Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Heidi White, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Replacing Old Victorian Bay Windows

Asked by Heidi White, San Francisco, CA Fri Apr 11, 2014

Hi, i've been wanted to replace my old single pane wooden bay windows for quite some time for better sound insulation and heat efficency. I've been quoted roughly $15k for the most sound proof ones. The 2 large bay windows (roughly 50 sq ft each) consist of 6 individual windows. Is that reasonable cost?

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That price sounds very high to me. I work with an LLC that renovates homes in SF, and we recently did a project where replacing all of the windows in the house was around the same price. Granted, they weren't bay windows and weren't in a victorian, so they will clearly be cheaper, but still, $15K seems pricey. If you're still on the hunt (I realize this post is several months old), don't hesitate to contact me for some recommendations for architects, contractors, and window providers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 28, 2014
Good to know. I came here to see what the average price is for getting new windows. It's about time for me to really update my home and getting new windows would be a great addition. I'll have to get some different estimates from contractors. http://www.nuvuewindows.com/services
Flag Fri Jun 12, 2015
Why are you looking for the "most sound proof ones"? Is there something particularly enticing about it being the most sound proof? I would think getting 'regular' double pane windows would be fine. They would probably cost less too.
Michael Foster http://www.progresscommercialglass.ca/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2014
Hi Heidi-

As with many home improvement projects, it's always good to get multiple estimates to compare. You may be limited as to your replacement windows based on what the City of SF will allow you to replace them with. Are you still wanting to keep with wood sash windows? You can replace them and keep the same style while having made with double panes. They can be expensive, but they may achieve your goal while maintaining the exterior integrity of your home. Otherwise, you'd be looking at vinyl windows such as the Marvins.

I had a client replace his single pane wood windows and if memory serves me well, he paid somewhere in the area of about $600-$800 for both sashes (one window, top and bottom), installed. They also came out afterwards to do adjustments once the windows had time to settle and adjust to weather.

Zephyr Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 20, 2014
Yes, this price range sounds a little bit more reasonable. Heidi's windows do sound much larger and more complicated, but $15k does sound like a lot. It is always a good idea to get many different quotes, and not share the quotes between different contractors. Also, it is good to get the quotes in writing.
Flag Fri Jan 30, 2015
I agree that it is important to get at least a few different quotes when doing any home project. You never know when you can get a good deal like your client did! While window installation can be pricy, it doesn't have to be. http://www.premierqualitywindows.com
Flag Thu Aug 21, 2014
I think soundproofing the windows is a great idea especially considering how noisy I can imagine San Francisco being. I agree with most people in that the $15k may be a little steep, but I think if the project means that much to you it might be worth it to splurge a little. This post reminds me that I'll have to look into the heat efficiency of my own windows considering how cold its about to get. http://www.mcmhome.com/windows.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2015
If you want to do it right you need a craftsman who really knows what they are doing. It often comes with a price. I would get a few estimates and ask to see some examples of the work they have done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 21, 2015
You should try getting quotes on this from a few other companies. The comparisons should tell you if it's a reasonable price, and also if you can find a better deal. You should definitely make this change if it's something that you want though. It will help make a lot of things better for you. I hope that you'll be able to get this all figure out. It can be really hard to not have things the way you want them in your own house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2015
Have you gotten a few different estimates for the replacement of the windows? It's possible the price is high because they're using better insulated glass and sealant, but I wouldn't know for sure. It does sound like you want to replace a lot of glass, but I would get a few estimates from different companies to get the best price. http://www.yarrow.mb.ca/windows.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2015
Sounds high to me but I would get multiple quotes. Besides cost this is a vintage property and has to be done correctly. Check Angie's list or the BBB if you are unsure of the contractor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2015
That price seems a bit steep to me. Is there a particular reason that you want the most sound proof windows? If there are a lot of loud people in your neighborhood, it might be worth the investment. Otherwise, a slightly more economical option might be better. Having bay windows might be contributing to the price, but they are beautiful. Good luck with the replacements. http://www.beyerswindows.com/windows-and-patio-doors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2015
I think it's great that you want to replace the windows. New windows add a lot of value to a home, and I think that the quote you've been given is a great cost. If you are unsure about that though you can always get quotes from a few different companies, or ask your neighbors what they have paid for similar services. Best of luck! http://www.aladdinsglass.com/commercial-glass---storefront.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 15, 2015
I think you got a pretty accurate estimate. I would recommend getting a few more quotes though to get a better idea of how good of a price it is. It's smart to compare different prices for replacement windows. All the different places will probably come in at the same price on materials, but the labor might be different. Of course, you don't want to get the lowest price because you might compromise on quality. I'd say the best thing is to get a couple more quotes and get the middle-priced one. http://www.gallagherwindows.com/windows.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2015
It seems like a reasonable price to me. I would suggest getting quotes from a few companies though. You might be able to find a better price, or a company that you like better. The work they do is going to be in your house for a while. It's important to find a company that's going to do the best work possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 2, 2015
I would definitely recommend replacing the windows. New windows are safer and will be worth the cost in the end. If you're worried about the price you were given not being a good one then I would recommend getting quotes from several companies and comparing them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 2, 2015
15k sounds like a lot for the window replacement! I think you should check around some more to see what the best deal. I'm sure that you can find some great ones for cheap! http://professional-siding.com/windows.php
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 2, 2015
I think that you should list it and include the window replacement in the contract. If anything the buyer will look at this as a good thing because it shows that you cared to get them new windows. I would continue to list the home at the value with the replaced windows. http://clicktoimprove.com/windows.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 29, 2014
To me, that sounds a little bit pricey. I suggest doing some shopping around. Get a few more quotes and that should help you get a better idea of what they cost. That is probably the safest way to get an answer. http://www.griggsglassandmirror.com/Glass_Installations_Serv…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 18, 2014
I would also suggest shopping around. It's really important to know all of your options and what you're looking at! If you still feel like you want to switch them to your original plan, go for it! I would just do some background information first! http://www.pannellsinstallation.com/Window-Installation-Window-Replacement-Pinellas-Park-FL.html
Flag Wed Dec 3, 2014
That sounds a bit high to me as well. Have you gotten quotes from anyone else? I would do this first. If they give you a similar pricce it might just have to do with the area you live in. http://www.weatherteknj.com/Bathroom-Remodeling-Dunellen-NJ.html
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 17, 2014
That sounds a little high for a window replacement. I would sacrifice some of the sound proofing quality for a lower price. I also have Victorian style bay windows. They will probably need to be replace within the next few years, but I don't have $15,000 to spare.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 8, 2014
I think that it is definitely a good idea to get some new windows. Having older windows can really be a waste of energy. I have been thinking about doing this as well, since it doesn't stay very warm in the winter. If you are wanting to get a good idea of good cost, you could probably just check with a few different companies to see what will work the best. http://frontierdesigncenter.com/Residential_Construction_Eri…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2014
This is definitely true. It could be worth it in the long run depending on how much money you save on energy in the hot and cold months. It sounds like you've done some good research though and I do love the look of nice bay windows. Good luck to you!

Flag Tue Nov 11, 2014
I think that it would be good to replace them just because of the age on them could be bad. I think will reasonable cost you have to think what you would be willing to pay. I think adding large bay windows is definitely worth and I would be happy with them. http://www.ideal-windows.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2014
I think that bay windows are such great addition to any home. I would love to get some in my house. I think they are such a classy looking element to a home. Best of luck! http://rbacincy.com/replacement-windows/bay-bow-windows/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 22, 2014
I would get at least three different quotes, that price seems very high.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2014
Heidi: $150/sf for windows is very high, but compared to what? Some brands are outrageous. Some brands are much higher quality materials and construction. Unless you intend to stay cooped up with all the windows shut, the best quality sound reduction won't matter. High quality frames, high quality installation, and no nonsense follow up warrantee service is valuable. Look to see if you can see examples installed some years ago, and talk with the customers. Then you'll know your if your concerns are well founded. Why not ask an independent consultant who's not selling windows?

If you buy cheap windows, you will notice the tracks filling up with dirt, and very hard to clean. You will hear them move as they breathe in strong winds. The worst new double panes are dramatically quiet compared with old single panes, and they are functional, but they won't improve your property value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2014
I was going to say the same thing. It sounds like you're looking at high-quality windows. Since you're coming from old and inefficient types, any improvement will probably make a huge difference to your heating and cooling bill. Buying high quality now will raise your value down the road. | http://www.wsdoor.com
Flag Sat Dec 13, 2014
Replacement windows need to meet current building codes which impose a storm rating.
For windows which do not require additional storm protection (shutters) the price quoted for 50 Sq feet is not unreasonable. However, since the windows are NOT 50 SF but are comprised of six individual windows, this cost seem high. Is other structural work being done? Does this include qualified storm accessories such as shutters and the securing hardware?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 12, 2014
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