You don’t have to research home replacement windows long before you discover one over-riding fact: home replacement windows are expensive. It doesn’t matter whether you opt for vinyl home replacement windows, fiberglass home replacement windows, aluminum home replacement windows or wood home replacement windows: if you’re upgrading your windows, you’re going to spend a pretty penny.
Not surprisingly, some homeowners balk at this. They compare the prices they see on the replacement windows for sale at the local home improvement center to the prices quoted to them by a replacement window specialist. Often, there’s a large difference: a difference that is sometimes written off by a disgruntled homeowner as ‘excess profits’.
After all, what other explanation could there be for the price disparity between windows available directly to the homeowner at a home improvement center and those purchased from a manufacturer’s authorized dealer?
Actually, there are a number of reasons for the price difference.
The first is the quality of the windows under consideration. The windows stocked in home improvement centers are, without fail, not the same windows manufacturers supply to their dealerships and qualified contractors. There is often a marked difference in quality — while the windows in the home improvement center are good, the ones available to the trade are better. This plays a large part in the price difference.
Secondly, installation costs vary. If a homeowner opts to install a home replacement window themselves, they can eliminate all of the installation costs. However, they do absorb all of the risks that come with doing the job themselves, including the chance that they’ll damage their home or the window units during the installation. Additionally, if the homeowner isn’t well versed at window installation, the likelihood of an improper installation goes up — increasing the chances that a window will leak, fog, or not be as energy efficient as it would be if it were properly installed. Home improvement centers often offer installation services, which they subcontract to local contractors. It doesn’t take much research to discover the horror stories from homeowners who discover that the subcontractors aren’t all they’re cracked up to be — and that the big box store that recommended them has no issue walking away from a problematic situation.
This doesn’t explain all of the price difference away. There are some other costs: overhead costs, including transportation, storage, and so on — that all home replacement windows carry, regardless of where they’re sold. In a home improvement center, the fixed portion of these overhead costs: building rental and utilities, for example, are spread over the entire inventory, which contains many disparate items — window blinds and faucets, as well as window. At a manufacturer’s dealership, all of that overhead is also spread over the inventory, generally confined to replacement windows and doors. Add to that all the other materials used to install windows: caulk, coil, trim and so on, and that supposed ‘excess profit’ dwindles down to more manageable proportions.
Buying home replacement windows from an authorized dealer and using their installation services is expensive. However the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. The top notch quality and professional installation your home deserves comes from one place: your authorized home replacement window specialist.