Am I Going Insane?

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seabiscuit68
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Am I Going Insane?

#1 Post by seabiscuit68 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:20 pm

Everywhere I look, I'm seeing quotes for windows ranging from $400 - $1000 for vinyl replacements. I live in MN and have gotten two quotes so far and went in fully expecting those values...instead, I'm getting quotes of between $1800 and $2500.

The first company says the windows range from $2k to $2.5k per window. These are a local company (Lindus Construction) and they use a triple-pane, low-e, argon filled, XL Edge spaced Sunrise variant window. I understand that these stats make it a pretty high end Sunrise...but $2.25k per window??? My windows aren't that strange of sizes. 18 windows and 8 of them are about 24"x62". There are three windows which are two casements + picture window in between, but the rest of them are very small windows.

The second quote is for Soft-Lite Imperius XL which is one of the high end soft-lites (Triple Pane version). He originally quoted me over $62k...$3400 per window. He moved all the way down to $33k ($1800 per window) before I told him I needed to process this and figure out what is going on.

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. I can't find a single source across the internet with anything near these prices.

What is going on?!?!

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue May 22, 2018 6:31 am

No. You are not insane...as far as I can tell from this post.

You have met with two fairly marketing driven companies apparently that think quite highly of their product. That said, I am sure there are better windows and more transparent sales practices out there that might benefit you.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#3 Post by randy » Tue May 22, 2018 8:39 am

Every market has those companies who use hard closes, price drops, etc... to sell windows at a premium price. Unfortunately, you ran into two of them. There will most certainly be a few companies in your area who offer a premium window at a fair and reasonable price, so keep looking and be patient. You might start by seeing if Soft-lite and Sunrise have additional dealers in your area. Okna would be another good choice, as would Polaris or Kensington.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue May 22, 2018 9:08 am

If ya keep getting those prices let me know I might have to move to MN.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#5 Post by HomeSealed » Tue May 22, 2018 9:39 am

seabiscuit, the 62" windows are pretty tall. Are those in need of tempered glass by chance (proximity to the floor less than 18" and glass size over 9 sq ft)? That can drive price up...What about the installation detail? Full frame or pocket? New interior woodwork? Woodgrain interior? Color exterior? If these are full frames, is their siding being r&r'd or cut back? Lead safe procedures?

I'd agree that these prices are probably high, but the degree to how high will depend on all those factors. If these are white/white pockets with no tempered, no lead safe, etc, then the prices sound offensively high. If the windows check every option box and have complex installs, new interior woodwork etc, then it could be a little closer to reality. Best bet is to get another quote or two for comparison. You can also check out reviews and ratings of these companies and see if there are complaints about high pressure, high prices, etc.

One final and VERY important factor, is on quantities. At one point you mention "A" window that consists of a picture window flanked by casements. That is 3 windows in one opening, not one window. If your pricing of $2-3k "per unit" is actually referencing 3 units (ca/pw/ca), then you are actually within the normal range. Some manufacturers will make a window such as that in one mainframe whereas others are mulled, but the pricing will be much closer to 3 windows than to 1 either way.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#6 Post by seabiscuit68 » Tue May 22, 2018 10:24 am

Good info here. Here are a little more details.

The first quote (custom Sunrise window) is for full-frame replacement. The second quote (Soft-Lite) is for basic replacement (not full frame). We have cedar siding but it shouldn't be majorly impacted by the install. Also, basic white for the interior with nothing custom or fancy and the outside is just basic except the use of one of the standard colors.

Sizes are approximate:
8 windows that are about 24"x62".
2 are the same size (24"x62"), but a small 24" x 10" picture window on top of them (all one unit)
3 that are two casements with a picture in between (total size about 52" x 40") (1 of which is tempered glass)
3 that are side by side casements (maybe 40" x 40") (1 of which is tempered glass)
2 small windows 24" x 36"

So I suppose if you could the side by side casements as 2 windows and the double casement with a picture in between, it would be like having 27 window?

Those prices still feel like they are on the high side.

Another board noticed I was from MN and reminded me about the storms from June 2017. We had huge storms come through. People have through June to file insurance and get work booked. I had forgotten about that, but it would explain the supped up prices. I actually called out one of the contractors about that and he admitted that the prices are inflated because of the storms.

The good news is, I'm not in a hurry. I figure people will get all their orders in by the end of June, then the companies will be busy installing in July and August and then they will be in a complete dead zone come the end of summer (State Fair season which usually has good deals). I plan on waiting until then. I'm sure the quotes will be significantly different at that point.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#7 Post by masterext » Tue May 22, 2018 2:46 pm

Personally, we warranty our installs much longer than a year but in my experience, anything “workmanship related” will manifest intelf much sooner than later. Example, if a contractor didnt properly seal and insulate a window, the customer would more than likely notice a draft as soon as the cold weather comes and may notice water the first time they would get heavy wind driven rain. This usually occurs within a year. That said, an improperly sealed window may leak water immediately but the leak may not be visible from inside the home for 2 or 3 years and in the interim the sill slowly rots. That can certainly happen.
I have noticed over the years that the companies that choose to use higher end products usually have the best installers. Not always but this is just a general theme i have seen through the years.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Tue May 22, 2018 3:09 pm

seabiscuit68 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:24 am
Good info here. Here are a little more details.

The first quote (custom Sunrise window) is for full-frame replacement. The second quote (Soft-Lite) is for basic replacement (not full frame). We have cedar siding but it shouldn't be majorly impacted by the install. Also, basic white for the interior with nothing custom or fancy and the outside is just basic except the use of one of the standard colors.

Sizes are approximate:
8 windows that are about 24"x62".
2 are the same size (24"x62"), but a small 24" x 10" picture window on top of them (all one unit)
3 that are two casements with a picture in between (total size about 52" x 40") (1 of which is tempered glass)
3 that are side by side casements (maybe 40" x 40") (1 of which is tempered glass)
2 small windows 24" x 36"

So I suppose if you could the side by side casements as 2 windows and the double casement with a picture in between, it would be like having 27 window?

Those prices still feel like they are on the high side.

Another board noticed I was from MN and reminded me about the storms from June 2017. We had huge storms come through. People have through June to file insurance and get work booked. I had forgotten about that, but it would explain the supped up prices. I actually called out one of the contractors about that and he admitted that the prices are inflated because of the storms.

The good news is, I'm not in a hurry. I figure people will get all their orders in by the end of June, then the companies will be busy installing in July and August and then they will be in a complete dead zone come the end of summer (State Fair season which usually has good deals). I plan on waiting until then. I'm sure the quotes will be significantly different at that point.
You are getting closer, but those transoms need to be counted as well. It is easy to think of them as afterthoughts due to size, but a 24x10 window takes as much effort to product a 24 x 60 window on the assembly line, with just a little more in raw material. At that, 29 units, your Softlite quote is $1137 per unit. What I don't love about your description of those guys is that they started at $60k which is outrageous. Those guys sound like the hustler types that were described by the other pros above... What was the final number on the Sunrise option? It sounds like those may come in under $1k ea for full frame install and triple pane, which may actually be pretty reasonable.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#9 Post by masterext » Tue May 22, 2018 3:24 pm

Whenever i see a company come in with an outrageously high price and then magically reduce the price by thousands, the first thing that comes to mind is they have connections to the federal reserve. Fyi, no window company has connections to the federal reserve.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#10 Post by randy » Tue May 22, 2018 4:05 pm

HomeSealed is right, you have many more than the 18 windows originally stated. The pricing isn’t outrageous based on the number of windows actually being replaced. You might find a lower price, but the pricing you’ve received isn’t outrageously high as they originally seemed.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#11 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue May 22, 2018 5:37 pm

I still think that pricing is high based on the sales tactics.
Sometimes I even have some inconsistancies in pricing.
For instance if you have a twin DH and it is an existing wood DH: if we do it as a pocket install it is two windows with two installs, if it is a full frame it is a twin(two windows with 1 1/2 install.
A similar pricing might happen with a window with a transom.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#12 Post by seabiscuit68 » Wed May 23, 2018 6:53 am

I definitely agree about the sales tactics. When he said $60k I almost laughed at him. Then there was a magic 20% discount. Then there was a "you only get this discount if you sign today 10%" which brought the price down a little more. Then when I said no, there was a "here's the best price I can give - this is the price I would have to pay and I'm the son of the owner" discount. Then when I still said now, magically that lowest price he could possibly offer dropped even further. I hate those kind of dealers.

I would much rather go with the other guys. They have done work for my dad and he has had good things to say. Unfortunately, they are highly rated and well known, so that comes with a premium. And the guy fully admitted that the storms of last year have driven up prices. I am going to have them re-quote me at the end of the summer. Let's just hope there isn't another monster storm system that rolls through this summer...or I'm back where I started.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Wed May 23, 2018 9:11 am

While discounts are the "name of the game" to some degree, I think we are all in agreement that starting at $60k and cutting the price in half is excessive. The other guys seem like a better bet for a very good product, and the fact that your Dad worked with them and had a good experience should make this an easy decision. Remember that this is one of the most complained about industries in existence due to the fact that anyone can buy a tool belt and a hammer and call themselves a contractor in most places, so finding a good referral can be golden.
If you'd prefer to get the project going now you could ask them for 6 month price guarantee or something along those lines, just let them know your thought process. I'd be shocked of he simply said "okay" if you told him that you were going to wait a few months to see if prices come down. That said, who knows. If you do go the waiting route be sure to post back in a few months. I'll be interested to see the difference.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#14 Post by HomeSealed » Wed May 23, 2018 9:14 am

Ironically after posting that, I just opened this email from a major national supplier...

May 22, 2018

To Our Valued Customer,

We have begun receiving a third round of price increases from our suppliers. The key drivers behind these most recent increases continue to be higher raw material costs and escalating freight and fuel costs. These facts, combined with the pressures created by driver shortages and the added cost burden of complying with new federal regulations requiring electronic logging devices, continue to cause transportation costs to rise dramatically. Therefore, effective July 2, 2018, we will be implementing a price increase ranging from 5% to 10% across all products.

To prepare your organization for this inflationary environment, we encourage you to incorporate these increases into your bidding and quoting. As always, Beacon is committed to working closely with our customers to help manage through these price increases and provide complete and up-to-date information.

We recognize that you have a choice when it comes to suppliers, and as a result, we greatly appreciate your business and support. We will continue to provide the best products, exceptional service, and the most knowledgeable staff in the industry, while maintaining consistent and competitive pricing.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

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Re: Am I Going Insane?

#15 Post by seabiscuit68 » Wed May 23, 2018 11:23 am

5% - 10%: that is a pretty major increase for a supplier.

I actually did tell the guy straight up that I will be waiting until the end of the summer for the prices to stabilize (hopefully). At that point I would contact him again. He had no issue with it (didn't push anything) and said to make sure to keep in touch. Just tough knowing that my dad got the exact same windows with more work (they had to adjust the size of several openings) from the exact same company for $1100 per window.

Also, I asked the guy if they consider a double casement with a picture window as one window or three in regards to their pricing, and he said it is one window. The size of the opening dictates the price, not how many separate windows are in the opening. He said a double casement with picture would fall into the same range as a single picture, just on lower ends of the $2000 to $2500 scale. But he wouldn't be charging me $6k as if it were three windows.

I like the honesty and straightforwardness of the guy. If he was pitching the numbers my dad got, I would already have signed on the line.

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