Should You Buy Off-the-shelf Windows?

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Replacement-window shopping in California has never been easier. A single Google search can generate countless local stores near you, making it painless to compare products and prices.

However, the Internet is good only for finding manufacturers and installers, not buying stock units. Off-the-shelf products seem the convenient choice, but their benefits pale in comparison to those of customized windows in San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, or any community you live in. Here’s why mass-produced units are a waste of money:

They Complicate Installation

Stock products come in standard sizes. While your house is up to code, you will be hard-pressed to find windows that precisely match the dimensions of your wall openings. They should not be too small or too big to minimize the amount of labor and material needed to put them in.

If you buy made-to-order products, they will be cut to the specifications of your house. They can speed up the installation because they will not be made with unnecessary parts. Some openings require full-frame windows while others allow the use of an insert. Customization is the key to know which units to use when.

They Become Leaky and Drafty More Quickly

Since they are not made with your house in mind, stock windows are inherently less energy-saving. Make no mistake about it, off-the-shelf products can meet the energy efficiency requirements in your area, but the ENERGY STAR seal alone does not guarantee long-lasting tightness.

The beauty of custom-made products is that they fit openings to a tee. They have to be sealed, but their under-dependence on caulk allows them to remain leak-resistant and draft-free for years with little maintenance.

They Come With Limited Aesthetic Options

When it comes to stock windows, what you see is what you get. Sure, they can be painted or stained, but that is about it.

On the contrary, made-to-order products can be customized to the last detail. You can design your replacement units from scratch, giving you considerable latitude in putting elements together and bring your dream windows to life.

They Do Not Include Personalized Service

You can shop for new products online without breaking a sweat, but the window replacement process is more than just adding items to your cart. This project is simple but hard, for it requires a lot of circumspection. Planning everything, from budgeting to construction, is surprisingly overwhelming.

When you buy made-to-order windows, you are also paying for convenience and peace of mind knowing that an expert will guide you every step of the way. Not will you be treated like royalty from beginning to end, but you can also expect the chance of error and level of stress to go down.

They Are Likely to Cost You More Money

stock windows of a living room

Stock windows are not cost-effective, for their price does not include the cost of labor and installation supplies. You might struggle to claim repair or replacement due to whatever defect because the company that manufactured them will not install them.

Dealing with two parties that like to point blame to one another when defects present themselves can leave you high and dry. You can wind up spending more dollars than you expect to get the job done right.

Off-the-shelf windows can appear more affordable than their custom counterparts, but they do not guarantee greater value for money. If you want to get more bang for your buck, hire a contractor that specializes in window customization.


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