sticker shock for bumpout window

scrappy25January 11, 2014

Hi, I had an estimate for lengthening my kitchen window to the counter and creating a 6 inch bumpout. For a change from a 36x36" double hung window to a 36 x 43" vinyl (Sunrise) casement window in a 6" bumpout the cost is $2995 inclusive of all trims and finishes. This does not take into account any backspash or counter work.

This really surprised me, does this cost seem high?
thanks in advance for your response.

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It does not sound high to me for the area I live in for a complete installation like that. Most of the money is probably in the bump out. Could you do similar without bumping out?

Whether it is worth that much to you is something I can't answer. All I am saying is the cost doesn't surprise me very much.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:25PM
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That is much less than what it cost here (Chicago suburbs) for a bumpout and a new set of windows. Only you know your budget, but I will say that the counter-height, bumped out window in our kitchen brings me a lot of happiness. I think it was Rosie who commented on the value of "upgrading the room itself". Good layout, of course, but also bigger window, more natural light, better view -- those are really important, in some ways more important than the finishes you choose or the specific appliances. I guess it's part of what gives a room "good bones". Hope this helps :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Not at all shocking. The entire wall has to be opened up, a new header engineered, and the cantilever engineered. Then the exterior cladding has to be redone and new trim installed. Then the interior finish work done.

This post was edited by hollysprings on Sat, Jan 11, 14 at 22:58

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:57PM
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Hmm, I think I will skip the small bumpout for the kitchen window.

The same contractor estimated enlarging the eating area window opening from the present size of approximately 76x45 to approximately 76x65 (two double hungs) and creating a sitting bay with 76 wide and 24" depth exterior projection for $3800. Seems surprising that a much larger bumpout with structurally more work and insulation would only be less than 30 percent more. That seems like a much more cost effective addon.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 11:19PM
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A lot of the price can be influenced by the existing exterior finish material, if the counter material is intended to continue into the window, the style of the window IE garden or neo angle, casement, picture or colonial cut-ups.
Also, is the sink plumbing on a dirty arm, where the vent will not need to be moved.

Since the width is the same you won't need to change the header and depending upon the exterior material it nat be handled similar to an inframe change out.

Both of the glazing changes you are contemplating can be ordered as 1 piece units.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:48AM
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Only you can know if it's worth it to you. I just had a 30" window changed to a 10 foot bumped-out counter-height window, but increased window sizes were my number one project goal, so for me it was worth it. The change in the feel of the room is transformative.

The process is labor intensive because they have to design and order the new window to very specific sizing to match up with the future counter height, remove the old window, install (in my case with the long span) a new beam/header, remove the outside siding and trim, cut the new opening, build the bump out and make it weather tight, install the new window, install new exterior siding and trim, finish the interior bumped out wall area and interior trim.

I don't think the price quote was too far out of line given all the labor and materials involved. But you're the only one who can say whether it is worth it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:19AM
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No header change (same width), no plumbing or electrical change, will actually stop about two inches above counter height for future kitchen renovation, using same opening but just bringing it closer to the counter and changing from DH to casement. Aluminum siding. I am asking him to price out the larger window without the bumpout. Thanks everybody.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 11:31AM
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Given your description, I don't see much over $1100, for the window unit, for a garden style with fixed side lights and a casement operator, framed an installed as an in-frame change out.

He is, however, low on the window seat project.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 12:45PM
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Ask for a breakdown of time and materials. And get several estimates to compare.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Try asking them over on the 'windows' forum. Those folks are very knowledgeable concerning replacement windows and costs.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 4:41PM
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I will not do any work for a potential customer who asked me for a breakdown of time and material. It is none of their business.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Ok, he responded and had a spreadsheet error. The original cost should have been $2000 and without the bumpout $1300. $700 for pocket replacement with casement, no size change, Glad I questioned it, thanks for all the help!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:02PM
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I had a contractor like that....key word being 'had'. If a contractor will not breakdown time and materials, it's impossible to compare quotes or get any idea what things cost. And in our case, the insurance company (repair work) insisted that material costs be listed. Just saying... :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:56PM
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"I will not do any work for a potential customer who asked me for a breakdown of time and material. It is none of their business."

Operate as you please, but since it is our money, of course it is our business what we are paying for things.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:14PM
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All my customers know any specialty product vendor, are free to call and/or shop the product.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 7:24PM
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I would be willing to participate in an open dialogue with either a potential or existing customer as to the cost of labor in addition to the cost of materials for any given project. I do not believe in hidden costs, I would not be embarrassed of my labor charges and feel that labor charges as well as material costs are both key elements needed to develop an effective budget. Transparency coupled with effective communication from all parties goes a long way towards building rapport. Professionals often times pass on trade discounts as a way of building positive relationships. In turn customers illustrate the same good faith by recognizing the need to pay reasonably increased labor costs for professionals who exhibit these characteristics and spreading positive feedback locally as well as on a greater scale through forums such as gardenweb. The majority of the time these types of interactions prove to be fortuitous for all involved.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:00PM
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It is no secret what materials approximately cost and customers are free to look them up, however, I may get a discount for which they are not eligible. I may get that discount because I have bought a lot of stuff for a very long time and I pay my bills on time. I have earned the discount, my customers have not; it is my business only.

You can take or leave my material and labor price; you can compare it to others without a breakdown. I won't have you calculating my "hourly rate" to see if you think it's fair because you'll probably not see any need for me to cover my overhead, markup, and I'm sure my profit (my reward to cover the risk of being in business) will appear frivolous and unnecessary.

The last customers that asked me for a material and labor breakdown burned me for $900.00, about a quarter of our contract. I disregarded my own experience and paid the price for not ditching them before I was bound contracturally. It will never happen again.

If you ask me for a material and labor breakdown, we aren't right for each other. It was lovely speaking to you and have a nice day.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 9:09PM
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To answer your question, it depends.

If you were in an area requiring impact resistant (hurricane) windows, 3 large isn't too far off depending on the age and construction (block or frame) of your home.

I recently replaced a 6' sliding door in a rental with an impact resistant unit. The local division of inspection made me cut the block, drill the concrete lintel and footer on each side, install #5 rebar into the holes with structural epoxy, leave a 24" overlap in the tied rebar, then fill the block with 6 bags of concrete. That and the paperwork at inspection added about 3 days to the job for which I hadn't estimated, but I'm not complaining. It's tuition at contractor school.

I've never met the owner; our only contact has been by mail and email. He sent me $1,400.00 on a $950.00 balance due because of the extra work. That's my kinda customer.

I'm installing 5 impact windows and 2 6' impact french doors in a rehab for $12,500.00, masonry opening preparation not included, if that's any help.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Sun, Jan 12, 14 at 22:05

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:00PM
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As professionals there is no need to buy job related materials if it is not for customers. Job related materials are bought for customers, I choose to look at this as a mutually beneficial relationship in which both parties should reap any rewards that are earned. Customers should fulfill their end of the bargain by paying in full the agreed upon amount of money for the work they contracted a professional to perform. However that fact is irrelevant when it comes to providing customers with a breakdown of costs.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Thanks everyone. I did post above that the contractor reviewed his paperwork and found a spreadsheet error that added about $1000 to the estimate for that particular window, which is probably why it seemed so high to me relative to his other estimates. All is good now, he seems to be a very thorough and detailed estimator

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:25PM
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