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Windows

Garden Windows Buying Guide

Average cost range:

$1,250 - $6,500

The average cost for a garden window installation is $1,250 to $6,500 per window, including professional installation. Replacement garden window costs can vary by window size and material, the window brand you choose, custom features, and local labor rates in your area.

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Specialty windows are a wonderful way to add visual interest and character to a home. A garden window in particular can increase the amount of natural light in a room and offer an appealing display for plants and other decorative objects.

On this page, you can explore our garden window buying guide with everything you need to know about these specialty windows, including various types, pros and cons, sizing information, costs, and where to purchase.

What Are Garden Windows?

A garden window is a type of window that extends from the exterior wall of the home. Similar to bay windows, garden windows feature a three-dimensional design that includes three side panels and a top panel pitched at 90 degrees to bring in light and allow for rain runoff. The effect is a deep window sill that can house plants and other décor in a greenhouse kind of environment.

Garden windows also offer an opportunity to bring in lots of natural light to brighten up a room. You will see them most often in a kitchen above a sink, but they can also look lovely in a dining room or nook, bathroom, or laundry room.

garden window

Pros and Cons of Garden Windows

Garden windows have a distinctive design and offer many appealing benefits. Below you can weigh the pros and cons and decide if this window style is a good fit for your home.

  • Pros

    • Brings in natural light
    • Great for indoor gardening
    • Provides architectural interest
  • Cons

    • Not suitable for DIY installation
    • Can create condensation and moisture
    • Can conduct heat easily

Pros

Natural light

A standard window features a single flat panel of glass, while a garden window has four to bring more natural light inside the home. For this reason, a garden window can be a good choice to brighten up a darker room, or in rooms where you want a more open and airy feel.

Indoor gardening

All that extra natural light from a garden window’s three-dimensional design creates an ideal environment for cultivating plants and other greenery. Grow your favorite herbs and snip off exactly what you need while cooking, or take advantage of the window’s natural greenhouse effect with tropical plants and flowers. A south-facing garden window is also a good spot for your outdoor garden’s seed starts in the winter. If you plan to use a garden window for this purchase, purchase a model with side panels that open and allow for proper ventilation.

Architectural detail

Installing a garden window also adds visual interest and character to your home. It can add a custom touch to a kitchen or living room while enhancing your home’s exterior curb appeal. 

Cons

Challenging to install

A garden window features multiple panels that protrude from a home’s exterior wall. This creates more potential points of failure, like cracks, leaks, buckling, and sagging. This type of specialty window should be installed by a professional window installer with garden window experience for best results.

Humidity and condensation

While the greenhouse effect created by a garden window is ideal for plants, all that humidity and condensation can be corrosive to the window parts. Over time, excessive moisture can break down and destroy window seals and the structural integrity of framing and connections. Choosing a vinyl or fiberglass frame for your new garden window is the best choice to withstand heat and humidity.

Heats up a room

With a garden window, all four panes of glass extend outward and are exposed to the elements. This type of window will invariably heat up a room during the summer months and cool it down during fall and winter. Selecting low e glass will help minimize heat transfer, but it will not prevent it entirely.

Garden Window Sizes

Garden windows are on the smaller side for home windows, compared to standard double hung windows or bay windows (more on bay windows below). Visually, they act as more of a decorative accent or architectural detail. As a specialty window and due to its three-dimensional design, a garden window is best suited for specific rooms or areas of the home:

Just like conventional windows, garden windows are available in several standard sizes, from 24” x 24” on the smaller side and up to 72” x 60”. Most manufacturers can also create custom sizes to fit your desired window opening. However, keep in mind custom windows will increase your total project cost. 

Types of Garden Windows

What makes a garden window is its unique boxed design with a 90-degree roof pitch. Beyond that, you have some options when it comes to window frame material, glass type, and a few customization choices.

The window frame material largely impacts its durability, and this is especially true for a garden window. All those extra panes create more junctions, making the window vulnerable to leaks, breakage, and corrosion.

Garden window with flowers in it

Garden window frames are most commonly made from vinyl, aluminum, or wood. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Vinyl Garden Windows

Known for its durability and insulating properties, vinyl window frames are an excellent choice for garden windows. Vinyl frames require less maintenance than aluminum and wood, and come in a number of different colors to complement your home’s exterior.

Aluminum Garden Windows

Nothing compares to aluminum window frames for overall strength. It also features a slimmer profile that works well with contemporary and modern architectural styles. Aluminum does have drawbacks, most notably its conductivity. Aluminum transfers heat and cold, making them less energy efficient than vinyl. This can be mitigated by purchasing framing that includes “thermal breaks” to improve insulation. Aluminum is also more susceptible to dents, scratches, and corrosion from condensation.

Wooden Garden Windows

The beauty and warmth of wood window frames add character and distinction to a home’s exterior. And if you have wood frames for other windows in your home, you will probably want your garden window to match. Wood frames offer better insulation than aluminum and, with regular maintenance, will last for many years. Wood frames are more susceptible to moisture damage, and the additional humidity and condensation created by a garden window could be an issue. Proper and regular wood sealing is necessary to prevent swelling, warping, and rotting.

Garden Window Glass

You also have a few options when it comes to selecting glass panes for your garden window. Choose from single, double, or triple panes, keeping in mind that the higher number of panes, the better the energy efficiency. Low e coatings are also available for garden window panes, offering even more insulation. Tinted glass is also an option for garden windows, which can help reduce light and heat transmission.

Garden Window Customization

While the silhouette of a garden window does not change, you have opportunities to personalize it to suit your preferences. Some customization options include:

  • Size
  • Color or finish
  • Grille style
  • Glass packages
  • Side panel opening or venting
  • Number of interior shelves

How Much Do Garden Windows Cost?

Due to their multi-paneled 3D design, garden windows are typically more expensive than standard windows of similar size. They may also require some demo and construction work to install, which will also add to your final installation cost.

For example, a standard-sized double hung window from Milgard costs $400 per window on average including installation. A standard-sized garden window from the same manufacturer will run you approximately $1,350 to $1,800.

On average in 2022, the cost to install a new garden window will fall between $1,250 and $6,500, including professional installation.

Your final project cost can vary significantly for garden window installation and will depend on a few factors:

  • The size of the window
  • Window brand
  • Framing material
  • Type of glass
  • Customizations
  • Any required demolition or construction work

To get a closer estimate for your window project suited to your home and needs, you can use our free Cost Calculator tool below.

Window Replacement Cost Calculator

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Garden Windows vs. Bay Windows

Garden window and bay window are two terms that are often used interchangeably. While these two specialty windows may look similar, there are a few key differences you should know about when deciding which one is best for your home.

Garden windows vs bay windows
 Garden WindowsBay Windows
SizeUp to 72" x 60"Any size opening
Framing materialsVinyl, aluminum, woodVinyl, aluminum, wood
Primary purposeNatural light, plant displayNatural light, architectural appeal
Roof pitch90 degrees25 to 45 degrees
Where to installKitchen, dining area, nook, bathroom, laundry roomLiving room, dining room, bedroom, home office

Garden windows

A garden window’s primary functions are to bring natural light into a room and offer a shelf to display plants. Its box-like appearance features a sharply angled roof made of glass to stimulate plant growth and allow for water runoff. They are usually smaller than bay windows and are most often installed in kitchens, dining areas and nooks, and bathrooms.

Bay windows

Like a garden window, a bay window extends outward from a home’s exterior. A bay window is a wonderful way to create a focal point in a room and add character. From the exterior, a bay window also creates architectural detailing and curb appeal.

bay window in kitchen

Bay windows are usually much larger than garden windows. They can accommodate openings of any size — some of the more striking bay window designs are large and feature a comfy window seat. Roof pitch angle is smaller than a garden window’s, ranging from 25 to 45 degrees. Roof material can be glass or made to match or complement a home’s exterior material.

Top Garden Window Brands

If you have decided a garden window is right for you, it is time to take your window measurements and go shopping. A garden window’s multi-panel design makes it more susceptible to leaks and damage, so choosing a quality window brand with a good warranty is important. Here are three top window brands that offer garden windows:

Andersen Windows

Known for its energy efficiency and top-quality materials, Andersen Windows has been a trusted window manufacturer for over a century. The company offers garden windows as part of its popular 400 Series and E Series. Framing options include vinyl and wood and are available in standard and custom sizes. Garden windows are also backed by Andersen’s 20-year limited warranty. Each garden window by Andersen Windows should cost between $1,900 and $6,500, including installation.

Milgard Windows

Milgard is widely regarded as one of the top budget-friendly window brands on the market. Its garden window products are part of the Tuscany line, a collection of premium vinyl windows that come with a full lifetime warranty. A Milgard garden window should cost between $1,350 and $4,200 including installation.

Simonton Windows

Simonton Windows specializes in vinyl replacement windows. The company is a recognized industry leader and offers a double lifetime warranty (transferable one time). Simonton garden windows are some of the highest quality and were recently named, “Best Accent Window” by Better Homes & Gardens. Window frames are available in custom sizes and two frame colors. Side panels are offered in casement and single-hung styles. Each garden window by Simonton should cost between $1,800 and $5,000 including installation.

Finding a Professional Window Installer

Garden windows add character and charm to a kitchen, nook, bathroom, or laundry room. While DIY installation is doable for standard windows, garden window installation is best left to a professional to reduce the chance of leaks and sagging. Use Modernize to connect with the top window professionals in your area who offer garden window installation.