BOSTON — Winter is right around the corner and keeping your house warm is always a top priority. New windows can make a big difference during the coldest months, but replacing them can cost you a bundle.
“New windows are incredibly expensive,” said Boston Consumers’ Checkbook Executive Editor Kevin Brasler. “Even basic vinyl windows these days cost $800 or more per opening.”
Brasler published a guide to help homeowners who are thinking about replacing their windows. When shopping for new windows, Brasler said it’s vital to get estimates from three to five different companies. The researchers at Boston Consumers’ Checkbook recently found quotes for the same project ranged from as little as $5,012 to as much as $11,230.
“Our undercover shoppers found some window companies charge two, even three times more than others for essentially the same window,” Brasler said.
Click here for Boston Consumers’ Checkbook’s list of local window replacement companies with customer reviews and ratings.
AVOID THE HARD SELL
Brasler said if a company insists on sitting down with you for a home consultation, don’t give them your business.
“If they’re not willing to quote prices based on specs you’ve supplied them, I think it’s not worth using that company and talking to others,” Brasler said.
SAY NO TO LARGE DEPOSITS
A 10 or 15 percent down payment is reasonable, Brasler said, but most window replacement projects can be finished in a day or half a day so there’s no reason to have to pay a lot of money upfront.
“The reason you want to withhold as much payment as you can is because it gives you leverage,” he said. “You can now say when you think the job is over.”
DON’T BE OVERSOLD
Don’t be pressured into buying fancy window types or styles you don’t really need.
“There are differences in quality from window manufacturer to manufacturer, but often as long as you know what you want, you can have companies bid on that product and you don’t have to worry so much about being oversold,” Brasler said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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