Schuco: good window? good quote?

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TrevorS
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Schuco: good window? good quote?

#1 Post by TrevorS » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:40 am

My wife comes home from Sam's Club practically towing the Schuco salesman. (Actually, after several phone calls from the sales office, the guy finally visits, under the your-wife-must-be-there requirement). He runs around the house with his tape measure, slams his fist against the unbreakable glass in his demo piece, tells us the normal price for our 18 2.5'X4' windows would be $21.5K but "There's Sam's Club special - this month only": $14,900 (and he's graciously used the discount rate for an order of 20+ windows because he was able to make some of our 3 and 4 window groups into 2 or 3 window groups).

The wife is standing there with the I WANT NEW WINDOWS look, so I sign the darn form on the $20 down, $28/month, no payments/interest until 2007 deal for just 3 windows at $2,500 to lock in the rest of the price for one year. Oh sure, we want windows someday, but we're eating pasta every night because I'm staying home to help watch our two babies AND launch a business. Besides, I haven't done ANY research!

I'm calling them tomorrow to cancel the order. I'm SO mad about the high pressure sales tactics. I'm even MORE mad that I let myself fall for it - and I could see the whole thing unfolding (the antics/tactics of this guy are too numerous to list, but he sure was slick about it). ANYWAY...

- From this forum, I'm getting the impression that Schuco is among the best windows out there. I've never heard of them. Is that true?
- From this forum, I'm getting the impression that $830 per window (installed) is reasonable for the high quality such as Schuco in Central CT. Is that true?
- He's trying to sell me Double Hung 2500's (double pane with argon), but everyone in here seem to be referring to triple pane windows for those prices... did he just try to sell me double-panes at triple-pane prices?
- If I'm going to get high quality windows (Schuco or otherwise) should I be sure to get triple-pane, or are double-pane okay?
- 40% guaranteed reduction in heating costs? Is that realistic? I only pay $1,670/yr for natural gas - my bill will really go to $1,000/yr?
- Salesman was from a company called FJB, which he claims is the company that makes the Schuco windows here in Newington, CT - that I'm buying from the manufacturer, not a contractor/reseller/whatever. Is that possible? If so, why isn't his company name "Schuco"? If my business continues to grow the way it is, we'll be calling for window estimates again soon - should I bother calling this guy back?

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

chrisexv6
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#2 Post by chrisexv6 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:51 am

Schuco was my "last quote". By the time they arrived, I had already picked another brand/installer, just because I was tired of the 3 hour sales BS for a window that looked like it would fall apart sitting in my kitchen (yeah I know the samples are beat up, but I was looking at the design of things, not how they fit).

Once Schuco got here, all bets were off. COMPLETELY different quality than anythign else I had seen. Even the double hung (which I need 0 of) was incredible. The slider (which I need 7 of) is what sold me.

As for price, we ended up with ~800/window. However, we're looking at 7 sliders at least 4'x4' each (2 of them are 5'x4'). 8 casements, ranging from 2'x5' all the way to 2.5'x5' (the largest size Schuco will make with triple/krypton), and 2 small awning windows (for the bathrooms). Total price was ~15K for 18 windows, with triple pane and krypton. I originally balked at the price, then signed up for it anyway (another quote I had for far inferior windows was coming in around 11K, so 4K to get a really really impressive window was OK to me).

They tried to pull the "wife needs to be here" bs. I told them my wife, who had just had a c-section for our first child, was not in any condition to come downstairs and listen to the pitch. If they had anything that she *needed* to know, they could tell her when we went upstairs to measure. The salesman was nice enough to oblige, and didnt end up asking her anything anyway. We watched "the dvd" which wasnt too bad, only 7 minutes or so.

Id definitely call the window high quality. The attention to detail is great ("shadowing" the welds at the corners of the frame/sashes), and the glass pack is impressive (TPS and edge deletion)

~830.00/double hung installed seems a little high, because double hungs are always cheaper than casements and/or sliders. Granted I have a couple small windows in there bringing down the average price of our install, but I have a bunch of much larger windows that arent double hungs.

Personally, Id go for the triple krypton. It actually wasnt much more in the grand scheme of things (~1200 on mine). It was a no brainer for me as we have a train close enough that we can hear it. The triple alone should help with the noise, and the krypton is nice too. In CT I think we are "on the edge" of needing and not needing the triple, but again I think the small price in the grand scheme of things is worth it

I saw the guaranteed heat reduction costs. In fact the only other company that threw that out at me was a company that I literally laughed out of my kitchen. Take it all with a grain of salt, there are probably a million ways they calculated it out and they just picked the one that made it seem incredible. Im expecting to save some $$$ on my heating, but not 40% (although the way the measurer/installer talked, the double pane windows I have now are worse than single pane with storms).

Not sure about the salesman/company. Drop me an email at the address in my profile and Ill chat with you about our company. I *think* Schuco has it setp so that there is only one company per area, but Im not sure. Schuco is based in Newington, but I think they operate like most replacement window companies..........their dealers place an order, they build the window and send to the dealer, dealer brings window to your house and installs. Schuco makes the Schuco windows in CT. FJB just orders and installs em.

Good luck!
-Chris

HipKat
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#3 Post by HipKat » Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:13 am

FJB doesn't MAKE the Schuco window. Schuco does.
FJB is the dealer, and they are notorious for overpricing and extreme high pressure.
BTW, the windows are assembled in CT, not manufactured. The frames are made by a completely diferent company.
How do I know?? I used to work for them.
He didn't lock in the price, he gave you a DISCOUNT lock. Which means they'll discount whatever percentage he took from his list price off whatever he says the list price is a year from now.
There's no such thing as an energy pledge.
There's really no such thing as a double pane cost for a triple pane window, since the cost of the window is based on the dealer, not the manufacturer.
It's so full of loopholes that it could never be covered.
Yes, Schuco makes, by far, the best window out there, but doesn't need to be 830 bucks a window.

BTW, the wife needs to be there thing is a salesman's way of eliminating the "I need to talk to my wife" hesitation. It actually does have soem merit, since a window demo is filled with alot of info that you'd have a hard time relaying to her at a later date, although, I'd imagine most of the major details would not be something someone would forget.
It's like going to school, and trying to teach the class you took to someone that wasn't there.

Oh, and when you cancel, he'll come back with a much lower price to "save" the deal.

steelersfan
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#4 Post by steelersfan » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:04 am

Schuco doesn't make the frames to their windows????

FenEx
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#5 Post by FenEx » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:09 am

Schuco does make their own frames. They import their extrusions but the frames are all assembled and fusion welded in house. The only exceptions to this are some of the geometric shapes. Trust me on this, I've been through the plant.

steelersfan
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#6 Post by steelersfan » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:24 am

Aren't extrusions another word for frames?

FenEx
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#7 Post by FenEx » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:28 am

Extrusions are frame material, the actual master frames and sash frames are made at Schuco. Their extrusions are custom made for them and brought in at 16' or 20' lengths.

steelersfan
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#8 Post by steelersfan » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:37 am

I had heard that Schuco was only one of three companies that manufactured actual 'virgin vinyl' (since I guess it VV has to be only 70 percent pure). Not true, I guess?

TrevorS
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#9 Post by TrevorS » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:47 pm

I called the Vice President at FJB (skipped the sales guy) and cancelled my order with him. No hassle at all "you have three days to recind your order, we respect that". No calls from sales guy with lower price (yet). Thanks.

I'll definitely call Schuco back when we're ready. But I'll also ask look to do as good or better than $830/window, and I'll go for the triple glass (maybe but out a little more highway noise.

I've also found their Newington, CT location, which has a showroom: it's less than 5 miles from me, and its down a side road from my route to my mother-in-law's. I might have to be late to her house one day (awe, shucks) and stop in.

BTW: I am SURE the sales guy said that FJB had their own manufacturing facility and then bought Schuco. Of course, I assumed he meant that Schuco bought them - but is was probably an "intentional mistake" on his part. Then again, maybe he means they bought the rights to assemble the Schuco windows at their facility? In fact, maybe this is why HipKat, who used to work for Schuco, says the frames arr not manufactured, only assembled, but FenEx says he's seen manufacturing happen. Maybe the Newington location is different, and it's assembly only. I'll try to get more info from the showroom.

Maybe they even have cheaper prices fro mthe showroom. Yea right.

HipKat
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#10 Post by HipKat » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:09 pm

I meant to say extrusions, but it was early this morning..

Anyhow, Schuco came to the us via Frank J Bocian (FJB), who had Homecraft windows in CT. They bought out his plant and that's where the window is ade in the US. They have about 14 plants worldwide.
That's how FJB became the exclusive distributor of the Schuco Insul-sash window, a model that only FJB can sell.
About a year ago, FJB got into the Sam's Clubs and part of their deal was that they offer more than one "grade" of window, so now their line isn't just the insul-sash.
They also sell another companies window, as their grade C window, but I can't remember who's it is. Steelcraft or something like that.
You should have told Jim that Greg from Buffalo said hi.
I bet he would've snorted out his coffee through his nose..... :lol:

TrevorS
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e-mail offer...

#11 Post by TrevorS » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:23 am

As a result of this post, I've received an e-mail from another CT resident who said that he knows someone who can install Schuco windows at about $525/per instead of >$800/per. The e-mailer indicated that a friend of his contacted the Schuco office and received the name & phone number of a conractor other than FJB. Apparently, some of the people that work with this installer also work in the factory and even train Schuco dealers on installation techniques.

As I think I promissed earlier, I'm going to stop by the Schuco showroom as soon as I get a chance. We'll see if they confirm that there are others who are selling/installing windows besides FJB. I was under the impression that Schuco only licensed one dealer/installer per region....

TrevorS
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update on e-mail

#12 Post by TrevorS » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:32 am

UPDATE: I sent a return e-mail to the good samaritan telling me where to get cheaper Schuco windows. It bounced. The sender's e-mail address is on a mail server that says it is for the free use of people living in a certain part of England. They probably pulled the account that this guy created simply for the purpose of spamming people.

I'm even more interested, now, to see what I can dig up at the Schuco showroom. I'll report back when I've done that (it might be a cpl of weeks before I can make the trip).

HipKat
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#13 Post by HipKat » Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:36 am

There ARE other people who sell Schuco windows. FJB sells the Insul-sash model.
New England Sash is one, aalthough they're notorious for their tactics too, and I'm sure there are more in that area.

TrevorS
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the other installer

#14 Post by TrevorS » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:25 am

I guess it's okay to say this, then: the recommended installer in this case was Handyman Plus LLC. E-mailer claimed that the prices would be about 65% of FJB's.

I guess I should find out what Insul-sash is, or whatever you called it, and find out how much better it is than whatever else they're selling.

HipKat
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#15 Post by HipKat » Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:28 pm

It's not so much that it's better, it's just a different model.
FKB says it's Schuco's best model, but I've seen other's and I don't see much of a diference, other than a full length lift rail (which I REALLY like, the way it looks).

Otherwise, I don't know there is a big enough difference between that and say the Corona.

The frame is the same, the spacer the same, the glass pack the same, the construction os the same.
If I'm not mistaken, perhaps the glazing bead is different too, but I can't remember.
It's been awhile since I sold Schuco.
Insulsash is more or less the marriage of Schuco's window and the Homecraft window, which was called insulsash, if I'm not mistaken.

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