Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

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twogreen2c
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Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#1 Post by twogreen2c » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:40 pm

For demographic purposes, I live in north Wilmington, Delaware (very close to the Pennsylvania State line. I live in a townhouse (approximately 40 years old) under a condominium association.

I am looking to replace 3 double hung (side-by-side) vinyl windows with Paradigm Series 8300 “new construction” windows. It made sense to go with new construction windows since the vinyl siding is going to be ripped out and replaced (at the Association’s expense) by the other contractor. The contractor who is doing the siding job recommended this window contractor, so I took it they have worked together before.

The window opening is approximately 102” x 60”. The plan is for a center Picture window and 2 side windows. Based on the above opening, I figured the center Picture window will be approximately 51” wide and the side windows at around 25-1/2” wide.

I need to have the contractor verify the glass specs again, but for now let’s assume the specs are:

Picture………………Clear/LowE Argon Fill U-Factor .28 / SGHC .41
Double Hung…… Clear/LowE Argon Fill U-Factor .28 / SGHC .35

The quote came in at $2,600. I feel this is high considering the windows aren’t anything extraordinary, and the window contractor will not be doing any of the siding work. He will be doing a some trim work in the interior, which I will have to paint. Since I needed to clarify some things on his quote, I took the opportunity to also say I thought the quote was a bit high. His reply was the price includes removing the window frame and the exterior wrapping.

Obviously, I know he will have the task of ripping out the old windows with its frame, so if he is justifying his pricing on the rip-out that would be a weak justification. Now if he is talking about rebuilding the framing opening, that's a different story. So I now need him to clarify that and more clarification on his “exterior wrapping,” since the other contractor will be wrapping the exterior of the building with Tyvek. I expect the window contractor to use a special sealing tape around the framing, not just take the Tyvek and wrap it over. I emailed him again (and copied the other contractor) with my questions and again said I still thought the price was a bit high.

It’s been a couple days since that email and no word yet. So in the meantime, I wanted to get the opinion of others as to whether this quote seems high based on the windows themselves and the scope of work to install them. The contractor who is doing the siding project has shown to have very reasonable rates. I just don’t know if I trust his window buddy.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:34 am

$2,800 for 3 windows, full tear out (regardless of the siding coming off or not), jamb extensions, trim, and carpentry work is not at all out of the ordinary in my opinion.

Even if he/she is not capping the exterior (i.e. handled by siding put back), the costs of new construction flashing tapes and consumables is more than the coil stock.

Whether it is a bit high or normal is indeterminate in this case. What I think is definitely true is that he/she is not gouging you by any stretch in my observation.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#3 Post by twogreen2c » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:25 am

Thanks for the reply. He quoted $2,600 (not $2,800 as you stated). I was just thinking more around $2,100. I told him I was expecting around $2,000 hoping he will meet me at least half way. The trim work in the interior is only 3/4'' quarter round the edges of the window frame, since my drywall comes right up to the window opening. He may be able to re-use the sill trim. I don't think this install is going to take him a whole day unless we find some wood rot.
Last edited by twogreen2c on Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:10 pm

Some of the new info that you updated gives added perspective. A full wood framed tear out with new interior casing, exterior trim (and clad/wrap over that trim), along with nail fins, taped, flashed, etc is very comprehensive. $1000+ for that all-encompassing install is really kind of a starting point from a competent company.

That said, it sounds like perhaps in your case this is a new construction vinyl window coming out? In addition, snapping on some new interior stops is a far cry from interior jamb extensions and casing... Not to sound like I'm on a soap box, but this is precisely why you may read pro's say that pricing discussions can be difficult. Things aren't always what they initially sound like, and then there is often some communication discrepancy when it comes to industry jargon...

Being that as it may, even if your project is the latter (simpler), I'd agree with WoW that the pricing is pretty well within the norm on that install.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#5 Post by twogreen2c » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:54 pm

My post was long, so I left out that the windows being removed were replacement windows that suck. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought with new construction windows the nail fins are attached to the exterior sheathing that is nailed to the joist. Guess I watched too many Youtube videos of new construction installs. LOL

So I expected when the original windows were replaced long ago, they just cut those windows out, and the old nail fins are still attached and will be exposed when the siding is removed. But it sounds like it may be more complicated about that, since the contractor did talk about the interior jambs extensions, and having to cut back some of the drywall, thus the need for some spackling and quarter round trim.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#6 Post by Delaware Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:22 pm

Well at least I hope he's taking his helpers to Harry's Savoy Grill or Sullivan's with that kind of profit.......................

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#7 Post by masterext » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:05 am

That cost seems within a normal range. I would strongly suggest staying away from youtube videos. You will get a lot of conflicting info that has more to do with opinion over fact.
You used the word “ joists”.. has nothing to do with your window install. You either trust your contractor or you dont, i would let him do his work.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#8 Post by twogreen2c » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:32 pm

Yeah, I guess joist wasn't the right term. I suppose I should have just said framing.

The Youtube videos were not so much opinion, but more technique. I expect my contractor is a pro and will do the proper flashing around the frame before installing the window, but I'm not just going to wait and see. I've had my share of sloppy contractors and don't want another bad or short-cut install. I know you need to make a profit to stay in business, but between his markup on the windows and his labor fee, I feel he could cut $500 off this quote and still come out good.

I'm a gal, and now do lot of my own home improvements myself because of bad experiences and the nuisance of having someone trudging around your house like a bull in a china closet. But when it comes to windows, especially this configuration, I'm not about to try and tackle it on my own.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#9 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:10 am

twogreen2c wrote: I know you need to make a profit to stay in business, but between his markup on the windows and his labor fee, I feel he could cut $500 off this quote and still come out good.
Do you have any basis for that statement other than having a loose idea of what the windows and possibly labor may cost? If this is a reputable company (which I'd highly recommend to ensure a good install), their overhead (marketing, rent, office staff, possibly sales commission, future service of the work performed, etc) is likely higher than either the product or labor costs. Most home improvement companies net 5-10% profit (give or take) at the end of the day, but you are supposing that he can give you an additional 20% (roughly) off?

The home improvement industry is an awfully tricky thing when it comes to pricing. There are a few shady characters around that offer low end products and cheap labor but charge an arm and a leg. Those are the guys to avoid, and you can typically tell who they are by their tacky sales tactics and very mixed reviews. The rest of us generally range from fair pricing, down to "never should have gotten into business for myself, I have good intentions but know nothing about business" -low pricing. Because of the very low level of barriers to entry into this business, "fair" could literally mean 50% more from one company to the next, and again, it more based on size than product... All this is why we generally refer to a normal "range" of pricing that would be fair coming from an established company. If your quote is from such a company its definitely in the fair range. If its from a one-man, low overhead, home based outfit that may have a couple good reviews but hasn't been around long and gets all of his business word of mouth, he may very well have room to move... as well as a set of brass b@lls for asking that price, lol.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#10 Post by twogreen2c » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:52 pm

If its from a one-man, low overhead, home based outfit that may have a couple good reviews but hasn't been around long and gets all of his business word of mouth, he may very well have room to move... as well as a set of brass b@lls for asking that price, lol.[/quote]

Maybe I should have mentioned what you said. He business is home based and the one review I found said said he had done some other work in the neighborhood, so it does sound like he gets his business through word of mouth. So no office overhead, staff or advertising expenses.

I like dealing with these type of contractors. The contractor who is doing the siding job is the brother of one of our residents. He happened to be working on his house, and I asked if he would be interested in doing the maintenance for our community. He is a nice hardworking guy with a couple of "seasoned" assistants and reasonable rates. So when he recommended this guy for the windows (he doesn't just do windows), I hoped he would fit the same mold.

There's no way I want to deal with a salesman. I like talking to contractors who quote and do the work. But my gut is telling me $2,600 for a ground level install with no need for exterior capping is too high. And since the contractor who is doing the siding project will be on site, should the window contractor need a temporary hand, I expect he would give it. But we are not talking about big windows here, so I think this is a one man install.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:26 pm

Seems like it could be on the high side in that case...and that either speaks to the fact that this project is more complicated than it sounds, or he may may be trying to gouge a little.

It sounds like the quality of this referral is not super strong. I see that you are in DE near PA, if I'm not mistaken, Delaware Mike may service that area? If so, I'd have him out to take a look. A true craftsman and ethical guy. Frankly, I'd trust him to keep the siding guy on his toes as well... :wink:

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#12 Post by twogreen2c » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks for the tip. It can't hurt to get another opinion.

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Re: Installation Cost on New Construction Windows

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:53 pm

twogreen2c wrote:Thanks for the tip. It can't hurt to get another opinion.
I'd highly recommend it. I think that you will like his product choices a bit better as well, and insisting on installing a good product is another hallmark of a quality installer.

You can click the "get a quote" button by his name if you are interested.

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