A lot to learn

For all those Replacement Window questions
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micscout
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A lot to learn

#1 Post by micscout » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:33 pm

Hi all,
I am slowly learning there are a ton of issues and questions with getting new windows. Can I ask you all:
I am have an estimate to replace 22 windows in NC with Atrium 3000 for 8800. The estimate basically says:

"Install Atrium series 3000 white full screen double hung vinyl replacement windows with lifetime glass breakage and seal failure warranty. Qty - 22. Rate 400.00. Total -8,800.00."

That's it. I asked a bunch of questions and to see a contract. Guy said basically he uses the estimate as a contract. There is a lot missing here IMO and I have asked a bunch of questions since. Correct me if I am wrong. Shouldn't each window be priced separately? Should I get a cost per actual window then installation cost?
Shouldn't there be info regarding workmanship warranty. He says 2 yrs. Shouldn't there be info regarding his insurance (he says he is changing right now but will email to me). Info about estimated time he will start and finish? Info re other material costs (caulk,screws).

He says no permit needs to be pulled and no inspection needs to be done. I am double checking.

I tried to ask detailed info regarding the actual windows (ratings). He gave me name of supplier.

He is apparently not licensed...at its not required in NC unless you do projects over 30K. Not a member of BBB
Am I being too picky here? He seems like a decent enough guy.

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HomeSealed
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Re: A lot to learn

#2 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:21 pm

You are in the right place scout. There are a few items that your concerns may be unwarranted, however there are others that are a major red flag. I'll run through item by item:

Estimate as contract: A proper contract should have all of the legal boilerplate language to protect both you and the company. If it does not, that is a disqualifier. If it does, no worries.

Windows priced separately, and breakdown of product vs install: The windows don't need to be itemized individually, however it is nice when they are. Shows more attention to detail IMO. To clarify, I would definitely want to see details of all of the options etc, I just wouldn't necessarily worry about the pricing breakdown of them. On the breakdown of product vs install, that is a non-issue. The vast majority of window companies sell the product "installed" and price it accordingly. Technically speaking, it is a "capital improvement", which is why you don't pay the sales tax.

Workmanship warranty:Yes it should be in writing. 2 years is nothing to write home about either.

Insurance: Big red flag here. It is not standard practice to have that info in a contract, however he should be able to furnish it on request. The "changing companies" thing sounds very shady. A reputable contractor will not have a lapse in insurance coverage.

Permits: Definitely double check. You could be fined as could he if the work is completed without necessary permits.

Window Ratings: Another red flag IMO. If you are a "window guy", you should know the product that you are selling/installing.

Licensed: Another major red flag. Whether there is a threshold for a licence not to be necessary or not, if the state offers a license, any contractor that you consider should have one.

He may seem like a nice enough guy, but people get ripped off by "nice enough" guys every day. There are several major red flags here, I'd strongly suggest steering clear.

micscout
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Re: A lot to learn

#3 Post by micscout » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:29 pm

Thanks HomeSealed. Your input is SO appreciated. I don't want to over think things, but being a female, I have been ripped off and talked down to before. The guy says he is insured, but just does not have the "hard copy" paperwork. But after repeated questions, he does not need to know much about the windows he is installing, etc.
Yep, my radar says "move on". Thanks again.

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HomeSealed
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Re: A lot to learn

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:36 pm

Based on everything you've said, your intuition is right on... Look up some local companies that have a great reputation on BBB, angies list, etc. That's a good place to start. Then post back with any more questions. :wink:

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Windows on Washington
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Re: A lot to learn

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:52 pm

I bet if you hang out on here for a bit more, you will know more than 90% of the contractors and probably 99% of the salespeople that roll through your door when it comes to windows.

:D

micscout
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Re: A lot to learn

#6 Post by micscout » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:24 pm

That makes me feel better.
Actually just got off phone with installer. After some discussion he is now talking about a bit better quality window the Simonson Prism Platinum. He admitted he is not up with the actual specs on windows,...just depends on his supplier to give out accurate info, and he focuses more on putting them in right.
I also spoke with his supplier, who gave me a ton of info. Said this installer guy is customer driven, detail oriented. But I guess he would say that.
Thanks all.

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HomeSealed
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Re: A lot to learn

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:06 am

Sounds like a typical "side job" type of guy. Will you pay less in comparison to a reputable company? Sure. Just know that there is a pretty substantial increased risk of being taken advantage of. As I alluded to earlier, this is pretty much the profile of most home improvement horror stories... Small contractors can be okay, but all of the stuff about insurance, licenses, etc is still a major red flag.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: A lot to learn

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:04 pm

I am a little torn about the difference between the little guy/good installer and the more professional company.
If you find the right little guy/installer you will get a better price and more direct service(form only that one person). This can all be marvelous, but if it goes sideways or south you have a lot at risk. You have to do a lot more vetting and control the trump cards.

BryanG
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Re: A lot to learn

#9 Post by BryanG » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:18 am

So, what other estimates did you get?
Also, where in NC?

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