North Coast Energy Solutions

An Installer Owned Company


Industry news and information will be posted here on a weekly (or more) basis.  Also learn a little about our company and our goals.

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Online price comparisons

Posted on October 22, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (1)
Here is a very helpful site for those researching the average cost for window replacement. Just input the information needed. This site is excellent for most home improvement projects.

2015 Naional Average for Window Replacement

Posted on October 17, 2015 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is the 2015 report from Remodelling Magazine showing the national average cost of replacing 10 windows in the Northeast Ohio area.

Average price per unit (Double hung, existing opening, Lead free*, under 101 united inches**) is $962.00. (Keep in mind that many of these windows are being purchased by the window company for less than $300 wholesale)

* Houses built prior to 1978 must be tested for lead based paint.  If found, the EPA has mandated that certain procedures MUST be followed by a CERTIFIED LEAD SAFE installer

** United inches is Width + Height

Making a Leap of Faith

Posted on October 17, 2015 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 I have been in the Window and Door replacement industry for 25 years.  (Give or take)  In that time I have worked for most of the "Big Dogs" in the Northeast Ohio area.  (Window and Door Factory, Larmco, Softlite, Stanek, Regency, Window Nation, and the old DIY stores)  In each of these companies, I saw a common theme.  Make as much money as fast as possible.

It doesn't make sense to run a business like that.  (to me anyway).  Making the quick buck takes away from the customer satisfaction side of a business and ultimately "The Numbers Game' overshadows quality.

Over the last few years I have struggled with collecting outrageuos C.O.D.s on window and door contracts.  Some companies are charging up to $1000 or MORE for ONE WINDOW!!  That window is costing them UNDER $300 to purchase.  After paying the installer to install the window, that leaves well over $500 to cover overhead.  PER WINDOW. 

I don't like that on principle alone.  Going into a senior citizen's home or a newly married couple who just bought their first home, doing the best job I can for them and  having to collect an amount that they surely have difficulty affording.  Maybe I care too much.  Maybe my father taught me to be PROUD of what I do.  Who knows?

Anywho....I've finally broke.  I want to be able to do my job (which I love) without feeling the guilt of "ripping people off'.

If I am successful, great!  If not....lesson learned.  I just want to run an honest company and make some money doing it.

The Blog Section of our website is for your benefit.  You can learn a little about us and A LOT about the industry. 

If you take anything away from this website, always remember...

-Get multiple estimates.

-Have your Salesman test for lead paint if your house was built pre 1978.  The EPA has mandated multiple procedures that must be performed by a LEAD CERTIFIED installer.  The fine for non-compliance is $37,000.00  (Google Lowes and Home Depot, Lead violations for an example)

-Research the manufacturer.  (Almost NONE of the window companies in the area make their own window even though they advertise it as so)

-Triple pane windows don't offer much more than double pane.

-Only one company that I know of has actual Employee/Installers.  The rest use contractors.  (Ask me...I'll tell you which ones)

-Some companies use the same windows as others but sell them under different names. 

-The Installer from one company may be installing for anoher company depending on the day of the week.

Stay tuned for more blogs and industry news.

Tips to Remember at Point of Sale

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As much as we would like to be your choice for your window or door project, we know many of you will ultimately choose another company to complete your project.  That being said, here are a few tips and tricks.  Keep them in mind when your "Project Designer"  (fancy name for SALESMAN) comes to your house with his sample case.

-You do NOT have to sign the same day as the visit.  This is a high pressure tactic that salesmen use to push the sale.  It's all about numbers and time.  The more trips the salesman has to make to your house, the more he is spending on fuel, time, etc.  Your salesman just wants to get to his next appointment to sell more.

-The lowest price "the manager says" they can go is NOT the lowest price.  If you've browsed our website or have read our door hangers, you are already privy to the wholesale price most window companies are paying for an average sized vinyl window.  Recently I installed two jobs for the same company.  Each had about the same number of units to be installed.  both jobs had the same type of removal.  Both had tested positive for lead paint.  One job cost a little over 5 thousand dollars.  The other a little under 11 thousand.  (Do you see the problem here?)  Same company.  Same windows.  Same job.  6 thousand dollar difference.  Ask your salesperson what their "par" number is and watch his/her face.  "PAR" is the number the salesperson HAS to get in order to turn the minimum profit allowed by the Sales Manager.

-The difference between triple pane glass and double pane glass is not significant enough to warrant the cost. Although we carry triple pane glass, in my opinion, it doesn't make a new window that much more energy efficient than double pane.

-"Buy two-get two free"  is a gimmick that means nothing.  Those two windows you bought have already been marked up well above the cost of the two free ones.

-"Our installers are the best, most experienced installers in the industry."  Another gimmick.  We're all the same installer, essentially.  Sure there are some really crappy installlers out there, but for the most part, the installations are fairly close in quality.  Again, all the installers have worked other places (we go where the money is) and some work for multiple companies at one time.  The installer who installed for Universal Windows Direct might have installed for Window Systems yesterday.

-"Our installers are employees."  No.  Probably not.  Most are contractors.  Want to test this?  Ask the installer.  He will tell you he "works directly for the manufacturer."  If he says he IS an employee, ask him if the company supplies his work truck and tools.  They don't because we're contractors.  In all honesty, it's better to have a contractor do your project than to have an employee crew.  Why?  Because an independent contractor is responsible for the work done to your home.  If there is a mistake made on your job or something was done that you are not happy with, the contractor has to come back to remedy the issue on his own time.  We are not paid to fix our own mistakes.  This forces us to to the best we can the first time we come.  As an employee, you get paid for your first visit....your second....your third....

-I knew a salesman who would rub catnip all over his shoes if the homeowner had cats.  People trust their animals when it comes to trusting strangers.  If "Miss Kitty" loves the salesperson, you will be more likely to trust them as well.  (This is absolutely a true story and if it wasn't so shady, I would call it brilliant)

-Permits are not always needed.  Check with your building department.  Some cities do not require permits for replacement projects.  Many window companies require a minimum of 50 dollars for a permit fee if a permit is required or not.

-Wood windows.  I could go on for PAGES about how bad of an idea wood windows in our climate really is.  Wood expands and contracts with weather.  In a window application, this expansion and contraction directly affects the operation of the window and all of its seals.  Then there is upkeep.  Wood windows should be taken apart, cleaned and recaulked on a regular basis.  I install wood windows, but strongly advise against it every time someone requests them.  Some homes have to maintain historical status and wood windows is the only way to to this, however, vinyl replacement windows are far superior in performance for the area in which we live.  (And half the cost)

-Garden Windows leak.  All of them.  there isn't a manufacturer out there that produces a garden window that doesn't leak within three years of it's install.  Window companies are catching on to this and not offering this type of window anymore.

-Silicon caulk peels off vinyl windows over time.  Don't use it.

-The R-value of insulation does NOT increase the more you stuff in.  In fact, it LOSES value the tighter it is.  Many companies are switching to a low expansion insulating foam.  This is not only a better insulator, it is a water barrier when dry.

This is the short list.  I will add more to this posting as I think of some that I missed.

Lead Paint and the Remodelling Industry

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The following link will take you to the Federal EPA website for an explaination of the Lead Safe Practice procedures on houses built prior to 1978 and that have tested positive for lead paint.