When big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes opened its doors to Americans all over the US, it drove small hardware and home improvement shops out of business. Why? Because they simply could not compete with their prices and selection. But what do small specialty shops have that big box stores don't? Employees who truly know the products and care to help you.


The window industry has always consisted of small retailers and glass shops. Windows didn't make their way into big box stores until a few years ago. So how does buying windows from Home Depot or Lowes compare to a store specializing in windows? It makes a big difference and a result you will be quite surprised about.



When an employee is selling refrigerators one day and the next, selling windows, their expertise in one particular field is limited compared to the window salesman. On average, a person replaces their windows twice in their lifetime. So, its important that you find out the correct information because you want these windows to last. The unparalleled service that is offered to you at a window shop from getting a free estimate, to getting a quality installation, cannot be compared to big box.



To your surprise, most big box window prices are more expensive than window shops. Of course you can't compare what the big box stores have on the rack, so we are talking custom sizes. This common misconception that all prices in big box stores are cheaper than anywhere else is prevalent in our society. You can get a better deal with a window company because they have personal relationships with manufacturers.


Don't buy windows off the shelf if you don't have to

Most window stores do not have any windows in stock that you can pick off the shelf. So, in this regard, big box stores have an advantage. But who buys windows off the rack? Only those who are installing new construction windows. Otherwise, if you are replacing existing windows, you need to get custom made windows. One mistake many homeowners make is buying windows off the shelf at big box stores because they are cheap. Then you end up paying someone lots of money to make that window fit. Unless you are breaking the stucco and adding a new window, don't buy windows off the rack. You will spend more money trying to make that window fit than just buying a custom made window which will be sure to fit. Sure it takes more time to receive a custom window, approximately 2-3 weeks depending on the manufacturer, but in the end, you have installed a window the right way.