Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

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litany
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Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#1 Post by litany » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:03 pm

I'm remodeling a condo in St. louis, MO and decided to upgrade the 9 aluminum-clad windows and 2 patio doors. The condo requires an exterior color of bronze/black. Only 1 floor and basement.
In total, there are 7 sliding windows (two are 4x4ft, two are 4x2ft, two are 72"x60", one is 36"x48"), 1 double hung window (46"x68"), and 1 picture window above the patio door (measurement unknown).
Three of the sliders, one being of the largest size) are in the basement surrounded by concrete. It seems those may need a bit more work.

The 2 patio doors are both standard at 72"x80".

So far, disregarding the outrageously high bid from Thomas Construction, I have gotten two estimates. Both are installers I found on Craigslist. They both arrived at surprisingly similar estimates of about $7,200-7,800 for everything. Both include low-e coating and argon filled double panes.

One is using polaris ultraweld windows and thermalweld doors. He has told me that coloring the windows + doors added about $1200 to the price.
The other is using vinylmax windows and doors. He seems a bit unsure about his product and could not give me exact info on the type of window except the model numbers (dc 300, dc 350), which I haven't been about to look up successfully online.

Obviously I am leaning toward the Polaris guy at this point, but I am still thinking the price might be a bit high. Are there other brands that would do coloring for cheaper? Is polaris ultraweld brand good enough to justify the cost? Is installation price of $200/window and $400/sliding door reasonable? Finally, Does anyone have any real reviews on vinylmax, because I can find almost nothing about them online.

Any thoughts? sorry for so many questions.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:33 pm

UltraWeld is a great window.

That project cost, with color, is pretty darn good and more than aggressive.

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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:31 am

those install #s are great, hope the install is great too.

EcoStar Remodeling
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#4 Post by EcoStar Remodeling » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:57 am

I would definitely get some references from any installer I found on Craigslist and i would follow up on them.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:28 am

EcoStar Remodeling wrote:I would definitely get some references from any installer I found on Craigslist and i would follow up on them.
+1000

ranger
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#6 Post by ranger » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:51 am

Polaris Ultra is a great window and a great patio door. 200 per window for just installation without material is very reasonable. 400 for a patio door install is extremely cheap. I've never seen a patio door install done so cheaply. I usually see an average/ basic install for 800-1,000 and that's a basic install.

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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#7 Post by EcoStar Remodeling » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:03 am

I agree with Ranger. The only time I've ever seen anything in the $400-$500 range for a patio door installation was a caulk and walk job. No capping, no insulation, re-using all moldings etc. I don't know if it's the case here but often the deal that looks too good to be true, probably is. Many companies will change order you to death once they get the contract signed. I would be especially leery considering this is a CraigsList Contractor. Often they are poorly managed companies or out of work government workers trying to make their mortgage payment. Check for licenses and insurance in addition to getting references. Also get everything in writing including an estimate on any additional charges such as rotted wood if it's discovered.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:12 am

I'm going to echo everyone else hear and say that the Polaris is nice product, but I'd be VERY leary about finding an installer on craigslist... There are probably a few decent companies that utilize that site, but most are shaky companies at best, scammers at worst. I would thoroughly investigate anyone that find find on there. A physical location (office/showroom) is helpful, BBB, Nari, Angie's list, etc are all worth checking out as well.... and obviously licenses, etc as already mentioned.
Last edited by HomeSealed on Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

litany
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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#9 Post by litany » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:40 am

Thanks for the comments everyone. Even though the price is a little more than I originally expected, it's great to hear that people trust the quality of these ultraweld windows.

I found the Polaris Guy on craigslist, and while I don't think he has a showroom, he does have a website and references and licenses. He also has a company name and a rating with the BBB. The BBB website says the only thing lowering his rating is the amount of time he's been in business. He told me that the installation has a life-time warranty, which will transfer to someone else if he goes out of business. I really appreciate everyone's warnings, so I will make sure to see some paperwork on licenses etc. and look at his past work before agreeing to anything.

The reason I assumed he is installing the patio doors for 400 dollars each is because I calculated it from the total labor cost, 200 per window, and 2 windows discounted at 100 a piece, and 100 for clean-up. Overall, labor cost is still about 2400 dollars, which even though he'll need to have materials, still doesn't seem too bad for a day or two of work--he hasn't told me he will have it done in a day, but other estimators have told me it would be finished in a day or two.

If everything looks good with this guy, I think I will have him do the job (unless my last estimator blows me away).

Thanks again, and more comments would also be very welcome :)

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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#10 Post by randy » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:49 am

litany wrote: He told me that the installation has a life-time warranty, which will transfer to someone else if he goes out of business.
Not sure what he means by this statement. Who does he say it will transfer to? The manufacturer isn't going to step in, and neither are his competitors.

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Re: Shopping Sliding Windows and Patio Doors--Polaris, Vinylmax

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:44 pm

randy wrote:
litany wrote: He told me that the installation has a life-time warranty, which will transfer to someone else if he goes out of business.
Not sure what he means by this statement. Who does he say it will transfer to? The manufacturer isn't going to step in, and neither are his competitors.
My thoughts exactly.... I'm guessing that he was referring to the product warranty being transferable?
It is very possible that this is a solid company, I would just be on high alert because of how you found him. Do a little extra homework so that you know he'll be around to service his installation down the road.

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