(true) Replacement window cost
Is there any way to determine what the actual cost of installing replacement windows is? We have received bids from three window replacement companies, and they all have come out to be somewhere between $800 and $1000 a window. Granted, these are for casement windows, and some of them are large (57" x 25" roughly).
In general, I just don't trust people that want to take my money. One company uses certification of it's installers to justify it's price. Well, there are a lot of local window companies, so am I to believe that only this one is okay because it paid to have it's installers certified? Sure, I want the job done right, but how much is that certification going to cost me?
When I bought our last car, we found out the dealer cost, and what the local selling price was. Using this information, we got a fair price. I feel like I need to do something similar with the windows.
Also, if anyone has any good or bad things to say about the following windows, I'd appreciate the info:
Sunrise Windows (Restoration)
Renewal by Andersen
Casement windows are generally more money then Double Hung Windows. There are many variables when it comes to a cost of having a window installed.
Type of window (DH,Awn,Casement,etc)
Glass package ( Double pane,Triple Pane,Heat Mirror,etc)
Window Options (Grids,Decorative glass,Woodgrain interior,Color, Foam Filled Frame,etc)
Size of Company
Do they have Sub Contractors or employees for there installations?
Do they advertise?
Do they have all the necessary licenses?
Do they carry Workman's Comp on there employees?
Do they offer a Labor warranty?
How Long in Business?
Type of window removing?(Metal,Wood,Vinyl)
Replacing any Interior Molding
Painting or Staining of interior molding
Replacing any rotted wood
Capping existing outside casings
Removing all debris from job
You see there are a lot of variables on coming up with just one set price for an installation of a window. Every company is set up differently and price will vary. I myself would not use a company that hires sub-contractors for there installation. Most subs are paid per window and only naturally they might rush the install ( not all do). If you do hire a company that uses subs make sure you request looking at a few jobs in your area and request the crew that did them. As for being certified for the installations by who? the manufacture? AAMA?
As for the windows you mentioned
Soft-Lite Imperial = Nice Window Great Insulated Glass Package
Sunrise Windows (Restoration) = Also is up there with Soft-lite
Renewal by Andersen= Way overpriced, Average glass package,Paying For Name
Sherwood = Never heard of.
There is a lot more I could list but the main thing is to check the company out. Go look at a few jobs they did, call there references, make sure you get everything in writing!
For the final contract I would ask:
*Exact brand, model, and options for each window in writing
*Approx lead time and install date
*Method of install, approx # days/hours to install
*Any included exterior wrapping of windows
*Any interior trim replacement required,
*Who is responsible for Staining or Painting of Interior Trim.
*Who is in charge of debris removal/cleaning, disposal of old windows
*What kind of Insulation they use to seal around window(Fiberglass or Low Expansion Foam)
If they offer a warranty on there work make sure you get it in writing on the contract! Also if they say they do not charge for Service Repairs get that in writing also.
Hopefully this helps you a little :)
Great reply, Hartford! :thumbsup:
The certification of the installers was by AAMA. Apparently, only one shop in town has installers that are AAMA certified. Can't tell me that the other shops don't have installers that know what they are doing, or that knowing how to do something the right way will prevent someone from doing something the wrong way just because it is 4pm on a cold Friday afternoon.
Good point about not using subs. We went to Lowes... just to see what they had. I asked about references and they went into a song and dance about how their subs are checked out blah blah blah.
Windowpoor here is a link to the AAMA list of Certified Installers and Companies.
Pretty hard to qualify what might be the labor for installation because of so many possible variables.
Hartford pretty much covered the many ifs and buts that could affect the prices.
The only one of these brands I'm familiar with is the Anderson, which I suspect was your highest quote, and I lean in the same opinion direction as Hartford on them. I think they are way overpriced for what my experiences have shown to be a less than highly superior product as they sell themselves to be.
Talk around to find people on your own and through friends who have experiences with the company and product you find yourself leaning towards. Don't just accept only installations they want to show you, or only customers they give for references; of course they will all be good
Just to bump this to the top...
We have narrowed our window choices to two. Soft-Lite or Sunrise.
We are a bit worried because the Sunrise windows do not carry the AAMA certification. Hartford gives some good advice, and states that these two windows are of similar quality. Should I worry about the AAMA certification?
I'm pretty well convinced that either company could do a good job with the installation. BTW, the Sunrise window will save us about $10,000. I'm pretty sure the Soft-Lite guy is going to rip us off.
Any input would be very welcome.
Ask for references and call previous homeowners that have used this Company.Get as many references as possible,Check with BBB .
If the windows are vinyl inserts they could run anywhere between $400-$600,for prime windows(casings and trim removed and replaced)prices go from $800-$1000 each.
Been in the business 35years,some sellers will double the cost and work down from there like a car salesman,offering 100% replacement costs as a guarantee which are a given with any unit you buy anyways.
The sellers who install what they sell (no Subs)cuts out the middle man and can usually give you the best deal.In other words the salesman is the installer.
Many of the above posts offer some good points. The fact of the matter is people all pay roughly the same amount for their windows -- and certifications, and builders associations, etc dont cost much. The pricing is basically going to come down to the amount of overhead that a given company has. When you are paying a salesperson 7-8%, plus have an exhorbitant marketing budget, you need to charge that much more to make the same small profit per window. I can tell you right now that a smaller local company like myself could probably save you another $200 or so per window. I would recommend that you find such a company in your area and give them a shot. This is not to say call up Bob's windows that runs out of a beat up van, however there are established, respectable companies in every area who are able to provide great personal service and beat the other guy's outlandish prices with equal warranties, insurance, etc.
As far as window brands, Sunrise is very good. I previously have been a Sunrise dealer and had very few complaints. It just happens that I found a comparable window that I can now offer for cheaper. Softlite is decent too.
Now onto the subject of who is installing the windows. I have been in the position to use both employees and subs to install for me. Personally I prefer subs and the reason is very simple, they are better and more skilled installers. Think about it like this, I you could install 10 windows a day for $20 per hr. that would be fine, however, if you could get $50-$80 per window when each window takes about an hour, which would you choose? It is really a no-brainer and it is why the best and smartest installers are subs not employees. The comment on quality being affected by someone rushing through is nonsense. First of all, a competent company will have someone making sure that the job is done completely and correctly, second of all the job most often needs to be done in a day regardless, so employees are forced to keep a steady pace as well. Another point is that anytime a sub does screw up, he is forced to go back and fix it for free, where as an employee is on the clock by law. I can't say that there aren't bad subs out there (and bad employees for that matter) but if you are choosing a respectable company, it is likely that they have checked backgrounds, references, etc, just like an employer would and have chosen someone who they trust will represent their company well.
I realize that I've written half a novel here, but I just wanted to give you some perpective from the other side of the fence.
Well, we are going to go with the company that sells Sunrise. The Soft-Lite company's offer is about 30% higher. Aside from that, having a salesman come to your house and brag about how great business is, and how he is about to take a trip to Mexico because he was last year's top salesman just didn't do much to help. I really like the 15% discount if we spend more than $25,000. Gee, if you can knock 15% off, what's your true profit margin? 30%?
Thanks for all the advice from everyone.
Good luck with your new windows.
Materials/labor is just like everything else, you get what you pay for!
BTW- Not everyone that is a contractor or is in the construction trades is going to rip you off. And for you to come in here and act like that, is disrespectful to the contractors that help on this forum including myself who take pride in their work and is willing to help homeowners like yourself here.
Good luck, with your window install!
You asked for an estimate and they gave you a price. How are they ripping you off?? Higher price doesn't mean rip off.
I bet you would refuse a raise at work on the pretext that you were ripping off your company. :no:
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