Window Replacement

Sticker shock can sometimes set in once you have priced out window replacement for your home. The sales presentation may be slick, the samples compelling, and the photos spectacular.  But once the quote is finalized, the price can be such an unwelcome surprise, the project may go on the backburner, despite the need. You should be aware, though, that proposals for window replacement are not necessarily cast in granite.  There are ways you can reduce the final installed cost, without sacrificing performance or look.  Here are some strategies you can pursue when sourcing out new windows for your home i.e. window replacement by going easier on your wallet.

Tip 1: Avoid the extras that can increase the cost

There are some optional features on a window replacement project which significantly impact the installed cost.  For example:

  • Between glass shades are definitely a “nice to have” feature, but, in all likelihood, are not necessary for many window replacement installations.  If you already have suitable existing window coverings, for instance, there is really no need to have that feature thrown into your quotation. 
  • Laminate exterior glass is often specified at a higher price point.  It is, essentially, a break-resistance feature which may not be entirely necessary or even suitable in your particular case. It will definitely be a saving to remove it from the specification.
  • Trim and hardware supplied by the window company may be marked up considerably.  Go with industry standard inclusions, and you will likely save money.
  • Window designs that feature Integrated grilles including muntins and mullions may be an aesthetic eye-pleaser. But they will almost certainly drive up the final cost. Consider alternates to bring down the final price.

These are just some of the potential cost cutting measures available for your consideration. A good window replacement contractor will be happy to guide you along.

Tip 2: Negotiate on price

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That’s right: The final number is not always final. There may be room for the installer to “sharpen his pencil”. It never hurts to ask. It shows that you are serious about the purchase. If there isn’t any room to move on the price, a reputable installer should be able to show you all the reasons why the price for your window replacement is what it is, and, if necessary, look at alternatives.

Tip 3: Choose common window styles

During the consultation process, you will likely be shown a variety of styles and designs for your new windows.  Your eyes may approve of the swanky look, but they may also frown at the price.  Some of those fancier designs will veer toward custom or special order products.  Stick with the common window styles, which the salesperson can point out, and you will likely be in a money saving position.

Tip 4: Consider purchasing less expensive window materials

There is a range of materials to consider when it comes to the basic window frames for your replacement project. Solid wood frames are the most expensive and are considered a premium choice.  Less costly are fiberglass frames, and least expensive are solid vinyl frames.  You may never even notice the difference on the choice of frame, but you will certainly notice the lower price at the time of quotation. Consider the more affordable choices when budget dictates what you can ultimately spend. 

Tip 5: Get multiple quotes before you decide

It only makes sense on a significant expenditure as a window replacement.  You should shop around, and get a minimum of three quotations from reputable installers.  Each one will have their own ideas, catalogues, and overhead. You stand to gain by doing some research up front, and then deciding on a contractor, hopefully based on an apples-to-apples comparison, all  features and inclusions clearly noted on their proposals. One of the three prices you get back will be the lowest. All other things being equal, that should be your logical choice of successful bidder.  It’s not really all that much work on your part, and you get the benefit of the lowest possible installed price.

To summarize: 

There is no question that the final installed cost of your window replacement project will depend on the above factors and more.  A reputable contractor should be more than willing to go over all the features and benefits of their quote, and also point out where savings may be derived.  It could be in the choice of material of the basic window frames, or some of the add-ons and options which can be altered or deleted. There also may be room for a little negotiation on price, if you take time to ask. The reality is that funds are seldom unlimited on an expenditure such as window replacement.  When you are about to spend significant bucks, it can really pay off to focus on some of these details, which ultimately drive the final cost of the project.

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