Revere Berkshire Elite Windows Reviews

If you’re considering Revere Berkshire Elite windows we sure hope you’ll appreciate this review.  The Revere window line is distributed through a network of professional installers across the country.  They are available on the east and west coast with specific products for each market.  Our Revere Berkshire Elite windows reviews will go through the features, warranty, cost, and drawbacks of this popular new model.

best replacement windows of 2015

The Revere Berkshire Elite windows are a new model that replaced the older Revere Berkshire window.  While this new model shares a similar name it is an entirely new window.  This new model addresses many of the shortcomings that were present in the older Revere Berkshire windows.

A common misconception in the window business has to do with the parent company of Revere Building Products.  Several years ago Revere was bought by Associated Materials Inc.  They’re a holding company that owns several large building products manufacturers.  They own Alpine windows on the west coast, Gentek windows in Canada, Alside windows in the US and Preservation windows also available across the US.

Revere windows will a unique spot in the stable of products produced by AMI.  They’re available all across the US, but mostly through large window installation companies rather than distribution centers that sell windows to any contractor with a pickup truck.  Revere does this to ensure that only established companies offer their products.  This helps them keep their warranty costs down as the windows are typically installed well.

Our favorite feature when it comes to the new Revere Berkshire Elite windows is the large glass area.  This is a common theme in our reviews because it directly relates to how you’re going to enjoy the new windows.  Revere Berkshire Elite windows allow for a very large glass area while still maintaining great efficiency ratings.  This is a combination that many other manufactures have not been able to accomplish.

revere berkshire elite windows reviews
Notice the large glass area of the Revere Berkshire Elite window

Notice the dramatic effect of the larger glass area.  Many replacement windows use these thick frames that dramatically reduce the amount of light (not heat) that enters the home.

The Berkshire Elite window is designed to be a high end window.  It’s available in 9 exterior colors and 9 interior finishes.  This is a pretty extensive selection for a replacement window.  While most folks pick white or beige windows the finish options for nice vinyl windows are much more beautiful than they used to be.

berkshire elite design options

A major advantage to the Revere Berkshire Elite windows is the upgraded balance mechanism that they use.  The block and tackle balance system in these windows is tested to last 2.5 times longer than the less expensive constant force or coil balances that are used in many replacement windows.  Revere is certainly not the only company to use these nicer balances, Okna, Sunrise, Thompson Creek and Stanek windows also use these high end balances.  Many other manufactures such as Alside, Soft Lite and Simonton still use the older and less expensive coil option.

Here are the drawbacks of the coil or constant force balances as listed in a promotional piece produced by Associated Materials.  Remember this is a parent company of Alside, of of the largest companies offering the less expensive coil option:

best replacement window balances

It’s pretty clear which type the nicer windows out there use.  The Revere Berkshire Elite only use the block and tackle balance system.

There are two more great new features relating to the sill at the bottom.  The sill is a true sloped sill which means it does not use weep holes to drain water.  This is the way most new windows are designed, but many older design still drain water through the frames.

revere window sill design
The welded sloped sill drains water to the exterior.

What about the screens?

One similarity the Revere Berkshire Elite windows share with the Alside Mezzo windows is the high quality screen.  They both share a heavy duty extruded screen frame that resists bending and twisting. It’s a heavy duty product that is warrantied for as long as you own your home.

Most other companies offer a flimsy roll formed screen as their standard product with a heavy duty screen as an option.  With Revere you get the nice screen every time.  It may sound like a small feature, but it goes to show you how seriously they take the quality of their products.

What about the efficiency?

The Revere Berkshire Elite windows can have great efficiency ratings depending on how they are ordered.  They are available with many types of glass coatings, spacer systems and gas fills that all affect the ratings.  For example the Revere Berkshire Elite window can easily meet or exceed the 2015 Energy Star guidelines for all regions of the country with double pane glass.  Most of the other window designs require triple pane glass options to hit these levels.

If you’re looking for triple pane options you won’t find them with the Berkshire Elite window.  In order to maintain the slim frame that maximizes glass area the design cannot accommodate triple pane glass.

How much do Berkshire Elite windows cost?

The cost of these windows can vary widely based on the options you select, the complexity of the installation and the company offering them.  Basic white double hung windows typically run in the $400 per window range including installation.  Some companies will charge more and some less so make sure you’re comfortable that you’re getting a fair price before moving forward with your replacement window project.

You will find that Revere windows will likely be available from a small number of companies in your area.  This is the case with many nicer windows.  If you don’t like the company offer them or if you’re not comfortable for any reason just move on.  There are plenty of great windows out there so if you can’t find something you like when it comes to these just pick another brand.

How about the Revere Berkshire Elite window warranty?

The warranty on these windows is pretty strong, but generally similar to warranties offered by many high end window manufactures.  For example the window frames and hardware are covered for as long as you own your home.  They cover the seal in the insulated glass and even the screens as well.  Be aware that a glass breakage warranty is available, but it is not standard so the company doing the installation will need to include it.  If you don’t have that in writing you probably don’t have it so it’s worth double checking.

What are the drawbacks of the Berkshire Elite windows?

The limited distribution can be a drawback of the Revere windows.  If the company that offers them in your area is great then you’re in great shape, if not you’re out of luck.  Don’t sweat that too much.  If you don’t like the local company for any reason just find another product.  There are plenty of great windows out there.

Another is the lack of triple pane options.  Revere does offer triple pane in their Sovereign window, but it loses several of the advantages to the Berkshire Elite.  At the end of the day most folks don’t want to need triple pane glass, but if you do want it you’re out of luck here.

Find more detailed Revere windows reviews here.

Does a magnetic seal on a window make any difference?

Here’s a question we’ve been asked quite a bit lately:  are magnatic seal windows any better than other windows?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: No, but you don’t have to take our word for it.  Anytime you’re trying to evaluate any feature that relates to energy efficiency you don’t need to take anyone’s word for it.

Everything related to the efficiency of a window is measured.  You can compare the differences between models to see if any specific features makes any worthwhile difference.  If the rating is better the window is more efficient.  If it’s not better then it’s not more efficient.  That’s all there is too it.  Even if a feature seems like it “should” be better, if the rating is not better than the window is not more efficient.

If you find a rating does get better when you add a specific feature, the next step is to determine if it’s enough of a difference to make a decision in your purchase.

For example, the Okna 800 windows have a magnetic seal and the Okna 500 windows do not.  If this feature made a difference you’d be able to see it in the air infiltration rating.  What’s the difference in air infiltration between the two?  0.01 cfm/sqft.  That’s not very much, especially when you consider 0.30 or better is the top tier according to AAMA.

magnetic seal windows
Magnetic seals on windows typically don’t make any difference in terms of the efficiency of the window. They’re included as sales pitch and we encourage you to avoid these windows.

Is that difference entirely caused by the magnetic seal?  No, there are other differences between the two models.

Is that difference enough to warrant the extra cost?  Only you can decide, but I sure don’t think so.

Why then do some windows now come with magnetic seals?  Because it sounds attractive.  The salesperson can tell you that your fridge has a magnetic seal and that sure seals well.  Of course your fridge isn’t subjected to any winds, but he leaves that part out.

We ALWAYS recommend avoiding any product with features that are only included to be part of a sales pitch.  It should make you wonder how much of the rest of the story the salesperson told you is worthless.

For more information on various window options take a look through the best replacement windows reviews on the internet and find more info on window sales scams.  We hope this info helps as you’re thinking about new windows!

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.

The Best Replacement Windows – Choosing an Installation Company

So you’ve picked out the best replacement windows for you, but how do you evaluate the installation company?  This half the battle as having great replacement windows installed by a less than great installer will ruin your day.

The first step is the easiest: read our page on common replacement window sales tricks.  These will not only help you avoid getting hoodwinked, but they will help to identify which companies are planning on treating you well BEFORE you bother meeting with them.

For instance, if a company requires both homeowners to be present you know you’re in for a sales pitch.  This isn’t something you should plan on enduring.  It should be used as a sign to avoid that company all together.  Just cross them off the list and move on.  There are plenty of great companies in your area and you absolutely do not need to deal with that kind of junk.

Once you have these companies crossed of your list it’s time to do a little research.  We’re not talking about spending every waking minute worrying about windows, but an ounce of prevention goes a long way…

I’d suggest taking a look through review sites.  You can find reviews on google and Angie’s List tends to provide a wealth of info too.

Once you have narrowed things down to 3-5 companies have them come out to take a look through the project and give you an exact quote.  If anybody gives you the runaround just send them on their way and move on to the next company.

We know this sounds like basic advice, but people get pressured into on gimmick or another every day.

Once you find a great company to install your great windows you’ll be sure you have the best replacement windows in your neighborhood.

Take a look through our pages on replacement window reviews and common sales gimmicks for more detailed info.

 

The Model Home Windows Program & Other Window Scams

The model home windows program is one of our favorite window sales scams. If you’ve ever seen the movie Tin Men with Danny DeVito and Richard Dryfus you know this one.  The fact that this trick is still frequently used has always surprised me.  As is the case with all of these window maneuvers they wouldn’t still exist if people didn’t buy them so watch out!

best replacement windows of 2015

The basics of this maneuver come back to the idea that if a company wants to sell you something at a price above the market price they need a way to entice you to make an irrational decision.  The irrational decision in this case is to pay more for something than you need to.

Now remember, paying more than you need to doesn’t refer to a comparison with the absolute cheapest company in town.  When you buy a remodeling project you’re buying the quality of the products, the quality of the service the strength of the warranty, etc.  All of these things have value and they’re all worth something.  When we say these companies are trying to entice you to pay more than you need to we mean after factoring all of these components into it, they’re still charging more than their competitors.

How can I be sure these companies are trying to charge you more than their competitors would?

Because it’s not my first day in this business…and also because they’re lying to you.

Remember we started this post talking about the model home discount.  This is when a company offers to sell you their products and services for an incredibly low price so they can use your house as an example of the great work they do.  They’re expecting all of your neighbors to see how great your house looks and they’re expecting to sell your neighbors windows too.

This sounds like a real win-win situation.  You get great new windows.  You know they’re going to do a great job because they want to show off their work at your home.  They’re only offering this deal to one house in the neighborhood so you’d better sign up now to take advantage right?  NO.  This is never a good deal.

In reality they’re telling you this because it’s a good story.  They need to get past the universal human tendency to be cautious.  You see we evolved over millions of years to be leery of risky situations.  This is how we as humans survived all these years.  Now they want you to sign a contract and fork over thousands of your hard earned dollars without so much as a google search?  Forget about it.  You’ll never do it….unless it’s a really fantastic deal.

You see these companies know that another universal human tendency is to LOVE a great deal and to HATE missing a great deal.  You love telling your friends about that great shirt you found at TJ Maxx or the steal of a deal you found on the clearance rack, right?  How did I know that?  Because everyone loves that.  It’s human nature.  In this case the remodeling company is attempting to use one tendency to overcome the other.

“I wouldn’t fall for that” you’re probably saying.  I know, of course you wouldn’t.  Nobody in their right mind would over pay for some sales scam.  Surprisingly these companies do millions of dollars in business each and every year.  People are going for it every day.  Nobody every buys something because they think it’s a bad deal.  These companies do a great job explaining it and you ‘re left thinking you got the deal of the century.  My what a great consumer you are!

Just remember, a model home discount is NEVER a good deal.  The price offered today will still be good tomorrow or the next day or the week after that.  If you compare your options and decide that you liked that first company then go for it, but don’t let them talk you into signing up on the spot.  You should also remember that if they take the deal next week (as I guarantee they will) then they’re telling you that all that talk about model homes was a lie.  Do you really want to work with a company that started out by lying to you?

I wouldn’t recommend it.

In extreme cases we’ve even heard these companies telling you to keep the prices secret so your neighbors don’t know what a great deal you got.  You know the real reason they want you to keep the price a secret?  Because your neighbor got the same price as you or maybe even better.

The big takeaway?  As soon as you hear a company tell you that you’re getting a great price because they want to use your home as a model for the neighborhood just picture Danny Vevito and Richard Dryfus in your front yard yelling about putting your home in Better Homes and Gardens as the “before” house.  Don’t be that sucker.

 

1 Year, 30 Day and TODAY ONLY Window Prices

If you’ve received a free quote from some of the larger window companies around you may have seen today only window prices like this.  They probably had some very high price say $13,000 that was good for a year.  This might be called the retail price or the MSRP.  It was probably also offered at the end of a pretty long sales pitch.

You probably didn’t expect to spend anywhere near that much so you told the salesperson that you were going to think it over and he let you know about a rebate or special promotion that was ending soon.  It was good for 30 more days and it would lower the price to $8,000.

That sounded better, but he wasn’t done yet.  After you told him you were going to think it over he called the manager.  The manager gave him a special price because he really wanted to earn your business tonight.  Maybe he needed one more sale to reach his goal.  He certainly had a decent way to explain it.  That special TODAY only price could easily have been as low as $3,000.

Remember, we started at $13,000 which was the 1-year price.  Then we were at $8,000 for the 30-day price.  That’s a pretty big discount already.  Then out of nowhere we’re at $3,000 if you buy TODAY.  This sounds too good to be true, I mean you’re getting $13,000 worth of windows for the incredible price of $3,000 right?!?

NO, these today only window prices are never a good deal.

Ask yourself one simple question and you’ll start to see through all of this.  If the company can sell these windows for $3,000 why would they have tried to charge you or anyone else $13,000.  We know a company needs to make a profit and we’re proud that our company makes a healthy profit each year, but selling a $3,000 project for $13,000 seems a little cold hearted to me.

What if this is really a once in a lifetime type deal?

If you really believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you.  There is nothing that changes in the window business on a daily or weekly basis.  Prices do change over time just like they do in any business.  For example in the last 2 years our wholesale cost of goods has gone up 4-6%.  That’s about an $8-10 dollar per window increase…in 2 years.

If you were getting a quote for 10 windows and they said the TODAY only price was $3,000 and the 1-year price was $3,100 that would be reasonable.  $13,000 is just lying.

At the end of the day every remodeling company wants to have more customers.  Every remodeling company also only undertakes projects that they make money on.  If they’re making money on your order at $3,000 today then they’ll still take that deal tomorrow or next week.  Anytime you hear about today only window prices you can be 100% sure it’s a bad deal.

Why do they push so hard to get you to sign up NOW?

Because they know more about this business than you do.  They know how their offer compares to their competitors.  They know full well that there are other companies in town who would be glad to complete your project for $2500 with no runaround.  They know that if they give you time to think it over you’ll probably find one of these companies and they’ll lose your business.

That’s why they push so hard.  It’s the only way they can make that extra profit.

If you get that type of hard sell as you’re looking for the best replacement windows for your home just remember that there is no need to rush.  No matter what they say, if you think it over and decide that you do want to work with them they will gladly take your business.

I’ll bet you lunch that you’ll never call the hard sell type company back.  Nobody ever does.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.

The “neighborhood discount” and other replacement window tricks

So perhaps you recently had a knock on the door from a friendly local kid.  He was all excited to tell you about a neighborhood discount that a local remodeling company was offering.  They were working nearby and they were offering a discount to any of the neighbors who wanted to have a similar project completed while they were here. They could see you had older windows so they wanted to offer their services.   Once they finish that project and leave the area the great pricing will be gone.

best replacement windows of 2015

BEWARE: This is NEVER a good deal.  

Remember the first rule of avoiding a contractor’s tricks: you NEVER need to sign up immediately.  Of course they’re trying to use your fear of missing a “great deal” to entice you to sign up without giving the project the proper consideration.

Think about it this way.  The workers need to get up every day and leave their houses to come to work.  They’ll drive to your house or your neighbors house or a house across town.  It doesn’t make any difference to them.  Work is work and windows are windows.  If they work in the same neighborhood every day they still need to drive there each day (unless you’re letting them sleep over).

When you get that knock on the door you should thank that kid for letting you know.  What he’s effectively told you is that this company is the type to pull marketing tricks and you’ve now learned that you should avoid them.

If you’re the type who likes to have a little fun, ask him where they’re working in the neighborhood and tell him you’re going to go by tomorrow to see the workers.  They’re probably not working nearby at all.  This is just something they tell folks to make you feel like this is a great deal.

Take a look through some of our other posts on common replacement window sales tricks and keep an eye out for an upcoming post on the most effective ways to get a great deal!

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.

Best Replacement Windows

So what are the best replacement windows?  There’s a question that’s been asked a million times before.  As you’re sorting through the options remember that there is no one “best” product.  If there was, everyone would know it and your decision would be easy.

Why isn’t there one type of best replacement windows?

There are several reasons, but the biggest factor is that different people want  different things.  For instance, some of our customers buy windows because they’re moving soon and they want to dress up the house.  Some buy new windows because they’re about to have a baby and they want to make the house less drafty.  Some folks buy new windows as part of a larger remodeling project and some folk just want to make their home more comfortable in the hot summer.  The best replacement windows for each of these folks are completely different.

So, before you can decide what the best replacement windows are for you, you’ll need to be really clear about these factors:

  • How long are you planing on living in the home?
  • If you don’t live in the home at all, are you flipping the house, renting or is a family member living there?
  • Rank these characteristics: efficiency, looks, durability/warranty, price

Once you have a more clear idea of what you’re looking for the question of what are the best replacement windows will become easier to answer.

For example, if you’re going to be renting the house you’ll want windows that look nice, and won’t cause problems.  Perhaps you’re less concerned with efficiency and price is probably an important concern.  You probably don’t want junk, but you also don’t need the greatest windows ever produced by mankind.

On the other hand, if you’ve just bought your new home and you’re undergoing a substantial remodel to turn it into your dream house that you plan on living in for the rest of your days you probably have a different set of priorities.  You want a product that looks great, keeps the house as comfortable as possible and will last a very long time.

Of course, even if you’re in the exact same situation as someone else you still may end up choosing a different product.  You might be more concerned about a product that looks and feels great like a wood window or maybe a fiberglass option while someone else might want the most efficient option available which would probably be a triple pane vinyl window.

 So you’re starting to see why there are so many options.  Why isn’t it easy to find answers regarding the best replacement windows?

Well, it’s a competitive business.  There are just about no patents in the industry so every company is building windows from the same parts and they’re fighting to earn your business.

Companies that are trying to produce the “best replacement windows” are all fighting to say they’re better than the rest.  Companies trying to produce the least expensive products for the price sensitive customer are all trying to be less expensive than the rest.

Keep this intense competition in mind when you’re learning about new windows.

A wise man once said, “before you can find the answer, you must find the question”.  Don’t bother trying to find the best replacement windows until you really understand what you want.

If you’re thinking vinyl windows and you’re interested in being on the low end of the price spectrum you’ll see companies all over the place advertising “new windows installed for $189” or sometimes even less.  Of course they’ll try to up sell you on all sorts of options so most end up being easily double that price.

You’ll also find companies that claim to offer the “best replacement windows” with a 3 hour sales pitch that leads to one discount after another in an effort to get you to sign up right away.  I always ask why they need to work so hard to sell these windows if they really are so good.  You’d think if they genuinely were the best replacement windows folks would just buy them and the dramatic sales pitch wouldn’t be necessary.

So, be sure you don’t waste your time meeting with companies and sorting through options until you have a clear idea of what you want.    Start to get an idea of what the best replacement windows for you will look like.

Once you have an idea of what you want and how you’ll rank the variables of efficiency, looks, durability/warranty, price you’ll be ready to start finding a local window company.  A quick google search will show you more window companies in your area than you can shake a stick at.  For example, when I google “replacement window company” I get 102,000,000 results.  That’s a lot.

Here’s another post on how to identify the best replacement window installation company.  stay tuned.   For now, take a look through some replacement window reviews get an idea of what’s out there.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.