Guide To Window Bids

Our guide to window bids can help you understand your window estimates and get the most out of the process. It's also the best way we know to saving serious money on your project.

Get Some Bids

Getting at least three bids on your project is the most important first step you should take. There are so many variables that will increase or decrease the per window price that it is nearly impossible to know the fair market price when you start your research. So three independent bids should provide enough project details and pricing to get an accurate idea of the project requirements - four or five bids is better, but it can feel like a grind by the time the 5th one shows up.

Ask Questions

The only answer you really need to answer before the first company arrives is what window frame you are interested in. Most local companies sell two or three window brands and often do carry vinyl and fiberglass or vinyl and wood clad, so it's not mandatory, but its a good idea nonetheless. See our comparison section to find out which frame material is right for you. (Most homeowners would do well to start with vinyl, which accounts for some 50% of the replacement market.) Asking questions when the contractors or companies are doing their price estimates is free and can provide you with a wealth of information. By the time the third person shows up to give you a bid you will know more than they do about your project requirements.

Compare The Bids

Once you've collected your bids, compare them to one another. This is the best way to make an apples to apples comparison, with a few caveats. Typically, different companies won't carry the same brands, which can mean some very different prices. You very well might identify one of more of the bids that you can toss out; maybe one is simply not in your price range, perhaps the person who came out rubbed you the wrong way, perhaps you didn't like the windows they were pushing.

Submit Your Bids

Take the bids that made the cut and go online and google "replacement window forums" - we like gardenweb.com and replacement-windows.com. Post your project details on one of them. There are some very good window installers and contractors who monitor these boards and provide consumers with free feedback on whether the window brand recommended to you is a good one and if the overall project price quoted to you sounds reasonable etc. This is a fantastic way to know whether you are getting quality products and prices! The only thing they really can't do is tell you whether the contractor or company you've selected is going to do a good job installing your windows.

Vet The Companies

Are there reviews posted online from real consumers on the quality of the company's services? Reviews are probably the single best way to judge the company in question. If there aren't any reviews posted, referrals are a decent backup. The only issue with referrals is that they are provided by the companies themselves, which can mean they're biased. Ask each of the installers what steps they will be taking to install the windows. There shouldn't be any real differences in their answers. If one is cutting out several steps, you definitely don't want to hire them.