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 Post subject: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:51 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:32 am
Posts: 2
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Hello,
I am looking for advice from anyone that knows or has had experience with ALCO Windows in Philadelphia.

They've given me the best quote at $3500 for 8 windows (Platinum 7000 Series). Everything sounds good and they have really good consistent reviews on Angie's List. Also this is the ratings label they post on their website:
Image

I know it's a pretty low price, and the thing that concerns me the most is I can't find any industry or third party reviews of the windows themselves.

I found these other 2 topics on this same board, but I'm hoping to hear from someone who might know how well they hold up in the long run.

ALCO WINDOWS INC, PHILADELPHIA (Sep 21, 2010)
http://www.vinyl-replacement-windows.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4375

Alco Windows by Veka (Mar 23, 2009)
http://www.vinyl-replacement-windows.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2894

I'm not looking for the best, but hopefully something that will look decent and hold up more than 5-10 years.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 4351
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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If something seems too low, it usually is.

Not familiar with the window but I would like to know what the Design Pressure and Air Infiltration numbers are like. Design Pressure is probably a more valuable indicator from long term durability and Air Infiltration is along those sames lines both as an indicator of design and exactness of tolerances.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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I came in to the North Wilmington area last year and did a Sunrise Vanguard Bow window and some basement slider behind a project in which ALCO did. They installed a 6' patio slider with internal blinds and a series of casements with awnings attached to them. I'm not impressed at all with the product and the installation was down right terrible. I've not seen their double hung units.

I think the installers skill set and workmanship is a good indication of why the price is so low.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:23 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:32 am
Posts: 2
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Thanks for the input. He actually did mention their windows have a DP (Design Pressure) rating of 50. When I asked about air infiltration he referred to that number again.

That's one of the things that bugged me, I realize a DP of 50 is really good, but I have nothing to verify it, and he didn't give me an air infiltration number in the end.

I spent a while going through their reviews on Angie's List, and they do have consistent reviews going back to 2009. I specifically looked at low rated reviews, they were mostly for dissatisfaction with the sales process and only a few for performance.

Overwhelmingly the reviews were positive, almost everyone has been satisfied with the installation for the price, even with a few mentioning they came back and replaced windows when there was cracked glass or other defects.

Even though Delaware Mike mentions his experience of poor workmanship with other types of installation, I still haven't found a single example of someone saying their double hung windows are categorically bad after scouring the web for 3 days. I also talked to a local contractor who was also sceptical of the price, saying he couldn't offer lower than $3800 for 8 windows, but again hasn't seen or heard anything bad about ALCO.

In the end, I think am going to go with them. I've gotten 5 estimates so far and this is still the best one.

I actually already gave them a deposit to "lock down" the price, even though I loathed to do it.

The sales guy said signing the contract and taking a deposit now was mostly so he wouldn't have to take a second trip if I wanted to move forward, but I still can cancel the order. This actually made sense to me, he said he was giving me a really good deal, I figure for a good deal you have to concede somewhere, and if it's so the sales guy doesn't have to make multiple trips I'll take it.

So I negotiated to change the cancellation period to 1 week, marked it on the contract, and dated the check a week later to be safe. I still have 3 more days.

Hopefully everything goes okay, either way I'll try and post a follow-up.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:07 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 668
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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If you are in the Philly area, contact "Delaware Mike", he serves that area and is one heck of a contractor. He also offers better products than Alco. I would at the very least, click his contact button.
That Alco window looks like it has a pocket sill which is RED FLAG. You never want a double hung window that usees a pocket sill system, you will have issues . Thats also a very cheap way for a company to cheat their way into getting a higher design pressure rating.
The best windows all have one thing in common,a true welded sloped sill.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Please do post up a follow up on your experience. Hopefully, it will be a good experience and a successful one. We like to hear the good ones. You have performed enough research with the Angie's and other reviews to be reassured. I'm guessing that the install that I saw with my homeowner may have more of a fluke as there was a lot of custom work that falls more into my territory than what a sub likes to deal with. They had a slider removed and there was a lot of mods to the opening in regards to mortar work. They still pitched the sill cap without proper drainage pitch but I'm sure you wouldn't have that same crazy scenario.

Most of us pros prefer a non-irrigation weep pocket sill for our non-costal installs as that system kind of kills the air leakage performance. It also lends itself to a less attractive exterior as those weep covers and the bug flaps always look pretty bad after about 10-years as the material turns yellow or black that the cover is made out of. In a costal application it's pretty common to see that type of system.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:52 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 668
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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The gentleman who replied to your post( delaware mike) serves your area. At the very least, i would click his contact button and have him come take a look at your project. In my opinion, he is one of the best installers on the east coast- hands down. He also has a wide array of quality products. Great guy to deal with.


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO Windows Philadelphia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 2352
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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@jhsu, are you aware that the sticker/product in question does not meet the new Energy Star requirement of a .27 u factor? That may or may not be important to you, but it is something that you should know.

I have no other familiarity with that window, although that I'd agree with the other pros on the sill design issue if that is in play here.


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