He Went With A Window Quote $3,800 Less Than Ours… And Ended Up Paying $4,000 MORE

A Prime Example Of How A Cheap Price On Window Replacement ALWAYS Costs More In The Long Run.

BY JOHN KOLBASKA, OWNER

I get it—everyone wants to save money.

I do, too. I go to whichever grocery store has the best weekly sales. I drive five miles out of the way to the gas station that’s 30-cents cheaper a gallon. I’ve clipped a coupon or two. I’m always looking for ways to save a few dollars.

But as a home-improvement expert, I’m aware of something most people aren’t: When it comes to window replacement, a cheap price NEVER gets you the best value. In fact, it usually means you end up paying more—a lot more—in the long run.

Here’s a story to show you what I mean…

I once gave a Staten Island homeowner a quote on window replacement that involved one bay window and four double-hung windows. The thing you should know about my prices is that they are not the cheapest—they’re in line with what it costs to do the job 100% exactly right. No more. No less.

This homeowner got a few different quotes because he (understandably) wanted the best deal. He found a contractor in Brooklyn who said he’d do the exact same job as me—identical materials, windows, installation, and so on—for $3,800 less.

I’d been in the business long enough to know that low of a price was impossible for the quality the Brooklyn contractor was promising. I mean, technically a contractor COULD do the job for that price…. if he wanted to lowball himself right out of business within a month. (But trust me—contractors are not in the habit of losing money.)

I knew something was fishy, and I told the homeowner so. But though I’m a pretty good salesman, even I can’t convince someone to choose me over a guy who promises the exact same thing for $3,800 less. So naturally, the homeowner went with the Brooklyn guy.

Fast-forward a few weeks.

The homeowner called me. He told me the project—which was still in progress—was an unmitigated disaster. He fired the Brooklyn window contractor because the installers had no clue what they were doing. Not only that, but the windows were vastly inferior to what the contractor promised. The homeowner contacted me to come finish the job and actually do it RIGHT.

As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I saw this job could be a master class in what NOT to do during window replacement.

Apparently, the company sent Beavis and Butthead to do the installation. Instead of being secured with cables, the bay window—all 250lbs of it—was resting against a block of wood the other company had placed on the ground. Making matters worse, the bay window was installed with four two-and-a-half-inch screws on either side—no silicone or caulk. The window was secured so poorly it was actually creaking!

Then I took a look at the actual windows. If they were the same windows I promised, then I’m the King of France.

They were the same brand, that much was true. But to undercut my quote, the Brooklyn contractor removed a ton of features—foam installation, fiberglass reinforcement, energy-efficient glass… everything. They were stripped so bare that they could barely be classified as entry-level windows. It would be like a car dealership advertising a new Cadillac for $9,000 and failing to mention it doesn’t include an engine, a transmission, a radio, wheels, or seats. (You know, the things that make a car a car.)

I showed the homeowner the energy-efficiency ratings of the windows I quoted him compared to the ones the Brooklyn contractor installed. His jaw about fell through the floor. My windows were literally FIVE TIMES more efficient than the other contractor’s.

Long story short: The other contractor played a shell game with the homeowner… and the homeowner lost BIG TIME.

The homeowner hired my crew to fix the mess. Due to his budget, he had to keep the windows the Brooklyn contractor sold him. We, however, installed them RIGHT using our 60-Point Window Installation Process.

Though the windows weren’t up to my quality standards, I covered them under our “Break Your Glass, Get A Pass” Lifetime Warranty anyway. I figured this homeowner had suffered (and spent) enough. He went with a price that was $3,800 less… and ended up paying $4,000 more than what I initially quoted him. Not only that, but he now has to put up with inferior, thermally inefficient windows in his home.

Moral of the story: Try to “go cheap” on window replacement, and you pay the price.

I quote what I quote because that is EXACTLY how much it takes to do the job EXACTLY right. No more. No less. It might not be the cheapest, but it’s going to be the best value.

To make certain of that, I’ve put in place an “Apples-To-Free” Guarantee. If you find a cheaper quote for materials and workmanship that is ACTUALLY similar to ours, we rip up our original quote and do the job for free. It’s the moral thing to do for not providing you with the best price in the first place.

My advice when getting a quote on window replacement in Staten Island and New Jersey: Do your due diligence on any contractor you’re considering and make sure you know EXACTLY what you’re getting for your money. If a quote seems too good to be true, it is. And it will cost you A LOT more in the long run.

My advice when getting a quote on window replacement in Staten Island and New Jersey: Do your due diligence on any contractor you’re considering and make sure you know EXACTLY what you’re getting for your money. If a quote seems too good to be true, it is. And it will cost you A LOT more in the long run.

Actual Photos From The Other Window Contractors’ Botched Job

What’s Wrong In This Photo: This shows how the previous contractor was bracing the front of this big heavy bay window with 2”x 4” wood rather than the required cables. Also notice how the top was left unfinished without a soffit, allowing water to infiltrate into the home.

What’s Wrong In This Photo: This picture shows how the previous contractor measured and ordered the window smaller than the opening. That’s why you see the lumber blocking in the opening. This contractor didn’t even know how to measure properly!

What’s Wrong In This Photo: You can see how the contractor covered over the j-channel and how the nails are visible.

What’s Wrong In This Photo: You can see how the previous contractor finished the exterior of this window. They wrapped the aluminum capping over the existing j-channel and nailed through it. This installation method is not correct and causes water and air infiltration. Notice the gap at the side and corner. This is a common way contractors cut corners.

What We Fixed In This Photo: This is the bay window after we installed it. Notice the white soffit that has been finished properly. Underneath that soffit is a support chain we had to make and fashion to the window because the previous contractor ordered this window without the proper cable support. That’s a huge mistake because this window was designed to be braced from the bottom only.

A bay window that is meant to be braced from the top has steel rods that run through the cabinet which ties into a suspension cable. This window was ordered without it. Again, another mistake from the previous contractor.

After this customer threw the previous contractor off the job and invited me to look at this mess, I notified the customer that the window was ordered wrong and would need to be either reordered correctly costing him more money or braced from the bottom. To do this properly he would need to call a mason to build a brick skirt underneath the window to support the weight.

We agreed that he would hire a mason rather than order a new window, so we fashioned a temporary wood brace until then to help with the tremendous amount of weight on the front of this window. This window is larger than most bay windows. This contractor was truly negligent ordering this window without a brace.

What We Fixed In This Photo: The exterior capping is done correctly here. We ripped off the previous contractor’s old capping and capped the window to the existing j-channel and sealed it with OSI quad max silicone. This method doesn’t create a water trap; instead, it deflects and allows water to drain properly down the siding, unlike the previous contractor’s work.

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