Should I Replace My Windows One at a Time or All at Once?

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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

Choosing replacement windows can be challenging. Whether you are replacing them because a few are in dire need of fixing or because you are revamping the look and feel of your home, there are a few questions people often have before going ahead.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, "Should I replace my windows one at a time or all at once?"

While the choice is ultimately up to you, we have put together this guide to cover aspects of window replacement. We cover topics such as how much it will cost to replace all the windows in the house, the installation of these windows, and why it may or may not be better to change all the windows in one go.

So, let's dive in!

How much does it cost to replace windows in the whole house?

Replacing the windows in the house is a big task, especially when it is all of them. Cost plays a significant role in deciding whether to replace all the windows at once or whether you should do them a few at a time.

Remember, replacing windows means you will need to pay for the new windows and their installation.

Deciding on a budget will help you figure out how many windows to replace at a time. Now, if specific windows need serious attention, we always advise replacing these first. However, if you are replacing windows for aesthetic reasons, you can use your budget to help you decide how many.


Window manufacturers will tell you that it works out to be more cost-effective to replace a few windows at a time because you will only pay one installation fee for all the windows in that order.

However, if you do a single window at a time, you will pay an installation fee for each window you replace.


Another aspect that will affect the cost of the windows is the material. Windows are made from a few different products, and each of these varies in price.

  • Wood

Wooden windows are often the most expensive as they require special finishes and treatments that allow them to handle the sun and rain better. They need a lot of maintenance, too, which in the long run can be costly.

It is always important to know whether the windows you choose are right for your climate.

However, wooden windows are excellent insulators and will help to regulate the home's interior. They are also better suited to classic or historic homes.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass windows sit on the next rung down in terms of cost. However, these are exceptionally durable and are versatile when it comes to the styles they cover.

Another positive is that the paint used to color these frames is often baked on so that it won't chip or peel like wooden windows. The only downside is that once you have a color, you'll need to stick with it for good.

  • Vinyl

Vinyl windows are less costly and probably the most popular. These windows are hardy, resistant to cracking, weathering, and corrosion, and do well in most climates. Vinyl also requires little to no maintenance, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

The downside to vinyl windows is that you cannot paint them, which means if you're replacing your existing windows with vinyl ones, you'll want to replace them all at the same time to ensure you end up with the same colour throughout.

  • Aluminum

Aluminum windows are the most inexpensive option. That doesn't make them the best choice, though. While these windows withstand heat far better than others, they are poor insulators and challenging to paint.

Do replacement windows get installed from inside or outside?

The next aspect to consider when deciding to replace your windows is how they are installed. Now, while this may be seemingly irrelevant, it isn't, and here's why.

To replace your windows, the existing ones will need to be removed, leaving gaping holes in your house until the new ones are put in place. In addition, should the existing windows be removed and the weather turns bad before contractors can install the new ones, you may have to spend a day or two with plastic sheeting where your windows once were.

Another aspect to consider is that most windows are replaced from the outside, yet some may need replacing from the inside. Again, this need comes down to the style of the window and its location.

Either way, both installation versions are similar and will cause a mess. Yup, window installation can get messy. Therefore, it is always advisable to move furniture out of the way of the window area and to cover surrounding furniture and flooring with sheets to prevent dust and dirt from getting on them.

So why is this important? Well, if you are only replacing a few windows, the installation may only take a day or so, and the contractors will be easy to work around.

However, if you choose to do all the windows in your home in one go installation may take longer and you may find yourself needing to move out for a few days for the job to get done. It is always a good idea to find out how long the installation of replacement windows will take.

If leaving home while these contractors are at work is not an option for you, you may need to put up with living in a less than tidy environment for a few days. And, if the weather turns bad, you will need to live with plastic sheeting windows until the contractors can return to the site and finish off the job.

Should I replace windows all at once?

Now that we have looked at the aspects of replacing windows, it is time to take a closer look at whether you should replace windows all at once.

Ultimately, how you choose to replace your windows will depend significantly on your budget and whether you can afford to replace them all at once.

With that being said, let's look at the pros and cons of replacing your windows all at once; this should make the decision a little more straightforward:


  1. It works out cheaper in terms of installation as you will only be billed once for all the windows to be installed.

  2. You only have to have contractors in your home for the duration of one job instead of multiple times for each new installation.

  3. Designing the overall look of your home will be more straightforward, and you won't be left with a house that has mismatched windows.

  4. It is easier to ensure that all the windows of your home are made with the same materials, offer the same style, and are all the same color.

  5. Scheduling to have the windows serviced will be easier as they will all be serviced together instead of at different times.

  6. Buying windows in larger batches works out cheaper than if you were to buy them individually across a period of time.


  1. You may need to move out or live with having contractors in your home for a few days to get the job done.

  2. If the weather turns bad, the installation may take longer.

  3. This option may not fit everyone's budget.

Average cost to replace windows in a 3 bed house


Choosing whether to replace all your windows at once or a few at a time is ultimately your choice. But, of course, different factors will influence your decision, and that's fine; there is no right or wrong way to go about this.

While overall, it may be cheaper to replace all the windows in your home in one go, not every budget allows for this. If you're in two minds about whether to go the whole hog or not, we hope that the information above has helped you come to a conclusion that best suits you.

Julia Gurevich
Julia Gurevich

Julia Gurevich is a versatile content writer with a passion for delivering captivating narratives through a diverse and attentive approach. Her eye for detail helps her craft content that resonates with audiences across varied home improvement industries, capturing the perfect balance between information and entertainment. As a content coordinator, Julia takes pride in delivering content that leaves a lasting impact through her ability to navigate seamless content strategies and collaborative projects between teams. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Toronto’s cultural landscape, visiting local parks, and getting to know members of the community through events and activities.

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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

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