By Gene and Katie Hamilton
The windows in a house provide fresh air, ventilation and let the sunshine in, but sometimes a window can be located where the view is less than perfect. Bathroom windows, for example, are often too close to a neighboring house or at a front door with sidelight windows, both locations where privacy is wanted. Replacing the existing windowpane with stained glass is one answer, but it's expensive. A window film is less permanent and an almost instant solution that any homeowner can install.
A window film is a micro-thin layer of polyester or vinyl applied to glass that adds a decorative pattern and complements the décor. You'll find these glass-surface coverings sold online and at home and decorating centers in a variety of designs and patterns and sizes. Some are sized 12 inches wide by 6 1/2 feet high to fit the sidelight panels of an entry door. Others are wider so they can be cut to custom fit a variety of glass and window surfaces.
To install, thoroughly clean the glass surface. Measure the window and cut the film slightly oversize. Then apply the film to the glass with a wetting solution and use a squeegee to smooth the film in place. Trim away the excess. A paperhanger will charge $145 to install an etched design vinyl film in an average size window. You can do it yourself for $72, the cost of the film, application solution and tools, and save 50 percent.
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Another good use for decorative window film is to dress up the glass in a curio or kitchen cabinets.
Gila Window Film has a series of how-to videos to watch Window Film How-to Videos.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to apply a decorative film you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.