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Unread 2017-11-02, 03:24 PM   #1
MountainDew
 
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Default DIY Windows?

Who here has replaced their own windows before?

I got two different bids last week, one from window world and the other from a local company. I was quoted $2600 and $9800. Yeesh. Both were at least 6-8 weeks out on installation as well.

I have 5 windows on the main floor. All of them should be standard size, I know three of them are 48*36. They are all aluminum sliding windows with single pane glass. It hasn't even gotten that cold yet and it's looking to be a miserable winter if I don't address them soon.

Thinking of just doing it myself using the 4500 series vinyl windows from Home Depot/Lowes. I don't plan on being in this house for very long, maybe 3-5 years. I don't need the greatest and fanciest windows. I don't really care if I need to potentially replace one or two of them when I go to sell. My sister has had cheap vinyl windows in her remodel for 6 years now with 0 issues.

Is this something that is pretty easy to do DIY? Just looking for real world advice and helpful hints from people who have done this before. I figured I would start with my bedroom bathroom window that way if I fuck up I can just board it up and not worry about it lol. I feel like it's relatively easy and straight forward but I'm kind of nervous if I need to replace any wood, re-frame or shim, things like that. I've also considered finding a handyman or some sort of person who I could buy the windows myself and just pay to install or help me do it? Good idea? No?

I was hoping one of the bids would have came out lower. I have done 100% of the work to this house so far all by myself so far so was hoping to catch a break but at that cost it just seems more feasible to do it myself.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 03:26 PM   #2
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$2600?

If it's a legit company, I'd do that all day, everyday.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 03:55 PM   #3
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I had a Lowes' approved installer do some (6?) decent Pella vinyl double hung several years back and it was only a bit over $2k installed.

I've done some since then and it's pretty easy. If you're doing retrofit they make slide in housings so you can leave the external trim on. If you're ok with popping the outside trim off (and inside obviously) and maybe trimming some siding as needed, then a 'new install' window usually gives you more window area. Seal the frame properly, shim where needed, and nail it in. It's pretty easy, but much better with two people.

Watch a few home remodeling shows/clips when they replace windows to see what you've got ahead of you. You can also have Lowes/Home Depot come out and measure for you so you get the right size, and it's on them if it doesn't fit.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 04:08 PM   #4
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How much do you expect to save annually in heating/cooling costs by replacing the windows?

3-5 years is a pretty short timeframe to try and recover your costs.
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Unread 2017-11-02, 06:01 PM   #5
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There is no trim.. lol. That's how shitty and pathetic they are. Half the time they don't lock, are a bitch to open and close, etc. I could give a shit about recovering from costs, they need to go and be replaced. Saving on heating is just a bonus. I don't have air conditioning, just run a swamp cooler in the summer when it's in the 90's. I'm going to be cutting out gable vents and insulating the attic next year which will do more than windows will anyways.

Also going to be replacing the front door and two sliding glass doors on the back of the house. I closed for $289k and estimated value is already ranging from $325k to $331k. My neighborhood is projected 4.7% next year but I've already seen 10% in the short time I've been here. Colorado real estate is just stupid right now and has been for a while. My sister paid the same I did 6 years ago and now she could sell for ~$600k and hasn't been really any money into their house like I have. I'm doing everything I can to improve this place and make some good money. Already bought brand new Frigidaire Gallery appliances, ripped all the carpet out and refinished the hardwood floors, pigtailed all of my aluminum wiring to copper with alumiconns and replaced all of the switches, outlets and fixtures, mitigated for radon and much more.

I'll try to get a picture I think it would be easy with how shitty my current windows are. I have a roommate that rents from me that is always willing to help and I'll usually discount rent for help on big projects so there would be two of us for the two bigger windows. I think I could do the 48*36 by myself if I had to.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 07:14 AM   #6
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If you haven't done this before, just pick one of the smaller windows and try doing it yourself. If you're successful then go for the rest, if not you haven't really lost anything.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 08:33 AM   #7
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We got quotes from Home Depot and Window World for two casement windows and a half moon over top. Home Depot quoted $4,000 and Window World quoted $2,600. Ended up using Window World, and we’re still satisfied 3 years later.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 08:50 AM   #8
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Half rounds are sooo expensive. We have a cracked round one that we keep putting off because its even worse.

We had Cornerstone do half of ours. I think it was 6k for 7 double hung and 2 half rounds. The half rounds were 800 or 900 each.
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Unread 2017-11-03, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIYAutoRepair View Post
If you haven't done this before, just pick one of the smaller windows and try doing it yourself. If you're successful then go for the rest, if not you haven't really lost anything.
Yeah that's what I was thinking with my master bedroom's bathroom window. I currently have the floor ripped up and the sink disconnected anyways I just use the pisser in there late at night so if I fuck up and have to board it up it's not a big deal. I may give it a shot this weekend if the weather cooperates. I've watched a few YouTube videos of people doing it with the same style window I have it looks pretty easy overall. My goal if I DIY was to get all the bedroom windows replaced ASAP and then replace the living room window and two patio doors next year.
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Unread 2017-11-05, 10:47 PM   #10
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If they are replacement windows and not new construction style... then it's easy if no wood rot.

If you are just buying regular single hung windows... go for it. Buy one and see how it goes. The windows at HD are the same quality as window world in my opinion. I had sunshine home improvement (uses window world to source) and they installed them for under $200ea. Had to snag another from HD and it was no better quality. Had to call in a little help because I had a fair amount of rot that I didn't feel comfortable fixing.

If this is a short term play... go cheap windows. You won't get anymore money on resale. Literally people will have shiney object syndrome and just see new windows.
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Unread 2017-12-11, 01:37 PM   #11
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I put Anderson A series in two bedrooms last spring, wood interior clad exterior. right around 700/window installed myself, about $100 in materials. Wouldn't ever pay for cheap windows and/or someone else to install them. I have two buddies with Window World windows, both turned out horrible.
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Unread 2017-12-11, 02:38 PM   #12
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What turned out bad on them? Improperly installed?
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Unread 2017-12-11, 03:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polock4life View Post
What turned out bad on them? Improperly installed?
One friend ended up having front door issues, they did the glass on the sides of the door...ended up jacking it all up. Crooked, messed up the wall. Ended up getting a new front door, side glass, and then getting extensive amount of wall repair. Looks good now.

Other install was alot better, but overtime they've distorted and leak. When he uses the lifetime warranty they come out , readjust them and caulk them. Looks to me as the windows are sorta floating in the original frame and gaps are filled with caulk. ...actually both friends houses look this way. Just not what I would want on my house.
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Unread 2017-12-14, 10:33 PM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback. Would be curious what kind of windows the used... so many styles. I can say my experience has been totally opposite but it appears thst it has more to do with the labor and installation. If I walked you through my house you would not be able to tell a difference between anderson or window world windows. Hopefully they'll hold up.
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