Great Lakes Uniframe, What should it cost

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Great Lakes Uniframe, What should it cost

#1 Post by ddaryl » Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:04 pm

I like this window, it looks to be a rock solid window, however I cannot find any price quotes to judge the contract we have.

I have 3 days to cancel, and I have 9 windows being replaced on this contract with an agreement on a future 10th Garden window.

Here are the sizes and styles, lots of odd balls.

112 x 64 End Vent cherry finsh inside(includes special metalic patter on both end vent windows)

60 x 54 Slider cherry finsh inside

56 x 36 Slider

26 x 30 Double Hung cherry Gold Oak finish inside

30 x 34 Double hung Gold Oak finish inside

60 x 36 European Swing in

72 x 36 Slider

72 x 36 Slider

72 x 36 Slider

All of this for $16,047.30 installed (includes tax) (I live in the NW )

I want to know if the company has enough margin to include my 10th Window which is going to be a Garden Box Window approximately 36 x 29

How did I do on cost and did I cave too soon !!!

Hopefully there are some resident uniframe experts here

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#2 Post by ddaryl » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:59 am

Nobody has opinion.

Is it the type of window nobody is sure about ?

I see lots of positive info about Uniframe, and I don't mind paying extra for excellent Energy Star windows, but I don't want to get reamed either.

I had done some research prior to this, but its still a tangles mess of information to sort through.

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#3 Post by ddaryl » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:12 pm


Still interested in any opinion in regards to my situation

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#4 Post by FenEx » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:01 pm

We saw you post on the sister site... it's very likely that it's intentionally not being responded to. Please show some courtesy to other posters by not being so repetitive. You have been successful at recieving input and suggestions... allow others to do the same without site-bombardment.
Last edited by FenEx on Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#5 Post by ddaryl » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:08 pm

Dude, how the hell am I supposed to know who sees what on which site ???? I have no idea what sites are affiliated, and you cannot expect me to have known they were.

I can't say I believe I am being intentionally ignored because of a little urgency. If that's the case then maybe the question of courtesy should be re-evaluated.

thanks for the useful info !

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#6 Post by FenEx » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:15 pm

Ok.. fair enough.. I'll take the bite back... those prices are ridiculous. Cancel your order and continue researching... just as was suggested to you on the other site.

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#7 Post by teejay » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:12 am

Stay away from the Uniframe sllider. If you get a wind driven rain you will get water in the inside track of the window. It usually will not over flow the window track but if water can get in so can cold air.

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Enlighting Exchange

#8 Post by kidgrok » Wed May 03, 2006 3:50 pm

Let me say up front I am writing this for the bewildered newby who, like myself and the person who began this thread, needs to make a purchase decision FAST.

I, too, "bit" on an inflated bid for Great Lakes Uniframe windows by Statewide Windows here in the great Pacific NW, and was under the 3-day cooling off period gun. I knew enough to shun the "whole house" project quoted at just under $17,000 before tax (for 12 DH windows and a sliding glass door--total of about 1200 l.i.), but I did agree to three of the windows and the door for around $7000. After signing the contract to get the guy out the door I kicked into high gear and started comparing features and prices on the Internet.

Problem was...there are features in the Uniframe that do not appear readily available in most other windows (R-10 frame and glass, triple pane, fiberglass-reinforced frame, foam-filling, lifetime warranty, etc. etc.)...and I had been carefully sold on those features. I hadn't yet discovered this excellent website, so after a day of research I had actually decided to bite the bullet and go with the bid to purchase these apparently excellent windows even though I suspected it was at least double what it should have been.

Lucky for me there was a home show in my area within that time frame that allowed me to easily speak with a large number of local contractors and energy consultants. The unanimous consensus was: "cancel your contract you idiot." (One even offered--tongue in cheek--to install high-end Simonton windows for half of Statewide's bid, sight unseen.) The bottom line seemed to be that I would be paying much too high a premium, even for the high-end features that appealed so much to me. Most of the consultants did not seem to think that non-standard state-of-the-art energy conservation features (triple pane, 100% Krypton gas fill, multi e-layers, etc.) would offer any reasonable payback in this region. They all thought I'd be better off settling on a good quality double-pane window. There I remain to be convinced, but I'm still plowing through the forums herein.

The moral of this story is that, with so many windows, installers, and options available for consideration, it is probably best to just say no to high-pressure door-to-door solicitations, no matter how convincing they may seem--unless, of course, you're rich and/or the salesperson is family. This is not to say there isn't any value in sitting through the three-hour + presentation. Doing that (and signing a contract) definitely got me off the fence and into the fray. I don't want to become a window-aholic, but I do need to replace the 20-year-old aluminum thermopanes that are diminishing our home's appearance while increasing it's utility costs.

So, to all you sales-pressure-challenged 3-day-window-contract-remorseful-homeowners, comfort yourself by the knowledge that the $4.50 certified cancellation letter is a small price to pay for such an excellent incentive to educate yourself!

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#9 Post by randy » Wed May 03, 2006 6:47 pm

Good post kidgrock. I'm constantly amazed at how many homeowners let themselves be pressured into signing a contract, and then jump on the internet to make sure they made the right decision AFTER the buying decision. Homeowners would be wise do conduct their research before inviting salespeople into their homes.

If window shoppers would spend 2 hours on this site reading the numerous postings, they could know more than 80% of the window salespeople that they'll meet during the purchase process. Most window salespeople do not know much about windows or the technology, they know what their bosses tell them to memorize and regurgitate to consumers.

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#10 Post by ANOTHER WINDOW GUY » Thu May 04, 2006 8:11 pm

Uniframe which is Great Lakes premium window has come a long way. I sold and installed them in the late 80's and at the time they were about average. Now they make an excellent product comparable to most of the better vinyls, that's the good news. The bad news is they boast a lot of nonsense about their foaming in the frames and other misc garbage to try and make you believe the window walks on water to get you to pay some unreal prices. Value rating at their prices-bad. It's comparables are Preservation by Alside, Gorell, Sunrise and Simontons better products which are all in the five to six hundred dollar range depending on labor extras and options. With a little extra shopping and beating the salesman up (just a little) maybe $450-$550.

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#11 Post by mman » Fri May 05, 2006 1:13 pm

The Uniframe window (of course), in my opinion, is a fine window, and offers good features, but is WAY overpriced by most of its dealers. I also live in the NW, and come across that window often. It is full of "bells and whistles" that homeowners love to see and get them emotionally involved. One thing I can say positive about the company that sells this window is, they sell the bajeezus out of it. They have a group of very convincing sales people there and can get homeowners so convinced that they HAVE to have it and no others impresses me, to a degree. Our job as competitors is to better educate our customers, but in some situations, we just get outsold.

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statewide - uniframe

#12 Post by jdarrow » Thu May 25, 2006 9:08 pm

I'm glad to have found this forum. I too got a visit from Statewide. I'm in North Seattle. I'll preface this by saying that I know very little about windows, but recently moved into a big house that is in desparate need of updating, and I do want to get top of the line windows and expect to reward everyone fairly who helps me to do so.

The sales rep was good (read: polished) and bid 61K for 3600 united inches and two 8 foot sliding doors. 38 windows in all, 10 of which are tall trapezoids. Although that price was a shock I had no basis of comparison and I did like the other aspects of the bid. the quality is good, the installation timeframe and warranty and all that. Needless to say I signed it. But after reading this I'm going to take advantage of the 72 hour cancellation clause. I may be an idiot for getting into that situation in the first place, but this process also makes it clear to me that this industry is in need of some housecleaning. I'm amazed at how much research it took to get me here and how unobvious it is to anyone who doesn't do this for a living about what constitutes a good versus bad deal. Forums like this are breaking that down, similar to buying new cars these days. I'm glad for that.

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any more reasonable?

#13 Post by jdarrow » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:04 am

Following up from my last post, I'm wondering how well this new "adjusted" quote stands up for the northwest, which seems to be an expensive area for installation:

total: $46K

Uniframe HIR+5 double pane argon filled:
1 Doublehung - 57ui
30 Picture - 2913ui (10 are trapezoids)
6 Sliding - 506ui
1 Casement - 84ui
2 Sliding doors - 8ft each

These replace old aluminum single framed and just plain glass inlaid in wood. The original quote was $61K for triple pane, and this is after some salesman poking.

After subtracting a chunk for the doors it looks like it may creep under $1k/window. There are so many conflicting accounts about whether this is even reasonable. For all the complaints the fact is many people in my area pay this amount for windows so maybe it's just fine. They charge what they charge and if they do a good job installing them maybe that's fine?

The unfortunate part of this process is that the sales pitch and process leave the consumer feeling very uncertain, perhaps even unconfident that things are happening in a decent way. I totally dislike that this industry hides the raw costs -- consumers can deal with invoice prices and markups and installation fees and sales commissions. It's unnerving that the aggregate costs in these bids can have variences of a factor of 4. The windows themselves cost something, maybe $500, add 10% for the showroom, 10% for marketing, 5% for salesman commision and 20% for good installation. everybody makes out and the consumer feels confident in the process. But initial quotes of $3k a window and then haggeling to get it somewhere reasonable...

anyway, if you've read to here and know anything I'm curious as to whether Great Lakes Uniframe are worth it? It sounds like they are decent enough, and I could do better with schuco though I haven't seen them around Seattle. Perhaps wood would do better justice to the house as I'm worried that the margins of the vinyl will mess up the look of the windows they are replacing which are just mounted into wood?

Anyone else in Seattle have followup stories from their Uniframe shopping experience?

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#14 Post by InfoSponge » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:00 pm

For me personally, I would think very hard about paying nearly $1000 installed for any vinyl window, even in a higher labor cost area with a slightly more complicated than average install. If anything, replacing this many windows should get you a discount.

I'd definitely get a couple more quotes before you decide. I looked at the Uniframe window as well, and I liked the window, but like your experience, the dealer was playing pricing games and the cost was close to $1000 per hole. You might also consider talking to a local window distributor, friend, or neighbor and see if they can recommend some reliable contractors.

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#15 Post by trojanman » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:34 pm

I don't think they sell this product down here in L.A., but I'll throw my quotes in the mix, just for comparison.

I am shopping for LAMINATED windows. and I've been quoted as low as $600 each (average) to over $900 each (average).

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