Where Is The Best Place To Buy Windows and Doors?

Window isle at a big box store | Construction Pro Tips
Construction Pro Tips

Where you should buy windows and doors

Do you install windows and doors for a living or are you a serious DIYer getting ready to tackle your own project? You probably know that the brand you buy is important, but almost just as important is WHERE you buy your windows. You basically have two options: shop a big box home center store, or visit your local window and door dealer/supplier (usually a local lumberyard.)

Here are the advantages of buying at a big box store:

Lower Price

  • (That’s it)

Here are the drawbacks of buying from a big box store:

Missing Features

  • There will likely be a whole bunch of features (Like specialty mullions, glass coatings, integral blinds, hardware upgrades, etc.) that you’ll never discover because the employees at big box stores will not be as familiar with all the options of every window line they carry.
  • Necessities like extension jambs, and nailing flanges can also be overlooked when ordering at big box stores.

Order Mistakes

  • Even a veteran worker at a big box store will not have spent as much time on window-ordering software as a supply house employee. Window and door suppliers are much more likely to get the order right the first time.
  • A supply house representative will likely get the dimensions of the windows and doors from a set of project plans/blueprints instead of trying to decipher your handwriting or instructions over the phone.
  • If there is a mistake, there is no guarantee at a big box store that you will be able to speak to the same employee who took your order the first time.

Extended Lead Times

  • Incorrect orders need to be reordered. That takes time and could cause painful setbacks to your project.
  • Some big box store orders may end up at a central distribution center, which will prolong the delivery date.

Damaged Goods

  • Generally speaking, part-time big box store workers are less adept at handling fragile windows and expensive doors than fulltime yard workers at supply houses.
  • If a window order gets shipped to a central distribution center, that’s just one more “opportunity” for your order to be poorly handled and damaged in the process.

Delivery Dilemmas

  • Big box stores are less reliable when it comes to delivery time and dates, (and that’s if they deliver at all).

If the budget is preposterously tight, you may have to order your next windows and doors at a big box home center store. But as you can see, there are quite a few advantages to ordering your windows and doors through a local supply house. And here’s one more advantage: Spending money at your local lumberyard is good for your local economy.