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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:21 pm 
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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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Those franchises are the perfect business model for those strickly in any industry just looking to make as much money as possible and evently get out. Exactly what is wrong with our Country right now. I got into this business because I wanted to provide a cost effecient solution to my homeowner's needs and knew that they deserved a better product and better installation then that of what I was seeing out of my competitors.

How about paying some benefits along with that $25 a hole pay scale? I consider these types of outfits just like the aliens from the move "Independance Day." They just move from project to project using up all the natural resources and then move on. What the homeowners are left with are junk windows with sloppy installs.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:37 pm
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@ Delaware Mike; "Those franchises are the perfect business model for those strickly in any industry just looking to make as much money as possible and evently get out. Exactly what is wrong with our Country right now. I got into this business because I wanted to provide a cost effecient solution to my homeowner's needs and knew that they deserved a better product and better installation then that of what I was seeing out of my competitors."

I'm glad you have found a calling and a way to support yourself. How about toning down the moral high ground talk. I don't know a single business owner not committed to putting out a quality product at a fair price. I'm also going to let you in on a dirty secret, most installers I know involved in this business model don't want to be w-2 employees. They prefer the ability to float around to the different Home Improvement companies without being pinned down. I know an installer in MA making almost $200k a year doing this, he would eat his shoes before he became someone's "employee".

I don't say that the sub $200 advertising program is for everybody but it is something I know how to do very well. I compete against taillight contractors everyday, the guy so small he can't afford a showroom and his warranty ends when his taillights aren't visible any longer. I provide a good value product on a budget my customers can afford and don't use any high pressure or gimmicks to do so. If you are doing the same then I wish you the best, their is plenty of opportunity out there to someone willing to put out the effort and shoulder the risk.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:29 pm 
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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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The truth is there is no way to perform a "true" high quality installation for the piece work labor wages that are paid to the subs. Perhaps our "idea" of a quality product and installation are at opposite ends of the spectrum? The subs are expected to make up the difference in ultra high volume which requires speed, which in return requires more often than not, cutting corners. These lower-end types of vinyl windows married with cheap labor are what gives the vinyl industry a bad name. I'm not personally calling you out, but more so of the business model. I'm sure I could triple my income inside of 3-years with this type of business, but I don't see a long term solution in a sub $150 wholesale window.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:37 pm
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As I pointed out in my first post, I worked for a manufacturer for a long time prior to my going on my own and I had the luxury of seeing very good high end remodeling companies charging $1200-$1500 for windows and I saw the sub $200 revolution along with everything in between. The industry was changed by the WW model and there is a lot of resentment that masquerades as knowledge. You state that " there is no way to perform a "true" high quality installation for the piece work labor wages that are paid to the subs". I would surmise that the fact that it is done every day by a whole litany of contractor's is what trouble's most competitors. I would put the quality of my installers against any other contractor's without regret. I don't know what you define as "speed" but my typical 2 man install crew will replace 12-15 wood outs a day with capping. This includes removing stops, sashes, prepping the whole, fitting the unit in the opening, making plumb and square, insulating, sealing inside and out, flashing and then cap and seal again. I've had slower crews but that's about the average. Aluminum outs take a little more time.

I find it humorous that you try to make a distinction between the "sub $150 wholesale" window and whatever you are buying. If you are buying a window from almost any wholesaler and paying $190-$240 for a White DH, DSG, with LowE/Argon then you are buying a like quality product as my entry level window. The difference is that my truck comes from the factory and no one adds an additional markup to my price. I buy at the price your wholesaler buys at. I get the price of a wholesaler because my location sells as much as a typical wholesaler, I pay cash for my windows up front so the manufacturer doesn't have to chase the money. I electronically submit my order so the manufacturer doesn't incur the cost of data entry or key stroke errors. I pay for my literature and samples. Each of these things save the manufacturer money, which I reap the benefit.

As I said before, its not for everyone but in it's own way it is every bit as elegant a business model as the Long Money approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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spyguy, what are the performance ratings of your window that the "rest of us" pay $200 for? (u-value, shgc, ai, dp)... Most of the dealers who are regulars on this site purchase "direct" rather than through distribution as you've insinuated, and in fact, most windows sold through distribution are mediocre at best-- and I'd imagine that your offering would fall into the same category. On installation, lets break this down so that consumers can fully understand: Which installation do you think will offer a superior finished product: the install that cost $25-$50?... or the one that cost $100? Common sense.
For the record, I do not advocate the $1000+ window installs, but the sub $200 guys are just as bad. An good window at a good price is typically going to fall somewhere between $400-$800 installed. Period.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:22 pm 
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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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Sounds a lot like a Thermal Industries type product with 2-point sash weatherstripping contact <.09 or higher AL number. I've seen spin off approaches like Zen Windows before. We can agree that most of us here don't like the blue suede shoe approach of heavily mulit-level commission sales by marketing companies that over charge for windows? Most of the guys that I converse with try to be somewhere in the middle with the best product that they can get their hands on.

I've utilized crews that have worked for several of the QR's top 10 window manufacturers before with a wealth of experience. Whenever I see guys pushing that kind of speed it's usually the capping that falls into a category that I wouldn't except. A lot of these guys stick with basic box bends and will bend almost all of their metal at once, and then force the metal that's pre-bent to fit each window. A lot of what should be 90-dgree bends turn out to be 75 to 100-dgrees in certain areas. Lots of caulking to cover mistakes.

I'm not trying to push a $200 multi-stage car detail on someone just looking to run their car through the soft-cloth car wash.

I'm not sure what kind of windows that you think us dealers here purchase out of supply houses that are the same as your entry level window? That alone is a pretty cocky statement. It's pretty obvious that we are all direct dealers here for very reputable brands. Do you care to share any information and performance numbers on your product? Please tell me that it's not something like Winchester/Bristol?


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:37 pm
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@Delaware Mike and Homesealed;

I didn't insinuate either of you was buying from a wholesaler, I was responding to Delaware Mike's sub-$150 wholesale comment. If your buying straight from the factory thats great, it helps keep costs down. The advantage to being a sub $200 licensee is the leverage on price and services we can do when pooling multiple locations. The average "sub-$200" retailer is averaging about $315-$330.

Dislike the product, model or advertising but it serves the middle 80% of consumers just fine. We may agree to disagree on the merits of our respective business model but there is no denying that Window World fundamentally changed how replacement windows were sold in America. Instead of high pressure, false gimmicks, and outright deceit the sub $200 has created a buffet style of purchasing that allows customers to retain control of the process and price. I'm sure there are shysters in the sub $200 side of the industry, but they are the exception not the rule much like the traditional contractors experience. Each of us who tries to do right by the customer has to fight the stigma created by those few.

Good luck guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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spyguy71 wrote:
@Delaware Mike and Homesealed;
Dislike the product, model or advertising but it serves the middle 80% of consumers just fine.

Far less than 80% of clients are shopping for the absolute lowest price with no respect to quality. I don't know the exact number of consumers that purchase sub-$300 windows, but I'd guess that it is more like 20% or less.
spyguy71 wrote:
We may agree to disagree on the merits of our respective business model but there is no denying that Window World fundamentally changed how replacement windows were sold in America. Instead of high pressure, false gimmicks, and outright deceit the sub $200 has created a buffet style of purchasing that allows customers to retain control of the process and price.

This I would agree with 100%, in that this business model did indeed change the industry. Where I disagree, is that this model is the endgame. One needs to look no further than the bankruptcy of Clear Choice and subsequent change in business model to see that the backlash against inferior quality has already begun. Consumers want good quality for a good price. Of course there will always be a segment that only wants the lowest price, but the cat is out of the bag on the type of product and install that you get for under $300. The emperor has no clothes.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:37 pm
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The only end game is when your in the ground. In business if your not looking forward for opportunities and threats you have already lost.


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 Post subject: Re: Window World or Clear Choice Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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spyguy71 wrote:
The only end game is when your in the ground. In business if your not looking forward for opportunities and threats you have already lost.

Agreed! :D


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