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 Post subject: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:24 pm
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Hi all,

We've had a few companies come out to give us estimates for 6 new windows to replace our ancient aluminum "miami" style windows but still feel that we need some more info before we make a choice.

So far, Pella, Andersen, and Universal Windows Direct have visited. Pella and Andersen are way too expensive, both coming in at over $1,000 a window, installed. Universal windows direct seems to have a quality product; double hung, dual pane with soft coat, low E, 7/8 inch gap between panes that is filled with argon, virgin vinyl that does not fade, the "super seal", and a solid warranty. I believe these are the unishield plus models, but I am not 100% sure. Universal windows direct came in at a reasonable $4200 with 0% financing for 2 years. I've seen some posts on this site that seem to allude to there being a problem or problems with universal windows direct, and I was wondering if anyone could let me know what those issues are or have been.

Also, does anyone know of other local Philly installers who sell good quality, reasonably priced windows like the ones from universal windows direct, and if so, who, and what type of window? I saw a post on here that references some window brands that are of a similar price and quality but cant seem to find that post now...

Thanks for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I don't think that any of us like to bash our competitors, so I'd recommend searching reviews on Universal, BBB, etc. The Polaris Ultraweld is a solid product (Thermalweld : ehhh, not as much...), but you might consider getting quotes from some local companies. Recommended choices: Sunrise, Okna, Softlite, and Gorell.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Sounds like you may have just been at the PA Home Show? The very best guy would be our own local Pro "Anthony." I'm not sure if he does actual work in the city as those row homes can be tricky regarding parking and ladder work for guys more geared for the suburbs?

I personally swore off center city jobs last year when I took out a parking meter 6 blocks from my job site with the claw end of my hammer after my 3rd ticket. Pricing can be all over the place in Philly. I've seen homeowners receive quotes as low as $375 a window and as high as $1K for vinyl (standard install details). OKNA's manufacturing facility is real close to the city, thus there are a lot of good outfits that carry their products.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:17 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I wasnt sure if anthony serviced Philly, but if so, he is definitely the guy to talk to. Stand up guy, best products. You can find him on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5316 ... just click "get a quote".


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:29 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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The Okna 800 DX would be my first choice.

We do not seek work in the city, but we do not turn it away.
We just completed a specialized patio door project in Old City.

Guys thx for the thumbs up.

Additional Delaware Mike would be great if you have parking. :D


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:50 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:24 pm
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Hi guys. Thanks for the replies. As far as universal windows direct, I have checked them out as best I could online, and it seems there are different regional franchises/retailers. The one I would be working with is out of NJ and has not received any complaints on BBB and has a few reviews scattered across various review sites, but all are 5 star reviews. So maybe the issues that people have with them are just at other regional places and not with the NJ one.

As for my place, no we do not have parking, but if the job were done on a weekend or after 5pm on weekdays, there is a parking lot at the end of my street for a post office and an out of business Sprint store where you can park without fear of getting towed/ticketed. Also, I live right off of Broad, so you can always park in the middle of Broad and not get a ticket.

I'd be happy to work with Anthony and see what he can do for me and check out the Okna windows. Before I do the request a quote thing, though, I want to make sure that submitting my info will not result in me getting bombarded with phone calls from a ton of different places. Anyone know if that will happen?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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To get a quote from Anthony all you have to do is to click on the "Get a Quote" icon by his name. Only he will be contacting you. He should be able to offer you several solutions.

I tried a little while back do some research on Universal. I was trying to play with their double-hung window sample at the home show but the sales guy wouldn't leave me alone. I didn't see any red flags with it's design from what I remember.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:03 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:59 pm
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universal direct uses the polaris thermal weld with super spacer. thermal weld is ok i guess but not as good as the polaris ultra weld which is a pretty solid window.
i would strongly recommend looking at the Okna 800 deluxe as well. it has a very authentic look to it and its solid from top to bottom.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:31 am 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I agree on the Okna 800DX. Excellent window, definitely one of the top choices available... On Universal, they do have locations across the country, but they are not independently owned franchises. There are a couple guys that started the company and they've grown across the country. There was a write up I believe in Replacement Contractor about them within the last year... I'm not a particular fan of the high-pressure approach, but to each his own. As said above, the Thermalweld is a pretty average window. You could do better, you could worse.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Ranger, that's interesting that they have a Polaris product. I've not know of anyone in this area that was dealing with Polaris. I was under the impression that Polaris didn't have distribution to this area. Universal is out in West Berlin, NJ. Ironically, I have to head just by their headquarters today to do some garage door capping in a condo development.

At the home show I saw several OKNA dealers displaying the 800 series. The 800 really shined in comparison to what other dealers were offering as far as vinyl goes. Soft-Lite, Sunrise, and Gorell didn't have a presence at the show, however the Philly area has quite a few good dealers for these products.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:21 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:59 pm
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universal has a lock on polaris; they have some sort of agreement. they chose to offer the thermal opposed to ultra. kind of similar to castle and soft lite.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:24 pm
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I should hear from Anthony soon, and we still have power home remodeling visiting next week.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1817
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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krazyboy13 wrote:
Thanks for the input, everyone. I should hear from Anthony soon, and we still have power home remodeling visiting next week.

:shock: ... Again, I'm not here to bash other guys, but I have a feeling that you are REALLY going to like anthony. :D .... Just keep in mind: no matter how much smoke and mirrors are thrown at you, the true performance of a window will be shown by the independently verified ratings of U value, SHGC, AI , DP, and VT... along with a high quality install and a company that stands behind it.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:53 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:24 pm
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anthony wrote:
The Okna 800 DX would be my first choice.

We do not seek work in the city, but we do not turn it away.
We just completed a specialized patio door project in Old City.

Guys thx for the thumbs up.

Additional Delaware Mike would be great if you have parking. :D



Hi Anthony,

I did the request a quote link by your name a few days ago but never heard from you, so I tried again, and it says that you do not work in my zip, 19148.


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 Post subject: Re: New windows for a Philadelphia rowhouse
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1366
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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I will see what I can do.
Thx.


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