Author Topic: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?  (Read 3265 times)

dundee

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Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« on: June 08, 2016, 05:43:56 AM »
Dear Mustachians:

I live in the Northeast. My house and windows are 40 years old. The windows are overdue for replacement. I am in the process of getting quotes from Anderson Renewal and Pella. There are about a dozen windows of various sizes. I was wondering if you have replaced windows in your house, is there any words of advice or lessons learned that you can share with me?

Some of the questions I have are:
1. When I get a quote, is it negotiable? Is it a bit like buying a car?
2. Should I be looking for a particular type of window?
3. Are there any other brands than Pella or Anderson which are good but less expensive?
4. Does anybody have experience with Home Depot or Lowe's in windows replacement? I will need to pay somebody replace them for me.

I would really appreciate your advice. This is probably going to be expensive (and my first time replacing windows), so, I want to learn the lessons others may have learned in the past.

Thank you.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 05:48:53 AM »
Those name brands, including Home Depot and Lowe's, are going to be a lot more expensive than you need. If you really need to replace your windows, go with a reputable smaller window installer. Search for window replacement locally. Get lots of quotes - the price variances will astonish you.

slappy

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 05:52:09 AM »
We live in southern NH and had our windows replaced last year by Home Depot. We were happy, although I'm sure we could have saved money with another company. My husband was concerned about the warranty and felt more comfortable going with a large company for that reason. The workers from Home Depot are always very respectful of our home and our family. They clean up any mess they make and try not to disturb the family (baby was sleeping at one point).  We were recommended to go with Home Depot by my former boss. He said he priced several local companies and Home Depot was middle of the road for pricing, but he had the same thought about the warranty.

misshathaway

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 06:15:27 AM »
I live in the northeast too. I got mine done by a private contractor and they are not name brand. They work fine as far as keeping the cold out and dropping down easily for cleaning both sides. HOWEVER one huge problem in the summer time is that they only have half screens that sit on a different track from the actual windows. When the bottom pane is up, even though the screen is down, flies can get inside via the gap between the 1/2 screen track and the pane track.

I don't know if this is a problem with all replacement windows or just my no-names.

justajane

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 06:34:27 AM »
What are the precise reasons that they need replacing? Are they single pane? Do they not open properly?

I'm all for replacing windows if they need to be, but just because they're 40 years old doesn't mean they need to be.

We replaced six windows this year and are thrilled. Our general contractor did each one for about $300-$400. Our windows were 100 years old, wouldn't open, rattled every time there were high windows. Heck, one was even rotting.

You can also selectively replace windows or do it gradually. You don't have to drop 5K all at once. If there are particular ones that leak more than others or are south facing, then I might target those first.

Regardless, you will never recoup the amount you spend in energy savings, but there are other reasons to replace windows.

ems2014

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 07:40:53 AM »
I'm also in the northeast (NH) and have a house with old (100yo+) windows. Are they good, solid, original wood windows?

I found a local window restorer who repairs and weatherizes old windows. With weatherization and a storm, original windows are as efficient as replacements. If you have original wood windows, the wood is possibly much higher quality than what you could purchase today if you went with wood replacement windows.

For my windows, most of which are 30" x 60", this guy's prices are lower than what it would cost to replace, and the restored older, original windows are beautiful and will last for far longer than any replacement windows. He repaired one window sash that had significant rotting and I took a class that he teaches so that I can fix the remaining windows myself.

Good luck!

Choices

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 10:50:43 AM »
We had a home energy audit and were told that replacing windows is almost never worth the cost if your only goal is energy savings. Caulk around them, use a window insulation kit, or hang thicker curtains if you want, but the area of the walls is so much larger than the windows that adding insulation to the walls is way more bang for the buck.

But replacing windows for ease of use, so you can enjoy fresh air and keep the bugs out, so that they stay up safely and don't fall shut on kids, etc. are great reasons to consider replacement.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 04:52:46 PM by Choices »

Goldielocks

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 11:38:13 AM »
There will likely be lots of local manufacturers that are less than the big brand names.   Look for what the builders use locally.  These may be cheaper quality though, but still better than the 40 year old ones.

Ask if they cut off the bottom flashing on the window to make it fit the old rough in, or if they will re-work the rough in.  Around here, many retrofit companies cut off this flashing strip, which may lead to more water inside your wall, but then just tape the heck out of the sill to compensate. It is cheaper as it does not impact the siding, but is a poor choice of installation method.


Beriberi

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 12:22:26 PM »
When we replaced windows, our contractor said we had to make them legal egress windows in the bedroom (bigger and lower - and new framing).  I'm not sure what would have happened if we refused - for us, it was the right thing to do, so we didn't argue.  Is that an issue for you?

Capsu78

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 01:24:41 PM »
We live in southern NH and had our windows replaced last year by Home Depot. We were happy, although I'm sure we could have saved money with another company. My husband was concerned about the warranty and felt more comfortable going with a large company for that reason. The workers from Home Depot are always very respectful of our home and our family. They clean up any mess they make and try not to disturb the family (baby was sleeping at one point).  We were recommended to go with Home Depot by my former boss. He said he priced several local companies and Home Depot was middle of the road for pricing, but he had the same thought about the warranty.

+1
I had a line of credit, used "0%" financing for a year and the estimator probably lost his job and he missed pricing one of my feature windows to the tune of $2100.   Job was completed before anybody spotted the error...I had one phone call I initiated to point out the discrepancy , got a call back from a regional manager, explained the estimate to him and by the end of the polite phone call, he sighed and said "This one is on us... Sorry for the confusion."  I have a contractor I work with who could have given me a better overall installation price while I bought the windows myself, but I wanted only 1 party estimating, measuring and installing- only one person to point a finger at if something went wrong.  The crew themselves were from a 3rd party, but they work real hard to be excellent because one call to HD with negative feedback can cut off all future consideration.
I also used HD for a carpet install and I was at first concerned because only one guy spoke English and not well... these guys turned out to also be excellent installers and very, very careful moving furniture.  I was impressed that on the back of their shirts it said "If you are not satisfied with any aspect of this installation, call 800..."  I rated them 10 in the after satisfaction review and even had to chase them down to give them a small tip...there wasn't a piece of job scrap anywhere when they pulled away.  YMMV obviously, but 2 very strong transactions.

dundee

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 03:11:02 PM »
Thank you all for your valuable feedback. I feel much better informed now.

VaCPA

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 03:22:45 PM »
Interesting thread. What did you guys pay per window including installation? We're buying a fixer upper(circa 1967) with original windows and while we're not doing them immediately it's something I've suspected I'll have to replace over time. Although maybe not if they're in good shape and functioning well.

Capsu78

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 04:27:46 PM »
Interesting thread. What did you guys pay per window including installation? We're buying a fixer upper(circa 1967) with original windows and while we're not doing them immediately it's something I've suspected I'll have to replace over time. Although maybe not if they're in good shape and functioning well.

I would suggest that there are too many variables to trust a internet "quote", but I will also suggest that getting a real quote from HD or any of the multiple mail offers coupons is pretty easy and cost free. 

VaCPA

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2016, 08:14:09 PM »
Interesting thread. What did you guys pay per window including installation? We're buying a fixer upper(circa 1967) with original windows and while we're not doing them immediately it's something I've suspected I'll have to replace over time. Although maybe not if they're in good shape and functioning well.

I would suggest that there are too many variables to trust a internet "quote", but I will also suggest that getting a real quote from HD or any of the multiple mail offers coupons is pretty easy and cost free.

I'll obviously get multiple quotes whenever I look to replace my windows. Just curious what other people paid.

Goldielocks

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Re: Window replacement - any advice? Lessons learned?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 08:41:11 PM »
Can't remember what we paid, but it was an 18 year payback versus fairly energy inefficient windows, if we bought a non-brand name, mid level window.  Assuming we did the trim work ourselves.