Should I Buy Windows From Costco?

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You’re leaving the checkout at Costco to head to your car when you notice a curious line of solicitors on your way out.

You’ve been meaning to replace your old windows in your home. Costco sells everything else from furniture to engagement rings to travel. Why not get your windows from these installers posted inside the store as well?

For an opinion on whether this is a good idea, we’ll turn to the Costco guru himself, Clark Howard.

Should I Buy My Replacement Windows From Costco?

I want to replace my windows. Should I find my contractor or installer at Costco?

That’s what a Clark listener recently asked.

Asked Michael in Colorado: “I’m interested in replacing my windows. When I was leaving my local Costco, I noticed there were solicitors for window/door replacement along the line to exit. Are there any advantages to using these installers vs. others, such as cost? Any other advice when shopping for windows?”

From an investment standpoint, or in terms of your monthly or annual budget, be careful casually replacing your windows.

“It’s a huge cost [to replace your windows],” Clark says. “Windows may make you feel more comfortable in your home by eliminating the drafts in the cold Colorado winter. That kind of thing. But they don’t usually have anywhere close to a return on investment.

“It’s one of the lowest-return things you can do for energy and conservation in your home.”

Clark does understand replacing your windows for comfort if they’re “decrepit, old, whatever.” He just cautions against thinking it’s a good move if you’re seeking a return.

What About Buying My Windows at Costco?

Back to Michael’s question. What should you think about the contractors you see lining the fence where they check your receipt as you leave a Costco location?

“In theory, because of the way Costco’s business model works you’re getting a lower price buying from one of those people than you are from elsewhere,” Clark says.

“The only way you’d validate that or be able to verify it is to get the price from the Costco vendor for the windows. And get prices directly from a window seller. Or other big boxes that sell windows. And it’s got to be identical specs for you to see if you really are getting a better deal at Costco, somewhere else or from an independent seller of windows.”

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In other words, Costco may be a good place to collect some quotes. Especially since it’s convenient if you’re already shopping there. And there’s at least some level of comfort knowing Costco isn’t going to let just anyone stand by the exit and pitch you on an expensive product.

But comparison shopping is always key. And it’s even more crucial on something like a home renovation. The stakes are higher with more money involved.

Want tips on hiring a good contractor? Clark has experience in the real estate world and is glad to tell you what he thinks.

Final Thoughts

Looking to evaluate a contractor soliciting business near a Costco store exit? Evaluate that individual just like you would any other contractor. It’s not a guarantee they’ll offer a good price or quality service. Comparison shopping and vetting are important.