Estimating Guide For Windows?

 
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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Estimating Guide For Windows?


I am wondering if anyone here has an estimating guide for windows that they can share with me?

I've started putting together my own, basically detailing the considerations an estimator needs to be aware of to properly put together a price, however it's just become a jumbled mess of important pish-posh with no real structure.

I'm trying to put together this estimating guide for my estimators, trying to get our window division upt to speed 100% by the end of the month so we are ready for the mad winter rush as it starts getting cold.

The goal of the guide would be to eliminate, or at least minimize, estimating mistakes.

So far what I have (text only) is as follows...

Quote:
Measureing windows for estimates

To break all windows down into two categories there are two types of windows. Replacement/Insert and New construction style. Both of these classes of windows have misleading names. The name "replacement" window may lead someone to beleive that the actual window is being replaced; while the name "new construction" window may lead someone to belive that the project is a new building being constructed. Typcal replacement windows are truly insert window which insert into the existing openings after sashes and tracks are removed. Often times nothing more is required on the interior. New construction style windows install differently, where as the existing interior trim/molding is removed around the windows, and the exterior trim/molding is also removed. The entire window frame is remvoed on a new construction style window and then a new window unit is insert into the rough opening, or the framing of the building. Then the interior and exterior moldings are replaced on a new construction style window while they typically are not replaced on an insert/replacement style window.



Above image shows a vinyl replacement style window inserted into the existing opening.





Above image shows a new construction style window inserted into the rough framing of the building's construction before interior trim boards were installed.





Estimating Considerations...

When estimating the window you should look from the interior and the exterior of the house. Be aware of what type of window is currently installed, because this will tell you what type of window you may install next. This allows you to give options to your customer. Some things to look out for...

Existing metal window frame? When there is an existing metal window frame the window unit MUST be removed. This means interior trim boards will probably have to be installed.

Interior tile or drywall butted directly against the window unit. This tile or drywall may become damaged during removal of the existing window unit (if not a replacement style window)

Exterior siding butt against the window frame. This tells you that if you are doing a new construction style window you will have to trim back the siding, and install new brick molds and/or exterior trim boards to be capped. It is preferred typically that exterior trim boards be installed and capped for a maintenance free exterior.

Brick opening? If the window is in a brick opening, and you are installing a new construction style window, will the opening need to be "buck framed", or will insert style window be isntalled instead. If the existing window does not have a nailing fin, and it appears the frame is directly flush with the brick (Ie: There are no trim boards or aluminum cladding) an insert window may be installed.



You must be able to look at a job and know the necessary steps the production team will go through to PROPERLY complete the installation. Scope of work and quality of material will dictate price. Forgetting a step means you are forgetting a portion of the price. Adding an un-necessary step means you are over charging for the work and risk losing the job to someone who properly estimated. Don't charge too much, don't charge too little; Charge enough to do the job right!



Measuring for Replacement windows.

When measuring for replacement windows, simply measure jamb to jamb. Add length plus width to figure the "United Inches.

If installing real wood insert windows (Such as Marvin Insert type windows) it is suggested that for the best look, interior trim/moldings be repalced. However this is only for cosmetic appeal.

New Construction Windows.

When measuring new construction windows for an estimate, the quickest way is to measure from jamb to jamb and add 1 3/4" to the height and add 1 3/4" to the width. This will give you an approximate size for the new window.

It is important to discuss scope of work with the customer letting them know the wood trim will be disturbed. Discuss style and shape of new trim/moldings. Discuss wood species of moldings and if wood is to be primed or bare. If wood is to be primed species doesn't matter. Can we save interior trim? Sometimes but we can not guarantee it since it will have to be removed as part of the "new construction" process.



Make sure the customer knows that even when installing new interior trim or molding, no other interior work is provided such as staining or painting of any new interior trim. Also no interior patching sanding, painting or repair of drywall is included... and especially if repalcing moldings make sure they know this may be a possibility due to sizing differences between the new and old windows.
I plan to include photo's as well.

For my roofing, siding & gutters I've aleady put together similiar guides, however I am pressed for time and not pleased with what I have so far. Overall it's a good skeleton but needs more meat on its' bones.

I look at a job and I can almost immediately see what needs to be done to install the new window. Basically how can I pass this knowledge along to future generations of estimators for my company?
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


I like your format. We do not have any printed guidelines. Just having hired two estimators recently with very little experience we send them out with the installers on some jobs so that they get a feel for the work and do extensive training in the showroom with them coupled with having the manufacturers come in and do a dog and pony show as well on differences in product. I like your idea of a guide though.

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Old 10-08-2007, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


I try a systemized approach with everyone on the same page. Sending the estimators out to work a day or two with the installers is a great idea, however you don't know all there is to know in a day or two... and you don't know all there is to know with any guide either. However I'm just trying to throw the info at the estimator (with pictures) so they make less rookie mistakes.

In addition to this estimating guide, there is a 101 type presentation that the estimator must give to the customer which goes into more detail about insulation and so forth. However some details, like insulation, don't effect price since we do it to every window and it's already factored into the base price.

I operate unlike most "sales" based orginizations. Although I understand the power in a closer, I truly feel that someone armed with knowledge and a good personality has no reason to use clising techniques.

To tell the truth the real reason I put together guides like this one is because I constantly repeat myself. It's easier for me to say "It's in the book" than re-explain it every time.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:47 PM   #4
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Grumpy Heres some good questions

Are there currently aluminum jamb liners?

If so is there a pocket behind the jamb liner that needs to be furred out or have the window made larger wider?

What is the depth of the current window frame? Is it less than 3-1/4?

What kind of stops are on the window? Ie anderson windows which have to be installed from the outside only

Inside install or outside install?

How difficult will the windows be to wrap ie vinyl siding with J's side nailed into the casing making it a pain to re-wrap

New construction windows, jamb depth is it standard througout the whole house? plaster lath/venear walls will jambs have to be custom cut?

Are there sufficient headers?


Grumpy Id like to see your vinyl siding book
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Patrick, Thanks for the heads up. i can send you the "presentation" since the vinyl siding book isn't yet completed. It's a rough draft similiar to this one. Curently the only trade books I have completed would be for shingle roofing. I am also currently working on an installation manual for installers so EVERTHING is standardized.

The largest thing I am lacking is pictures of detail.

I'll send you an PM tomorrow when i get to the office. If I forget please send me a PM to remind me.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


I am applauding your approach. One of my pet pieves is the amount of people out there selling things that they do not understand and have never installed.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:28 PM   #7
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


The thing is even if you have hired someone who has installed an intem and is now selling it, they must understand your system. Sales and production must be on the same page. Sales must be able to promise only what production can deliver.

I am the manager and it is my job to determine those systems. It is my responsibility to make sure the estimators know how I want the work bid, how I want it priced, and how the production can deliver.

That's where i stand right now. These documents are some what two sided. They are used to teach my specifiers how I want them to specify, while also will be altered slightly to teach production staff how i want their finished work to appear when complete.

In my opinion anything less is anarchy.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:54 PM   #8
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
What kind of stops are on the window? Ie anderson windows which have to be installed from the outside only



I've never had to do an outside install on an Andersen, at least not your normal PSNL. Could you explain to me why.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:50 AM   #9
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Grumpy,

How far did you get with your sales/install guideline procedures manual before you got too busy with your other products you sell and put it off the table for a while.

Next year, I want to add replacement windows to my line of products to sell also. I plan on going to some training sessions over the winter and working hands on with a subs installation crew to get a feel for it.

Ed
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


ed,thats the best way to learn the window business.
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:53 PM   #11
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Exterior head flashing...anyone?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:00 PM   #12
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by erikm View Post
Exterior head flashing...anyone?
Is that a question or a statement to the 3 year old thread?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:04 PM   #13
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by framerman View Post
Is that a question or a statement to the 3 year old thread?


I find the age of the thread not important,because it is useful even in thsi modern day we live in.

I have seen many window change outs where the head trim depends on caulking to keep the window from leaking.

Is this common or are we using a cut in metal flashing on a siding install?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:10 PM   #14
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


It's easier to follow if you are a little less cryptic with your questions.
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


If you have commimission sales reps I always figure material and labor times 3.5, then let them drop 30% of that list price
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #16
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by framerman View Post
It's easier to follow if you are a little less cryptic with your questions.

Sorry for that,just cutting my teeth here.

Been reading a bunch of post and gettin the hang of things.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:14 AM   #17
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by erikm View Post
Exterior head flashing...anyone?

Good question, especially for people who live in areas where most of the windows being replaced are metal outs.

My experience as a sub trying to get companies to automatically install new drip caps where needed and pay me for it was not always pleasant.

One company, oddly enough the most expensive one I ever subbed for, would not let you cut anything back. If you didn't just put 1x's over existing siding and then wrap/silicone it you were in trouble (yes I got in trouble and only did two jobs for them, although they were very nice people).
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:23 AM   #18
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by W-Tinc View Post
Good question, especially for people who live in areas where most of the windows being replaced are metal outs.

My experience as a sub trying to get companies to automatically install new drip caps where needed and pay me for it was not always pleasant.

One company, oddly enough the most expensive one I ever subbed for, would not let you cut anything back. If you didn't just put 1x's over existing siding and then wrap/silicone it you were in trouble (yes I got in trouble and only did two jobs for them, although they were very nice people).

This is an area where the sales peole fear and will not deal with it

I fill that most companys are into profit at the owners expence in retro fits
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:25 AM   #19
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Grumpy, this is great. I would love to have this kind of doc for all of my work. I am trying to be as detailed as I can be in my estimating and hoping that this will result in less underbids. I would like to see what other people are doing in their estimating.
Thanks again
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
I am wondering if anyone here has an estimating guide for windows that they can share with me?

I've started putting together my own, basically detailing the considerations an estimator needs to be aware of to properly put together a price, however it's just become a jumbled mess of important pish-posh with no real structure.

I'm trying to put together this estimating guide for my estimators, trying to get our window division upt to speed 100% by the end of the month so we are ready for the mad winter rush as it starts getting cold.

The goal of the guide would be to eliminate, or at least minimize, estimating mistakes.

So far what I have (text only) is as follows...



I plan to include photo's as well.

For my roofing, siding & gutters I've aleady put together similiar guides, however I am pressed for time and not pleased with what I have so far. Overall it's a good skeleton but needs more meat on its' bones.

I look at a job and I can almost immediately see what needs to be done to install the new window. Basically how can I pass this knowledge along to future generations of estimators for my company?
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:17 AM   #20
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Re: Estimating Guide For Windows?


Sounds like a pretty good approach which should net a consistent profit margin. I don't understand why metal framed windows have to be removed thopugh. We often use them as a stop and snap a cap over them.

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