Cost to add a window to a wall?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Hello!  We're thinking that we'd really like to add a window in an existing wall in our house to bring more light into the kitchen.  I'm thinking of either a flat picture window or maybe a bay window with 2 casements on the either side (will depend on price).  Any idea roughly how much this might cost? 

    I also don't have any idea how to find a contractor who will do such a small job.  Any suggestions there too?  We're in the Burlington area.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from paul0. Show paul0's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    what size opening/window?


     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Trex,
    some-guy did a pretty good lineup on what is included to "just install a window".
    But he did miss a very important item. Is this a bearing wall? If it is, it can't be done unless you re-construct the wall. One cannot just punch a hole in the wall and be happy. Some contractors may do it, but if they do it w/o structural analyses, I wouldn't use them. Think about the resent roof collapses. 
    If you really want that window badly enough, it could be done, but it could be a major investment. - Pingo
     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    some-guy,
    trex is considering a flat picture window or a bay window with some casements. Not just a 3 foot bathroom window. Meaning, the carpenter has to knock out at least 7 - 8 feet of the wall.
    I believe there was no window there for a reason. It is a bearing wall. If it was my home, I would consult a structural engineer, before I started the construction. The couple of hours he would spend, would be worth while. Sometimes people save money the wrong places. Better be safe than sorry.
    - Pingo
     
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  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from plasko. Show plasko's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    If you want a brighter light in the kitchen I'd suggest some higher-wattage lightbulbs!
    A whole lot cheaper by far. You might even be cheaper to get a little conservatory added on the outside than smashing your home up. 

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Some-guy,
    I am sorry, if I sounded "more informed". Not my intention. When you use just a contractor, the key here is GOOD - as you suggested. Unfortunately, many homeowners will not know, until it is too late. And how will the homeowner know, if the contractor uses a 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 as per drawings and not a 2 x 8 in order to make more profit. Hate to tell you it happens frequently.
    It happened in our previous home. Our screened-in porch collapsed. DH noticed the joists were only 2 x 8's and not the 2 x 10's as per the drawings, the town hall showed. And this house was built by a highly recognized and supposedly reputable contractor in our area. The building inspector found, he had done the same in the entire development.
    I have several friends that have bay windows in their kitchen. At the breakfast area or over the sink area f. ex. - Pingo
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e. Show 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    I think I'd start first with going to a home supply place and pricing the most expensive version of the window that seems like what you'd like. Picture windows are very very expensive, so that'll give you a base cost. Ask for the staff member who knows the most about window installation and ask him/her to give you a ball-park number or a range of what that window would be installed. That way you'll have some idea of what it might cost if it isn't a complicated installation. You may want to stop at that point because of the cost. If not, then get a couple of good window installers or carpenters in to look at the house and give you estimates.

    JMHO - it's tough to retrofit a bay window, get it structurally supported correctly and not have it leak. If you're heart is set on a bay, get the best contractor you can.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e. Show 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Your heart, not you're heart....sorreee


    Also, getting ballpark estimates can be hard because people don't like to be held to a number. I usually get them by asking if the cost is in the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands....and usually get a range of what I'd be in for.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Trex,
    If you do go ahead with this project, make sure you get an estimate from at least 3 contractors. More is better. The lowest number is not always the best. Many contractors will give a too low estimate in order to get the job. Then later ask for EXTRAS. Very common practice. And make sure everything is written down in a contract, before you start. Go over the contract several times making sure everything is included, before you sign it.
    A client of mine had a new front door installed. It it had side windows and was a lot wider than the original door. So some wall switches had to be moved. The contractor installed the door, but did not reinstall the switches. When my client asked him about the switches, he told her it was not in the contract to reinstall them, so that would be extra. She refused to pay him the last installment. He took her to small claims court. He won, b/c it was not written in the contract, that he should finish the electric work. - Pingo
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jim-in-Littleton. Show Jim-in-Littleton's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    In Response to Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?:
    Trex, some-guy did a pretty good lineup on what is included to "just install a window". But he did miss a very important item. Is this a bearing wall? If it is, it can't be done unless you re-construct the wall. One cannot just punch a hole in the wall and be happy. Some contractors may do it, but if they do it w/o structural analyses, I wouldn't use them. Think about the resent roof collapses.  If you really want that window badly enough, it could be done, but it could be a major investment. - Pingo
    Posted by pingo


    There is no important item missed here at all. All exterior walls (the place where you install windows!) are load bearing. Their entire purpose is to bear the weight of the roof. Asking if an exterior wall is load bearing is like asking if the roof shingles will be exposed to rain.

    A person can get an architect to come in and do a structural analysis but it isn't necessary.  Building codes give load spans and anyone that can't figure out what size header needs to be there has no business putting a window in to begin with.  Adding a new window will require a building permit here in MA as well so the building inspector should catch anything that is under-sized.  Adding an architect to the equation is likely to make what should be a $2,000 job into an $8,000 job.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e. Show 2ada63d622e89774a9fdcbc90527ab8e's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    I agree with Jim-in-Littleton. You don't need an architect for this job.

    However, I also agree with Pingo. Get a bunch of estimates from carefully selected contractors. Asking around amongst friends is a good way to find contractors, but also check them out carefully. You can use services, too, like bostoncheckbook.org and Angie's List and others like that. I also check people on Yelp.

    Even if you choose a highly rated contractor, make sure you check their registration, bonding and insurance info along with the estimate, and don't let them rush you with some documents they show up with the day they are supposed to start the job.

    I always assume that there will be unforeseen complications in any work to a house so I rely on the contractor to do the work he's contracted to do, but I will not try to sock him with the responsibility for something he can't have foreseen. On the example above regarding the door, the contractor would have known that the electrical would have to be relocated and he should have either agreed to do it or told the homeowner it would have to be done. I just had a new dishwasher installed, though, and when the old one was pulled out it revealed wiring that is out of code. I had to get an electrician in at additional cost to me to fix that. It's not the dishwasher installer's responsibility that my wiring is out of code; it is my responsibility to fix it.

    So, with a window installation, I'd assume that there is work involved in wiring, drywall and painting to make up the complete change.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    Jim, you are so, so wrong!
    No need to add an architect, I totally agree. But a couple of hours of a structural engineer to the tune of maybe $300 - or less, will give a client comfort. Besides IF anything goes wrong, this guy will take the beating.
    Even though MA require permits and building inspectors, I wouldn't trust them. Many are too friendly with the contractors. 
    And by the way for your info, architects do not do structural analyses. Architects are great at sketching and visualizing, but as far as doing the structure, so a building can actually stand, they flunk. If they didn't have the structural engineers working with them, their fancy designed buildings would collapse, when the first storm arrives. - Pingo

    In Response to Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?:
    In Response to Re: Cost to add a window to a wall? : There is no important item missed here at all. All exterior walls (the place where you install windows!) are load bearing. Their entire purpose is to bear the weight of the roof. Asking if an exterior wall is load bearing is like asking if the roof shingles will be exposed to rain. A person can get an architect to come in and do a structural analysis but it isn't necessary.  Building codes give load spans and anyone that can't figure out what size header needs to be there has no business putting a window in to begin with.  Adding a new window will require a building permit here in MA as well so the building inspector should catch anything that is under-sized.  Adding an architect to the equation is likely to make what should be a $2,000 job into an $8,000 job.
    Posted by Jim-in-Littleton

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from EngineerChic. Show EngineerChic's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    So, to answer the original poster's question with a wee bit of "typical homeowner experience" ....

    About 6 years ago we looked at having a picture window replaced with a new vinyl unit (we were having the house re-sided at the same time).  The contractor said the window alone would be $2000 (it was a big one) and then labor would be on top of that.  We opted not to do it (later sold that house & moved, so replacement windows would not have paid back).

    Fast forward to today & we're possibly looking to replace all the single pane (with storms) windows in our house.  Vinyl windows run anywhere from $200 to $1000 & fiberglass from $800 and up (for the size window used in most of our house).  I'm leaning toward fiberglass because I like that I can paint it if I want in the future - and instinct makes me think it's a better product.

    So the answer is that it really, REALLY depends on the quality of the window you buy & what you want done around it.

    I second the recc for Angie's List, I've had great luck using them for finding a roofer, basement waterproofer, and fence company in the last 1.5 years.
     
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  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from joddiemoore. Show joddiemoore's posts

    Re: Cost to add a window to a wall?

    I think a bay window is perfect in part of your kitchen.Lately i am also thinking to change the door in my house in Finland and change it into mittatilausovi however i heard that this is quite expensive rather than ordinary door.

     
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