I hope you communicated your desires to your contractor so he can budget accordingly. Prepare sell your soul folks. Not kidding this time. Windows are expensive. Not easily price checked, a necessary evil, and if you wanna be all bougie and get anything fancy, well… think long and hard about that. So here’s my tips and suggestions from the experience we had with the #realliferanch house and trying to stick to our budget.
If you’re anything like me and don’t like throwing money at things you don’t REALLY care about I assume your experience may sound like this… You’ll traipse into the building supply and happily shake the devils hand cause you’re all hopped up on Pinterest pictures and dreams. Then you’ll slowly sink into your chair as your hopes for window glory slowly circle the drain.
But take heart! Where there’s a will there’s a way. Here are the lessons I learned the hard way and hopefully they will help you make your process easier.
- Energy effenciency
- Opening method
- Side lite options
- Curb appeal
1. Windows are one of the easiest ways to make your home more efficient. Don’t skimp here. Just don’t. Get whatever your subcontractor tells you to.
2/6. If you want an exterior color other than white or beige then it’s going to cost you more. Like DOUBLE the cost of a standard window. If you want the black iron look without the $$$ just know that it’s PAINTED. Read: will chip during construction and need touch ups. This black meant a lot to me so I forked over the cash, and personally I think it makes my house all the better. But, that’s up for you to decide. There is an amazing new product where the color is blended in with the plastic, but the “bronze” is straight up brownie batter in color. Really pretty, but when you’ve imagined black it just won’t cut it. If that color cost is getting you down then decrease the fancy upgrade to front of house only! One other thing to keep in mind… interior color. Try to match your trim color for best aesthetics. My trim is white. My interior face of my windows are “sandstorm” (grey). Shoulda picked white.
3/4. If you’re OCD like me and want even-spaced sidelites in your windows and the traditional vertical raise is screwing with your even spacing then go for a crank out! The crank opening mechanism is a concern during construction- so I would suggest leaving instructions. (ours will have to be replaced because workers closed them incorrectly and are now busted) Just don’t let little window salesman tell you that your design can’t be accomplished. A product is out there that will fit your needs. You’re paying HIM remember!! Don’t back down.
5. If your cost still isn’t meeting that budget then look at the quantity. This is why you pay your contractor. Look into reducing the number of windows and increase some neighboring windows in size. Sometimes the size of windows can be the cost issue. My floor plan had BEAUTIFUL big windows. So we kept the ones in the living areas and decreased size to builder standard in the superfluous rooms.
My magic money saving formula:
- Colored windows on front only for curb appeal
- Standard size windows on back and sides of house
- Divided lites on front windows only
- Deleted some sidelite windows and header windows- increased window size in doors for same light flow
- Deco windows in roofline/attic are not “energy efficient”
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get that cost to make your husband- wait no- budget happy then request they check multiple brands! See what the price difference on comparable products may be. And once you get one quote. Send it to their competition company and see what they say. A bidding war never hurt anybody.