This seemingly simple question is actually a bit complicated to answer. There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a window project. The largest portion of the cost is labor, and that cost is affected by the following.
1. Do you have a design chosen, pretty much ready to go? Something you've found in a book or a window you've seen somewhere that you want to re-create?
- Having a design in hand means I only have to re-size it and do some minor tweaking to create a usable pattern.
- If you have a good photo of an existing window, I can import it into my CAD software,
trace it, and adjust it to fit your window opening.
- I can create a design from scratch, though that process usually involves me making
several concept drawings from your idea, then revising several times before we have
a working pattern.
2. How complex is the design? How many pieces will it have? How difficult are the pieces
- It's not so much how big it is, it's how much time it will take to cut and grind all of the
pieces. Many times a larger window is easier and faster to make because the pieces
are larger, with easier cuts to make.
- Tight, concave curves are the most difficult, sometimes requiring a special saw to cut them.
3. How soon do you need the finished window?
- There's a big difference to me in a window that needs to be done in 3 weeks and one that can be
made over 6 months to a year. I have many projects going on at once, and if I can have more time
to fit your project around everything else, that's valuable to me. I'll factor the amount of time
you allow me to finish the job in my quote.
4. What type of glass do you want to use in your window.
- There are many types of glass available. Prices vary depending on the following.
-Is it machine made or hand made?
-Color. Some colors are more expensive than others because of the minerals used to create them.
-Reds, pinks, and yellows are generally the most expensive. I like to use red sparingly, not
just because of the price, but because of it's density. It doesn't let as much light through. It
generally looks best when there are small pieces of red accenting lighter colors.
- Most glass will cost between $3 and $15 a square foot, with some of the more exotic, hand
made glass costing up to $30-$40 a square foot.
Other material used to create a window are copper foil, lead free solder, various re-enforcement materials, and a few chemicals for cleaning and finishing. Solder is the most expensive item, and the amount needed varies with how large and complex the window is. The ginkgo leaf sidelight that I made used about $250 in solder. The leaves and vines window used about $100 in solder. I can measure the lengths of all of the solder lines and calculate how much solder will be needed. I don't mark up materials, I charge you what they cost me.
Installation is another factor. I generally make my windows to fit on the inside of an existing window. They sit against the glass and are held in with thin quarter round molding, which gets painted to match the window frame. This works best on wooden window sashes. You'll need to have a suitable window for my panel to fit into. In warmer climates, my windows can be made to be glazed into the frames, replacing the existing glass. This is not a good idea in colder climates, since the metal in the solder would send all of your heat outside. Also, installations near an entrance door require tempered or safety glass in most areas. My window would need to be installed on the inside, set against a piece of tempered glass.
Having a custom stained glass window made is a big deal. I'll be happy to talk with you about what you want and come up with a quote. I'm also happy to do just the design work, which you could then take to a local stained glass artist to make for you.