Why You Should Get Multiple Quotes for Your Window Project

Making sure you get the right windows for a fair price from a capable contractor is critical for a successful project. Here's how to do it.

Getting your windows replaced or having a new window installed might seem like straightforward jobs, but there's a lot that goes into them. Contractors need to know what they're doing to prevent leaks and drafts, and the homeowner wants to avoid overpaying.

One of the best ways to ensure your project goes off without a hitch is to get multiple window quotes. By getting input from several contractors who want the job, homeowners can realize some pretty significant benefits. Keep reading to learn more about why you should get multiple window quotes for your job.

The Benefits of Getting Multiple Window Quotes

A window job can get out of hand quickly, so homeowners must do as much research as possible before settling on a contractor. The following are some of the biggest benefits that many homeowners can experience from doing so.

1. Homeowners Can Get a Better Understanding of the job.

One of the biggest benefits that a homeowner can experience from getting multiple quotes is the lessons they can teach. Most homeowners are extremely busy focusing on families and careers, so their construction experience might be lacking. As a result, they might not quite grasp everything that goes into making a window job happen. But, they might be able to help their cause by getting multiple quotes.

When a homeowner has several quotes in hand, they can compare the different line items for a clearer overall picture of what the job might entail. For instance, the homeowner might not realize that installing the new picture window of their dreams necessitates structural changes, like adding a header or reframing the wall completely to support the wider span. Or, they may not realize that the south-facing windows should feature a specific window to prevent excessive heat gain during the summer. The quotes will likely detail these specifics.

It might seem like getting just one quote should explain it all, but that may not be the case. In construction and renovation, there is almost always more than one way to do a job. By getting multiple quotes, the homeowner may be able to uncover those other methods and choose the one that works best for them.

2. You'll Get to Know the Contractors

While the individual windows might only take a few hours to install, it still takes a contractor a long time to replace all the windows in a home. And, a good contractor should help the homeowner pick out the right windows for their needs. This can add up to a significant amount of time spent with each other. Wouldn't it be nice to know if you even like dealing with the contractor beforehand?

The process of getting several quotes will help clue the homeowner into what each contractor is like to work with. For instance, a contractor who takes the time to get to know the homeowner's needs and wants will usually be wonderful to work with. However, contractors who rush their customers through the quoting process, or those who simply can't communicate, won't get any better once they get the job.

Also, window contractors should be helping customers choose the right windows for their needs. They should explain the different energy ratings, materials, and styles. A contractor who doesn't appear to know what they're doing is unlikely to know the right products, and this can be an unfortunate missed opportunity.

3. It's the Time for Comparing Materials and Suppliers

Windows are relatively straightforward, but there are often different models that can do the job. Having multiple quotes in hand gives the homeowner the chance to review the materials each contractor is suggesting and compare prices. They can compare the price to the quality and determine which products offer enough value.

Without multiple quotes, comparing the prices and value can be a lot more difficult.

Also, it's important to note that homeowners have a right to know where the products purchased for their homes came from. But, contractors don't need to release this information until prompted. Homeowners that do request this information will have a better look at a contractor's supply chain. This can lessen the impact of a supply shortage down the road.

And, every little detail doesn't need to be ironed out completely for the job to move forward. For homeowners who may be hesitant to make a final decision, they can include a contractor's allowance as a line item with a specific value. This is essentially a place-holder on a quote that a homeowner can assign a value to, but leave out the specifics until they're ready. While this isn't very common for window installations, it can be a helpful tactic to remember.

4. Homeowners Can Compare Finish Levels

Window finish levels are anything but standard. Splitting them into just three categories would include entry-level, mid-grade, and luxury grade. The windows in these categories may contain different materials and features, impacting their overall price.

  • Entry-level windows will usually include vinyl or aluminum double-hung windows, and they can cost anywhere between $100 to $500 per window, though the size is a significant factor. Popular brands in this price range include Pella, Ply Gem, and Jeld-Wen.

  • Mid-grade windows may include wood windows, bay window assemblies, and casement windows, and they can range from $400 to $800 per window. Pella, Andersen, and Marvin are popular mid-grade brand choices.

  • Luxury-grade windows include brands like Loewen, PGT, and Andersen, and these windows are typically aluminum clad, fiberglass, composite, or even entirely aluminum. They'll have large panes of glass with high energy efficiency ratings, as well as smooth-functioning hardware. Prices start at around $1,000 and can climb quickly.

Homeowners who commit to shopping for quotes can ask for quotes based on these finish levels, allowing them to compare the pricing to see which products may or may not be worth it to them.

5. The Process Can Educate the Consumer

No one wants to be taken advantage of, and the process of getting multiple quotes can help prevent that. Homeowners will be able to see what each contractor is proposing for their window installation, and this can tell them a lot about the contractor.

For instance, consider a set of quotes for a whole-house window replacement project. The homeowner committed to collecting four quotes, and three of the quotes are very similar. However, the fourth quote is missing a line item that the others included. Is this due to oversight or inexperience, or does that contractor know something the others don't?

Or, conversely, maybe the fourth quote contained more items than the rest. Is this contractor attempting to take the customer for a ride, or are they a veteran window installer who knows that these items will be necessary for this particular project?

Either situation is worth investigating.

However, the homeowner would only notice these small discrepancies if they're getting multiple quotes for the job. If they accept the first quote that comes through the door, how would they know a quote included extra items, or didn't include enough?

6. Who Doesn't Like Saving Money?

Saving money is one of the most important benefits that a homeowner can realize when shopping for window quotes. Marking materials up is common practice, and it allows the contractor to pad their profit while also allowing for some wiggle room during negotiation.

Homeowners who shop for quotes may have the ability to compare the different line items and pinpoint certain inflated values, such as pricing, labor rates, or even timelines. They can present a contractor with their competitors' quotes and, hopefully, get them to work on the price. The contractor then has a choice to make less profit, shop for cheaper materials, move the job to slower times, or pass on the project. But, in the end, the homeowner will almost certainly save a bit off of at least one of the quotes.

7. Reduced Cost

Energy efficient windows can reduce our energy cost by as much as 44% as well as reducing maintenance cost of damage and repairs. Double and triple glazing windows offer improved insulation, reducing drafts and unnecessary wear and tear on the furnace and air conditioner while maintaining consistent and comfortable temperatures and increased ventilation. Wood is naturally insulating, cutting down on heat transfer, whereas Vinyl and fiberglass choices are weatherproof and won't rot, warp or otherwise degrade.

Cost savings isn't limited to money alone, we get back time with our friends and family by saving time on maintenance and cleaning. Dual sashes can tilt both ways allowing us to clean the inside and outside with ease. Between the glass blinds can reduce our work further by eliminating the need to dust which also cuts down on allergens, keeping our household healthy.

8. Enhanced Beauty Inside and Out

Our newfound free time can be spent in an environment beautifully enhanced with a fresh, clean look and the added benefit of reduced noise pollution. We can choose from a wide range of finishes to accommodate our personal style and the clean edges immediately improve our home's curb appeal. Insulating frames and triple-pane glass reduce noise, helping to keep our interior serene and quiet.

9. Improved Safety and Security

The improved functionality of operable windows has the added benefit of creating a safe and secure environment for our family. Old windows can be hard to open, creating a safety hazard during a fire where traditional window glass can splinter. Operable windows not only easily open for exit, but tempered class is designed to break into small chunks rather than splinter and is less likely to cause injury when broken. Laminated glass's polymer interlayer holds glass together when shattered, adding to the intruder protection provided by up to date locks and security sensors.

10. Increased Home Value

Replacing our windows offers one of the highest returns on our real estate investment. Studies show that roughly 73% of the project cost for new windows is returned upon resale. We're immediately promising our potential buyers the same reduction in energy and maintenance cost we benefit from upon installation.

Between the increase in home value and decrease in financial and time expense, energy efficient replacement windows easily pay for themselves over time. New windows are an investment in our safety, comfort, and future we can feel good about.

Ready to Receive Quotes and Achieve Your Dreams?

If you're ready to receive quotes for your window project, let us help. We can connect you with up to four qualified contractors in your area, and they'll supply you with the quotes and information necessary to achieve your goals. Let ContractorClicks.com help you find the windows (and contractor) of your dreams.