I usually do my own rentals and traditionally have bought American Craftsman Series 70 (Home Depot) or Lowe's ThermaStar by Pella. Typically windows run me $200-$300 for these entry level double-hung, low-e, with half screens. Reading J Scott's book on estimating rehab costs I see his "high" costs of replacement windows at $420 ($110 labor, $300 materials) per window tends to fall in line with what I see from Window World or Windows R Us quotes when I have gotten them. What I am astonished by is his $175 "low" cost ($75 labor, $100 materials). My question is, where are people getting $100 vinyl windows? Is there a magic window genie out there I don't know about? Do I need to take my contractor's license to ABC Supply or similar place to get wholesale pricing?
Hey @David Lee Hall, III ! I have limited experience here and I haven't done it my self, but the two most recent times I've needed windows, I have used Windows R Us. That's mostly because I couldn't get decent prices from other vendors. It's been 4-5 years since I've looked at Jay Scott's book, but personally, I'm not sure I'd put as much value into it. While I don't remember details, I think coming up with a global (or national in this case) price guide is going to be very difficult. I picked up an estimation guide at a REIA Rehab subgroup several years ago. I still use it as a guide when coming up with ballpark estimates for acquisition and rehab. That guide estimates double-hung replacement windows at $40/sq ft. While it doesn't say specifically, I'm assume that's materials and installation. Hope that helps!
It's odd how building prices vary where I live in Concord, NC. E.g. I go to Lowes for appliances, cabinetry, electrical fixtures and roofing material. Home Depot for flooring and bath fixtures, and a local building supply for dimensional lumber, windows and trim. However, Lowes will rape and pillage me on trim while the local building supply will do the same on roofing material. I get countertops and vinyl siding from local specialty stores.
I recently bought windows for a couple new construction builds and 32 x 60 single hung J channel Low E internal grids mesh screen 4 9/16" paintable wood were around $225 each. Framers installed so nothing to offer on install cost.
I hope that is surface area per window and not per house! 😃
"$40/sqft? I hope that is surface area per window and not per house! 😃"
We have bought quite a few homes for that back in the day...in fact we just got a 3 unit for that price.
For Windows I scour HD & Lowes for returns. Lowes has a lot of Pella coming in & I usually grab those sizes that I know I will need. Many of our rentals will eventually need new windows & upper floors require the egress sized retrofits. I doubt if I have ever paid >$50 for a Pella & our last project was (6) 47x54inch double hung with screens. I do install them myself. The largest was two 108x54 Pella picture windows that was a Lowes return for $175 each. They just let a beautiful 10ftx6ft Anderson casement window go for $375.
You're right, David. We have absolutely no access to that sort of low-priced window work here in western Pennsylvania.
It's worth nothing that J Scott's books on flipping and estimating regabs come out of his experiences doing lipstick flips on 90's-built SFR in the Atlanta area only twenty or so years later. This is not our basic housing stock situation at all here, nor our flipping situation.
I've done windows a few times on homes I've lived in and in homes I've leased. If it was **my** home, I have no problem with going with an off the shelf Home Depot window - but I've found that those tend to be smaller than the opening allows (because you have to buy off the shelf, not custom) and if you do go custom with Home Depot, it's more expensive than Window World.
So while doing the windows for my own first home was acceptable, now I tend to just hire Window World when I need windows. They're almost always the lowest price, there's only so many factories that actually make Windows in the US, and since Window World will replace a broken window for almost any reason on the planet, they make great windows for tenants.
https://thewindowdog.com/windo... This guy goes way into the weeds about Windows, a lot of it is humorous, but their is a lot of information there!