Do Vinyl Windows Warp or Melt in the Sun?

If you’re shopping for windows you might hear all sorts of claims from the door to door window salesmen of the world. They may tell you that vinyl windows will warp or melt in the sun.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that many of these characters don’t have your best interests at heart and they may even make claims that are just plain false to get you to sign on the dotted line. (Do any contracts actually have dotted lines anymore? Maybe that’s a post for another day)

So can vinyl windows hold up in hot climates like Texas or Arizona?

The short answer is yes. Many millions of vinyl windows have been installed in Texas and Florida and Arizona without trouble and that’s been true for many years. The large window manufacturers are huge companies with engineering departments full of smart folks who make sure the products will hold up.

The products are all tested in harsh environments for a very long time before they’re sold to you. They hold up just fine.

The manufacturers typically offer very long term warranties so if your pretty new windows warped and fell out of the house that would be very expensive for them to cover. Of course this is not an issue at all so it’s really nothing to worry about.

It’s just a thing salespeople say to try to scare you into buying something more expensive.

I was told by a window salesman that fiberglass or composite windows are better in hot climates. Is this true?

Also, no. Not true at all. Sadly fiberglass and composite windows don’t offer many advantages over a nicer vinyl window other than their pretty looks. They’re not more durable, they don’t do better in high sun areas and they’re not more efficient.

Wondering why that friendly salesman would have told you that vinyl windows warp if it wasn’t true? Typically it’s because they get paid 100% commission so they want to get the sale no matter what.

Turnover in those jobs is also usually high because they’re not great jobs so the people telling you all about windows usually just came out of training class last week and they don’t really know anything about the products. They just know what their boss told them and they believe it, at first.

The friendly window salesman I met had some pictures of warped vinyl windows, how do you explain that smart guy?

Ha, I know those guys can seem very friendly and helpful. That’s their job. It is true that vinyl windows back in the 80’s were not designed for use in very high sun areas.

The manufacturers didn’t offer them in those markets and if they were installed it was by companies that shipped them from other areas. That’s an issue that has been solved for a very long time now. Fortunately you’re not buying 1980’s vintage windows so nothing to worry about there.

How can I know who to believe? I don’t want to have problems with my new windows.

Nobody wants problems with new windows and I completely understand that this business can be challenging to sort through. That’s one reason we created this site! Here’s a little story to prove that vinyl windows hold up just fine in hot climates.

One of the manufacturers that we deal with has several US plants. Shipping windows over the Rocky Mountains is expensive so large national type manufacturers will usually have east coast and west coast plants to save on shipping.

This manufacturer that we’ve dealt with for years had their west coast plant outside of Seattle. They were shipping windows from there all over the west and that was proving to be expensive too.

Quite a while ago now, they built a brand new window plant in Yuma, AZ to serve the entire southwest market.

Everyone tends to think the climate is more extreme in their city than anywhere else, but you’ll have a hard time finding a hotter climate than Yuma, AZ. They build the windows there, they test the windows there and they ship windows from there to every other large market in the southwest.

If the windows can hold up in Yuma, they’ll do just fine in Dallas or Austin or your neck of the woods.

What should I take away from this?

Two things:

First, vinyl windows will hold up just fine so nothing to worry about there.

Second, the fiberglass window or composite window salesperson who tried to scare you with the idea that vinyl windows warp was lying to you. If they were lying to you about this what else were they lying to you about?

I would guess this wasn’t the only tall tale they told you. These guys can be sketchy. If they’ve lied to you once they’ll do it again so my advice is to cross them off your list and find someone else to help with your replacement window project.

Remember, for more great window company info you can find our suggestions for the best local companies in your area right here.

How Long is a LIFETIME WARRANTY?

The question of how long is a lifetime warranty for a replacement window might sound simple. Like so many things in this business, window companies have found a way to make it complicated.

There is a claim circulating that a lifetime warranty on a vinyl window (maybe any window) is actually only 7 years. The window salesman may make many claims about this “fact”, but you can be confident that none of them are true.

The salesman will usually tell you that this is a local issue.  For example, he may say something like, “did you know that in this state a lifetime warranty is only actually 7 years?”  Unfortunately, he’ll never have any evidence that the claim is true, because it’s not.

There is really only one company that we’re aware of frequently making this silly claim. As you’d probably expect they do it because they offer a shorter warranty than most companies.

Not only do they offer a shorter warranty, they also offer a higher price. That’s their problem.

Why would they do that?

I can only guess that they think it’s their only strategy. If you were tasked with selling a product for a lot more than your competitors and you offered a shorter warranty you’d have only a few options.

Unfortunately the option they take is to lie to their customers.  Strange choice.

So, how long is a lifetime warranty?

Luckily, we don’t need to guess or take anyone’s word for it.  When it comes to warranties we can just read them to see what they say.  As you can see in the video above we used 2 examples of regular old vinyl windows, not fancy models.  They both have warranties that are good for as long as you own the house.

Then, the warranties are transferable when you sell the house.  Lifetime warranties are good for as long as you own the house.

There is nothing complicated about it, no tricks or gimmicks.  You can just read the warranty to see that.

How might a company try to prove that lifetime warranties are actually shorter?

We made this video after receiving a comment on the site from a reader.  He sent in an article from the Denver Post about a person who thought she had a lifetime warranty on her windows. You can find it here.

This is the exact type of article a window company might show you to mislead you about warranties. 

The customer in the article had a problem after a number of years and the manufacturer told her the windows only had a 5 year warranty, not a lifetime warranty so they would not service her windows.

Now, it sounds like the original widow salesperson may have mislead the customer by telling her that the windows had a lifetime warranty that covered glass breakage when they did not.  That type of thing most certainly can happen.  Window salespeople may lie to you.

The problem she had was with the salesperson, not with the warranty.  The windows she bought did not have a lifetime warranty that covered glass breakage which is why she didn’t get any coverage.  There was absolutely no issue with the lifetime warranty not providing coverage.

So, if you hear a window salesperson tell you that lifetime warranties are not actually good for a lifetime ask them for some proof and post a comment here to let us know how they justified that claim.  I love seeing how they try to justify their silly claims.

Good luck with your window project!

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Today Only Pricing Tricks

When you’re shopping for new windows you’re likely to run across a company using today only pricing. That means that for one reason or another they’ll tell you that the price they can offer today will change tomorrow.

It’s important to remember that this is a sure fire way to know you’re getting a bad deal.

Why would a company offer today only pricing that is only good for one day?

Because they know that if you have time to think it over you won’t buy it.

Now, they won’t tell you that’s the reason. If they did nobody would buy it and then the owner of that company wouldn’t be able to make his boat payment.

How might they explain today only pricing?

Good question. Common strategies are to say they have an appointment saver discount, to a neighborhood discount, or a rebate that is ending or some other promotion that already ended but could be accessed today only. These things just aren’t true.

We write about some of these strategies on our window sales tactics section. If you haven’t seen that section of the site yet you should check it out here.

My advice to you is to know that nothing in this business changes every day. The price today is the price tomorrow and the only reason it wound’t be is if the company wants to to make a rash decision.

Now to be fair prices do change over time. We sometimes hear back from someone 2 years after they’ve recieved a quote from us and they’re ready to place an order. That customer is sometimes unhappy to learn that the price isn’t the same.

Prices do change over time, but not every day. We’re not trading pork bellies here.

Why would they price windows this way?

Sometimes these things are easier to understand if you take an example to the extreme. Imagine there are 100 window companies in any town. One of them must be offering the worst deal out of the 100 companies.

Now you don’t know which company that is, but they do. Everyone in the business knows what other companies are offering. They likely know that they have the worst deal around. They’ll even brag about it at industry meetings. They’re usually pretty proud of the prices they’re able to charge.

How would the worst company in town continue to survive if they let you shop around? They wouldn’t. The only way they can continue to exist is if they can talk you into making a bad decision. That’s why they operate that way.

Good luck with your window project!

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

The Argon Gas Trick – How Much Argon Gas is in Your Windows?

We can tell a lot about your window shopping experience by the questions you ask us. One common question we get is about the percentage of argon gas in a window we’re offering. This one tells us that you’ve met yourself a creative window salesman.

There is a certain type of window salesperson out there who likes to tell creative stories about the products he sells and about the products sold by “the other guys”.

One of those stories has to do with how much argon gas is in a window. I’ve been through quite a few window plants over the years. When you tour these facilities one thing you notice is that they all use the same types of equipment. You see the same welders, the same cleaners and the same argon filling stations. There could be small changes in the end result, but I’ve never seen any substantial difference.

Why would they lie like that?

I think the window salesperson telling this story is always selling pretty expensive windows. He needs a way to explain why you should pay thousands for for his windows than other options in town. This isn’t the only reason he’ll give, but it’s one of many.

He’ll give you a laundry list of reasons why his windows are far superior to any other window a layperson like you has ever laid eyes on. Then, when he finally shows you the secret price and you gasp, he’ll politely remind you of all of the reasons that his products cost so very much.

I believe he thinks he can get away with this story because argon gas is clear and you can’t see it. Unfortunately for him the National Fenestration Rating Council posts efficiency ratings for every residential window out there. Every window comes with a sticker that shows the ratings and the website shows how the ratings were achieved. The argon’s percentage is right there on the website.

But that’s not completely right?‽!

When I recorded this video yesterday the only examples I found on the site we’re 90/10 meaning 90% argon gas and 10% air. I asked in the video for anyone with any other info to post a comment and someone did in just a matter of hours. You guys are the best.

He posted that 2 manufacturers in the DC area offer options that are 95% argon and 5% air. He was absolutely right.

I checked it out this morning and found just what I expected to find. The addition of 5% more argon gas didn’t seem to make any substantial difference in the efficiency rating. The U-Factor for those options were still in the regular range for any double pane window meaning these options were not any more efficient. Just what we suspected, the additional 5% of argon gas didn’t make the window any better.

If anyone thinks I’m wrong about that post a comment or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

If a tree falls in the forest…

If there is 5% more argon gas in one window than another, and the windows have the same efficiency ratings is one better than another? In my humble opinion, no.

I’m not suggesting that manufacturers aren’t being truthful about the efficiency ratings for their products. Rather, I am suggesting that there are in-home salespeople who are comfortable tell stories that are disconnected from the truth.

If you’re interested in looking up any of these things for yourself you certainly can. The website is here and you should know that it’s not very user friendly. It can be a bit of a challenge to navigate, but all the info is there for you to see.

So, when you hear a window salesperson tell you that his windows have more argon gas than another product I would suggest you quietly roll your eyes and show him the door the first chance you get.

Unfortunately, the salesmen that use this type of tactic tend to be the pushiest so you’re likely to hear about the super special discount you can get if you buy right now and then once you say no he’ll probably call the manager for a super special deal.

Should I by from them anyway if the price is great?

My advice is to not feed the wild animals. No matter how high his original price or how fantastic his discount may seem there’s definitely a better value out there and a company that treats you honestly isn’t that hard to find.

Good luck with your window project!

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Virgin Vinyl is a Waste of Time

If you’ve been inviting window salespeople into your house lately the odds are good that you’ve heard all about the virtues of virgin vinyl in window frames. What they don’t tend to tell you is that it doesn’t matter. That is why we’ve made our newest Window Wednesday YouTube video.

You see window salespeople can be a funny bunch. They tend to just repeat stories about windows that they’ve been told without much concern for the truth. Virgin vinyl is a great example of this.

You’ll hear them tell you that their windows only use virgin vinyl. They’ll tend to insinuate that other windows aren’t so virtuous. That’s where their story tends to go off the rails.

Why doesn’t this matter?

The part they tend to leave off is that every window uses virgin vinyl. I’m not aware of any window that uses recycled or regrind vinyl. So, it may be true that the product your friendly window sales rep is selling uses brand new fresh virgin vinyl that has never before been anything else. Unfortunately, every other window out there also falls into that camp.

Does excess vinyl get recycled?

Now the scrap vinyl material at the window plant does typically get recycled if possible. Manufacturers can sell scrap vinyl to other companies that produce products that don’t need the same structural integrity as a window.

For example a vinyl siding company can sometimes use regrind vinyl in accessories like j-channel or finish trim or my favorite, the f-channel. Those parts aren’t structural. They’re not sealing out the elements. Using recycled material in them typically won’t hurt anything.

They can also sell the scrap material to companies that make completely unrelated products like trash cans or park benches.

So, when you hear a salesperson talk about the wonders of virgin vinyl just know he or she is probably just repeating what his boss said at the training meeting. It’s a fine feature, but it doesn’t differentiate one product from another.

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Common Window Shopping MISTAKES

Here is the very newest video on our fancy YouTube channel. We’re highlighting 3 very common window shopping mistakes and how you can avoid them.

We deal with thousands and thousands of customers and everyone is facing the same challenging situation. You want to get good quality and good prices without overpaying or getting windows too cheap that you won’t be happy with. Everyone is facing the same challenge and everyone responds to that in the same several ways.

Mistake #1 Falling in love with a window brand before you know if there is a reputable company in your area offering that product.

We see this happen ALL the time.  In fact, you can see it too in the comments on this site.  You’ll see people write in to say that they want to buy windows made by company X but the local dealer is a jerk and they’re frustrated that they can’t find anyone else selling those windows.  Don’t fall into this trap.

Mistake #2 Falling for the today only window pricing tactics.

This is another very common mistake.  Nothing in this industry changes every day and no company has prices that will be different tomorrow than they are today.  It’s just not true, but unfortunately people don’t know any better and the salespeople can be very convincing.

In the video we’ll tell you how to get a better price out of these guys, but you still may not want to work with them.

Mistake #3 Buying windows from an installer because you think it’ll be cheaper.  

People do this all the time and they think they’ll save by avoiding the pushy in-home salesperson.  There are several downsides to that and we’ll walk through them in the video.

A cheap window installed by an independent installer can turn out to be a pretty mad move.  We’ve seen that first hand and we’d hate to see you fall into that trap.

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Welded Windows Don’t Matter – New Video

Hi there everyone. Our new YouTube bonus video for this week is on welded windows or welded window frames. You may hear a window salesperson going on and on about certain features. Usually it’s a high priced salesperson trying to separate himself from “the other guys”.

They’ll sometimes pick one feature or another and make a BIG deal about it to prove their value. Welded windows are a great example of this. More often than not the feature they pick out is not remarkable at all. That’s the case with welded windows.

Here you can find the newest YouTube video we’ve posted. Our YouTube channel is just getting restarted so there are only a few new videos there, but if you have a project in mind you might want to check it out and hit subscribe.

You’ll even hear the story of one of the shadiest home improvement salespeople I’ve ever met in my entire life. And I’ve met a lot of them.

As the YouTube channel gets going we’re going to be looking for new and interesting topics to use for our new videos. If you have a window question that you’re struggling with post a comment to let us know. We might just use it for an upcoming video.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Announcing Window Wednesday Video Series!

You may have noticed that I’ve been slacking off a little when it comes to new contact on the site. Our company has been busy as ever and that’s been taking up a lot of my time, but more than anything I was just at a little bit of a dead end. Luckily, I’ve solved that problem. At least for the next year.

Starting today, and every Wednesday for the next 52 consecutive weeks we’ll be publishing a new video on our YouTube channel. The series is called Window Wednesday and it came from about 1000 requests from our readers and customers. Here’s the very first episode:

Now I know that frequent visitors of the site already know who I am and what we’re up to but we get comments from window salespeople who are offended by me revealing their secrets all the time. They usually tell me what a no good idiot I am and I tend to get a kick out of it.

You see they often just got out of sales training 101 where their heads were filled with dreams of riches. Then they go out into the world for their first few weeks of actual window selling where they learn it’s not so easy to close those deals at $1,500 per window. They hear about our site from a customer who doesn’t fall for the model home discount or one of the others, and they come hear to tell me about how dumb I am.

So, this is the very first episode. We’re just getting warmed up. The next episode will be about the difference between employee and subcontractor installers. After that we’re going to talk about the one and only reason window companies use today only prices and from there the possibilities are endless.

If you have a suggestion for a video topic, let me know in the comments below. I have 20 or 30 ideas written out and we have 52 weeks to fill so I’m absolutely open to suggestion. Think about what aspect of shopping for windows has seemed the most difficult or the most challenging to navigate. I bet you lunch I can help to make sense of it.

If we use your suggestion we’ll send you a TheWindowDog t-shirt of your very own!

As always if you’d like to get a quote for your project from my company or a company I recommend check this section here. To stay updated on our new Window Wednesday series you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just come back to the site every Wednesday.

Have fun!

Andersen Windows Sells Silver Line and American Craftsman brands

This is a deal that happened a little while back and at the request of some commenters who may be Renewal by Andersen salespeople we’ve posted it here.

We used to find it funny that the Renewal by Andersen salespeople would pick on vinyl windows while their company was producing thousands of them, but now they’ve sold these vinyl brands.

Maybe they took our advice that producing cheap vinyl windows didn’t help their sales pitch for more expensive options. Either way, here is the press release they issued back on August 28th.

Now that the American Craftsman and Silver Line window brands are owed by Ply-Gem windows we’ll see if there are any updates to the product lines. Ply Gem has a lot of experience producing vinyl windows so perhaps we’ll see some much needed upgrades.

BAYPORT, Minn., Aug. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Andersen Corporation, America’s premier window and door manufacturer, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its hollow core vinyl window and patio door business, including the Silver Line and American Craftsman brands, to Ply Gem, a leading manufacturer of building products used in both new construction and home repair and remodeling across the United States and Canada. 

Andersen has been leading the window and door industry for more than 115 years by creating different and better products and services and building brands people value and trust. In recent years, the company has achieved unprecedented growth, driven by its Andersen®, Renewal by Andersen® and specialty brands. 

“This divestiture is part of Andersen’s broader strategy to sharpen our focus on our Andersen, Renewal by Andersen and specialty brands, continue to make the significant investments required to support our fast-growing, proprietary, Fibrex® engineered composite products, and deliver exceptional value to our customers for years to come,” said Andersen Corporation Chairman and CEO Jay Lund. “In addition, we believe the Silver Line and American Craftsman brands and the talented employees who have built these brands will have continued growth opportunities under Ply Gem’s stewardship.”

Ply Gem will acquire the four Silver Line manufacturing plants, associated distribution and support services for $190 million, which represents a 10X multiple of Silver Line’s trailing 12-month EBITDA through the second quarter of 2018. The more than 4,000 employees working in these locations and functions will transition to Ply Gem with the business.

“The Silver Line and American Craftsman brands are industry leading brands and have been trusted by customers and consumers for over 60 years and Ply Gem is excited to add them to our existing portfolio of quality window products,” said Gary E. Robinette, Ply Gem’s Chairman and CEO.

The transaction is expected to close by early in the fourth calendar quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory review and approval. 

About Andersen Corporation
Headquartered in Bayport, Minnesota, Andersen Corporation and its subsidiaries manufacture and market window and door products under the Andersen®, Renewal by Andersen®, Silver Line®, American Craftsman®, EMCO®, Weiland®, MQ™ and Heritage™ brands. Andersen, a privately held company, was founded in 1903 and employs more than 12,000 people with manufacturing sites in North America and Europe. Andersen has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. Visit us at andersencorporation.com.

Follow us on Facebook @AndersenCo, Twitter @AndersenCorp, and Instagram @andersen_corporation.

“Andersen” and all other marks are trademarks of Andersen Corporation.

SOURCE Andersen Corporation

Related Links

http://www.andersenwindows.com

Vista Window Company Closes Their Doors

Unfortunately another smaller window manufacturer has closed their doors for good.  It looks like Vista Window Company is gone.  Their voicemail says they closed due to unforeseen circumstances and their google listing says they’re closed for good.  We always hate to see a company struggle.  Unfortunately, I think it’s going to continue to get more difficult for smaller window companies to compete.

vista windows bankruptcy
Vista Window Company closed their doors on January 14th 2019.

What happens with the Vista Windows Warranty?

We’ve reached out to Vista Window Company and asked about the status of any pending orders and if there is any process for warranty claims as I’m sure our readers will be asking.

Right now, I would guess that there is no warranty and owners of these windows may be out of luck.  If we hear back with any info I’ll update this page right away.

What about pending orders for Vista Windows?

If you have an order pending for Vista windows I’d reach out to your contractor or dealer right away to make sure they can offer you something else.  Most reputable contractors will have credit terms established with manufacturers so they likely haven’t actually paid for your windows.  That means the contractor still has any deposit you’ve given them and you can (hopefully) order something else.  If they tell you the deposit is spent you might want to check with an attorney as you’ll probably have a hard time getting that money back.

If you hear any info that is different than what we’re written here please let us know asap.  You can post a comment or contact us privately.  I’m sure many folks will have questions about the status of Vista Window Company so any info you have to share will be helpful.

What if I was about to order Vista Windows?

Consider yourself lucky!  It’s time to order something else.  I’d look towards larger manufacturers.  You never know what the future may hold for any company, but there are plenty of large and we’ll established companies out there.  There’s no need to take a gamble on a smaller player.

If/when we receive any new information on Vista Windows we’ll post it on this page so feel free to bookmark this page and check back for updates anytime.

If you’re still shopping for new windows a good first step is to check our list of great local companies.  You can also find our detailed window reviews here.  Have fun!