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.