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Window pricing - homeowner vs. contractor??

17 years ago

Hi all -

Have been shopping windows for new construction on our home in Western Washington and have a question about pricing. Do contractors receive significantly better pricing than the general public (or someone who is GC'ing their own home??). The window shops that we have spoken with have all answered with...."welllll, a contractor maaaay be able to get an occassional additional 5% or so....." Clearly implying that everybody pays the same price regardless.

OK, BUT we have friends who GD'd their own home and had a contractor friend purchase their windows for them (because he said that he could obtain better pricing!). They raved about the huge discount that was obtained by simply having a contractor make the purchase. Likewise, they also marvelled at the huge markup to homeowners and strongly recommended that we proceed in like fashion if possible.

So, I guess my question is....which is it?? Is there a huge markup that we could attempt to somehow tap into?? Or is the markup so tight that the price is the price no matter who is buying, with little to no wiggle room??

Thank you for ANY direction and education you can provide us on this!

Comments (3)

  • 17 years ago

    As to the question "Do contractors receive significantly better pricing than the general public" the answer is yes and no. It depends on the dealer. Some have a 10-30% difference in price and some don't differentiate between contractors and homeowners. Some contractors (more often the higher end ones) like to deal with suppliers that will give wholesale prices to contractors only. In contrast the big box stores like Lowes and Menards will have close to the same pricing for everyone (where the higher end contractors may not frequent).

    If you're building a home however and GC'ing it yourself many will give you wholesale pricing. After all, you're not buying one or two windows, but a whole housefull. And since you're building instead of doing window replacements, it's a nice clean transaction with no measuring (and liability) needed, since you're working off of a set of plans or a window schedule.

  • 17 years ago

    tru blue -

    Thank you so much for clarifying this! Sometimes it is so hard to figure out where to draw the line - i.e. do we continue to call around and shop harder on this or that, or do we stop here because the price is what it is?

    We are so fortunate for the wealth of knowledgeable people "hanging out" here to help us with our build! What a great resource you all are! Thanks!

  • 17 years ago

    Also keep in mind that a builder probably does most of his business with the same companies, so they can receive a significant "volume" discount. Since the builder probably builds several houses a year, the dealer can count on additional business on other products like lumber, roofing, flooring, etc. So it's easier for the lumberyards to extend deeper discounts to their "regulars".
    To that end, pricing is almost always negotiable. So feel free to shop around, and make them compete for your business.
    Good luck.

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