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 Post subject: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:23 pm
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I decided after doing countless hours of research that I would post a chronological account of my experience with Home Depot replacing my windows. Hopefully this will help others considering this approach. I'm not looking to promote HD or push anyone in any particular direction but in all my research I have never seen anyone give a chronological play by play of their experience with HD.

As of today here is where we stand. My wife and I have a 43 year old house in Windham, Maine. The windows are so drafty that on some bitterly cold nights I have worn a hat to bed (window right over my bed). My windows are pretty bad and I have some sill rot to deal with too. My wife and I were recently looking at Windows and we decided to let HD have a crack at giving us a quote (save me many weekends of work too :wink: ). Last week a sales consultant (JM) came to the house and spent time explaining what we had, measuring and explaining what HD would do.

In the end we had an estimate for 18 VantagePointe 6500 series windows with install totaling 11,000.00. Because they are running a special in March we will get 15% off. JM also explained the following:

-The windows are all custom made to fit.
-The windows will be installed by licensed, insured, certified and bonded sub contractor.
-They do one window at a time instead of ripping them all out at once.
-The final contract will cover ANYTHING they find during install (rot, missing insulation, etc.) but if they find lead paint we are looking at $35 more per window.
-The windows and their work are covered by a lifetime warranty (parts and labor) including accidental damage).
-The price we get will be middle of the road BUT no one else is going to offer covering any problems during install (rot) and a lifetime warranty on parts and labor.
-Home Depot does it right because they want us to call them next time we need something like a roof (which we will soon) :lol:

OK.. so after JM leaves we dig and dig. We find a friend who had HD replace their windows and they are very satisfied. We also contact another local window contractor who offers a 20 year warranty. Sorry.. we are in this house for life, 20 years isn't good enough. I also did hours of research on the internet and found a few positive reviews. Given the fact HD has replaced MILLIONS of windows and typically only dissatisfied people post things on-line I decided to give them a shot.

So, tomorrow we will see the actual 'contract' and put down a deposit.

I'll check back later in the week and post any contract or install date surprises. Let's hope the posts to follow are all positive ones but whatever follows should be of help to some people in the future :roll:

Wish me luck!


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 789
Location: Texas - Houston & Austin
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Okay, I will. Good luck.....and I mean that sincerely. :D

The pros here have never said that all Home Depot jobs go badly, just enough to cause us to warn homeowners that it's really hit and miss with them. Additionally, their pricing is typically on the high side for a decent window.

Hopefully you get a good installer and your jobs turns out well. Keep us in the loop please.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1753
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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+1 to randy's comments.
On this: "-The windows are all custom made to fit.
-The windows will be installed by licensed, insured, certified and bonded sub contractor.
-They do one window at a time instead of ripping them all out at once.
-The final contract will cover ANYTHING they find during install (rot, missing insulation, etc.) but if they find lead paint we are looking at $35 more per window.
-The windows and their work are covered by a lifetime warranty (parts and labor) including accidental damage).
-The price we get will be middle of the road BUT no one else is going to offer covering any problems during install (rot) and a lifetime warranty on parts and labor.
-Home Depot does it right because they want us to call them next time we need something like a roof (which we will soon)"

The same exact things could be said for many other companies.

On box stores, what I generally say is this: Your number one goal in purchasing new windows is to find a good product and installation for a good price. You do research in order to make sure that you get what you are looking for, in order to mitigate the chances that you will get a bad install, have someone take off with your money, get poor service, etc, etc. The product that you've been quoted is reputable and decent quality. Where you are going to see increased risk, is in the area of the installation. Box stores pay their subcontractors substantially less than the going rate of "specialty" window/exterior remodeling companies, and generally have a revolving door of subs. Draw your own conclusions as to how that will reflect upon the quality of the individual that will be in your home, as well as the installation itself. Most people don't know the difference between a good or bad install, and may never know until years later when they find water damage and mold inside the wall beneath the window or something else along those lines. In addition, you'll likely see better service and a more knowledgeable staff when you work with a local window company, as well as a price that may be equal or better for a superior product.
Those are the reasons why we generally recommend a thoroughly vetted local window company over a box-store install. That said, as randy mentioned, it is not impossible that you would get a good installation, but I always prefer the odds on my side.
Be sure to update us on your experience as the project progresses. :D


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 158
Location: GulfBreezeWindows
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First, I won't say you will have a bad install at all.

Decent Price, good product and Everyone above is right, it is more about who shows up. Oh, and I've never seen a "licensed, insured, certified and bonded sub contractor" from Home Depotp except for Roofing, electrical, Plumbing and HVAC (the 4 main un sub-able contractors).

Just for giggle, ask them to supply all the above before the sub actually starts work and see if its their name, especiall the bonded part, as usually that is a gimmick becuase most bonds require the contractor to obtain one for every address they do. Otherwise they just lied flat out to you.

You get a good sub, you get a good install, get a bad one, and well yada yada.
I hired a HD sub one time. They did ALL of HD's window installs. He lasted 2 jobs for me.

Good Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3508
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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+1

You will be far better served going local. This is not a slam against big orange, just the product of years of observations.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:04 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:23 pm
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Happy Friday all. OK, so I understand many think you are better served going with a local outfit which I'm not going to disagree with. I'm taking a chance for sure BUT we shall see :-)

So JM met with my wife and went over every step of what would happen, he took measurements of every window, drew up the contract, the lead safety contract amendment and state of Maine right to rescind paperwork. The total (soup to nuts) came to $9,916 for 18 (average size 32"x46) windows. Most are double hung, no grid and 4 of them are horizontal sliders (replacing casement windows). He collected a $2,500 deposit. What I have not seen yet (any my wife did not ask for) was proof of any type of insurance or certifications.

Next step will be a visit from the project coordinator on Monday who will do exact measurements and submit the factory order. The install should start within 2 weeks and the total install time should run 3 days.

I'll keep you posted.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1753
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Generally the insurance and licensing would not be provided unless you ask for it-- which is not a bad idea. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:41 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 158
Location: GulfBreezeWindows
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I'm still interested in this:

"-The windows will be installed by licensed, insured, certified and bonded sub contractor."

Especially the bonded part.

I also never understood the double measure. The only time I've sent someone else out to measure was because I was unavailable at the time. I guess they do this to cover their measures?

Anyway, make sure you ask the installer for their insurance and license when they show up. Does Maine require State Certification for their installers? Just wondering.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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TLHWINDOWS wrote:

I also never understood the double measure. The only time I've sent someone else out to measure was because I was unavailable at the time. I guess they do this to cover their measures?

Most salesguys are not installation experts, so they typically send somebody that knows what they are doing out for a second, more thorough measurement... Pretty common practice.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
Posts: 211
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Measure twice, cut once. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 158
Location: GulfBreezeWindows
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What happens if the measurements are different from each others?

:shock:

I know some do it, not knocking it, I just prefer my sales people know how to measure standard windows.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1753
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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The salesguy measurement is just for pricing. The second measure is exact for ordering.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:23 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:23 pm
Posts: 12
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OK, here we are on install day number two just a little over 2 weeks after the project coordinator came for the final measurements. The guys have done a nice job and I was pleasantly surprised to see my exterior trim was also being wrapped.

My one concern which I plan to raise is that the exterior wrap on the top corners is not being sealed so water can enter through the gap and rot out the window trim underneath. Am I being too picky? I figure it's better to tell the guys while they are here so they don't need to come back.

I have attached a picture of what I'm referencing.


Attachments:
File comment: Wrap Gap :-)
wrap.JPG [23.95 KiB]
Downloaded 276 times
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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 613
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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Have them put some white exterior sealant in there and wipe the overspill off with some mineral spirits or thinner. Personally, I like to leave the return on the leg taller and cut the face to length so I can "tab over" the header. Then, when the header goes on I can put a dab of sealant on the inside of the corner of the header and it rides over the tab and just makes for a better look and gives a curious homeowner the peace of mind that we are willing to go overboard pertaining to water and air penetration with regards to capping/wrapping.

Some guys like to cut the header longer and "tab over" the side return which is fine too, but it sometimes needs a stainless nail to lie flat and that can be busy looking and more trouble than it's worth if setting the nail dimples the capping or doesn't grab healthy wood.


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 Post subject: Re: My HD Simonton Journey
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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If they are not done yet, I expect that the will be adding caulk to that area. It is necessary in that gap on the top, but not on the miter (where the metal actually overlaps).
There are a couple other things that could be alarming though. Was there a drip cap on your window originally? If so, they wrapped over it which is a big no-no. Secondly, on the sides, it does not look like they cut a slot into the siding (for the trim to fit into), nor did they notch the aluminum (an alternative). If that is the case you'll have big 1/2"+ gaps that will just be filled with caulk. Take another pic from a little bit farther away.


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