Window tinting can be a universal solution for sun, heat, energy, and privacy problems. Though it’s most often seen in vehicles, tint works equally well in homes and larger buildings. If you need a cost-effective way to cool down your house or car, strengthen single-pane windows, or keep your space hidden from unwanted eyes, window tinting is a great choice.
This doesn’t mean all window films are created equal. It’s important to consider the different options available to you, as well as the price range you should plan for. Dyed tint, metallic window tint, carbon film, ceramic window tint – among many other types – each have their own unique pros, cons, and price points. It’s important to know the type of windows you have and to seek guidance for which film might be best for you.
How Much Does Window Tinting Cost?
Window tinting prices vary widely by brand and installation options. They also depend on the type of windows being tinted. Auto tint, for instance, has different prices for different vehicle types. Car window tinting costs less than for trucks and vans, and vehicles with unique windows usually rack up extra charges. Window tint prices for homes depend completely on the size, shape and number of windows that need to be treated.
Tinting a Car or Truck
Depending on tint quality and vehicle type, tinting a car or truck can cost anywhere from $100-$1000. A basic vehicle tint job can cost under a hundred dollars. However, there are a number of hidden costs down the road for people who choose this option. Cheap dyed tint often begins to peel, change color from black to purple, and degrade within a year or two. It will need to be replaced frequently (especially in a sunny region), and can actually damage car windows over time. Additionally, inexpensive films are usually all for show.
While their darkening effect might keep out some heat, the vehicle’s interior will still be exposed to UV fading. Good quality carbon or even ceramic coating, which will protect a car longer and more completely, is going to be higher-dollar up front. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 on up, depending on the windows being tinted. Carbon and nano ceramic tinting will always be the most expensive options, but you’ll get a better value with added benefits.
Windshield tinting tends to be pricier than other windows (It can cost over $100 and up on its own) since windshields have the most legal restrictions. Most states have laws that prohibit or put serious limitations on the kind of shading that a windshield can sport.
Home Window Tinting
While people who tint their car windows are primarily looking for comfort, privacy, and UV/glare reduction, tinting home windows can actually save a lot of money. In the home, tint alternatives include replacing the entire window with more efficient/modern types, and/or adding other types of window treatments, like shades or shutters. Windows positioned towards the sun can benefit the most from tinting, while shade-facing windows might not need it. Good window tint can instantly provide a host of benefits. It reduces the need for both heating and cooling, saving you money on energy bills.
With residential tinting, homeowners tend to opt for longer-lasting options. Since homes have a much longer lifespan than vehicles, it makes sense to protect their value with a film that will perform for decades. Since homes vary enormously when it comes to size, window types, and number of windows, price quotes are hard to generalize. Window tint prices typically start at under $5/square foot. If you want a ceramic tint, you can expect to pay on the high end of the spectrum. Most homeowners pay somewhere between $300-$1000 per window. It’s an investment with an expected return in energy savings, UV protection, comfort, safety, and security.
Why Does Residential Window Tint Cost More?
There are a number of factors that drive up the cost of home window tint. One is the fact that home windows are often unique. This means that the price can’t come down to square footage alone. If a window is high, tall, or oddly-shaped, it will cost more to treat than a standard-sized pane of glass.
The other reason that residential windows cost more to tint than car windows is the price of installation. Technicians have to come on-site, move furniture, measure windows individually, apply any pre-tint treatments, and climb or stoop to reach certain windows. Because it takes much longer than car tint and the risks are different every time, home window tint professionals charge more than auto shops. This means you’ll see average installation fees between $5 and $10 per square foot.
Why Invest in Better Tint?
Window tint costs over time look very different from the up-front price tags. When you can spend as little as $100 to tint an entire car, it’s a hard decision to drop hundreds more for a film that looks exactly the same in the shop. But better tint means better protection from the sun’s harmful rays, good cell and radio signals, energy conservation, and fewer damage and replacement costs. Return-on-investment (ROI) window films can pay for themselves over time in energy savings and other benefits.
Should I Save Money by Installing Window Tint Myself?
When you purchase window tinting, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not just paying for the film. Professional installation and warranties make up a good portion of the cost. This is why some people attempt to DIY their own windows.
However, unless you have installation experience, this is not recommended. Installing tint yourself may cut out the cost of labor. However, the mistakes that can come with an unprofessional job often end up costing much more in the long run.
When looking for the best window tint prices, make sure you know what you’re getting – and not getting – for your money. Doing the research ensures that you can make the best, most informed decisions and tint your windows worry-free. Contact us today to find out more!