On this page:
- How Do Pros Charge for Installing Window Screens?
- Do You Need to Hire a Pro For This Job?
- What Influences the Cost of Having Window Screens Installed?
- How Will the Features of Your Installation Affect the Price?
- Preparing for Your Screen Installation
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
When you’re enjoying a fresh breeze inside your home, windows screens may be your only line of defense from insects and other pests. If your home is not already fitted with screens, or if you need to have yours set up for the summer season, installing them is usually a simple job for an installer or handyman. There are a few things that will affect the cost to install window screens, so consider the nature of the job and the features of your windows and screens when deciding whether to hire out the work and when budgeting for the job.
How Do Pros Charge for Installing Window Screens?
Installation jobs are often priced by the unit for both materials and labor, so pros who specialize in this kind of work will probably price it by the screen or by the window. Rates vary, but a range of $10 to $30 per window is common for labor. Other providers, like general contractors or handymen, may price the work according to the time needed to complete the entire installation. Since installing each screen is usually a pretty quick job, you may be charged a minimum fee for a small project that only involves one or two windows.
If your installer provides the screens for your installation project, you may be charged a small markup to cover the pro’s time and effort for ordering and delivering them. Having a contractor supply materials simplifies the job, but often makes it a bit more expensive than if you pick them up yourself from a supplier or home center. The cost of new screens will depend on their size and style, so can range from as low as $10 to over $100 per window. If you need a pro to install screens you already own, materials costs should be limited to what is required to repair the screens as needed, such as replacement screen fabric and spline, and typically costs less than $10 per window.
Do You Need to Hire a Pro For This Job?
The installation of window screens is generally not a complicated job, but it is certainly one that can occupy an entire afternoon, and may involve working at uncomfortable heights. If you’re not up to the task, hiring a pro for the job can eliminate ladder work and keep your weekends free.
Accessibility and Safety
One of the primary benefits of having a professional install your window screens is their access to the right equipment for the job. If your screens need to be installed from the outside of your home, a ladder or staging will be needed. If you don’t have the equipment on hand to access each window safely, bringing in a pro will keep your feet safely on the ground, right where they belong.
What Influences the Cost of Having Window Screens Installed?
Type of Screens
A surprisingly wide array of options for window screens exists, and the type needed to suit your windows can affect the difficulty, and thus the cost, of installation. Screens that snap into position without hardware or fasteners are much simpler to install than storm windows or framed screens that must be mounted to the exterior trim around the window. For example, it could take just a few minutes to pop a basic screen into position, compared to taking up to an hour to install a new storm window and screen.
The type of screens required for your project may determine whether the installation work can be done from the inside or not. If so, the job will probably go more quickly than if your pro needs to set up ladders outside, provided there is easy access to each window from inside the house and it’s not too difficult to maneuver the screens through the home. If the screens need to go on from outside, the location and height of each window could affect the cost of the job. In general, the higher a pro’s ladder goes, the higher the bill goes, and if uneven ground makes it difficult to use a standard ladder the time needed to set up staging can add quite a bit to the price. For large-scale or complex jobs a pro may use a mechanical lift, which could add several hundred dollars to the price of an otherwise basic job.
As with most repair and improvement projects, the cost of installing window screens will vary by location. If you live in an urban area labor rates may be higher than in rural locations, but you will probably have access to a competitive market of specialized installers and handymen with standardized pricing. If you live in the country, it may take a little legwork to find pros who do this type of work, but costs should be relatively low.
How Will the Features of Your Installation Affect the Price?
The Size of the Job
Since installation work is often priced by the piece or unit, the number of screens you need to have fitted could be the most significant factor in the price of your project. Depending on the nature of the job, your installer may have a flat fee per window, keeping labor costs proportionate for most jobs. However, it may be more cost effective to negotiate an hourly or bid price for the work if it is a simple or a large-scale job, so it’s worth doing some comparison shopping. For example, a contractor charging $15 per window for installation labor would bill you about $600 to place 40 screens, while a handyman with an hourly rate of $25 might only charge $200, even if it’s a full day’s work.
If your project involves fitting your existing screens, rather than installing new units, the cost of the job may be influenced by related repair or maintenance that is required. If your installer needs to clean or fix up any of your screens before installing them, the added work and any materials required will add to the overall cost of the job. A pro will probably need to check out the scope of the work before letting you know if you will be charged by the hour or by the unit for maintenance work like this.
Preparing for Your Screen Installation
Since the type of screens involved and the features of your home and windows could affect the cost of installation, check with a few different pros in your area for estimates on the job. Be sure to have each provider price the same materials and scope of work so you can make a balanced comparison, especially if there is some maintenance and repair involved in the job.
Preparing the Site
You can help the installation work go quickly and smoothly (and possibly save a bit on the cost of the job) by making sure the jobsite is easy to navigate. On the outside, be sure to move obstacles from the yard that might make it difficult to stage materials or carry and set up a ladder. On the inside, move furniture and other items that may block access to the windows and take down window treatments that will interfere with the installation. If you are having a pro install your existing screens, taking them out of storage so they are ready at the time of your installation appointment can save your pro some time as well. Most providers will complete this type of prep work if needed, but since it increases the time they spend on the job, it could increase the price. Be sure to check with your installer ahead of time to avoid any surprise charges if you aren’t able to prepare the site yourself.
|$75 - $200||$500 - $1,000||$1,400 - $3,200|
Installing window screens in most homes is a pretty straightforward project, but our examples show how the features of a home can affect the price of the job. Each of the scenarios below refer to the installation of 20 screens of various, standard sizes.
Seasonal Set-Up: $75 - $200
- • Materials: In this example, a pro needs only to install screens that have been in storage for the winter, minimizing material costs to what is needed for minor repairs.
- • Preparation: With the screens stored in the garage and easily accessible, our pro needs less than an hour to take them out, rinse them off, and give them a once-over. A more thorough cleaning or making repairs could add an hour or more to the job, though.
- • Access: With most of the windows on this job located on the first floor, the bulk of the outside work can be done from a stepladder. Even where an extension ladder is required, having a stable and flat place to set it up keeps the job simple and efficient.
Starting Fresh: $500 - $1,000
- • Materials: All new standard screens are selected for this job, with an average cost of $15 to $25 each. Though the initial price tag is higher, the screens are ready to install upon delivery.
- • Preparation: Short of unpacking, no prep work is required for this job, so labor rates stay around $10 to $20 per window.
- • Access: Simple access from indoors and from ladders outside make for an uncomplicated installation.
Double-Duty: $1,400 - $3,200
- • Materials: Stepping up from basic screens, new storm windows are installed at a cost of $50 to $100 per unit.
- • Preparation: This process is more time-consuming than fitting screens. Since the window units are more complex and heavy than standard screens, the job may call for a two-person crew to assemble and handle the units safely and efficiently.
- • Access: Storm windows are installed by mounting frames to the exterior window trim, making it necessary to do the work from outside. This adds to the difficulty of the job, and may require setting up staging to reach upper-level windows that are tough to access.
Level of Difficulty
Installing most window screens is a beginner-level DIY project, though installing storm windows or making repairs could call for intermediate skills. One of the most challenging aspects of the installation is often working from a ladder, so if you are not comfortable with heights or don’t have an adequate ladder, hiring a professional may be the best way to go. If you’d like an expert to handle the tough work, but would like to find a way to save on costs, tackle some of the prep work yourself, such as preparing the site, cleaning and sorting stored screens, or purchasing and picking up new screens.