Replacing Leaky Windows – Roundup

September 6, 2011

Leaky windows are just another in the list of homeowner expenses we’ve run into this summer.  We’ve been in our house a little over a year now and have had all kinds of expenses pop up here and there.  The latest surfaced during a recent storm when we found a leak in one of our windows. 

I know water can do nasty things to your house so we wanted to get it taken care of right away.  As usual I looked up the three best contractors on Angies List and scheduled them to come out as soon as possible (here’s the contractor checklist I use).

Two of the companies were available Saturday, I scheduled one for 10 AM and the other for noon.  We spent two hours out front of the house with a hose, spraying potential leaky hot spots and watching for the leak to develop.  Finally we found the trouble spot, at the peak of the highest window, and he gave me estimates to replace it. 

The second window company showed up while the first guy was still there and in the middle of his closing sales pitch. I felt kind of bad making the second company wait, I had no idea the first one would take so long.  Turns out it might have been a good thing because each window guy threw in an extra discount.  They didn’t specially reference their competitor but I imagine seeing each other bidding on the same job probably had something to do with it.

Seeing the two estimates reminded me of why I always like to get at least three bids on house projects.  The estimates were almost $1000 apart.  According to the company with the higher bid, they have higher quality windows (triple pane glass, very energy efficient) and better installion crews (full time employees vs contract labor).  Now we’ll get a third estimate to see how they all compare.

No matter who we go with replacing the windows won’t be cheap.  It looked from leak test that the source of the leak may be the top of the window or even above it.  Unfortunately, the top of the window was higher than our neighbors 28 foot extension ladder would reach so I’m still not sure.  Once I can get up high enough, I may find that the window is okay and that a few tubes of caulk above the window may get rid of our leak.  That would certainly be a cheaper option, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Speaking of cheaper options, here are some personal finance tips and articles from around the web this week you can use to save some money.

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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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