Average Labour Cost/Price to Replace Windows

To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…

(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Window?

sash windows

You want to replace a rotten wooden window in the kitchen with PVCu one. It’s about 5’ long x 3’6” high (1500mm x 1050 high), has an opening casement and it has to be specially made (which costs more). Here are the alternatives assuming 2 men (one fitter on £175 per day, one labourer on £100 per day). Making good, is limited to sealing inside and out and he is FENSA registered, so all the regulations are followed.

Materials include the new window, tipping, sealer and the fixings. Labour will include collecting the window from its manufacturer, removing and disposal of the old one, fitting the new window, fitting the glass, (they don’t come ready glazed), sealing inside and out and clearing up.

This will take half a day:

The same job with a primed softwood window will cost………..

But it still needs painting.

For a hardwood window add
another…………. £100.00

But even this needs “treatment” of some sort.

Job 2
You want to replace a ground floor, Victorian style, multiple glazed, sliding sash window in primed softwood with integral counterweights fitted by the manufacturer. This will need making good inside and out, including pointing, plastering, cill and architrave fitting.

It will take 2 men, 2 days and the materials will cost £850……….
Once again, painting and redecorating are still needed!

Fitting multiple windows of the
wooden varieties should be the price stated above, times the number of windows required, minus 10%.

Having multiple
PVCu windows fitted by a double glazing company can be anyone’s guess! Be careful, with some companies, the salesman knows how much his company will require to do the job. His commission is what he feels he can stick on top of this amount. This is based on how gullible and/or wealthy he thinks you are.

By the time you’ve had the shiny suited lothario with all his brochures on your sofa for seven hours, you will have lost the will to live, he
still won’t have given you a price AND you will have missed Eastenders (if you're lucky!)

For your must-see guide to Tradesmen's Rates please click on the map…


A Price Guide and Information Sheet on the Cost of Window Replacement

Since 2002, the government has imposed new rules regarding complete window replacement. There is now a controlling body called FENSA which is in charge of the process. Basically, if a builder replaces a window for you he must be FENSA registered or he must subcontract the work to someone who is, or he must have the job overseen by a building regulations surveyor.

This is to comply with European regulations regarding carbon emissions. Don’t you realise…… if you were to fit a single glazed window in that downstairs cloakroom of yours, there’s no telling what the global implications might be. The gulf stream might stop! And that’s
after the arctic ice cap has melted!

You are still allowed to decide what the frames will be made of though, wood, PVCu, aluminium etc. BUT the window must be multiple glazed and special “K glass”, must be used on the
inside, which reflects heat radiation back into the room. If the window is to be fitted downstairs, it must incorporate either “trickle ventilators” or a lock, which allows the window to be left slightly open while not allowing bad lads to get in.

We don’t know much about burglary by the way but we suspect that in the slightly uneven struggle between a brass effect, window security lock, fastened on with 1” (25mm) screws and a bloomin’ great steel crowbar, wielded by some drug crazed, tattooed Viking, the latter might just have the advantage!

I went on a builders day out once to the Special K Glass factory. There we all were, a bus load of pathetic 50 year old saddoes expecting to be surrounded by beautifully thin, lovely model girls all wafting by in skimpy diaphanous red frocks, looking back over their shoulders at us with that “Mmm…. I didn’t realise a man old enough to be my granddad could be so spectacularly attractive”, look in their eye.

Obviously, the only woman any of us saw all day was some old Doris in the canteen, but she made a good bacon sarnie.

There are of course several reasons why you want new multiply glazed windows. Relevant to cost effectiveness, those reasons will now be outlined in descending order.

1. The existing ones are rotten as pears or if metal, rusting and warped. Good reason! they have to be replaced.

2. You are sick and tired of paying people to paint them every 5 years. Fair reason, the fourth time of painting, could have paid for new ones in the first place.

3. You are an avid
carbon emission reducer. Can’t argue with that, but low energy bulbs, more loft insulation, solar panels, a new condensing boiler and better heating controls are better value! AND what’s that 4x4 doing in your driveway?

4. You don’t want to be the last in the street to get double-glazing. What price personal pride? BUT don’t kid yourself you are going to benefit from massively reduced heating bills. It takes nearly the
20 YEARS to recover the cost of double glazing in the average home, in reduced bills!


Whatever your reasons you are determined to go ahead.

Questions to ask the salesman/builder during his quotation visit.

We assume you have decided what the windows will be made from before he arrives.

Is your company FENSA registered? And will you provide a “compliance certificate” stating that the windows were fitted relevant to the latest building regulations?

If not registered, who will be doing the job? And is he FENSA registered?
(If it’s just the windows being replaced, you might as well get a quote from the FENSA chap direct, and cut out the middle man).
The windows may of course be part of a larger job, a new
extension for instance, overseen by the local authority buildings regulations department In which case they will issue a “completion certificate” when the job is finished, which will include the windows.

Will at least one window on each floor be compliant with the latest (fire) escape regulations?
PVCu windows don’t hinge like wooden ones. Very often this doesn’t allow for the minimum 450mm vertical and horizontal measurement required by the regulations, to allow you to escape if there’s a fire! Also the escape opening has to be a minimum of .33m². So just a 450 x 450mm opening isn’t enough! These rules apply to all windows by the way, not just PVCu ones.

Will all relevant areas of glazing be fitted with safety glass?
If any pane of glass is lower than 800mm from the floor, (other than sloping roof windows), that particular pane or panes, needs to be safety glass.
Any pane of glass in a window within 300mm of the outside edge of a door needs to be safety glass, unless all of the pane is higher than 1500mm from the floor.
Any pane of door glass less than 1500mm from the floor needs to be safety glass.
You can check if he has done this by looking for the little “kite mark” symbol etched into a corner of the relevant pane.
(You might think all this information is a bit over the top, but when your child has put his hand through a pane of glass, or heaven forbid, you’re running round like headless chickens at 2.30 a.m. in an inferno, looking for a way out…….)

On a sort of lighter note.

How will he allow for ventilation?
Trickle vents, or those special locks?

Will he be making good, inside and out, after the windows are fitted?
If internal plaster or external render or pebbledash gets damaged, or he rips your wallpaper, or there’s a gap around the window, how will he be making good? Will he charge extra for this?

Will he be painting wooden ones or just leaving them primed?

Will he using hard wood?
It’s more expensive but if it comes from a sustainable source, then consider it.

Will softwood windows have been treated against rot before priming?
How will you ever know?

A-Z of Job Pricing

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