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Old 08-31-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default door to door window salesmen

ok so where i grew up we rarely had people coming to our door trying to sell us stuff, well maybe the occasional politician but never like this. See we get salesmen through here frequently trying to sell all sorts of **** and i usually tell them i'm not interested. this has been the second time someone has come through selling windows, actually they were not selling anything but they were trying to set up free estimates. We've recently been talking about getting the windows replaced before winter, at least some of them as they are original to this 50 year old house. My wife was actually going to call a contractor we trust to give us an estimate but we felt another couldn't hurt so they're coming out wednesday at 6:00pm to give us a free estimate. I have 17 windows fairly large compared to new construction, 2(maybe 4) i want to change to casement windows, 1 large picture window in the front.

their flyer says i'll get a $75 trade in on each of my old windows, i think they just mark their windows up 75 to compensate but the kid says they recycle them and he's seen people in the back of their warehouse breaking them apart.

they don't sell name brand windows, they are all custom made to fit. this is worrysome to me.

Part of me thinks my contractor will take better care and do a better job but he'd be working with normal replacement windows, not exact fit. Then again the window company will have exact fit windows and does this work all the time. obviously price will be a factor so we will see

any opinons, thoughts, or experiences?
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:55 PM   #2
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My good friend is a window salesman. I'll forward this to him to see what he thinks. He doesn't go door to door, but sounds like the same type of product. Custom fit windows for your house. From what I understand this is a much better way to go, but that could be just because i'm hearing it straight from a salesman.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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I have no experience with these factory-direct outfits, but I've replaced(with my brothers) about a dozen windows over the last 10 or so years - it can be a ball-ache and I'm not suggesting you do it yourself unless feel you must.

FWIW - I was really surprised at the range and increments(like, 2") of stock replacement stuff available, so the factory might not really have a material cost advantage. Also, a pro can make minor mods to fit stock windows pretty easily.

If the factory is local(same state at least), you probably will have real recourse if there are problems, but my personal preference is for a local contractor, especially if you know and trust him. I also suspect he'll be much more responsive if you have any issues- like a leak, bad seal or something.

I assume it's not one of those Renewal by Andersen things.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by xturner View Post
I have no experience with these factory-direct outfits, but I've replaced(with my brothers) about a dozen windows over the last 10 or so years - it can be a ball-ache and I'm not suggesting you do it yourself unless feel you must.

FWIW - I was really surprised at the range and increments(like, 2") of stock replacement stuff available, so the factory might not really have a material cost advantage. Also, a pro can make minor mods to fit stock windows pretty easily.

If the factory is local(same state at least), you probably will have real recourse if there are problems, but my personal preference is for a local contractor, especially if you know and trust him. I also suspect he'll be much more responsive if you have any issues- like a leak, bad seal or something.

I assume it's not one of those Renewal by Andersen things.
I have considered doing it myself so i know exactly what you're saying with the sizing as i've measured mine and they don't seem to be a standard size. Maybe if the costs are much higher than i like i will do it myself. I also like having someone else being liable for any future problems.

their flyer says
1-800-get-windows
Welcome to 800getwindows.com!

and on the back says fanelli window pros, quickly searched both and didn't come up with any reviews.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:43 PM   #5
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check the BBB
check for state licenses, bonds, whatever

here's the thing though: they may not be rated for energy efficiency in a way that qualifies you for the $1500 tax credit (not deduction... CREDIT).

the only other advice I'd give is to beware of people who claim they are the best at anything without any hard data and beware of people who come to you for money. watch them offer you 50% for preordering windows and 50% after they skip town.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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check the BBB
check for state licenses, bonds, whatever

here's the thing though: they may not be rated for energy efficiency in a way that qualifies you for the $1500 tax credit (not deduction... CREDIT).

the only other advice I'd give is to beware of people who claim they are the best at anything without any hard data and beware of people who come to you for money. watch them offer you 50% for preordering windows and 50% after they skip town.
the kid did say the windows qualify for the credit but i would definitely make sure. And yes for sure i'd be careful with the money thing, can't really afford not to. Besides i haven't even gotten the quote yet.

how do i check for licenses or bonds?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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the state registers them. they should be able to give you a license number and you can call the state to confirm it. or just call the state and give the name of the company. an address and phone number should confirm that they're the same entity.

Department of General Services

cna't hurt to check the BBB too and get references.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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after you get your windows done, suppor the miata community and have paul do you blinds and whatnot, he's been doing it for years and just opened his own business, hell give good prices.

Slats & Pleats - Custom Blinds, Shades, & Shutters
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:25 PM   #9
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Phil,

Recent law in PA (passed this year iirc), all licensed contractors have a number that you can check against a state database.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #10
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Windows are an item that has many levels of quality, vary a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer and can be installed in several different ways. Get several bids. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. We just had windows replaced. I had bids running from $8500 to $20,000. The $8500 guy was using the same quality of windows but a BS installation method. I went with a guy just under 10K but doing a first class installation. It really pays to shop around.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #11
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My quotes are between 3500-6000, but I only have 9 windows in my whole house.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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thanks guys, yes will be shopping around but it's hard to compare apples to apples when everyone says their product is superior.

thanks tom i'll look into that number
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:39 PM   #13
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ok well the guy just left, here was here for over 2 hours. he tried like hell and did all the typical salesman things to get me agree to something tonight but i wouldn't. They are an accredited business with the BBB with an A+ rating. He did his whole demonstration and i gotta tell you i think they're pretty legit and i'm a pretty sceptical guy. The guy jumped on the window in my family room pretty hard, didn't break. he had many sections of windows with different coatings with a heat lamp and a btu meter. Lifetime transerable warranty, nothing out of pocket. broken glass replaced no questions asked. And the windows do qualify for the tax rebate, even the new rules for after june with the NFRC.
for 17 windows they came to $15,657
for the 6 pertinent upstairs windows i'd like to get done before winter $4690
these are figures including a discount for putting a sign up in my front yard for 45 days because my house is on the corner of the entry of my neighborhood.

now i'm heavily leaning towards splitting it up and only doing the 6 windows because I can only get a maximum of a $1500 credit anyway. so if the goverment has this offer still next year or something like it i'd take advantage again. besides it's easier for me to spend less right now before i went ahead did the whole thing just in case i do make a mistake it wouldn't be the whole house, only the upstairs
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:54 PM   #14
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That sales pitch sounds EXACTLY like one of the estimates we got. Heat lamp, discount for yard sign, all that **** LOL. There must be a Window Salesman Academy somewhere that trains all these guys in a standard curriculum. When he brought out the heat lamp I had to remind him that the sun has some properties that make it slightly different from the fried chicken bin at KFC. Mostly I was yanking his chain to see how he'd react if I questioned his sales pitch. It was the hardest sell anyone's ever tried to push on me, but kind of amusing too.

How much of a discount for the yard sign? Ours was 5% for keeping it 30 days, but our house isn't on the corner. For a more prominent position for their ad, you could ask for more than 5%. We got them to finagle the financing more to our liking and eat some of the interest for us. They're giving you a hard sales pitch, so you might as well make yourself a harder sell. If you have any experience haggling with street vendors in Tijuana, that will come in handy.

We got other estimates but wound up going with that company. I may be experiencing selective memory loss on the price but for our 15 windows it was around $12K I think. They're the 7-layer coated argon filled triple pane ones that qualify for the tax credit. BTW you can only take the $1500 once for 2009-10 combined; you can't take it both years. source

The install was good and we've been happy with them. No drafts, easy to clean, and the sun coming in doesn't heat up the room anymore.

I remember something in the sales pitch about custom fitting each window to 1/4", but that can be misleading because it ain't the glass panels or their frames that are done custom as far as I can tell. It seems like they mass produce those in a few standard sizes and use the ones that are within an inch or two of what's required, and the "custom" part is them sizing the aluminum surrounding bits on the exterior and cutting them to fit with their portable press brake. On the interior, they fit well enough width-wise for the gap to be filled with a bead of caulk.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:23 AM   #15
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yeah we'll see, their windows are double pane argon filled with 12 layers of film on them, who knows what difference it really makes but their best ones, the miracle glass, tranfered 0 btu on his little test, which is somewhat laughable. i see what you're saying about the rebate with 09-10, maybe they'll have something for 2011. Either way i'm only getting $1500 back. their discount for the yard sign was almost 15%. i have a feeling i can get them to go a bit more, if i do go with them i'll make them sweat it out a few days.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #16
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Me and my dad own a construction business and if I was you I would do your own windows. If you can slap a turbo in your car you can put up a window in you house. It's sooo easy, go to a window and door store get all your windows. I recomend Anderson windows but thats just my taste. And if they don't have the right size you could special order them to pretty much any size you want.
1: take trim out inside and outside
2: take nails or screws holding window in the frame of the house
3: install new window, level it and screw it
4: insulate all the little gaps around window (insulation or foam)
5: put trim back on, nail it and caulk all around the trim

it's as simple as it sounds
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed2005 View Post
Me and my dad own a construction business and if I was you I would do your own windows. If you can slap a turbo in your car you can put up a window in you house. It's sooo easy, go to a window and door store get all your windows. I recomend Anderson windows but thats just my taste. And if they don't have the right size you could special order them to pretty much any size you want.
1: take trim out inside and outside
2: take nails or screws holding window in the frame of the house
3: install new window, level it and screw it
4: insulate all the little gaps around window (insulation or foam)
5: put trim back on, nail it and caulk all around the trim

it's as simple as it sounds
it's a possibility. i know i could do it myself but i'm not sure i want to.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mach929 View Post
it's a possibility. i know i could do it myself but i'm not sure i want to.

You might want to when you find that you can do it yourself for about 1/2 the cost. Then you could do the whole house, save the most energy and STILL get the full $1500.

It's kind of funny. All of the window salesmen tout $189 for any size, $179, 169 whatever on the radio ads. But then (even looking at your bid) it is right a $1000 per window installed.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:09 AM   #19
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You might want to when you find that you can do it yourself for about 1/2 the cost. Then you could do the whole house, save the most energy and STILL get the full $1500.

It's kind of funny. All of the window salesmen tout $189 for any size, $179, 169 whatever on the radio ads. But then (even looking at your bid) it is right a $1000 per window installed.
i know i noticed that too. at first i thought they'd be really cheap with a junky product, then halfway though the demonstration i could see they really felt highly of their product and knew it would be up there. I haven't even gotten out to actually look at GOOD windows to see what they cost. If i'm getting boned on labor then i will do it myself or give my contractor a shot. if labor only comes to out be a couple hundred a window then i'll have to think harder
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disturbedfan121 View Post
after you get your windows done, suppor the miata community and have paul do you blinds and whatnot, he's been doing it for years and just opened his own business, hell give good prices.

Slats & Pleats - Custom Blinds, Shades, & Shutters
I'll have to mention this to my Mother-in-law. I doubt she'll be redoing blinds anytime soon... but can't hurt to send her to a legit person in the event she does.
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