Plants are a great way to bring nature into your home, but not every home has enough space or light to maintain them.
You can bring more of the outside world into your home by replacing an existing window with a garden window.
Here are a few things to know about garden window replacements.
What is a Garden Window?
Also called a greenhouse window, a garden window is essentially a box made out of windows that protrudes from the side of your home. The windows join together to create a stylish feature housing one or more shelves. You can use the shelves to display your favorite flowering plants, a selection of indoor herbs you can use in the kitchen – or anything else you want to store or show off.
The three sides of a garden window allow plenty of light into the room. They can be a terrific style feature in a smaller or darker room.
Garden Window Replacement Features
A garden window is a little more complex than your average home windows. They have a few special features to consider.
Garden windows extend from the house, so they aren’t a good choice for areas adjoining patios, decks and walkways. If your window protrudes into a public space, you might have to get a special building permit.
Vinyl frames are the most common, although wooden garden windows are a stylish and popular option. You might be able to choose frames that have different colors inside and outside, to match your décor perfectly. There is a huge range of hardware options on the market as well.
Some climates won’t be suitable for installing a garden window.
They are not insulated well due to their design, so if you live in a very cold or very rainy location, you will risk rain and cold air leaking into your home.
Humidity and condensation might be great for your plants, but they won’t be good for your window! Moisture could damage to the wood or other frame materials. A professional installation will help to eliminate any leaking and moisture problems right from the start.
Garden windows are either fixed, or they include one or more sashes that are able to open for ventilation. If the sides open, they are either crank or push-style casement or single/double-hung windows.
Some garden windows can open at the front, and these usually consist of an awning window with arms that hold it out and up. This kind of combination garden window will cost more than a fixed window.
If you’re handy around the house, you might be tempted to install your own garden window as a DIY project. Great, but remember that a window replacement is a complicated job that even professionals find challenging!
Garden windows require very precise measurements, so a contractor will need to come to your home and measure the space carefully. If you have removed an existing window to install your garden window, it’s especially important to match the window dimensions with the hole that’s left. This will ensure a well-insulated and energy efficient window that won’t leak air or water.
Garden window prices vary by the size and complexity of the windows, and stock garden windows are more affordable than custom garden windows. Some sellers, such as Lowes, include garden windows in a broader category called projection windows.
Garden Window Replacement Cost Factors
Garden windows that are installed as a new construction generally cost less than replacement windows. The reason for this is that replacement windows have to be carefully fitted into a space from which another window has been removed.
As with most window replacement projects, you get the quality of garden window you’re prepared to pay for. Cheap garden windows will be less structurally durable, and will not have options like tempered or energy-efficient glass. A top quality garden window replacement might be the most expensive in your home, unless you have bay or bow windows too.
The average garden window replacement cost starts at about $500, and can go well over $2,000 – depending on various factors like materials, size, and features.
Here are some costs for garden windows of various sizes.
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Garden window replacement cost of labor ranges from $300 to $1,000. If you want to save money on installation costs, pick a time that’s out of peak remodeling season (April – June).
Contractors will be more likely to offer discounts on labor and materials, as they’re not that busy out of peak times.
If you have a flexible budget for remodeling, a mini-greenhouse on the side of your home is a pleasing and fun addition that also adds value to your property.
However, a garden window replacement is a costly and tricky building project, and you don’t want to spend thousands on a window you’re unhappy with.
These windows are less weatherproof and insulating than other window options, so it’s strongly recommended to get professionals to do the installation.