Replacement Windows in Los Angeles

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brian742
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:28 pm
Location: San Fernando Valley, California
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Replacement Windows in Los Angeles

#1 Post by brian742 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:53 pm

Hi all -
New to this Board, since I've just begun the process of looking for windows, but I'm glad such a helpful site is available. Thanks for your contributions!

I've met with 4 window replacement companies in the last week, and am meeting a few more. I'm replacing all my windows, because the ones currently in place are original and 40 years old, and because I want more energy efficiency and noise reduction. I'm trying to become a knowledgable consumer, and have some questions for those who have been through this process.

I've met with Bel Air Exteriors (Milgard brand), Window World (Irwin/Canadian Thermo Windows brand), Pacific Home Remodeling (Applause/Atrium brand), and Home Improvement King (Dimensions/Anlin brand). I am still setting up appointments for Sunset Windows, American Vision Windows and a couple of independents. We have 14 windows, and one sliding door, and prices have ranged from $12,600 to almost $30,000! The products look pretty similar, and the warranties are all very similar, etc.

Questions:
Does anyone have experience with any of these companies? Good or bad?
What kind of things should a new consumer be wary of?
What brand windows are good/bad? What brands have people had problems with? What brands have people NOT had problems with?
What issues can arise with installation?
What difference does small variations in "U Factor" make? (U Factors we've heard about range from 0.30 to 0.24)
Has anyone had troubles with getting companies to perform on their warranty?
Do vinyl windows actually ADD to the home's resale value?
Do vinyl windows actually reduce utility bills as suggested? How much?

Please reply here or through private email (brianmanson@hotmail.com). Thank you!
- Brian

RVEXLER
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Location: ESCONDIDO CALIFORNIA
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#2 Post by RVEXLER » Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:29 pm

Does anyone have experience with any of these companies? Good or bad?
Check each one out the the los angeles bbb. You can eliminate a lot that way. Verify with ca contractors board that they have c-17 licenses no discplinary actions and workers comp.

What kind of things should a new consumer be wary of?
What brand windows are good/bad? What brands have people had problems with? What brands have people NOT had problems with?
What issues can arise with installation?
We sell/install Milgard in San Diego, CA. Great brand. Excellent warranty and they actually service it.

What difference does small variations in "U Factor" make? (U Factors we've heard about range from 0.30 to 0.24)
U factor is no where near as important as SHGC in so cal. Keeping the heat out is more important. Look for SHGC of below .35. Low-e squared, vinyl frame is all you really need.
Has anyone had troubles with getting companies to perform on their warranty? Not with Milgard
Do vinyl windows actually ADD to the home's resale value? Its debateable. Numbers run from 60% to 71% (e.g. spend $10k home is worth $6 - $7 k more. Don't cost justify based on this.

Do vinyl windows actually reduce utility bills as suggested? How much? Yes. estimates from SDGE run to 30% during the summer. Check out the efficient windows.org for better estimates.

RVEXLER
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:31 am
Location: ESCONDIDO CALIFORNIA
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#3 Post by RVEXLER » Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:45 pm

bel air exteriors - in business since 94, clean no complaints with bbb, but do have a citation (bad news) from contractors license board. also, not c-17 glazers which they should have if windows are their primary business:

A disciplinary action (citation) was previously filed against this licensee, but the licensee has completed all requirements resulting from the citation. For further information, please call the Case Management Office in your area: (916) 255-4041 Northern California or (562) 345-7656 Southern California.

Click here for Complaint Disclosure information.

window world - business since 94, no complaints with bbb, valid cs license with c-17.

Home Improvement King - bbb listing only goes to 04. Already has citation with contractors license board.

A disciplinary action (citation) was previously filed against this licensee, but the licensee has completed all requirements resulting from the citation. For further information, please call the Case Management Office in your area: (916) 255-4041 Northern California or (562) 345-7656 Southern California.

Sunset windows apparently has an expired license (verify yourself though)
This license is expired and not able to contract at this time.

American Vision - 5 complaints lodged with BBB in 3 years. No C-17 license.

As to price, we would charge about $11,000 for your installation (in San Diego).

Do more checking with BBB and CSLB. Narrow down companies and ask for references. Call and visit installations. We provide a list with every customer's name and phone number we have done for the previous three years.

HipKat
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Location: Peoria, IL
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#4 Post by HipKat » Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:19 am

That BBB thing is cool, but check out how many complaints Ford Motor Compamy has had, or Wendy's Hamburgers, etc.
I got that once when I sold Schuco's, that there were 11 complaints lodged against the company that I worked for over the last 5 years. About 1500 jobs, and 11 complaints, THAT WERE ALL ANSWERED....

Not to shoot you down, because the BBB is a good place to do some tresearch, but it's not the end all.

windowrep
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
Location: ne ohio

#5 Post by windowrep » Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:53 am

i agree with hip on the better business bureau and will expand a little further. remember to check both the contractor and the window manufacturer. the window company that is doing the install may not have any problems with installing the product, however the actually product installed may have complaints. remember, if it is a product complaint it will be filed through the bbb on the window manufacturer. cant blame the installer for product quality. if you hire a company to install your windows and they are buying windows from another company, you the consumer are now dealing with the company they are buying windows from. hope that makes sense. not enough coffee yet.

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