Are Windows Any Cheaper At Home Depot?
May 24, 2012 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Have you had windows installed by a big-box home improvement store (Lowe's or Home Depot)? What was the experience like? Is there a good reason to go elsewhere?

We are looking to replace 14 windows in our house - pricey, I know. We have consultations coming up with representatives from Lowe's and Home Depot. If you have had either of them replace your windows, what was the experience like? Was the quality of the windows good? What was the price like? Did you have good customer service?

I don't want to spend more than we have to - I just want nice windows that don't break easily and will last quite some time. Are there better times of year to get this done? Major sales that happen every so often? Is it better to deal with a local contractor who will just buy the windows from some local Home Depot and installs them himself?

This is in Pittsburgh, PA.
posted by amicamentis to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
We had Home Depot replace a door. The door was one price and the installation was a whole other ball-game. Be prepared for sticker shock.

What they do is sub-contract out the work. What's good about it is that ultimately it's Home Depot standing behind the quality of the work, so if you have a problem, you're dealing with people who can't duck your calls.

Summer is a good time to do this because you'll have your nice, double paned windows in and ready well before winter.

Have a slice at Mineo's for me!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Given our experience with Home Depot, not with windows but with a kitchen floor, I would say go elsewhere. Also your local contractor may be able to get better windows for you than the big box stores sell. What we learned is some of their merchandise is a cheaper version of respected brands, John Deere lawnmowers was one thing we found out about, but we did not do well buying a bathroom vanity and sink from them either, it fell apart in a few years.

Yes, they contract out, so if you go straight to a local guy you eliminate the big box store middleman. Get local references from people around you whom you can trust and find out who they dealt with who did a good job. This has worked better for us for home repair stuff.
posted by mermayd at 11:57 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Agree with Ruthless Bunny. What they charge for labor is pricey and we've also heard from more than one contractor that what they sell in their stores is not as good as what a contractor can get you.

Not to plug them, but, we've had lots of good luck with finding reputable contractors through Angie's List.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 12:15 PM on May 24, 2012

We had windows installed recently by Home Depot, and had a great experience. We had a project manager who was an HD employee, and his job was to stay on top of the contractors and make sure we were happy, and it was in the contractor's best interest to do so, so that he can keep the Home Depot business. Not sure I would have gotten the speed or professionalism that I got if I'd gone to the contractor himself.

Did we pay more? Probably, but we were pretty savvy about watching for a good discount promotion to come along. So I'm happy with what we did.
posted by jbickers at 12:55 PM on May 24, 2012

When we had new windows fitted Sears came out for one of our consultations. It was a hard sell, 2 hour, pain in the ass of pseudo-science bullshit complete with hot lamps being shone through samples before he would discuss cost. Their price came in almost double the local contractor who ended up selling us the same brand of windows. He gave us his cost estimate in about 15 minutes after measuring and asking us what we wanted. He didn't get them from Home Depot, he ordered them from Simonton himself, so the warranty is through them, not him.
posted by IanMorr at 12:57 PM on May 24, 2012

We used Lowe's about 6 months ago. Their price was right, they offered a good no interest financing deal and the work was well done in a timely manner. Our house looks so much better and the ease of opening and closing the windows is a dream. We went with the middle of the road windows and are really happy with them.

We also got estimates through Sears and Home Depot and just liked the Lowe's offer best. Like IanMorr said, the Sears sell was long and ultimately what led me to NOT pick them. They seemed almost desperate. It was weird.
posted by fresh-rn at 1:48 PM on May 24, 2012

Double check with the big box stores to see what special offers they have; if you wait a bit, you may luck into a 10% off or a buy one get one free special.
posted by lstanley at 2:45 PM on May 24, 2012

Home Depot's subcontractors got window caulking all over our wall to wall carpeting. I refused to sign and say the job was done to my satisfaction. The sheet, in fine print, essentially releases them from all liability and says I am happy entirely. They, in turn, tried to do everything from threaten me to tell me eventually they'd have the carpets cleaned to blatantly lie to me to get me to sign off on the job.

Their insurance company was, as expected, giant dicks as Home Depot continued to be until the very end of settlement. I ended up leaning heavily on a private insurance adjuster to help me fight them.
posted by jerseygirl at 5:49 PM on May 24, 2012

Ask all of your friends if they know of anyone who has had windows replaced, and was happy with the work done.
posted by ovvl at 7:10 PM on May 24, 2012

This is peripheral to your question, but a few years ago when we got three estimates to replace a number of windows, they varied widely in terms of installation cost. The Sears guy put us through the same process that others have mentioned. His estimate was three times that of the lowest, and he seemed like he was shell shocked when I told him that. I can't imagine how Sears manages to stay in the window installation business.

Home Depot's quote was in the middle, but we ended up going with an independent contractor who did a great job for the lowest price.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:39 AM on May 25, 2012

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