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 Post subject: Finding a quality product from a qualified installer
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:37 am
Posts: 2
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I believe one could write a book based upon the experience learned during a project to replace my old wooden windows with new vinyl double glazed windows. Living in So. CA it wasn't necessary to install the same windows one might require in Montana or Michigan. The process was disturbing to say the least, and for 15 windows including casement, fixed, slider, and double hung, the initial estimates ranged from in excess $30K, (Sears preliminary estimate for their "Top Quality" windows), on down to under $9K for Polybau and Siminton. In just about every case the estimator would come in with an initial "High Estimate", and subsequently provide a lower "best deal" cost. It seemed as if I were haggling with a Turkish Rug Merchant in Istanbul, rather than receiving a qualified contractor capable of providing a reasonable estimate for the intended job. My final install price averaged a bit over $725 per window.

I would advise careful consideration of the "claims" from the installer, as opposed to the actual warranty provided by rhe manufacturer. I know in my case the sales staff claimed that I was covered for lifetime for breakage of the screens and/or window glass, but the actual warranty simply states "Glass - Lifetime The original factory installed insulating glass units are warranted not to "fail" for the lifetime of the product. A failed glass unit is one that develops a material obstruction of vision caused by dust collection or moisture formation". No word about breakage here, and despite claims to the contrary the actual warranty is NOT transferable if I sell my home. Also I never received the necessary information to request a tax savings or energy credit after the windows were installed.

Compared to my old single glazed wooden windows the new ones provide better insulation, improved sound dampening, and reduced UV damage from the sun, and removed the hassle of painting and maintenance previously required by my original windows, however I don't believe the lived up to the claims of the All Brand Windows sales staff. I also feel that the installation crew used over sized trim as well as careless application of the caulking, leaving me with what I found to be a less than "quality" installation.

It would appear that "Buyer Beware" is the watchword when dealing with replacement window companies, and it is imperative to attempt not only due diligence prior to selecting a dealer/contractor, but to obtain recommendations and testimonials from satisfied clients before attempting to sign on the dotted line.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a quality product from a qualified installer
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:44 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1316
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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IMO, most of the pros would agree. Unforunately we have more than a few bad apples, maybe it would be better stated that there are a few good apples, O but when you find it, how sweet it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Finding a quality product from a qualified installer
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:33 pm
Posts: 50
Offline
Ucla61 wrote:
I believe one could write a book based upon the experience learned during a project to replace my old wooden windows with new vinyl double glazed windows. Living in So. CA it wasn't necessary to install the same windows one might require in Montana or Michigan. The process was disturbing to say the least, and for 15 windows including casement, fixed, slider, and double hung, the initial estimates ranged from in excess $30K, (Sears preliminary estimate for their "Top Quality" windows), on down to under $9K for Polybau and Siminton. In just about every case the estimator would come in with an initial "High Estimate", and subsequently provide a lower "best deal" cost. It seemed as if I were haggling with a Turkish Rug Merchant in Istanbul, rather than receiving a qualified contractor capable of providing a reasonable estimate for the intended job. My final install price averaged a bit over $725 per window.

I would advise careful consideration of the "claims" from the installer, as opposed to the actual warranty provided by rhe manufacturer. I know in my case the sales staff claimed that I was covered for lifetime for breakage of the screens and/or window glass, but the actual warranty simply states "Glass - Lifetime The original factory installed insulating glass units are warranted not to "fail" for the lifetime of the product. A failed glass unit is one that develops a material obstruction of vision caused by dust collection or moisture formation". No word about breakage here, and despite claims to the contrary the actual warranty is NOT transferable if I sell my home. Also I never received the necessary information to request a tax savings or energy credit after the windows were installed.

Compared to my old single glazed wooden windows the new ones provide better insulation, improved sound dampening, and reduced UV damage from the sun, and removed the hassle of painting and maintenance previously required by my original windows, however I don't believe the lived up to the claims of the All Brand Windows sales staff. I also feel that the installation crew used over sized trim as well as careless application of the caulking, leaving me with what I found to be a less than "quality" installation.

It would appear that "Buyer Beware" is the watchword when dealing with replacement window companies, and it is imperative to attempt not only due diligence prior to selecting a dealer/contractor, but to obtain recommendations and testimonials from satisfied clients before attempting to sign on the dotted line.


Sorry to hear about your experience but in Southern California it seems most homeowners are concerned with price and not doing their homwork. I believe All Brand Windows is out of business and Polybau windows seems to not to be answering their phones either. If you got Polybau windows installed by All Brand Windows you might have zero warranty now and no replacement parts available too. Hope this helps other homeowners not fall for the old school pricing games.


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