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How Much Do French Windows Cost?

French windows are a great way to open up a room and flood it with natural light - the average cost is around £1,800 to convert an existing window, or £3,000 if you're creating a new opening in a brick wall.

Many factors contribute to that cost, including the type of French windows you'd like and whether you're installing one window or more.

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We'll explain some of the most important cost elements here so you can get a good idea about the required budget.

How to Calculate Your French Windows Cost

French windows normally come in a double set of doors that open outwardly. You can also choose a single or double window that extends from the centre, with several panes of glass or larger panels for a clearer view.

As this type of home improvement grows in popularity, window fitters can offer single-leaf doors, sliding doors (more similar to patio windows) or folding doors, so there are multiple cost variables.

The bulk of the budget depends on the material you choose - UPVC and aluminium are the most economical and affordable.

Still, you could also select treated hardwood or softwood timber for a more classic style.

Some of the cost considerations include:

  • Whether you are replacing an existing window or door or creating a new opening. Enlarging a window space also carries additional labour and material charges.
  • The material you choose, and the glazing. French windows can be fully or partly glazed, solid panels with window lights and triple or double insulated.
  • Your location. Labour costs tend to be highest in London and the southeast and will be more expensive if you need specialist work on a listed building.

Average labour costs are usually around £175 per day for a qualified, experienced window fitter with knowledge about installing French windows.

If it's a two-person job, the average is an additional £100 a day for a second labourer.

It's wise to ask for itemised quotes so you can check all of the expenses involved, including materials, labour, waste removal, skip hire, glazing and installation.

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Other Cost Factors in Installing French Windows

Most French windows in the UK are made from UPVC since it's durable, cost-effective and easy to maintain.

Your project costs will depend partly on whether you have an existing patio door, external doorway or window that you're converting or want to build a new French window in what is currently a solid wall.

Labour charges, waste removal, and potentially planning permission costs all feed into the budget for a more involved construction project.

That also applies to French window installations where the opening has to be enlarged.

There are other cost factors to bear in mind when you're calculating your total costs:

  • Steps or decking - if you're adding French windows leading onto your outdoor areas, any steps, paving, decking or patio work will be in addition to installing the windows. Access features can cost anything from £1,000 to £5,000.
  • Skip hire - we've mentioned waste removal. You will need to make sure your quote includes the labour and costs of removing old brickwork, doors or windows, making good on the finish, and transporting away the waste materials. Most skip hire agreements cost between £250 and £350, depending on your local area.
  • Decorating - replacing a set of windows or doors will usually mean that you need to carry out some repair work, particularly if you've knocked through a wall. It would be best to price up any plastering, painting or decorating before work begins. Painters and decorators charge an average of £18 to £22 per hour, plus materials.

More complex jobs, such as adding French windows in a supporting wall, will add to the total price, as your contractor may need to prepare the site or carry out structural work such as adding reinforcements, new joists or temporary support beams.

We've listed below the average costs for a range of French windows, depending on the material you choose, the size of your windows and the nature of the glazing, to give you a better idea about the cost comparisons.

Average French Windows Cost by Size, Material and Glazing

Any window fitter will need to know the measurements of your door or window or the size you'd like your French window to be if you're creating a new opening.

There are lots of choices to make:

  • Fully glazed French doors can be reinforced, with added energy-efficiency films or soundproofing glass, either as one solid panel or several smaller pieces of glass.
  • Half glazed French doors might have a solid lower half and a glazed upper, or two doors, with one solid and one glazed.
  • Triple-glazing is more insulating than double-glazed but also more expensive. The benefit is greater heat insulation and tougher glass.
  • Sidelights are slimline glass panels next to a patio door, in a separate panel, or as a window adjacent to the doorway itself.
  • Dwarf walls are made from brick at the base and then glass on top - common in conservatories or porches. A dwarf light is a similarly small glass panel that can boost the sunlight in your room if you have a slim or narrow French window.

The below list provides indicative prices depending on the type of glazing and materials you choose and the size of your French window.

Size Material Glazing Average Cost
120 cm x 210 cm UPVC Fully or half glazed £975
150 cm x 210 cm UPVC Fully or half glazed £1,025
180 cm x 210 cm UPVC Fully glazed £1,125
180 cm x 210 cm UPVC Half glazed £1,200
199.5 cm x 49.4 cm Solid oak laminate Clear glazing £2,100
199.5 cm x 55.5 cm Solid oak laminate Clear glazing £2,250
199.5 cm x 85.5 cm Solid oak laminate Clear glazing £2,400
119 cm x 209 cm Aluminium Clear glazing £1,305
149 cm x 209 cm Aluminium Clear glazing £1,410
179 cm x 209 cm Aluminium Clear glazing £1,475
198.8 cm x 209 cm Softwood Fully glazed £1,350
198.8 cm x 209 cm Softwood One sidelight £1,600
198.8 cm x 209 cm Softwood Two dwarf lights £1,750
120 cm x 210 cm UPVC Tripled-glazed £1,500
150 cm x 210 cm UPVC Triple-glazed £1,565
180 cm x 210 cm UPVC Triple-glazed £1,625
120 cm x 210 cm UPVC Half triple-glazed £1,560
150 cm x 210 cm UPVC Half triple-glazed £1,625
180 cm x 210 cm UPVC Half triple-glazed £1,700

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Benefits of Installing French Doors

French windows are a great upgrade if you're replacing an existing window or door or want to add a new access point while improving the air circulation and sunlight in your property.

There are several advantages available from both an aesthetic and practical viewpoint.

Energy-Efficiency

A double or triple-glazed French door can provide energy savings. Double-sealed glass panels ensure good temperature control and reduce heat losses.

An aluminium or UPVC window is ideal for maximising insulation and improving your energy-efficiency rating.

Increased Light

French windows offer an innovative way to make rooms brighter and lighter, with a feeling of greater space and a connection with the outdoors.

If you have a stunning view or a peaceful garden, you can knock through brick walls or extend a window space to take advantage of the scenery.

The construction of a French window means you get an unobstructed view and can apply glass treatment options such as reflective surfacing or tinting if you'd like to avoid anybody being able to see into your home.

Patterned glass is also an option, either for part or all of your French window glazing.

Home Security and Sound Reduction

French windows have robust locks and catchments, which are very difficult to bypass. A reinforced frame makes this type of window more secure than patio doors, and a double-glazed window is hard to break.

Laminated or toughened glass can enhance your security further while reducing street noise.

Better Ventilation

Replacing a window or door with a French window immediately boosts ventilation, as you can open the double casement all the way to let fresh air in during the winter or create a breeze in the summer.

Ventilation is particularly important for smaller rooms or properties without a lot of natural light and avoids issues such as dampness or mould.

Low Maintenance

If you choose some of the latest materials in French window manufacturing, such as UPVC or aluminium, your French windows will require very little maintenance and remain easy to clean.

These materials don't expand or contract due to humidity or heat, so they need minimal upkeep and outlast most timber alternatives by many years.

The video below shows what is typically involved in French window installation:
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how much a set of French windows should cost? We've run through some of the frequently asked questions below.

How Are Patio Doors and French Windows Different?

Windowed doors that open onto your garden, patio or balcony might be referred to as different names.

However, the primary variance from patio doors is that a French window opens outward on a hinge rather than sliding sideways along a track.

French windows are a more traditional look, although you can use contemporary materials and coloured frames to achieve a modern aesthetic.

Are French Windows More Secure Than Patio Doors?

Generally, a modern French window is a better option from a security perspective because you can install robust locks suitable for an external door into your home.

If you look for security testing standards (such as PAS024), that means your French windows have been manufactured to high-quality ratings.

Sliding doors can save space, but they're often seen as a weak point in security because the locks move upwards or down, rather than having a mortice lock.

How Long Should a French Window Last?

Most contractors or window fitters will advise on guarantees and product warranty periods, but you should expect a professionally fitted French window to last a good 30 years as an average.

If you go for timber frames, you'll need to treat the wood and repaint or stain it now and then, but UPVC should last considerably longer with minimal maintenance.

Are French Doors and French Windows the Same Thing?

Essentially, both French doors and windows are larger panes, usually split into identically sized smaller glass panels with a grille over the windows.

However, true French windows are narrower than French doors and can be installed as a half window rather than a door that opens fully.

Most modern properties call French doors French windows, but they're made to wider proportions to suit the dimensions of standard property sizes.

What Materials Are French Windows Made From?

UPVC is the most popular modern material to use in French windows, but you can choose from timber, aluminium and other options.

Solid oak laminate is one of the common timbers used in French windows and softwood should be treated with weatherproofing to ensure it is durable.

A French aluminium window tends to cost from £1,300 and upwards, and solid oak laminate from £2,400, making UPVC the cheapest option by a long way.

How Does the Glazing Impact the Cost of My French Windows?

A fully glazed French window is more energy-efficient, and a double-glazed window will inevitably cost more than single glazing - although it is highly recommended.

An alternative might be to choose a half-glazed French window with the same UPVC frame but a smaller amount of glass to reduce the glazing cost.

Homeowners often opt for half-glazed French windows if the doors open onto a living space and they feel that a fully glazed panel impacts their privacy.

Would French Windows Add Value to My Home?

Possibly, yes - if you have great quality French windows with a reliable warranty period, good security features and great locks, they will likely be a focal point and make your home easier to sell.

It's advisable to look at the variety of styles, finishes and colours to ensure your French windows are in keeping with the period of your property and provide easy access to outdoor areas with steps or decking.