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Old 01-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


I have a 1978 built split level home with 13 windows. With tax season coming again and the cold weather leaking thru the 78 era wood windows, I decided to look into replacing them.

So far I have gotten three quotes on doing all 13 windows. Window world comes in at ~4500, home depot at 6500, and St. Clair at 6800. This comes down between $350 and $525 each installed. The window world ones are their double hung 4000 series low E, and the st clair ones are the double hung with the double pane with double low E (both panes have the coating).


My question is, what am I getting by going with these vs going with a 200~ dollar vinyl window ala home depot or lowes? I have done alot of home DIY projects in the past and am fairly confident I could (with some online research) do a good job myself. Am I really paying 150+ dollars per window for labor, or are the windows that much better than what you can buy at a box store?

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Old 01-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #2
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


I will just tell you what Window World (WW) will do, can't speak for Lowe's or the others.

Let's say yo have a 24x46 window you are replacing. WW will pull out the old window, but leave the casement and frame in place, even if they are in poor condition. They will then insert the new window. What this means is you will lose about 1.5 inches on each side, and maybe 1.5 on top and 2 on the bottom (all approximates). You now have a large frame, and a small window that let's in less light.

Their quality is decent, I would think their energy efficiency is good as well. Jus be aware that yo wind up with less light from each window because of how they install.

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


My main concern is the quality of the window vs something I can buy in a box store.

I just don't want to end up buying a 200 dollar window and paying 150 dollars per window for installation. If I am getting a better window and getting it installed, thats a different matter.

As I understand it, almost all windows are "replacement" in the style your saying, in that your going to have the new frame placed in the old one, unless you buy (much more expensive and difficult to install) new build windows.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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From the companies you mentioned...They aren't installing anything better than you can buy at the big box stores. I bet you could do the install better than their subs that are paid $35 an opening.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


No mention of where you live so it's hard to suggest a cheaper place to buy them
Replacment windows are supper easy to install. if you have a caulking gun a flat bar, and a hammer you can install them.
They have to be ordered the correct size or you have to eat them.
There's lot of sites on line telling you how to measure them.
I'm buying double hung, 1/2 screen, UV, argon windows, vinyl energy star rated Simonton windows from Eastern Aluminum Supply for about $130.00 each.
The last places I'd be checking prices would be Lowes of HD or Sears. Go to a siding supply house near you.

Last edited by joecaption; 01-19-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
No mention of where you live so it's hard to suggest a cheaper place to buy them
Replacment windows are supper easy to install. if you have a caulking gun a flat bar, and a hammer you can install them.
They have to be ordered the correct size or you have to eat them.
There's lot of sites on line telling you how to measure them.
I'm buying double hung, 1/2 screen, UV, argon windows, vinyl energy star rated Simonton windows from Eastern Aluminum Supply for about $130.00 each.
The last places I'd be checking prices would be Lowes of HD or Sears. Go to a siding supply house near you.

I live in missouri, central missouri to be specific. This is the kind of information I was looking for, thanks.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougp23 View Post
I will just tell you what Window World (WW) will do, can't speak for Lowe's or the others.

but leave the casement and frame in place, even if they are in poor condition.

this is probably the most critical evaluation you need to do before you decide if an ''insert'' window is for you

if there are any signs of rot or water intrusion in the old frames i personally would recommend a full tear out and replace with a prime unit
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:21 AM   #8
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The home is in good condition, at least from what I can see with the windows in there is no rotting or water damage etc etc. I want to go with a replacement window as i don't want to mess with the siding etc etc at this time.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:14 AM   #9
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I live in south Florida and my cement block/stucco home was built in 1987. I am replacing the original cheap aluminum windows with low E vinyl windows. This past weekend I started on the largest of the nine windows - about 6' wide and 5' tall. I decided on horizontal sliding windows instead of the traditional single hung window just to be different. I was frequently repairing the original window mechanism since there were some plastic pieces that broke every year or two.

I went with a new construction window that does not have an outside nailing flange. This requires cutting away the stucco a little on the outside to remove the window. The original inside trim is just drywall with a synthetic marble sill. I am replacing it with more traditional wood trim including oak sills.

Contrary to the prevailing advice on this forum, I bought the Windows from Home Depot. The construction of the windows is far more substantial than the original windows. It is my understanding that doors and windows sold in this area must withstand hurricane force winds. I am a DIY homeowner and I'm sure there are details on the window that I am missing. But I am happy with the construction and look of the windows. More importantly, my wife likes them. I was pleased to see that the corners of the window frames are fused instead of screwed together.

I bought the windows when there was a 20% discount on custom ordered windows. I got another 10% off for opening a Home Depot credit and the windows qualified for the 30% tax rebate. It has taken a lot of extra time for the extra detail, but both my wife and I are pleased with the results.

Again, I am not a professional, just someone who enjoys doing my own home repairs and remodeling on my time schedule. I feel my work is high quality and I try hard to do it right the first time, but I'd starve as a professional because I work so slowly.

Of course, your mileage my vary.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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If you go with replacement windows the outside exposed wood can be covered with aluminum coil stock avalible in hundreds of differant colors and not have to mess with the siding.
But it should not be installed over rotted wood, peeling paint is fine.
Then you would have a maintaince free window system.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #11
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sure anything can be wrapped my point being wood doesn't just rot,sometimes it may just be caused by metal storms sweating,but most times it's caused by improper or missing head flashing and when i see that it's usually new const. for me
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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Aside from the original leaks like Tom is talking about, there may also be future problems when wrapping the wood with coil if it's not done properly. It is usually best to put entirely new windows in. More times than not, when I see a window frame wrapped, it is leaking somewhere.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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Deciding between DIY and having it done (windows)


I have read some reviews of the window jobs from the apron stores. The reviews were not always stellar. The people that have used the apron stores for installs state they just use independent contractors anyways. Not sure if this is true for all cases but sounds about right.

What if you bought the windows yourself and just hired a contractor to install them?
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #14
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that's an option,but i think if your going to go the contractor route why not just let him be responsible for the entire job?Installers tend to regard h.o. supplied materials a little differently than ones they supply..

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