Some thoughts on windows (zzzzz….)

Today, I want to talk about windows.

Still here? Good.

Windows are a controversial part of the repositioning process. Replacing them is pretty expensive (on the order to $400-500 / window) and, while new windows open / close easily and look nice, no one ever rented an apartment because of the windows.

Still, we intend to own our buildings forever, so we replace all the windows, as a rule. In the rare cases where tight budgets caused us to forgo replacement, we over-performed on the rent and then wished we have spent the additional money to do the windows when we had the chance.

So, we’re into replacing windows. But doing so is dangerous to your project, and here’s why: They’re a massive source of delay.

Think about what happens when you order windows for a small rehab project. The rep for the window company needs to come out and carefully measure each of the windows you plan to replace. Then, he needs to record these measurements accurately, along with your aesthetic choices (frame material, opening direction, etc.). Finally, he needs to forward your specs to the factory, where the windows are produced over the next 3-5 weeks and then shipped to you.

The above is a painful process and its easy to make mistakes. And here’s the kicker: If you make a mistake on the order, there’s no way to correct it quickly. If, like happened to us recently, the window guy accidentally orders the wrong frame material, your entire order may need to be re-done, imposing a delay of a month on your project.

And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Just another problem that you need to manage around if you want to reposition apartment buildings the right way.