond regular cleaning and lubrication of hinges, UPVC windows need virtually no upkeep. This is a definite bonus of selecting this type of double-glazed window, as maintenance costs will be very low. ‘Annual greasing of any moving parts is highly recommended. This will sustain the life of the products well beyond their guarantees,’ says Neal Harper, managing director at Wolverhampton Glass.

    What’s the cost of timber double glazing?

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    Few materials can match the characterful warmth of timber. This solution suits both traditional and contemporary homes. Timber is sometimes a planning requirement for period properties or homes in conservation areas. Wood is versatile, too, as it can be painted, varnished and stained in an array of colours and finishes.

    Timber is also a natural insulator. This means it could benefit the thermal performance of your double-glazed windows. Timber windows offer a service life of 60+ years when well maintained.

    How much does double glazing cost?

    • Cost per window type A small fixed window is likely to cost around of £200 for a softwood solution, up to £450 for an oak window clad with aluminium. ‘For a small tilt and turn window, expect to pay anything from £375 for softwood, to £1,000 for oak with aluminium cladding,’ says Matt Higgs from Kloeber. ‘For a small opening casement window, expect to pay anything from £350 to £775.’
    • Installation costs While installation costs shouldn’t vary too drastically between frame materials, it’s possible that fitting timber windows will cost more than UPVC. ‘It generally costs more for installation if you use timber,’ says Robert Owens, sales manager at Westbury Windows & Joinery. ‘UPVC and aluminium tend to come with cheaper labour costs. It’s a more skilled job for a carpenter to install wood windows and doors.’ For a modest-sized three-bed house, expect to pay around £3,000 for a skilled and experienced installation team.
    • Maintenance costs You’ll be able to keep on top of most of the upkeep – including cleaning your windows and lubricating the moving parts – yourself. However, timber does require more upkeep than UPVC and aluminium. It will need re-painting and/or re-varnishing every several years. This depends on how exposed the wood is to the elements (which will vary across the whole house). According to Quote Advisor, the average cost of re-painting wood windows on a semi-detached house will be between £2,500 and £2,700 (including labour, paint and materials).

    How much does aluminium double glazing cost?

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    Sleek, stylish and contemporary, aluminium windows are a fantastic fit for modern homes. This type of metal is inherently strong but also lightweight. It means that slim frames can be achieved. That maximises the amount of glass in the centre of the unit and invites more sunshine into your home.

    There’s an array of finishing options, too, depending on the aesthetic you want to create. Another advantage is that aluminium is resistant to warping and corrosion. As if that wasn’t enough, aluminium windows are low-maintenance.

    How much does double glazing cost?

    • Cost per window type ‘If it’s an outward opening casement window, budget around £500 (plus VAT),’ says Matt Higgs from Kloeber. ‘The larger the window is the more the m2 price will go down.’ Of course, as with any other type of window, the glass spec will influence the overall cost, too.’The average price of a casement window is between £500 and £700, a sash window is around £1,000 – £1,200 and a tilt-and-turn window is between £700 and £900,’ says Steve Rawding from SEH BAC.
    • Installation costs The amount you pay to install aluminium windows won’t vary too dramatically from what you’d pay to fit timber and UPVC units. However, finishing trims for this type of metal can be more expensive and specialised than for plastic, so the costs may vary a little.’If you’re replacing existing windows then typically, installation costs will be factored into the cost of the products you’re looking for,’ says Edward Stobart, sales manager at IDSystems. ‘If you’re installing windows in a new extension or self build, then ordering windows on a supply-only basis for your builder to fit will likely reduce the budget required. Make sure your builder is happy to do this and it’s included in the quote before ordering.’
    • Maintenance costs Aluminium requires little to no upkeep beyond cleaning and oiling the hinges and locks. Any other issues that arise with your windows should be covered by the product warranty.

    What other double glazing costs are there?

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    Extra costs for double glazing include:

    • Upgrading the glass spec to include soundproofing or a solar control coating will increase your overall bill.
    • Dual colour finish ups the price. ‘If you want a dual colour finish where the windows are a different colour inside and out, that’d cost more,’ says Robert Owens from Westbury Windows & Joinery.

    When looking at how much does double glazing cost, remember to make sure you compare all quotes like-for-like. This will give you a fair representation of the overall cost.

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