Now Offering Alside & Revere Windows (almost) Nationwide!

In the fall of 2015 we started testing a program offering both Alside and Revere windows with and without professional installation in several cities across the country. Thanks to our fantastic readers this program has been a HUGE success. As a result, we’ve expanded to 37 markets nationwide and launched our new brand, Window Universe Express.

If you’re looking for new windows for your home this is the easiest possible way to get there and I’ll show you why. Check out our FAQ (link below) for even more info.

widow dog replacement windows
Here’s the window dog hard at work with the team at a home and garden show. He has to earn his kibble around here!

First, we’re offering a wide range of window options from both Alside and Revere. Our most popular options have been the Alside Mezzo and the Revere Berkshire Elite and there are many others to choose from. We’re also offering all styles of windows including casements, bay windows, garden windows, sliding patio doors and much more.

Next we’re offering top quality installation with a local project manager and top quality installation crews to make sure everything is done right. You can also install the windows yourself if you’d prefer.

Best of all, if you’re in an area covered by this program, we can get you a complete itemized quote for your project without ever inviting a salesperson to your home.

That’s right, you could spend several evenings inviting salespeople into your home to give you their sales pitch, walk you through their predetermined “price drops” and try to close the deal with their 50% off today only special after calling the manager for a special deal 3 times. Or, you could exchange a few emails with our industry experts to get your project moving along quickly and easily.

It’s up to you…

So who is Window Universe?

window universe replacement windows

Window Universe is the company we founded many years ago. We’ve grown from one small business operating out of an apartment to a multimillion-dollar business with 16 stores in several states and more on the way.

With our Window Universe Express brand we have the same top-quality products and services that we offer through our retail stores.

How does this all work?

It’s pretty simple, which is why I love it. When you’re ready to get a quote for your replacement window project just fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you with the most helpful email we can write as quickly as we can.

You’ll see we don’t need the sizes of the windows to get you a quote. This seems unusual to some folks, but even in markets where we have stores our reps don’t measure the windows.   It’s just not necessary to get a quote in the vast majority of projects. We’ll get the windows measured before the manufacturing begins, but it’s not needed yet.

The basic info we’ll need is how many windows you want to replace, how do you want them to open, what color window frames do you want, etc. Just the basics.

If there is anything about your project that you think is unusual just note it and we’ll address it when we get back to you. The whole process is really easy.

What have our customers been saying about this program?

 Here’s one example:

If you don’t want to DIY your windows but pride yourself in being an informed consumer, Window Universe Express is the way to go! After sitting for hours listening to people tell me why their windows were the best, I couldn’t figure out why the window packages I was being presented with were so expensive ($10 – 12k for 7 slider windows)…

We are so pleased with the windows, the installer, and the process… Window Universe Express has created a great way to inform yourself as a consumer and be able to get real numbers. No games, gimmicks or “guess what your price is going to be if you buy it today!”

I rarely write reviews for products/services, but I was so impressed with the process, price and product, I told Dan that I would be happy to endorse them!

–Excerpt of an Angie’s List review from Andrea in Seattle, WA

Here’s another.

Every aspect of this window experience was excellent. They didn’t give a sales pitch, but instead provided links to specific information about all different types/brands of windows with ratings and specifications, so I was able to make an informed decision. 

He then provided a very detailed quote so I knew exactly what I was paying for, and was able to add or remove options and see the price impact of these changes. The accountant in me loved this approach.  Once we agreed to the window specs, I was given a final price and the measuring was scheduled. 

The gentlemen who came to measure the windows arrived when scheduled and was quick and efficient.  The windows were promptly ordered and once the windows were ready, the installation was scheduled.  The installation crew arrived on time and got right to work.  They put down tarps on my carpets since the install was on the 2nd floor and it was wet and snowy outside.  They installed the windows in a few hours and cleaned up afterwards.

–Excerpt of an Angie’s List review from Lisa in Philadelphia, PA

Here’s a bit more feedback from Austin in Dallas.  You get the idea.

Folks love it.

Why are the prices so great?

Ha.  Good question.  Window Universe Express is a completely different kind of window company.  We’re able to offer top quality products and expert level service at a very low price because we don’t spend our money on things you don’t care about.

Most traditional window companies spend tons and tons of money on sales and marketing.  It’s not unusual for a company to spend 30%-40% of their total sales dollars on things that you don’t care about like sales commissions, marketing and advertising.  Paying people to walk around neighborhoods knocking on doors is expensive, so are tv commercials and billboards.

Another company may be able to get to a similar price by offering cheap windows or by using cheap subcontractors.  That’s a low price, but it’s not a great value.

A typical company offering the products and services we do would charge $10k for a project while we would charge $7k or less.  It’s just a great deal.

I have more questions

Great! I love it when folks ask great questions. I’ve been emailing with many people about this program since we launched. I’ve noted most of the questions we get and put the answers all in one place for you.

On our FAQ page you’ll find answers to all sorts of questions like:

  • Will the price change after the windows are measured?
  • Who does the installation?
  • What is the warranty on these windows?
  • Are these the right windows for my climate?

Answers to those questions and many more on our FAQ page here – this will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place here.

How do I get a quote?

That’s the easiest part. When you’re ready to get a detailed itemized quote for your project just fill out the form below and we’ll send you back an email just as quickly as we can.

If you don’t know the answer to any of the questions or if you’re not sure about something just make a note of it and send in the form as complete as you can. It’s ok if you don’t know all of the terms for these things. We don’t require you to be a window expert.

What if I don’t know the window terms?

Don’t worry about it.  If you’re unsure about something just take your best guess and let us know you’re not quite sure.  We can always revise the proposal later.

Another great way to learn about window styles and options is to take a look at our window design studio.  You can see the common styles and options with the right terminology.  Give it a try.

design

What cities are included in this program?

Here is the list of cities where we are currently offering this program. We’ll surely be adding more soon so if your city isn’t on the list check back often.

Don’t see the area you’re looking for, try here.

If you’re within about an hour of any of these cities and you’re ready to finally get those new windows just fill out the form right here. We will get back to you asap and we will NEVER share your information with anyone.

Have more questions?  Don’t be shy, just ask!

To see if we can help with your project just fill out this form and you’ll receive an email with the next steps within 24 hours.






Get your completely FREE project quote by email.  

Harvey Tribute Windows Reviews

If you’re looking for Harvey Tribute windows reviews you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll be looking at this “top of the line” window model from Harvey to see if it’s worth the price.

One thing you’ll notice when looking at any “top of the line” window model is that the claims made by the salespeople can be pretty special. That’s often the case with the Tribute window as well and the claims are sometimes a little silly.

You’ll probably want to start by assuming there’s really not much special about this model.

How efficient are Harvey Tribute windows?

As you can see above, Harvey offers 4 main glass packages with this window model. That’s a pretty limited selection, but they are decent choices. The Harvey Tribute window is available with a higher SHCG package meaning it lets in more heat from the sun. This one is called Sungain HSHG.

The Tribute windows are also available with triple pane glass and with Krypton gas too. That’s called Thermalock 3X. Options like Krypton gas will be the most expensive options. When considering the price or the value you’d want to consider how much an option like that is actually doing for you. The answer might be not very much.

That means the windows can be pretty efficient, depending on how they’re ordered, but there’s nothing unique or special about the efficiency options available.

When it comes to air infiltration for the Harvey Tribute window they say it’s between 0.01 and 0.07 which is pretty typical for nicer windows. That is better than a lot of lower end windows, but it’s not unique to Harvey. I’d say there’s nothing special going on there.

How about the hardware and mechanisms in the Harvey Tribute window?

To their credit, Harvey does use upgraded hardware in this window model. It’ll come with the block and tackle balance mechanisms that we often recommend. This is an area where many manufacturers will cut corners but Harvey is using the nicer hardware type.

What about the Harvey Tribute warranty?

The warranty for Harvey windows is not as great as the warranties you’ll see from other companies. You get a 20 year warranty on the glass, which is a long time, but not as long as other companies offer.

It’s important to realize you get no labor warranty from Harvey and they don’t cover the installation at all. Usually only smaller installers are offering most Harvey window lines. You’ll want to decide how comfortable you are that the installer will come back if you have a problem a month or a year after the windows are installed.

Having no labor warranty means that even if the windows failed and the failure was covered by the warranty you still might be paying someone else to fix the problem. That’s sub-optimal as they say.

What’s the bottom line?

The Harvey Tribute window is a decent model, but there’s not much that’s too remarkable about it. You’ll often see higher retail prices for a model like this. That will often mean it’s not a great value.

The efficiency options are pretty limited. The color options are pretty standard and the warranty leaves a little to be desired.

Harvey bought the Soft-Lite window brand a while back. I’ve thought their idea was to use the Soft-Lite brand as the higher end model and the Harvey brand as the more middle of the road product line.

If that’s the case, they’re doing ok. In my opinion the Harvey Tribute window is probably not the best value around, but certainly not the worst either.

When shopping for windows I do always suggest finding a great installation company before you fall in love with any particular window model. There are plenty of great window options out there but not as many local companies that are great to work with.

To find our recommended window companies all over the country check this section. If we know someone in your neck of the woods they’ll be listed there and they’ll be happy to help.

If we don’t know anyone local to you be sure to let us know who you find. I’m sure you’re not the only person looking.

Remember, for more great window company info you can find our suggestions for the best local companies in your area right here. There’s no need to work with a company that gives you the run-around or makes the process difficult. There are plenty of fish in the sea as they say. The best way to get started is to check out our list of great window companies.

Best Window Company in California – ClearMax Windows

If you’re in the Golden State and you’re looking for the best window company in California you’re in luck. My friends at ClearMax windows are ready to help.

They’re a new type of window company, just the type we recommend every day, and they’ll be happy to make the process of buying new windows just as easy as it can be. There are no pushy salespeople and no silly gimmicks. Just great deals on great new windows.

You can find their website here to see for yourself.

What’s their story?

The company was started in San Diego after the owners recognized the systemic issues in the window industry. The quickly realized they could do this differently and the set out to prove it.

They built a full featured website where you can find window prices and information with ho hassles at all.

When they reached out to me and asked to work with us on the site I was happy happy to recommend them. They’re just the type of company that I think our readers are looking for.

Where do they offer windows?

If you’re in San Diego, Orange County, LA, San Jose or just about anywhere else in California they’ll be happy to help with your project.

If you’re not sure if they can help in your area just click here to get to their website and ask them. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help if they can.

Why does ClearMax Windows make this process easy?

We think ClearMax Windows is the best window company in California because they’ve figured out that the window business can be simple. The competition is still living in the past with high marketing costs, pushy salespeople and mediocre products.

They even let you order windows online through their fancy website. Here’s a screenshot of their site so you can see how things look over there. I’d say it’s worth checking out.

ClearMax is doing things differently and you’re going to love it.

Click here to find their website and be sure to tell them you found them on The Window Dog!

Home Depot Window Complaints – What’s wrong with Home Depot?

The process of buying new windows can seem complicated. Sometimes people think it would just be easier to order windows from a store they know, like Home Depot. If you’re thinking about going this route you should understand what causes Home Depot window complaints so you can avoid ending up an unhappy customer.

Home Depot is obviously a huge company. They’re in almost every town all over the country. They carry all sorts of home products so you might think they’d be a great place to order windows. In my humble opinion you’d be wrong.

You see they’re a retailer, just like a Wal-Mart or Costco or another big store. That’s a completely different business than being a window installer. In fact, Home Depot isn’t really a window installer at all. If you order windows from them they’ll hire someone else to install your windows. Will that person be a good person to work with? I don’t know and you don’t know either.

Are Home Depot window installations bad?

Not necessarily, but it’s a risk. I’d suggest it’s a risk that’s not really worth taking. While it’s true that there’s a Home Depot in almost every town, there’s also likely a great window company in every town too.

Why hire a box store to do a job they don’t really specialize in instead of a company that focuses on windows every day? I’d suggest that it doesn’t really make any sense to do that. There are plenty of great window companies that are full of people who work on windows every single day.

You see Home Depot will still send over a commissioned salesperson, they’ll still try to get you to place the order. They’re not making the windows, rather they’re buying them from one company, marking them up and selling them to you.

There’s really nothing special that you get from Home Depot and there are a few downsides. The subcontracted installations are one factor that can lead to Home Depot window complaints, but they’re not the only factor.

Are the windows Home Depot offers any good?

They’re not great. In most markets it seems that Home Depot offers windows from Simonton. You can find our reviews of Simonton windows here.

Simonton makes several product lines, just like most window manufacturers. They use a special model number for windows sold through Home Depot. Usually it’s Simonton 6500 but that can change.

The windows are fine, but they’ll have higher air infiltration rates than many other options. That means they’ll let in more light when closed and locked. They’ll also use thicker frames that block more light which is not ideal.

Why isn’t Home Depot great at windows?

I can only guess it’s because selling home services has never been a huge focus for them. They could very easily be a real force in this industry as they have enormous scale, but they’ve never really been able to take advantage of that scale.

I guess it’s good for me and most owners of window companies that Home Depot has not figured out the window business. Maybe one day they’ll buy my company and we’ll leverage their scale to take over the industry. Until then, I’d look elsewhere if you’re looking for new windows.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

It is not a good idea to fall in love with a window brand before yo’ve found someone to install them. That said, you can find the best window reviews on the internet right here.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Pella Window Complaints – What is the problem?

If you’ve been considering ordering new Pella windows for your house you may have come across Pella window complaints online. You may be wondering if this is something to be concerned about. We’ll get to the bottom of it right here.

For starters, Pella primarily makes windows for new construction which means as a company they don’t always understand the remodeling customer. We wrote about this in a recent post about Jeld-Wen window complaints as they’re in the same boat.

New construction is just a different animal. Pella does make remodeling products like wood windows, fiberglass windows, vinyl winnows like the Pella 250 and the Pella 350, but they just don’t understand the customers.

There is a difference between Jeld-Wen and Pella in terms of how they’re able to satisfy customers and we’ll get into that as well.

You can also find our Pella window reviews here. They may help when you’re shopping for the best new windows.

I thought Pella was the best?

That’s part of the problem. Pella is one of the window manufacturers that spends the most on marketing. There are hundreds of window manufacturers in the country making both new construction and replacement windows. Unless you’re in the window business I bet you can only name 3 or 4 of them.

Why are there 3 or 4 window companies that you know and probably 200 that you don’t? Marketing. Does marketing make the windows better? No.

Pella and Andersen and Marvin windows spend a whole lot of money on marketing and advertising every year which is they they’re probably the only manufacturers you can think of.

Does this mean they’re better window manufacturers or that they make better windows? No. It had just about no relation to the quality of the products they produce, but nobody really thinks about that.

So, why are there Pella window complaints?

Mostly it’s a problem of expectations. People see an ad for Pella and it says “viewed to be the best”. I don’t know if you’d find anyone in this industry who would tell you that Pella windows are the very best windows. Whether we’re talking about wood windows or vinyl windows they’re perfectly fine, but unremarkable.

Unfortunately, the customers don’t know this. Someone might see an ad for Pella windows and give them a ring. A commissioned salesperson will come to your house and tell you that Pella is the absolute best. They’ll tell there’s nothing better out there. What they’re really telling you is they want you to buy so they can get their commission. Read about some funny and sad window sales tactics here.

Based on this the customer buys the windows and then might be disappointed when the actual windows show up. Pella makes fine windows, but not at all nicer than anyone else. In fact, I’d say their vinyl windows are definitely less nice than many replacement window brands. That causes customers to have Pella window complaints.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

It is not a good idea to fall in love with a window brand before yo’ve found someone to install them. That said, you can find the best window reviews on the internet right here.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Jeld-Wen Window Complaints – What’s the issue?

If you’re considering ordering Jeld-Wen windows you may have seen Jeld-Wen window complaints online. Is there a a problem with these windows that you should be aware of? Let’s find out.

The first thing you should keep in mind is that someone will complain about anything online. This is just a fact of life on the internet. Just because you read something from an unhappy customer or two doesn’t mean a product is horrible.

That said, in my experience Jeld-Wen windows are pretty close to horrible. You might also find our Jeld-Wen window reviews page to be interesting.

What is wrong with Jeld-Wen windows?

The first factor to consider is that Jeld-Wen windows are primarily produced for new construction. They do make remodeling focused products, but in my experience they’re a new construction company. They have a new construction mindset. This isn’t great for customers.

Companies that focus on the new construction market like Pella, Jeld-Wen, Andersen, Atrium, etc typically sell to builders rather than the end users. That means they care much more about keeping builders happy than the end users. What makes builders happy? Low prices and not much else.

Would you pay $5 more for a nicer product? Probably, but a builder wouldn’t.

That means a company that is primarily focused on the new construction market will not be as focused on quality as you might hope.

Builders know that when you’re buying a new house you’re focused on the kitchen and the deck and the beautiful family room and the finished basement. Windows are typically not a huge priority which means they can use cheaper windows and still sell just as many houses.

This causes builders to use cheaper and cheaper products. That causes manufacturers to make cheaper and cheaper products and it causes owners of newly build houses to be unhappy with their windows several years later.

Remember, Jeld-Wen does make remodeling products. The problem is they’re not much nicer than their new construction products.

Why are there Jeld-Wen window complaints online?

In my experience it’s because people are often unhappy with their Jeld-Wen windows. It’s just that simple. My company offered Jeld-Wen windows for several years for remodeling projects. It didn’t go very well. I personally had plenty of Jeld-Wen window complaints.

We primarily used their wood windows for historic window replacement projects. We did some fun higher profile projects like embassies in DC or cool historic buildings on the east coast. We even replaced windows for several celebrities. They were expensive wood windows, but the quality was not great. I can’t even imagine what their cheaper vinyl windows were like.

Ultimately we stopped offering them because we could almost never get a project completed without callbacks.

We never did deal with their vinyl windows but I got a good idea of what I could expect. One day I was talking to our Jeld-Wen rep about their vinyl windows and he told me not to sell them. He flat out told me that we wouldn’t be happy with them. I’m confident he was right.

To their credit we were always able to get every issue resolved with new parts or a service call, but it was a never ending hassle and we stopped selling them.

Are Jeld-Wen windows worse than other new construction windows?

Not really. All new construction windows are designed to be cheap regardless of what the brochure (or the salesperson) tells you. You can find Jeld-Wen window complaints and you can also find Atrium window complaints and Andersen window complaints and Pella window complaints too. You’ll never get the same quality that you get in a remodeling focused product.

The reason for this is simple. A remodeling customer is only buying windows. They’re specifically looking at the windows. They’re unhappy if something is wrong with the windows. That’s why a remodeling focused company has to produce higher quality products. A new construction focused company can get away with selling cheaper lower quality products so that’s what they do.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

It is not a good idea to fall in love with a window brand before yo’ve found someone to install them. That said, you can find the best window reviews on the internet right here.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Preservation Window Complaints – Is something wrong?

Preservation windows were designed by very savvy marketing folks. They’re intended to be sold by some of the highest priced replacement window companies in the country. They’re produced by one of the largest replacement window manufacturers in the country too. So why might you find Preservation window complaints online? The answer is pretty simple, mostly.

The cause is similar to some of the other manufacturers we’ve discussed. A common thread in Preservation window complaints has to do with the pricing. The sales tactics used by some of the door to door type salespeople can leave a lot to be desired.

This product line was developed by Associated Materials with the specific intention of being sold through the highest priced dealers around. Typically they’ll only offer them through one dealer in each city. Limited distribution is usually not great for customers but it might have an upside or two. Now if you’re a window dealer and you’re trying to sell products for a premium price this could be a good thing. If you’re buying windows it might not be so great.

A window contractor selling high priced windows will have his work cut out for him. He’ll typically need to tell some fancy stories. He’ll also often be a little tricky with the pricing to get people to buy. This isn’t unique to the window industry or to Preservation windows. It’s just a fact.

When you give customers tricky pricing and sales claims you’re likely to make some people unhappy. That’ll lead to Preservation window complaints.

Are Preservation windows good enough to justify the price?

This one is a little tricky as each individual dealer or contractor will set the retail pricing. It’s always possible that someone could offer a fair deal but you’ll usually see higher prices than might be warranted.

In general Preservation windows do use some higher end components. They’ll have things like upgraded balance mechanisms and non-metallic spacers in the insulated glass units. You might hear about fiberglass reinforcement or a sloped sill. Unfortunately for them it’s perfectly possible to find the same type of higher end components in most cost effective windows. As an example, my company tends to offer a much better value for very similar products. So, I know it can be done.

You can find more information on Preservation windows including info on the price, warranty and cost on our Preservation window review post right here.

Are Preservation windows good quality windows?

Sure, they’re perfectly nice but really not that remarkable. For example, according to the manufacturers data a Preservation double hung window has an air infiltration rate of 0.10 which is around 2.5x higher than another popular model made by the same parent company that my company offers.

They’ll also use thicker frames that block a little more light than other models. For some people this is a big deal, others don’t care too much.

The brochures, iPad demos and all marketing information for Preservation really are top notch. They do a great job of presenting the products and trying to justify the prices. In my mind they’re often not the best value around. They’re not a product I would buy for my house but different people make different choices.

Are Preservation window dealers all bad?

Defininltey not. I’ve known several of them over the years. There are perfectly nice companies offering Preservation windows. There are also not so great companies using the limited distribution of this product line to charge a premium price. For example there’s one Preservation window dealer in the Pacific Northwest that I’d suggest staying away from based on his interaction with my company over the years but that’s a story for another day.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

It is not a good idea to fall in love with a window brand before yo’ve found someone to install them. That said, you can find the best window reviews on the internet right here.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Sunrise Window Complaints – Is there a problem here?

If you’ve received a quote for Sunrise windows and done some googling you may find Sunrise window complaints. Is that a sign of a problem that you should be aware of?

First, I’d say it’s important to be aware that you can find complaints about anything on the internet. That may be one of the joys of living in the 21st century. Someone hates everything and they’re happy to tell you all about it. Sunrise window complaints aren’t any different.

They are known for their sales training which can cause problems.

Sunrise windows does have a reputation in the industry for offering very in-depth sales training. This could be training from the manufacturer for the dealers or for the dealers from outside consultants.

Either way, you can sometimes find Sunrise window salespeople making claims that are a little on the creative side. The folks selling Sunrise windows are often paid 100% commission (this is not unusual in the window business) so they’re very focused on getting an order. They may tell you all about Cardinal glass or upgraded balances or full frame installation or super special foam insulation.

If they get you to sign on the dotted line they likely make 10% or more of the contract price in commission. If they don’t they get nothing.

You can probably see how this would lead to someone doing anything they can to get an order. I’m not saying Sunrise windows teaches this directly. On average I do think their dealers are going to be on the aggressive side. That sales pressure can lead to Sunrise window complaints.

Is this unique to Sunrise windows?

No. You’ll find a similar situation with most in-home window salespeople. That’s why we write about common window sales tactics here in one of the most popular sections of the website.

While this isn’t unique to Sunrise windows you may find it happening in a larger percentage of the total customer interactions with Sunrise salespeople than many other manufacturers because of their focus on sales.

We’ve written about a similar phenomena with Renewal by Andersen complaints and while I’m throwing out links you can find our Sunrise window reviews here.

Does this mean you can’t get a good deal on Sunrise windows?

Absolutely not. I’m sure there are dealers out there offering perfectly fine deals on Sunrise windows every day. We know some of them and recommend them on our site. Their windows are perfectly fine, the challenge can be finding a good dealer.

I do think you’d find that the average selling price of Sunrise windows nationally might be higher than other brands and I don’t know that there’s anything special about them to justify that cost. I’m sure their salespeople will be happy to disagree, but that’s my opinion.

The average would be higher because some companies out there are really marking up their prices and using their fancy sales skills to try to justify the additional cost. Is a company doing that offering the best deal to you? Probably not.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Renewal by Andersen Complaints – What’s going on?

If you’ve been shopping for replacement windows you may have come across Renewal by Andersen. Their ads can be all over the place and everyone has heard of the Andersen windows brand. You may have also come across Renewal by Andersen complaints and that’s not too usual.

There are a few reasons any larger window company will have occasional complaints. We’re written about Alside window complaints and Simonton window complaints before. Some of the factors discussed there definitely apply to Andersen too.

You will find that Renewal by Andersen complaints are often a little different for a couple reasons.

First, they’re very expensive and very tricky with the pricing

When you read feedback from folks who have received a quote for Renewal by Andersen windows a very common thread will be that they used very tricky pricing strategies. They often will use an iPad that will show you a price.

The first price will be very high. If you buy it they’ll gladly take your money. If you don’t they flip the iPad around, work some magic, then flip it back with a lower price.

Don’t buy that and the iPad will keep flipping around and the price will keep going down. It’s like magic.

Of course it’s not 1970 so basically no products are sold like this anymore except for home improvement products. It’s weird and it makes people unhappy.

Don’t believe me? Check out comments on the Renewal by Andersen review page we wrote a while back. The comments there, especially the comments from Renewal by Andersen salespeople and people who have received quotes, are my absolute favorite part of the site.

Does tricky pricing mean the windows are bad?

Not necessarily, but it might be a warning sign. I should say I think the Renewal by Andersen windows are perfectly nice products. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them and they look beautiful.

Notice, the issue that most commonly causes Renewal by Andersen complaints is not the products or the installation. It’s the sales process. If this sales process makes people unhappy you would have to wonder why they do it. That’s the question.

Why would a company use a sales process that makes customers unhappy?

Of course they don’t tell me why they do things so all I can do is make an educated guess. I think it’s because they know many people wouldn’t buy the windows if they were clear about the prices.

It seems to me that the only reason a company would use a sales process like that is because they know that without it people wouldn’t buy. Then you’d think, why wouldn’t people buy if the pricing was more clear? The only answer I can think of is that they’re not a very good deal. People are smart. People don’t buy bad deals. Unless they’re really talked into it.

So, the fact that they seem to use this sales strategy all over the country tells me that they know they don’t offer a very good value. They need to show you some crazy price like $100k for new windows so you can flip out, then they can lower the price to $70k and then the super special price of $50k seems a lot more reasonable.

If they had started at $50k you would have thought that was ridiculous and then they’d have nowhere to go, they’d loose the sale and their commission salesperson would be going hungry that night.

Should you buy Renewal by Andersen windows?

That’s totally up to you of course. I tend to think they’re pretty overpriced for what you get but different people value all sorts of things differently. I think they’d only make sense in a very fancy house.

Even then I tend to think I’d pick real wood windows over imitation wood windows for a very fancy house. So, they take a certain level of house fanciness. Fancy enough to justify windows that might cost $2,000 each, but not too fancy for imitation wood.

Obviously lots of people buy them and if lots of people weren’t happy they’d probably change their strategy so there’s no reason to think there’s any issue with the products themselves. The sales process seems to be the biggest problem most people have. If you can stomach that you’ll probably get perfectly fine windows.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Simonton Window Complaints – Do they have more unhappy customers?

I talk to a lot of people about windows. Probably too many, but that’s a story for another day. Today is a story about a reader who asked me about Simonton window complaints.

The reader was from Florida where my company doesn’t currently offer windows so I wasn’t trying to sell anything. I was just trying to be helpful. She had read some Simonton window complaints online and was concerned that she would be unhappy if she ordered Simonton windows.

As an aside, I did recently write another post about Alside window complains where we talked about how the end user of the window typically don’t know a lot about windows and will often assign the blame for an issue in the wrong place. I won’t repeat that topic, but you can find that post here.

There are several factors to consider when opinions from folks online, whether they’re “experts” or customers. One is that you can find someone in the world who is unhappy with anything. They could be giving out free Rolls Royce’s and someone would write “one star, too comfortable”. There is someone out there who really will complain about anything. Have you seen the complaints that people write about national parks? They’re hilarious.

The important factor to keep in mind is scale.

You see Simonton is a pretty big window manufacturer. They make millions of windows and probably have millions of customers. Some percentage of customers will be less than pleased with any product. That’s not unusual and it’s not very important.

Think about it this way. If Company A has 1,000,000 customers and has 100 window complaints online they have an unhappiness rate of 0.01%. You could read 100 negative reviews and think it’s bad, but I think we’d all call an unhappiness rate of 0.01% pretty good.

If Company B has 200,000 customers and has 40 window complaints they would have less than half as many window complaints online. You might be a casual googler and think that you find much less negativity about Company B so they must be better. You see less than half as many unhappy people so it would be easy to assume that Company B is better.

You don’t realize that they’re 1/5 the size.

In fact, company B has an unhappiness rate of 0.02%. That means they have twice as many unhappy customers as a percentage of the total. That is much worse, but it looks better when you’re googling. It’s tricky to navigate.

If you were to hire Company B you’d be twice as likely to be unhappy about something at the end of your project, but you’d have no way of knowing that at the beginning.

The moral of the story is that it can be very easy for a small manufacturer to look great online. That doesn’t mean they’re actually great.

Should I work with a larger company or a smaller company?

When thinking about window manufacturers I always suggest working with larger and more well established companies. I don’t recommend Simonton windows too frequently but they are an example of a large brand that has been around for a long time and likely will be around for many years to come. Even if you read some Simonton window complaints it doesn’t’ mean they’re making a bad product. It just means they’re large.

It’s very easy for small manufacturers to pop on the scene, sign up a handful of dealers, get them to write great feedback online and the window manufacturer looks great. Then they hit a financial challenge for one reason or another, they don’t have any resources and they close their doors.

Unfortunately this happens all the time and it leaves people who thought they were buying windows from a very well respected manufacturer completely out of luck with no warranty or access to replacement parts. When you see people complaining that a lifetime warranty isn’t really lifetime this is usually the cause. If the company goes belly up you have no warranty.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.