One of the first major renovations I undertook in 1997 after I bought my house was to upgrade the aluminum, single pane windows with double pane vinyl windows. Being older, my house is pretty leaky so I didn’t need low-E, argon filled, triple pane windows. Basic double pane, vinyl slider windows with screens and drop-down locks was sufficient.
The first quote I got for 13 windows was $7469. Yes, I kept all my quotes.
Second quote was $5107 (12 windows) so there was quite a big difference. The extra window not include here was probably the single pane decorative glass panel above the entry doors.
Third quote was for $4430 (12 windows).
For major jobs, ALWAYS obtain a written quote so you can compare the total price including taxes and any extra fees.
I liked the style of the windows from the second company better and they said they would price match the lowest quote. Their quote included tax, screens and installation.
To save some money, I ended up leaving 5 windows unchanged paying $3046. In hindsight, I should have gotten a loan or bit the bullet to get them all done.
I was home when they did the replacements. They first took the glass out and then pryed out the aluminum sills. Some replacement window systems leave the sills in but removing them is better. The new windows have a “rebate flange” on the outside which was caulked all around and the frame was screwed from the side rails. In my house, the internal wooden frame was “floating” which the installers didn’t notice. This caused the interior moulding to have gaps so they had to go back and rescrew some windows. They also replaced one sill that had rotted.
Eighteen years later and I still haven’t got around to replacing the remaining windows. Prices have probably gone up and I don’t think the company I used, West Coast Designed Windows, is still in business. There could be a problem matching the window style but I chose a pretty generic looking slider window. I will probably attempt replacing most of them myself at some point since all (except for one) is at ground level.