Step #4 – How To Get Window Pricing Without All The Pressure From Pushy Salespeople.
One of the reasons most people have given up on the replacement windows las vegas process is it just seems way too expensive. They’ve had someone out to their home maybe even a couple different companies have come out. They were probably national chain companies or big box store companies and have given outrageous pricing for replacement windows.
Consumers believe that this just must be the price and figure if they have to spend $1500 a window, it’s just never going to happen. Well I’m here to tell you that you can replace your windows for a small percentage of that number, maybe even as low as 1/5th that amount and have the same quality, energy efficiency and customer service you would receive even if you had paid 5 times as much.
TOPICS – There are three topics we will be discussing in this chapter. After learning all of these items, you should be able to get pricing for your windows in just a few minutes and have everything you need to make an educated decision.
The three topics are
- Getting Pricing
- Making Sense
We will discuss each topic separately.
TOPIC 1 – MEASURING
I recommend getting a blank sheet of paper and writing down all your windows first. I would start by walking around the outside of your home and start at the garage. Walk towards the rear of the house and write down each window and the room name.
Don’t worry about the size for now, just write down which way the window operates, as in up and down, side to side or fixed. For a window that moves up and down write “SH” which stands for Single Hung. If both halves of the window move up and down (not just the bottom half) write “DH” which stands for Double Hung.
If the window moves side to side write “SL” short for slider and if the window is stationary (doesn’t move at all) write “PW” short for Picture Window. If you happen to have a window that swings out you can write “CL” or “CR” which stands for Casement Left or Casement Right. All window terminology is always stated “as viewed from the exterior,” this is why I told you to start from the outside.
If you’re standing on the outside and the window hinges on the left it’s a “CL.” The opposite is true if it hinges on the right. Don’t worry; you can double check everything before you order later, for now you just want to get an idea of how much everything is going to cost you.
Once you have a complete list of all of the windows, go back to the inside of your home. In the same order, walk around window by window and take the measurements. Don’t worry about getting them exact right now. Windows are sold based on next higher standard size. Meaning, if your window is 46” x 44” they charge you for a 48” x 48” window because that is the next larger standard size.
So, if later on you come to find out that the correct window measurement is actually 46 1/2” x 47”, the price isn’t going to change. Your best bet is to just measure drywall to drywall. Remember when it comes to sizes on windows and doors, the width always comes first. So measure the width, then the height. When you’re finished your list should look something like this.
Garage (1) 47” x 59” SL
Bedroom (2) 34” x 58 1/2” SH
Family (1) 66” x 57” SL
Kitchen (2) 23 1/2” x 56” PW
And so the list goes on from there. It is important to list the room names, because as you make changes or add options, it’s easier to remember what window you are referring to based on which room it’s located in, rather than the size. Also, you may have several windows that are the same size, but when you take the final measurements, there are subtle differences in each window’s size, so you want to make sure you have them listed separately.
For example, say you have (4) windows that are 46” x 44” and the one in the living room, you want extra tint because it faces west. Well when you take exact measurements, the living room window may be 45 3/4” wide and the window wont fit, so make sure you list every window separately, trust me if will save you headaches in the future.
TOPIC 2 – GETTING PRICING
One thing that causes people to never want to explore replacing their windows are those darn pushy salespeople. I heard of one company who won’t even come out to the house unless both the husband and wife are present and agree to give them at least two hours for their presentation. Ugh, reminds me of buying a car.
Even though many people realize that replacing windows is the best home improvement they can make because, it saves energy, adds curb appeal and pays for itself, in energy saving and home value increase, they maybe aren’t ready just quite yet to move forward or for goodness sakes, just want to get some information without being hassled to death.
So I’ve solved that problem for you. However you do need a fax number. If you don’t have a fax number, ask a friend, neighbor or family member who does to borrow theirs. Then go through the phone book and call the replacement window companies and ask the receptionist for the fax number.
Then simply fax your window list to each company and ask them to price the following window list, and fax the quote back to you. Here is a sample message, you can cut and paste on to your own window list before you send it.
Hello, I am interested in getting pricing for the following window list. Please price the windows listed below as soon as possible. You can send your price quote to the fax number listed below, ATTN: John Price.
I would appreciate it if you could price the labor separately as I may install the windows myself. Please also provide as an option, decorative grilles, and an upgraded low-e glass, such as Cardinal 366 or Solar Ban 70. Also, if you offer different grades of product, please provide an option for an upgraded product as well.
Please include warranty information and energy ratings with your bid. Should you have any questions, please fax them to the number listed below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Several companies will not honor your request for a window price and that is fine. Those are the companies that rely on pressure, tricky salesmanship, and impulse buying decisions to stay in business. A company that offers a great product at a fair price isn’t afraid of this type of price quote and will be more than happy at the opportunity to quote your window job.
A reputable company will also provide additional information, helpful hints and suggestions for you at no charge and without reciprocation. You may get a fax from a salesmen saying, we would like to quote your project but we only provide quotes in person, so we can explain all of the options and features properly. To this I would simply reply that at this stage you are only accepting faxed quotes, and when you are closer to making a purchase decision, you will allow those who provided a fax quote to come out and make a presentation. Once you have a few quotes from window companies, move on to the next step.
TOPIC 3 – MAKING SENSE OF YOUR QUOTES
You may want to sit down before you look at the quotes, because they can vary WILDLY!
Some window companies out there charge exorbitant amounts for their windows. For some reason, there are people out there who believe that if something costs more it must be better. Unfortunately, these people get ripped off badly, because they don’t do the research to find that they paid twice as much for something that isn’t any better at all.
I think it comes from people having a bad purchase decision in the past and people saying, well you get what you pay for, or something similar. I knew a guy who lived down the street from a friend of mine who used to brag and brag about how he spent $18,000 on his new windows.
In fact it kept many of his neighbors from replacing their windows, because they just thought it would cost them the same amount. My friend had the same floor plan as his neighbor and when he decided to replace his windows, I helped him to do it himself. He spent less than $5,000 on his windows and two Saturdays of labor.
His neighbor was very disappointed when he saw my friends windows, that looked much better, and actually were a little bit more energy efficient. With the extra money he saved, my friend got a Jacuzzi, a patio cover and new carpet. His neighbor isn’t bragging anymore but does have a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
So, now that you have your pricing you can start doing some research. Check the manufacturers websites and you can even open the lines of communications with a few of the window companies if you like. Don’t forget you can also take your list down to your local home store and have them give you a quote as well. I would do that last after you have done some research and have a little expertise of your own, because the level of knowledge the workers have in the box stores can get frustrating. When it comes to custom size windows, they don’t usually have the best price anyway.
They are only the cheapest when it comes to the stock size windows that they stock in the store, and you can’t use them in a retro-fit application, only if you are building a new house or making an addition. So there you go, you’ve got pricing and a window list and everything you need to start doing some research and getting a feel for where you want to go now. Many times people find a company with very reasonable labor rates and therefore decide to let them do the installation to save them from the headache. Whatever you decide, you now have the tools to take you to the next step and the best part is you didn’t have to sit through 3 or 4 two hour presentations to get there. Look in your e-mail box for the next lesson.