Pricing for most products is readily available online for products you use everyday. For example, you can see prices for cars, houses, college tuition, clothing and food online. Then, why is it so hard to find prices for windows? Part of the reason is that windows come in many shapes, sizes and options. But we’re going to provide a guide to help.
Although we can’t give you a price for every window we carry, we can give you a general price range, plus some ways to evaluate cost differences.
EcoView Home Improvement wants to be totally transparent about our pricing, so we’ll start off by telling you that the general range of pricing for a good window from an established, reputable company should fall somewhere between $500 and $1500 fully installed. Our average price is $750.
Here are 5 key points to understand what makes a good window vs. a cheap quality window:
Buying the cheapest replacement windows can turn out to be a bad deal. Cheap does not equal value! In fact, cheap, low quality windows will cost you more in lost energy-efficiency and hassles, not to mention the possibility of having to replace the windows a second time.
There are several places to go for replacement windows in our area that offer lesser quality at cheaper prices: Big Box Stores (think Home Depot, Lowes and Menards), Discount Retailers (think $189 installed), or ‘Two Guys and a Truck’ contractor that represents a high percentage of the home improvement industry.
Here is what homeowners in our area need to know about each of these choices:
Big Box Stores: These huge home stores sell products primarily with low prices in mind, because that’s their specialty: selling product. While there are some decent-quality windows mixed in at higher price points, a lot of the offerings are low-grade to meet the low price demand of their customers.
But an even bigger issue is installation. Because their pay rates are so low, these home stores end up with a revolving door of unreliable subcontractors that do work of questionable quality. This is definitely an area where the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. Excellent craftsmen require excellent pay, and these stores don’t pay much.
Retailers: Retailers claim great products at super low prices. They say this is possible because of their high-volume business model. It is true that a high-volume, national chain can buy windows for a LITTLE less than an established company, but that’s not near enough to explain any price differences.
The real savings are coming in the form of lesser products and especially in low quality installation.
It’s true that sometimes you’ll see some good reviews right after installation for these discounters, but dig a little deeper and you find out that many of the problems with these windows start appearing just a few months after installation.
‘Two Guys & A Truck’: This is the riskiest option of all. On one hand, you may find an excellent craftsman that simply likes to work for himself, and will do a great job. But even in the best-case scenario, most carpenters are poor in the business side of the business. This means they are usually out of business in a few years.
If you have a problem down the line, there is often no one to call for help to fix the problem.
Here’s an example of what makes replacement window pricing so confusing for homeowners: even a basic, white double-hung vinyl window can vary by hundreds of dollars per window. Much of this comes down to options.
For example, if you want the very best, most energy-efficient glass package versus the standard glass, that will have a significant impact on the price tag (although, a better glass in the window can also have a positive impact on lowering your monthly energy bills!).
Certainly, if you go above $1,500 per window, you will want to know exactly what benefits make it worth that.
There are three kinds of replacement window companies you want to avoid in Milwaukee:
That list may seem like three different problems, but it’s really just different versions of the same problem: none of those companies are taking the time to truly educate you about your options.
Another factor is the size of the window project. Typically, the bigger the window project, the better the pricing per window because of the fixed expenses. It costs the same amount to plan, set up, and tear down a one replacement window job as it does a 15 replacement windows job.
Even larger projects (20-30 windows or more) can generally expect to see special pricing because of the sheer volume.
There are different installation options and the type you need will impact the overall project total.
Would you prefer a simpler replacement window installation, or do you want a full-frame (new construction) style window installation? This decision alone can change the cost per window $250+. If you choose to do a cut-in window installation or a cut-in patio door installation, the scope of the project can become more involved with labor, planning, and permits, and the cost can rise quickly.
Contact the home improvement pros at EcoView Home Improvement today and discover how we can keep your project costs down and your quality high!