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 Post subject: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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I am in South Jersey and need to replace contractor quality windows. I bought replacement windows from Window Wizards about 16 yrs ago and was very happy with the windows so I called them again. I have only recieved an estimate from them since I am a past customer and was impressed with the new model and what seemed like a fair price for a good quality model with a lifetime guarantee. Now after reading review and about last years issue with Okna windows I am having second thoughts. I was only shown one window, double hung, and quoted $15,000 for 27 windows, 2 of which are 1/2 circle top windows. Basically $540 a window and $850 for the small 1/2 window.

Am I right to have second thoughts? I don't want to call Sears, or any other high pressure sales company. Any suggestions for other dealers/manufactures if WindowWizards isn't the right dealer for us?

Thanks for your help.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 616
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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What window did they quote you? They have several different manufacturers that they purchase their vinyl from. Some are good, and some are not so good. You might one want to to do some more research on them?


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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They didn't leave any information on the manufacturer, gave me the impression they manufactured their own windows. After reading here I went to Okna's website and it is the 500 series with the upgraded latch and insulation. Seems like a good window but again not sure if I can now trust the Okna window since I can't find information on whether last years problem was resolved. Also not sure if the price I was quoted was fair or if it's high for Okna and I should shop around.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 616
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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There are some very experienced OKNA dealers on this forum that would know much more about them than I would. Perhaps they will chime in? I'd be a little more concerned about the crews installing for WW more so than the OKNA foam issues. After all, the foam does very little in overall terms of performance.

A few years ago WW had some subs working out of a supply house in Delaware in addition to their regular subs and in-house guys. I saw a ton of bad installs back then from these clowns. I was just in a house in which WW put in a bunch of Andersen 400 series and none of the windows can even be locked due to the fact that they were installed incorrectly. They sent a new crew that only did vinyl inserts and they butchered up the project. I'm not trying to intentionally slam them as you may have a perfectly good experience with them as you did in the past. It's that I've seen too much inconsistance out of the quality of their installs as they have too many different crews that come and go.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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Thank you, all aspects are scaring me off. I did have a good experience with them but I was in my 20's and didn't know much and it was so long ago. Considering I am replacing windows that don't lock from bad install on a house we built 14 years ago what you told me is a major concern to me. I had no idea I would be replacing windows this soon in a quality made, supposedly upscale home. I really appreciate your input and hope to hear of other experiences with Window Wizards.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 616
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Perform the normal stuff these days. Google them, search complaints, get several estimates, and spend some time here on the boards. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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I did, that's what's sad. I found nothing until I came here and if you do a search here, you're really out of luck. BBB has a B rating, not great but given volume kind of forgivable. I think I should just deal with the draft for now. I don't want to stay here long so don't want a huge investment and although I don't mind spending to get what I need hate being taken. I don't want to deal with pressure sales pitches and the WW guy didn't push me but $540 a window considering the ads you get for $197.00 installed. i appreciate your input and apologize for my indecision.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:11 am 
at $197 per window i am confident you don't actually believe you are getting anything close to quality. we agree on that?
ok, 540 per window for a premium vinyl window is average where i am. as long as its a qualiy install i'd say that price is not out of line at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3513
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Delaware Mike wrote:
There are some very experienced OKNA dealers on this forum that would know much more about them than I would. Perhaps they will chime in? I'd be a little more concerned about the crews installing for WW more so than the OKNA foam issues. After all, the foam does very little in overall terms of performance.

A few years ago WW had some subs working out of a supply house in Delaware in addition to their regular subs and in-house guys. I saw a ton of bad installs back then from these clowns. I was just in a house in which WW put in a bunch of Andersen 400 series and none of the windows can even be locked due to the fact that they were installed incorrectly. They sent a new crew that only did vinyl inserts and they butchered up the project. I'm not trying to intentionally slam them as you may have a perfectly good experience with them as you did in the past. It's that I've seen too much inconsistance out of the quality of their installs as they have too many different crews that come and go.


Product concerns are a dead issue because there is zero potential for partial fill rates with a rigid foam.

If you normal vetting process on the installation and human component of the equation yields concerns, that is where I would focus my evaluation.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:08 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:47 pm
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Thank you for your replies. I knew the $197 per window had to be a low quality window but the difference in price was substantial. Windows are a large purchase and it is something that most homeowners aren't very experienced in purchasing. Unfortunately, companies take advantage of this, so I don't even know where to go in the area for comparison other than ads. I won't call Champion or Sears, haven't heard great things about Lowes or Home Depot outside contractors.

I am relieved to learn that last years issue is no longer a concern for Okna or Window Wizards. I understood that the people who bought the windows in question were told that the windows would be insulated just as I was told, which is why I was concerned.

I know that quality is only one factor and installation is that unknown, I would assume not controllable, variable. I'm frustrated that I can't find any recent reviews online. I really appreciate your input.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:16 pm 
because of what window wizrards did,Okna now uses a molded polysteyrene which means it is inserted by hand. there is no way for any part of the extrusion to only be partially filled.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 pm
Posts: 1579
Location: Northern,Virginia
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Huh? What did Window Wizards do other than use an old brouchure? Okna made the window, not WW.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:15 am
Posts: 3
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Hi,
I am actually in the window business in central Delaware and have had the following experiences.
As posted on this board the problem with the high pressure tactics used by many of the companies such as Castle, Andersen renewal etc. Yes these are really happening A LOT!! One example-Andersen Renewal 14 windows installed and customized-quoted $15995. One of my customers got and did the job for $6700 with qualified windows (I furnished the windows). Another example-lady called for a window quote to another local company-sales rep spent 3 hours pitching his windows (brand unknown) and conned the lady into signing an "estimate" so he could show his boss he had made his sales pitch. Lady came to me for a quote which we measured and quoted (15 windows) for $5800 (qualified windows). She paid us a deposit and about a week later called me in a panic saying the first company was at her house with windows to install! Keep in mind that no money had changed hands, yet they were there to put in windows for $12000. I advised her to not let them do anything and to call her attorney. Result was that her attorney advised her that the document she had signed was an agreement and since no money had changed hands that it was not considered a contract and she was not liable for anything with them. Beware of what you are asked to sign. In business since 1974 and in the window business the 1980's. Price does not always determine quality or value. It is true that there is no free lunch, but don't get ripped off thinking price will garantee quality. We have had many brands come and go. for example Weathercraft (Coatesville Pa.) DACO (Phila. Pa.) Precision Vinyl (Dover, De.) and others. We decided that we would only purchase from companies with a longer history in business and have settled on American Jewel Window Systems and Ideal Manufacturing, both in business for over 50 years. I saw negative comments on the board about Ideal. After reading the post, the problem was with the installer, not Ideal, unless it was a company installer, and I am not aware of them having company installers, just service personell. I have NEVER had a problem with Ideal not honoring their warrantee, and support on older product has been good. I suspect some older extrusions might cause problems past 10-15 years for ALL manufacturers. I have sold American Jewel products since 1999 and quality and warrantee claims I can count on my fingers. Ideal since 1988 and same thing with quality or warrantee issues. I have a friend and competitor that sell Simenton (may not be spelled right) and he has had few issues as well. I did read that Window Wizards was sued about their foam filled frames being only filled on the corners. Long story short, get references from past customers of the person or company you are shopping and research the manufacturers of their product, and remember no product will be perfect all the time, but reputable companies will stand behind their product. Thank You, Stroman P.S. I can also offer OKNA, and MI Capital, but prefer Ideal and American Jewel as they manufacture MOST of the product they offer. They do buy their extrusions from outside manufacturers.


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:15 am
Posts: 3
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Delaware Mike above is right about the foam doing much in the way of insulation. It does however add significantly to the rigidity, especially on large windows. One thing I have noticed not discussed here are seal systems. Most of the loss of efficiency with the advent of better glass and spacer systems is around the weatherstrip systems. Look at the infiltration numbers when trying to determine overall efficency,
Stroman


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 Post subject: Re: Window Wizards
PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:15 am
Posts: 3
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Regarding the $197 dollar figure and quality. Please keep in mind with replacement windows that once you get past the basic window (good seal system, good spacer, LowE/Argon, decent extrusion) that a lot of the cost can be attributed to the gingerbread items such as adding full as opposed to standard half screen, colonial grilles (many price choices-only add to solar heat gain coefficient and not U) or decorative grilles (brass caming with crystals etc).
Another question I ask is how do you define quality. I submit that some people only think a product is good if it is expensive-if that is your definition, then by all means, spend away. If your definition is high performance, longevity, proven warranty support, reasonably attractive etc. then I submit that with a little effort you can get quality in reasonably priced product from a number manufacturers. With research, you may be surprised at who they might be. I would say that $300 will buy a quality window based on years on the industry and $1000 can buy a piece of junk.
Stroman


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