Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How much again?

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that several windows upstairs were not properly closing. So after some further investigate, I noted that the windows were not mounted correctly to the frame of the house. Plus a draft of cold air was entering the room at the edges of the windows. It just happened that a Home Show was in town at the Springfield Mutual Center around that time. So I decided go and talk to some window vendors about possible solutions. All of the vendors that I had spoken with said, that they do not repair windows, except for one. So I set up an appointment with that one vendor to meet with one of their sales associates. The company that I set the appointment with, is a fairly large company in Connecticut. I am sorry but I can not say who they are, although I really want too, but I can’t…

Anyway, the sales associate came to my house with a big bag of equipment and a small case that looked to be a window display. His name was Bob (not really but I hear he is a member of the witness protection program)…. Anyway, we instantly start talking about my windows and what I would like done. Basically I informed Bob that I have about 5 windows that are in need of repair. Instantly he tells me that his company does not repair windows but can replace them. So I tell him ok go ahead and give me a quote to replace the 5 windows. “Mr. Rivera, I wouldn’t be doing you a service if I didn’t tell you that all of windows that you own are possibly not energy efficient. I would recommend that you get all of your windows done.”

So he goes into his sales pitch, he explains that to be energy star certified that a specific rating must be met. Plus that every 3 years that the energy rating is modified so windows need to be recertified. So I informed him that my windows were sufficient enough, that I’m more concerned about the 5 broke windows. (STRIKE ONE!!!) He proceeds to tell me that he can guarantee that over the next 10 years that I would have a savings of over 30 thousand dollars (Bunt and a single). So then he opens his bag of tricks and presents the windows his company offers. Basically he takes a radiant light on one side of a window and then puts a thermo meter on the opposite side. I have to admit the presentation was pretty decent, especially since it shows the heat loss through the window, which was pretty minimal (Base hit)..

So after the presentation I inform Bob to go ahead and give me a quote to do all 32 windows and then another quote of just replacing the 5 windows. So we start walking around the house measuring all of the windows. While he is measuring, I ask him what will need to be done to replace the window. “Well since you already have replacement windows in place, we just have to take the molding off and then the interior stop. After that just take the 4 screws that hold the window out and the window should just fall towards you. Then it just insuring the window is square, but it’s really just putting the new window in place”

So the gears in my head start turning… Ok the cost of the window lets say $250. Plus it sounds like it will be about 45 minutes to 1 hours to do the works, so lets say to do the actual labor would cost $50 to $60 per window.. So at $310 x 5 windows = $1550… ok not bad… But if I decide to do all of the windows, it would cost about $9920… Still a lot of money to do all of the windows but overtime I’ll make that money back from fuel cost… Ok still not bad… (Runner is safe)

So after about an hour and a half, Bob finishes measuring all of the windows…We return to my kitchen table so that he can do his calculations. He starts scribing on his little pad and pulls out his “handy-dandy” solar powered abacus. “I want to get you the best quote possible” he says…(STRIKE 2) After of about 10 minutes of him rechecking his numbers he said, “Well Mr. Rivera, the windows will cost $32,000. But remember you will make that money back after 10 years. So are you ready to give me a check today?” (STRIKE 3, 1 OUT)

“WHAT!!!!” I felt a little cough come one…I initially thought he said $3200… So I asked that he write the number down…Then he says, “wait I screwed up, I forget that some of your windows are actually good…” here is his corrected number….

This is a picture of Bob’s chicken scratch, showing me that for 25 windows it will be 21884.00 not including the 20% finance charge. (Very professional letter head)

So that means the windows will cost me about $1050.43 per window if I finance… “Well Mr. Bob, that is a lot of money where I don’t think I can just give you a check for” after some silence, Bob replies, “well it is an excellent deal that my company does offer financing, plus remember you will make that money back after 10 years.” (STRIKE 3, 2 OUTS!) The 10 year saving statement was kind of getting under my skin… “Mr. Bob, do you happen to see the two whiskey bottles there…..

…the empty one and the half empty one…. Too be honest I don’t think I have 10 years left…. So I would like to see my savings now” *

“I understand that is a lot of money, but let me see what I can do…” So he picks up his cell phone and starts talking to some body back at his office. I felt like I was at some used car lot… “I need to speak to my manager”.... After he hangs up the phone, “Well Mr. Rivera, I have a stock of windows in your required size that are currently in my warehouse. I can get them to you for $17,425. But that deal will only last till Friday. So are you ready to give me a check?” (STRIKE 3, YOUR OUT OF HERE!!!! 3 OUT!!!!)

This is my chicken scratch with an attempt to not laugh…..

“Thank you, but I need to shop around. I will contact you when I make my decision.” With that we shook hands and Mr. Bob left… How the hell can I honestly trust a person when he gives a price that jumped from $32,000 to $17,000. That is a crazy….

Once he left I realized that I needed to learn how to install windows… I have to say, I do love the internet to include the associates that work at my number one neighborhood super box hardware store…I also called in re-enforcements, my dad. By father, Nestor, who is a carpenter by trade, will be helping me installing the windows, although I have to order them first.... So I decided to stroll through the aisles at the neighborhood super box hardware store to get an idea on potential prices for windows. I realized that Bob was nothing more than a rat with hopes of preying on the weak…. The average cost for the same windows that Bob was attempting to sell were $170. That would be about $850 for 5 windows or 5440 for 32 windows… What a tool Bob was….I spoke to a sale associate about properly measuring the windows. Here is a graph that highlights how to measure the windows.

Because no window is standard in size and it takes 3 to 4 weeks for orders to be completed. I decided to begin the initial prep-work prior to finishing the bathroom. I started by taking off all of the wood trim, the interior stop and stool. That way I can properly measure the windows.

Here is a picture of an old iron counter weight in-between the replacement window and frame of the house. You can also note the rope that connected the weight to the window frame. Kind of like a pulley system. These were used for old wood windows. Now a days the replacement window kind of work on a screw type system. Below is a picture of the old system
I can’t make this up.... But I’m removing the trim work in the front bedroom, when I notice two different color cloths stuffed in-between the window frame and studs. It looks like a poor attempt for insulation. So I took a picture prior to removing the articles of clothing.

So I remove the cloths and behold look at this…

A sweat shirt and a dyed long sleeve shirt… What the heck are people thinking!!!
I can see the conversation between the contractor and assistant…
“Crap, I’m out of insulation, hey Bob give me your sweater and t-shirt”
“But it’s cold outside”
“Well with the extra $15,000 from this job, I can buy you a new one”
Sorry side thought…

The next sight is not so bad.. It is kind of something that would be expected in older homes…So in the hallway, I discovered a bunch of twigs and leaves, as if the previous none paying tenant were birds.
Well I measured the 5 damaged windows and will be placing an order for double hung replacement windows at my neighborhood super box hardware store tomorrow… I just had to get this off my chest because it was too funny not to share... Well till next time...

*Yes, I honestly did say the statement to Bob, however, the bottles are old and for some reason I had not thrown out the empty one. And Yes that is my lovely wall paper in my kitchen...

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails