Window looking out into trees. There are white curtains on both sides of the window. The window sill has an orange bowl and a flower vase on it.

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If your windows are leaking air or are exposed to bad weather on a regular basis, exterior storm windows may seem like the most cost-effective option compared to fully replacing every window in your home. And while they are certainly cheaper and easier to install, there may be some unforeseen costs that creep up unexpectedly.

The cost does not stop at the initial purchase price. It is important to factor in installation, repairs, maintenance, and additional features you may want for added protection. We’ve calculated the anticipated costs of exterior storm windows and have broken it down for you so you can make the right decision when it comes to sealing and protecting your windows.

Exterior Storm Windows: A Brief Overview

 
A person wearing a tan coat is installing storm window on a brick home.

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Storm windows come with a host of benefits, especially for those concerned about energy costs and bad weather conditions. There are many types and styles to choose from, but their purpose is largely the same across the board.

Here are some of the pros and cons to take into consideration when looking to invest in exterior storm windows.

Pros

The biggest benefit of exterior storm windows is that they are a much cheaper option compared to replacing the entire window. So, if your windows are old, expelling air, or at risk of environmental damage, exterior storm windows are a great way to add some extra protection while saving money upfront. 

Exterior storm windows are also preferred because they can sometimes blend into the home to maintain curb appeal. Some storm windows are designed to be difficult to see or distinguish from the existing window frame. Some can stand out and add an extra pop of color, so you can get a design upgrade at the same time.

They are known to provide protection from storms, but some storm windows also provide protection from UV rays. Storm windows can provide some noise reduction, but because of their weep holes, they aren’t recommended if this is your primary issue.

Properly installed exterior storm windows also prevent air leakage and aid in heat retention which helps cut costs on energy bills and creates a greener home.

Cons

While the benefits of exterior storm windows seem appealing, there are a few considerations that may have you continuing your search for replacement window alternatives.

Exterior storm windows can be tricky to install because of their bulky and heavy characteristics. They usually require a professional to ensure they are put in properly, especially when trying to install them in hard-to-reach places. If you’re trying to install these windows yourself, using a ladder to reach higher stories is dangerous and can put you at risk for serious injuries. Plus, if these windows are installed wrong, they won’t serve their purpose

They also can be difficult to remove which may need to be done seasonally if you want to be able to open your windows during the warmer months. That means you may have to remove and reinstall the storm windows every year, taking up a lot of time and money. They also generally require more maintenance than your normal windows.

While they do help with heat and cold protection, there are better options available if that is the main goal. Condensation buildup between the regular window and the storm window is also possible if not properly installed. 

And depending on where you live and the type of home you have—especially if you live in a historic home— exterior storm windows may not pass approval.

Exterior Storm Windows Cost

 
The left image shows the difficulty of installing storm windows. The person is standing on a ladder trying. The right image shows the ease of Indow’s window inserts. A person is putting the insert above the kitchen sink.
 

Storm windows may save you money on replacement windows and are more cost-effective upfront than some other alternatives, but maintenance and upkeep can cause some unforeseen costs. These unexpected expenses may help you decide whether or not they are worth the investment.

Here are some extra costs you should anticipate when choosing to install exterior storm windows.

Repair & Replacement

Exterior storm windows act as a layer of protection for your actual windows. But being on the frontlines of defense against storms and the elements, the storm windows will likely get damaged at some point. While the cost to repair or replace the storm windows is cheaper than replacing the existing windows, it can still take a chunk of money out of your wallet.

On average, repairing a storm window costs between $25 and $200 a window. You may be able to repair it on your own, but the materials and labor to do so normally cost more than hiring a professional. 

However, sometimes a storm window is damaged beyond repair and needs replacement. Depending on the materials and the shape of the windows, this can cost from $100-400 per window, depending on the material. That is a costly investment to upkeep.

Maintenance

Storm windows do require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them working properly and effectively. They need to be cleaned, and the tracks need to be lubricated regularly every season. They may also need new caulking to prevent air leakage. 

These things aren’t too expensive or time-consuming to do, but the costs can accumulate over the years. Also, it may be hard to clean, lubricate, and caulk exterior storm windows located on higher floors. Maintaining the storm windows in multi-level buildings can prove to be challenging and may not be worth the safety risk and time investment.

Installation

When calculating the upfront cost of exterior storm windows, it is important to factor in the installation costs to get an accurate estimate. Depending on the size and how easy it is to install, installation is expected to cost from $65 upwards per window.

This quickly adds up when looking to cover every single window in the home, and the cost increases with difficult installations, like multi-story houses. In addition, you can expect expenses to elevate during labor or material shortages.

With this being said, it is still better to leave the installation up to the professionals to ensure the storm windows are working properly and effectively serving the purpose you purchased them for.

Removal of the Old Storm Window 

Obviously, installation is going to cost money, but so does removing the windows. Removal may have to take place if you want to replace the storm window with a new one or with another alternative. 

This can cost between $25 and $50 per window, including the labor to remove the windows and the cost of disposal. Again, it does not seem like a steep price for a single window but quickly becomes pricey when looking at multiple removals. 

Screens

Not all exterior storm windows come with screens. This may not seem like an issue during the colder months, but if you want to open the windows for a cool breeze during the summer without bugs flying in, you will want the screens. This can mean an additional cost of $20-$50 per window to have them added.

Stabilizer Bars (Optional)

Stabilizer bars are optional and not always necessary, but they add more structural strength to the windows. This can increase the durability and add to the lifespan of the storm windows, which saves costs in replacements. The stabilizer bars cost between $20-$40 per bar.

Weatherstripping (Optional)

Weatherstripping increases the effectiveness of the storm windows by sealing the edges to make them more airtight. This helps with the home’s energy efficiency and is recommended for areas with extreme climates. The entire weatherstripping would cost around $200

To make it easier on you, we made a chart that breaks down each expense and the average cost:

 
ExpensesCost Range
Repair Cost$25 - $200 per Window
Replacement Cost$100 - $400 per windows
Installation Cost$65+ per window
Removal Cost$25 - $50 per window
Screens Cost$25 - $50 per window
Stabilizer Bars (Optional)$20 - $40 per bar
Weatherstripping (Optional)Around $200
 

How Indow Can Help

 
Close-up image of Indow window boxes.

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Exterior storm windows can be costly to install and maintain, but replacing the entire window is still not a desirable option for many homeowners.

Fortunately, there are other alternatives like Indow window inserts. They offer the same energy savings and protection benefits for a better price. Plus, they are simple to install yourself, easy to maintain and remain one of the most cost-effective options on the market.

Our interior storm windows are lightweight and much easier to install, allowing for DIYers to take charge. For those that want a more experienced person for the job, a handyperson can be hired instead of a trained contractor, saving you money. 

Speaking of saving money, our window inserts are considerably more cost-effective, ranging from $360-$468, compared to competitors. Our prices include shipping, unlike exterior storm windows where shipping costs will be added on after the initial price. 

We offer window inserts that can fit the needs of every home. Homeowners can get effective insulation, soundproofing, and protection from light and UV rays without having to spend a ton of time and money.

Reach out now for a free estimate and to learn more about how our window inserts can improve your home.