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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:18 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:59 pm
Posts: 19
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Zen doesn't carry Imperial LS and Elements. I've compared the performance specs between Timeless Elite and Lotus and the difference is between 0 - .04 across the board so I'm likely going with Lotus given the word I just received from Timeless Elite dealer the owner wants to see the other quote and for various reasons, I refused one being dealer tends to bad-mouth others so instead gave him quantity of varying window sizes, prices, and total. I didn't like his pricing model since he started out well over 30K and said you got 10K discount and did not include certain items such as sliding patio door when I specifically asked for it so it's likely I will have issues with this particular company pre-sale, installation, and post-sale.

Believe it or not, Zen is one of the two companies that didn't push me or bother me with emails or calls while others especially larger outfits would constantly hound me every other week to see if I've made a decision and warn that the price would go up by 5-20%. I'd prefer working with a company that has been in business for 10+ years (Zen has been in business roughly 4-5 years).

It's been a long and interesting journey and thanks to those who respond to my posts.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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The only thing that I'd like to try to comment further on, is that the difference between the LS and Pro is significantly more than "marginal". Softlite would not have spent thousands on thousands of dollars to develop a new product that was only marginally better. The best analogy that I can use would be cars. Can you take a 1989 Corvette and make it as fast as a brand new one? Sure. Probably for a lot less money too. That said, the reliability, comfort, technology, etc will be significantly poorer. The Pro is essentially a "hopped up" 25 year old car. Now, that analogy is not perfect for obvious reasons, but the idea that the Pro is an inferior window in every way, and not insignificantly so, is very true. Certainly some may argue that point (how wide the discrepancy is), but that is likely only because they don't have access to the superior products.

To expound on that, I'd like to quote Randy, one of the other long time pros here who explained this very eloquently in one of the other threads recently :

"One more critical thing to consider. As a general rule, contractors who are set up as direct dealers for high grade manufacturers (Sunrise, Soft-lite, Okna, etc...) are going to be more apt to use installation methods that match the higher performance capabilities of their window. Most contractors don’t put a lot of time into researching window brands, they simply go with what is easiest to get, cheapest to buy, offers the fastest manufacturing time, or a combination thereof. Their installation methods follow the same lines of thought (easy, cheap, fast), and that’s not good for the homeowner. A contractor who researches and carefully selects better products is typically more researched and careful in the installation system as well. Additionally, contractors who set up as dealers with the aforementioned brands undergo a level of scrutiny that most contractors don’t since they generally purchase from a local distributor who sells to any contractor that walks in the door."

The Softlite pro is kind of a tricky thing in that regard, as it is decent, and is able to "cash in" on the excellent reputation that SL has earned because of their high end lines. It's Softlites "builder grade" window to an extent, being that ANYONE can go buy it from a local supply house. An installation company that is passionate about their craft is not going to offer a 25 yr old design that is not even the second best offering from a given manufacturer. I do wish you the best on your project and I have zero vested interest in who you choose, or even recommending any of these products as I don't carry any of them, but what I can do is provide my honest advice: Pay more for one of the top shelf window, from an established local company with a sterling reputation. That's the "secret" in getting a project completed to last many years to come in my honest opinion. Again, not saying that the product or company is bad, but I'd rather spend a few extra bucks when you have thousands on the line.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:59 pm
Posts: 19
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Thanks HomeSealed you make some good points there. Budget is a big factor that comes into play as far as decision-making is concerned. I don't want to go overboard. I know Lotus is going to be a big step up from current windows (builder's grade Milgard and believe it or not, I had to drill to make weep holes on one window a couple years ago after I moved in - didn't realize until one day we had heavy rain). Local Soft-Lite dealers wanted 2-4K more for Pro (dual pane) compared to Lotus' pricing so Imperial LS, according to them, would be around $2500 more. If the difference was around 1-2K then it'd probably be worth paying extra. 4K or more, IMO, no. Also, with Lotus, I can change the configurations from sliders to double hungs - double hung windows generally perform better than sliders; and with Lotus' pricing it's still less than other quotes with original configurations.

At least, Lotus is a step up from various windows I've looked at - Simonton Impressions, Amerimax, and Park Avenue. At the end of the day, I think I can live with that.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:54 am
Posts: 11
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Quote:
By the way, the Sunrise dealer I was waiting on for a quote came through and it pays to shop around. He quoted 16.8K for Sunrise Restorations


eshenem,
Since there is no IM here and someone removed my email address I posted above, would you feel comfortable telling me here which company gave you the 16.8K quote for Sunrise Restorations? That is significantly better than the quotes I'm getting, so I want to make sure I get one from that company.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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eshenem wrote:
Thanks HomeSealed you make some good points there. Budget is a big factor that comes into play as far as decision-making is concerned. I don't want to go overboard. I know Lotus is going to be a big step up from current windows (builder's grade Milgard and believe it or not, I had to drill to make weep holes on one window a couple years ago after I moved in - didn't realize until one day we had heavy rain). Local Soft-Lite dealers wanted 2-4K more for Pro (dual pane) compared to Lotus' pricing so Imperial LS, according to them, would be around $2500 more. If the difference was around 1-2K then it'd probably be worth paying extra. 4K or more, IMO, no. Also, with Lotus, I can change the configurations from sliders to double hungs - double hung windows generally perform better than sliders; and with Lotus' pricing it's still less than other quotes with original configurations.

At least, Lotus is a step up from various windows I've looked at - Simonton Impressions, Amerimax, and Park Avenue. At the end of the day, I think I can live with that.

I hear ya. Just remember that home improvement contractors are one of the most complained about, issue-ridden industries in existence, and the vast majority of those problems originated at budget driven decisions... Not suggesting that you need $1000+ windows or anything like that, or even that paying a higher price guarantees a better finished product, however when the outliers are removed from the equation (super expensive and super cheap), there is a linear relationship there. Again though, I do genuinely hope that everything works out for you with whatever your final decision is. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:26 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 666
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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HomeSealed is completely spot on. The overwhelming majority of complaints regarding home improvement is from the " cheap guys". There are a million and one reasons why this is true.
Paying too much for a good product and install may bother you at first but trust me, the guy that did the same job for half the price will forever be unhappy.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:59 pm
Posts: 19
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I definitely agree with HomeSealed 100%. I've weeded out lowest quotes and have done substantial vetting on specific companies that I'm interested in doing business with. Those with "attitude" or being impatient with my long decision-making process were eliminated immediately -- it's a red flag and very likely I will have issues with them during installation and warranty service. I've had my share of bad home improvement guys (fired a few). I can't emphasize enough to do adequate vetting.

I'll let you guys know one way or another but I'm 99% sure about going with Lotus.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:59 pm
Posts: 19
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Digital Man wrote:
eshenem,
Since there is no IM here and someone removed my email address I posted above, would you feel comfortable telling me here which company gave you the 16.8K quote for Sunrise Restorations? That is significantly better than the quotes I'm getting, so I want to make sure I get one from that company.

Thanks.


Digital man, no worries, I don't have the business card nor the written quote anymore. I had at least 10 window dealers giving me 1-2 quotes so I can't remember them all. :) You should be able to find out that dealer through Sunrise website via dealer locator. I got 3 quotes from different Sunrise dealers listed at the web site and this guy had best pricing and he had some really great ideas on configuration changes. I would have done business with him but I did not like glass package selection and the fact that triple pane isn't available in larger sizes. If I recall the owner lives in Parker or Castle Rock. Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:54 am
Posts: 11
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eshenem wrote:
Digital Man wrote:
eshenem,
Since there is no IM here and someone removed my email address I posted above, would you feel comfortable telling me here which company gave you the 16.8K quote for Sunrise Restorations? That is significantly better than the quotes I'm getting, so I want to make sure I get one from that company.

Thanks.


Digital man, no worries, I don't have the business card nor the written quote anymore. I had at least 10 window dealers giving me 1-2 quotes so I can't remember them all. :) You should be able to find out that dealer through Sunrise website via dealer locator. I got 3 quotes from different Sunrise dealers listed at the web site and this guy had best pricing and he had some really great ideas on configuration changes. I would have done business with him but I did not like glass package selection and the fact that triple pane isn't available in larger sizes. If I recall the owner lives in Parker or Castle Rock. Hope this helps.


Thank you! I found one in Parker so I bet that's who you talked to. I've contacted them to see if they do installs in Colorado Springs.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 449
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I'd say the car comparison is crap, the Vette changes every eight year or so Windows go much longer typically.
The Pro was ahead of its time, I'd say more like comparing a C6 to a C7


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 2350
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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toddinmn wrote:
I'd say the car comparison is crap, the Vette changes every eight year or so Windows go much longer typically.
The Pro was ahead of its time, I'd say more like comparing a C6 to a C7

Todd, the over/under on your response was 24.5 hours... You are late! LOL... The Pro is no c6. C5 at best. Early one. That may be pretty accurate actually, as they can be bought anywhere by anyone for a song these days, and they are "pretty good at what they do" , which is to say that the LS1 is a strong base to work from, but needs a fair amount of modding to run with a c7. Plus it has the interior of a Cavalier.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 4349
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Car talk...? I like where this is going.


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:27 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1669
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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but I am confussed


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:07 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 449
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The interiors don't matter when you just get to look at them. With ABC and Norandex dropping Softlite the Pro is not so easy to obtain .Softlite prices were never at a song even on the Pro series


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 Post subject: Re: Input appreciated on couple brands
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 4349
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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toddinmn wrote:
The interiors don't matter when you just get to look at them. With ABC and Norandex dropping Softlite the Pro is not so easy to obtain .Softlite prices were never at a song even on the Pro series


Please put this in a car analogy please.


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