What is an average price to replace 294 windows ?

12 Replies

My partners and I are thinking about replacing windows in a 21 units apartment complex that we just purchased last week (4 buildings/20 units + Store front). The buildings are currently vacant and have quite a few broken windows. Of course we could just replace the broken windows and make sure the rest are functional. But the mix of new/old windows would make the buildings look really tacky. We're thinking about replacing all windows to make it look more attractive and energy efficient. Does anyone know a reasonable window contractor that you would recommend? The property is located in Cincinnati, OH. We had an estimate from Window City yesterday for a total of $71,730 + $4303 (6% tax)= $76,033 which average out to $258 per window.
We were hoping that with this size of window replacement, we would be able to get a large discount. Any info or recommendation is greatly appreciated.

Here is the break down of estimate we got yesterday from Window City:
- 205 Tru Lock/Normal size @200 each = $49,200
- 39 Picture windows @275 each = $10,725
- 4 Specialty large store front windows @500 each = $2,000
- 46 Glass block for basement windows @200 each = $9,200
The prices included wrapping windows with matching color aluminum.

Does not look that bad at $258 per installed window.
Make sure you get efficient windows. Though for this much you probably won't get top of the efficient line. Get several estimates. ServiceMagic will send your inquiry to 4 contractors, you might want to check them out. Also check HomeDepot and the like. And don't forget to ask for referrals from local investors. Savvy investors usually have a name or two.
PS why are the buildings vacant? All units require rehab?

Hi George, The buildings is foreclosed and owned by a bank. I guess the bank doesn't want to fool with it and want it off their book. Last tenant moved out about 3 weeks ago. All units require rehab, some are light, some are heavier rehab. One building has some copper stripped in the basement. All four buildings have quite a few windows with broken glass. I used ServiceMagic last week but only have 1 company called me. Haven't heard back from them though.

Getting it done for the lowest cost is asking for trouble.Make sure the contractor is experienced and can do the job in a timely manner.

Often times you get multiple bids from these service places and people go with the lowest price.If there is not much profit to be made on your job then when they get that call for a better job they will drop or halt your project.

I want to get a great price as well but I look at quality of work and product and timeline of completion and if that costs a little more than so be it.

On full rehabs such as your time is money.The longer it takes to finish a project the more expensive it gets.

Are you going to be doing 1 building at a time from start to finish??This way you get 1 up and going you can rent out to start cash flowing while you work on the others.

The right contractor is critical especially when hard money is used because of the carrying costs.

Hi Joel, we're not looking for the lowest cost but trying to get at least 2-3 bids for the window replacing project. That way we can compare and make decision. Yes, the rehab will be done 1 building at a time, that way we can get some tenants in while continue with other buildings. And no, we're not using hard money. This is all cash investment from start to finish.

To me, those numbers look a bit high (Typically I pay $179 per double hung window), but not excessively out of line.

I'd be most concerned about the window maker being able to handle that many windows all at once. That's a lot of installing, removing, and hauling away.

Originally posted by Hoang P.:
My partners and I are thinking about replacing windows in a 21 units apartment complex that we just purchased last week (4 buildings/20 units + Store front). The buildings are currently vacant and have quite a few broken windows. Of course we could just replace the broken windows and make sure the rest are functional. But the mix of new/old windows would make the buildings look really tacky. We're thinking about replacing all windows to make it look more attractive and energy efficient. Does anyone know a reasonable window contractor that you would recommend? The property is located in Cincinnati, OH. We had an estimate from Window City yesterday for a total of $71,730 + $4303 (6% tax)= $76,033 which average out to $258 per window.
We were hoping that with this size of window replacement, we would be able to get a large discount. Any info or recommendation is greatly appreciated.

Here is the break down of estimate we got yesterday from Window City:
- 205 Tru Lock/Normal size @200 each = $49,200
- 39 Picture windows @275 each = $10,725
- 4 Specialty large store front windows @500 each = $2,000
- 46 Glass block for basement windows @200 each = $9,200
The prices included wrapping windows with matching color aluminum.

1. I suspect that window city is a reseller, so your likely paying a mark-up. With this size of an order, you need to go direct to the window manufacturer and get a quote. Go to the stock windows at window city and get the name of the manufacturer. Look them up and call them by using your company name. With this size of an order, you can save at least ten percent of the cost of the windows by going direct. Based on your quote, I think you can save a whole lot more. I pay less than $170 per window for dual pane argon gas filled with low E. Single pane should be a whole lot less.

2. Since the property is vacant, you should consider only replacing the ones that are broken until you get your investment up and running. Start renovations on those properties that need the least amount of work and get tenants in ASAP.

3. No need for efficiency windows unless the investor is paying for electricity/gas. Most efficient windows have a shorter life-span than a single pane (unless you go really high-end)and see very little return on investment because there are other inefficiencies that would also need to be addressed like insulated doors, walls, ducts, pipes, flooring, etc.

4. If you rely on vendors like service magic your quotes will automatically be higher because they charge a referral fee. Your better off talking to local investors for a contractor whom they can refer.

5. Since this is a REO, you may try and ask the seller to pay for the replacement of the broken windows through a discount in price while in escrow. I done this before even when the listing agent insisted that the seller would not pay.

6. New windows will not likely get you higher rents. I cannot see why you would buy new windows unless they are not repairable. First look at replacing the glass, it will hurt less when a rock goes through your newly installed replacements.

Good Luck!

Why replace the entire window assembly?
Just replace the glass.
1 sheet of glass cost around $11 (cut) so 294 x $11 = $3234
Then you could have them tinted too.

$72k is high in my book. I could get that done here in a more expensive state like CA for much less. Out the door, you should not be paying more than $200 per, including tax and install.

I would go with the last suggestion of simply replacing the broken glass panes, much more cost effective!

You might try Window World of Cincinnati. There's also another place down by the airport (near Window World) that makes windows. Let me see if I can find their info tonight.

Hey Hoang, check out Edgco Wholesale in Hamilton (just north of Cincinnati). They manufacture good windows and I just bought from them, cost around $150 a window (some larger than 101 UI and some needed grids). They advertise their starting windows at $119.95. You can get a reputable installer through them or someone else. Mine asked for $50-$75 a window (install plus wrapping, etc.) but for that order you can probably work on a deal with Edgco and with the installers.

I got quotes from Windows City and Window World (both advertise for $189 windows) but when they factored in the Low-E and wrapping/grids, came out to around $270 or more per window. Good luck!

Thank you for all the inputs. The reason we're thinking about replacing windows is mainly because they're 100+ year old windows. Many with broken glass, rotten/damaged wood and flaky paint. 2 out of 4 buildings are owner paying for shared heat, replacing windows would help cut down cost for heating in winter. Another reason for us to replacing windows is we will try to do cash-out refi on it down the road. New windows would help with the appraisal.

Scott- Since the buildings are 100+ year-old, window contractors we spoke to all concerned about if the buildings are vacant or occupied. They said that it would be difficult to replace windows if buildings are occupied because they'd have to do "Lead Abatement" and people are "sue happy" these days. So they recommended that any work to be done on the windows would be best to be done before renting units out.

Will- These are 2 and 3 story buildings, I can see why they're charging more. I agree that it should be no more than $200 per window out the door with installation + tax included. Normally I paid $110-$120 per window + $50 install & wrapping = $170, but that price is for single family home.

Jeff- I supposed to get a quote from Window World of Cincinnati within next couple of days. But I think it will be 1 of those higher estimates.

Jim- Thank you for the info, we will contact Edgco Wholsale tomorrow to get some pricing & referrals.

As of right now, the best quote I got from a window contractor in Cincinnati is $237 per window (install/wrap/tax included).

If the building is that old you WILL have to test for and remediate lead.There is no getting around it.

The new EPA lead rules strictly enforce and the fines are very large in the tens of thousands per incident.

Have you tested for lead yet?? I would have used this to drive down the price much further in negotiations.