Home Depot estimate seem high (and lots of other questions)

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thomase
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:57 pm

Home Depot estimate seem high (and lots of other questions)

#1 Post by thomase » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:49 am

I just got an estimate from Home Depot to replace 19 double-hung window (15 are 27"x52", 2 are 27"x37", and 2 are 23"x49"), and a 49"x48" picture window with Simonton 6500 windows. The estimate was $14,134, which seems WAY too high based on the anecdotes that I have been reading on the board (that is about $700 per window installed). I don't think there is anything special/unique about my installation. The Home Depot consultant gave the estimate on-the-spot. Using Andersen 400 Tilt-Wash instead would be $23,900 (also from Home Depot). Both estimates included a 10% window discount and an additional promotional 10% discount on any home improvement project for the month of November.

I am also waiting for an estimate from a local Okna dealer. Rather than give me an estimate on-the-spot or emailing something later, their protocol is to come back for a second meeting to show the product samples and go over the estimate in person (they want my wife there for that meeting :-/) Based on my chat with the Okna dealer salesman, my expectation is that a basic Okna 500 will start somewhere around $500 per unit installed, going up from there if I add extras (triple-pane, Krypton gas, SDL, etc.).

It seems strange to me that the Home Depot estimate seems so high, given that the product doesn't seem to be any better compared to Okna, at least on paper. Regarding that (i.e the ratings), why is it that both Okna and Soft-Lite make such a big deal about their air infiltration ratings why most other manufacturers will only say that it meets the maximum 0.3 cu.ft./min.ft^2, as if its not that important? How is it possible that Okna/Soft-Lite can look sooooo much better on paper, AND be more affordable than more well known brands? If it was such a "thing", wouldn't every manufacturer be trying to out do each other on air infiltration ratings? The Home Depot consultant had never heard of Okna before, and when I showed him the air infiltration ratings in the Okna brochure, he was very skeptical about the testing methodology and commented that vinyl windows are very similar across all manufacturers and that the installer is more important. He knows that Simonton meets the minimum Energy Star requirements, but has no idea HOW much better they are than the minimum. I kind of get where he is coming from. I get very suspicious when manufacturers make claims about their products being an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE better than the competition on a performance metric without costing significantly more. In other words, if it doesn't cost significantly more, maybe that particular metric is not as important as they would like you to think?

I have to say that I DO have concerns about going with a smaller manufacturer like Okna because these little guys do tend to disappear or get bought out by the bigger guys (e.g. see Soft-Lite and Harvey).

Should I look for a Soft-Lite estimate as well, even though they have been acquired by Harvey?

FWIW, I live in a relatively "expensive" town in MA (if it matters). Some locals have commented that we pay a "tax" (i.e. higher price) when dealing with contractors because they believe the residents can afford it, and there tends to be more red tape at the town building department.

thomase
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:57 pm

Re: Home Depot estimate seem high (and lots of other questions)

#2 Post by thomase » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:23 am

Crap, just realized I should have posted in the other forum....

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