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Quality Difference: Standard vs Custom

Hi all, I'm new around here and had a windows question!

We're looking to replace the windows in a 60+ year old house. We've gotten several quotes and I'm now trying to look into just buying standard windows and having someone build out the house to fit those. My question is, are the standard windows you buy at a home improvement store any better or worse than a custom window bought from a window installation company? Will the labor end up costing me almost the same as custom windows?

To give some sizes, the majority of the windows are 70" wide and 36" in height. I'm looking at getting vinyl sliders.

Also, I live in Hawaii, so rust is a serious issue and I'd need to get stainless steel windows.

A. Spruce
Re: Quality Difference: Standard vs Custom

You'll pay more for a custom sized window because they're made to order, more time and manpower involved, whereas standard fair from the big box are all cookie cutter. As for quality, that would depend on the type, brand, and model of window.

While you may pay more for a custom window, you'll save on installation costs. Yes, you can buy standard windows and reframe the openings to accommodate them, but then you've got additional materials and even more man hours involved in the retrofitting.

The only way to truly know the cost differential would be to price out standard windows with the additional installation/repair costs against custom windows that will be a direct fit. You also don't have to go with a custom window company to get custom sized windows, any big box can order them OR your contractor can probably source them more easily from other suppliers.

Re: Quality Difference: Standard vs Custom

i agree with sprucy, locally the windows on the shelf at the big box store are pretty lousy. around here they have them listed as new construction windows yet there actually inserts and poorly made at that. for better quality windows we have to go to the manufacturer directly or order through our lumber yard which has a window/door desk for the higher end brands

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