How Long Does it Take to Get New Windows in 2021?

In our ongoing effort to shed more light on the replacement window business we’re answering questions that our customers commonly ask. One question we get all the time lately is “How long does it take to get new windows?”

When you’re considering a replacement window project I always suggest remembering that the windows will be in the house for decades. I know everyone gets excited. People want their pretty new windows in ASAP. As a window professional of many years I’ll just suggest that since the new windows will be in the house for a very long time. An extra week or two usually isn’t a huge deal.

Now sometimes people do have specific timing requirements. Say you’re selling the house or leaving the country for 6 months or you have a new tenant moving in on a certain date or your wife is pregnant and you’re trying to get new windows before the baby comes. These things happen. It’s important to talk to your window company about timing and to understand their response.

Ok great, but how long does it take to get new windows?

Well, the exact timing will vary. I know right now in most markets our company is averaging about 10-12 weeks or so from when the customer places the order until the windows are installed. This time last year we were closer to 8-10 weeks and 6 months ago we were closer to 15 weeks so things do change.

Now, that’s not the case for every product and option. We see custom sized patio doors taking over 2 months just for manufacturing. Bay windows are slow, painted exterior colors are slow, some products are definitely different than others. Some simple projects are going in faster than average too so it really can vary.

Did Covid impact window timing?

Absolutely. I know our company, and most every company, experienced huge demand. We went from being nervous in March and April of 2020 to being completely swamped with new window orders in May.

People were not going on vacation or out to dinner so they had more money in their pocket. They were also home more so the imperfections in the house became more clear. Everyone wanted new windows and every window company has been BUSY.

On top of that, the manufacturers had to increase social distancing at the plants. That meant there were more orders and fewer workers to make the windows. Things just took longer than usual.

Now we’re into April of 2021 and things are still busy but timing is getting back to normal for most products and in most markets.

What should I do if I have a hard deadline when I need the windows?

My first piece of advice in this situation would be to see if your deadline is really that hard after all. For example, a year or two ago I had a customer in Michigan who said she absolutely needed the new windows installed by Thanksgiving.

Being the honest and transparent company that we are I told her that we could try for that but that it wasn’t guaranteed. Well, for one reason or another we couldn’t schedule the installation until the week after Thanksgiving. She was mad at me. She held off on the installation until mid-January and then complained that the project took too long.

We never promised a pre-Thanksgiving installation, but I was still the bad guy. In my humble opinion that’s not a great way to deal with people or a particularly fun way to live your life.

In talking with her it turns out there was no real reason to worry so much about Thanksgiving. She just wanted the windows installed before her Christmas decorations were up. That’s why she ended up waiting until January, until the decorations were down. No big deal, no need to get all upset.

What could have made that better?

A better strategy would have been to communicate that if the windows aren’t installed by Thanksgiving they’ll need to be installed in January. Everyone would have understood the plan and nobody would have been upset.

If you really do have a make or break date in mind you should defininltey talk with the company about that ahead of time. Talk about what will happen if the windows can’t be installed by that date or if there is a service call required after that date.

Remember, it’s possible it rains on your installation date or the truck crashes or the window gets run over by a forklift in the warehouse. There are a million things that could cause a delay so rather than getting mad about it I’d suggest understanding the plan in case of a delay so nobody is surprised.

Will a salesperson make unrealistic promises to get a window order?

Absolutely they will and this is something to watch out for. I’ll sometimes have a customer ask me about lead times. I’ll give them my best estimate and then occasionally someone will tell me they went with a competitor because they could get the new windows installed in 4 weeks or something completely unrealistic like that.

As one of the larger companies around we know almost everyone. In a case like that I know the other company absolutely cannot install the windows in 4 weeks. The salesperson was lying. I knew it, the other salesperson knew it, but the customer did not.

Unfortunately by the time the customer figures that out it’ll be too late. Their deposit check will be cashed and there will be nothing they can do. The company will make up some excuse and they’ll laugh all the way to the bank.

When a salesperson makes you a promise about timing, ask them what will happen if that timing doesn’t materialize. You’ll want to understand the plan ahead of time. Nothing is guaranteed so it’s good to know the plan.

If you’re buying from one company vs another because of timing be sure you know the answer to the “or what” question. If they say the project will be completed ask them “or what”. What will happen if that date doesn’t materialize?

The answer is probably nothing at all so that might not be something to use as a deciding factor. They might be lying to you or there might be some reason that they’re not busy when everyone else is. Why is nobody else deciding to work with them? That would be worth understanding.

Can a replacement window project be delayed unexpectedly?

Yes. This is defininltey possible. Something can come in wrong, or damaged or otherwise incorrect and in that case it would need to be reordered. That’s just life so you’ll want to be prepared for that possibility.

The best strategy will be to talk to the company about expected timing, how they prioritize projects, if they offer rush service, how they’ll handle an unexpected delay, etc. There’s no pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free guarantee so don’t accept silly promises. Just understand the situation and you’ll be ready for a successful window replacement project.

To find our company or other recommended companies in your area check this section. You can also find window reviews here and information about the tricky window sales tactics that many companies uses here. We hope you enjoy the site!

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

Other posts you might find interesting:

How to Cancel a Window Order. Hint: Don’t Delay.

Every once in a while we hear from someone who has placed an order for custom made and windows and now they want to cancel their window order. Can you do that, how do you do it, are there costs to cancel a window order? Let’s find out.

Can you cancel a window order?

The short answer is yes, if you’re fast enough. If you met a smooth talking door to door window salesman yesterday you can still cancel your order. You typically have 3 business days to change your mind about anything sold by a door to door salesman.

The government knows those guys can be tricky so they give you the option to get out of any deal. Beware that in some states Saturday can be a business day so time is of the essence.

To cancel your order send them something in writing, an email to the main company email account works fine. If you don’t have that address you can send one to the salesperson. If he didn’t leave an email address (that was probably on purpose) you can send them a text or call their office to ask for the email address.

Beware, they’re prepared for you to try to cancel your order.

The slickest of companies are very used to people trying to cancel their window order shortly after signing up. They know their salespeople are pushy and often have customers feeling buyers remorse.

They’re prepared for your cancellation call and they’ll have a response ready to go. They’ll connect you with a “manager” who will likely offer you a super special deal to get you to change your mind.

Don’t fall for it. Your intuition was right. If you wanted to cancel a window order there was likely a good reason. Just stick to your guns and don’t deal with them. Just tell them you’re expecting any deposit returned promptly per state law. No matter how offended or helpful or mad or sad or glad they may seem it’s all just an act. Once you stick to your guns they’ll just give you your deposit back and move on to the next person.

They may even try to schedule another appointment to review your project, or see if they can find additional savings or (insert excuse here). Don’t participate in their games. It could be an excuse to get you to wait until after the three business days. If they overcharged you once you should find someone else to work with. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

If you’re contacting them within 3 business days there is nothing they can do. They must cancel your order and return your deposit. Don’t accept anything else.

You won’t be the first person or the last person to cancel an order with them.

What if it has been longer than 3 business days?

Unfortunately you might be out of luck, but there’s still a chance. Before an order has actually gone to manufacturing the sales company can cancel it if they want. They don’t want to cancel it at that point so they’ll try to resist and tell you it’s impossible but it’s not. They’re lying.

You can be sure an order has not gone to manufacturing if they have not yet taken the final measurements. The salesman might have acted like he took measurements but almost all the time that’s just for show. They don’t actually use his measuremetns for anything so that step doesn’t matter.

He does that just to look like he’s being thorough. We have an upcoming post on that so keep an eye out.

If someone has come by after the salesperson to take the final measurements then the order could be in manufacturing and at that point you really can’t cancel it. The windows are all yours.

Now before you window salesmen out there get all excited, it is possible that the salesman did take the final measurements. We had a rep in our of our locations who had prior experience measuring windows so we’d have him measure to skip a step for the customers. That is unusual, but it could happen.

Basically anytime another measuring appointment is scheduled then you know the order is not in manufacturing and could be canceled.

Once years ago when I worked for a window manufacturer I had a really sleezy customer who asked me to fake an order document for him so he could tell his customer that the windows were on order and could not be canceled. He told his customer that the plant started on the order based on the salesperson’s measurements and they only needed the final measurement appointment to work out the final details. That was a lie.

My company lets people cancel an order for any reason anytime before the manufacturing begins because I think it’s good karma. Most window companies don’t feel the same way. This is defininltey a funny business.

Can I return custom made windows or change my mind later?

Unfortunately that gets expensive quickly. We’ll be publishing another post on that very topic later this week so stay tuned. Sometimes people think you can try before you buy and that’s just not how it works.

If you have cancel an order from a pushy company wand want to find a better solution check this section find our company or other recommended companies in your area. You can also find window reviews here and information about the tricky window sales tactics that many companies uses here. We hope you enjoy the site!

Should You Finance New Windows? Find Out Here.

If you’re considering buying new windows you know it can be a considerable expense. In my company our average replacement window order is over $10,000 and sometimes up to $30,000 or $40,000. That’s a pretty big amount to be laying out so you might be wondering if you should finance new windows rather than paying in cash.

You’ll see most larger window companies will offer some sort of financing. This usually comes with promotional plans like 0% for some amount of time, or fixed rates or deferred payments. Are those options a good deal? Usually they are, but sometimes they’re not.

Should you finance new windows?  Find out here.

Sometimes customers tell me that they don’t want to finance new windows and they only pay cash. That’s completely fine, nobody is unhappy with that. We do also know that some folks have several projects going on, a lot of money going out the door. Financing new windows, especially at 0% can be an attractive offer.

With a fair financing program you can spread out the costs over time to make the windows more affordable and get the new windows sooner. It can be a win-win scenario.

So is it a smart move to finance new windows?

The answer there depends on the financing offer. For example, right now my company is offering 0% for 12 months with $0 down to finance new windows. This will change over time but that’s the option available as of today and that’s a pretty good deal. (send us a message to get the current promotions)

There’s no interest or finance charge or anything. The 12 months doesn’t start until the windows are installed. If you like the idea of spreading out your payments this is a great offer.

There are companies out there offering subprime type financing for home improvement projects and that’s generally not a great option. If you’re seeing interest rates of 10%, 15% 20% you might want to look for another option.

Some companies even have in-house financing departments. They’ll often times use a different name so you don’t know that the same person owns the home improvement company and the financing company, but they’re out there and usually not the best deal around. If it’s a bank you’ve never heard of then I’d be cautious. They’re not all bad, but some aren’t great.

Some companies offer longer term financing, how does that work?

That’s where things can get a little tricky. For example, we could offer 0% for 48 or 60 months like you’ll see advertised from some window companies on TV. The important thing to keep in mind is that nothing is free in life. Those long term plans will come with higher costs to the comampny which leads to higher prices.

If we were to offer 0% for 60 months that could easily cost us 20% of the total contract amount. That would be pretty substantial and maybe not such a great deal for you because we’d need to raise our prices in order to offer that.

In a scenario like that a $10,000 order would have a $2,000 financing cost to the company. They won’t be able to absorb that cost so the order that would have been $10,000 will now be $12,000 and the salesman will focus much more on payments than on interest rates or total cost. Paying $2000 additional to get “0%” financing is not the best deal to put it lightly.

Typically a plan that was longer than 18 months or so will come with some interest rate and as long as that’s a reasonable rate then it’s a perfectly fine deal. It’s actually more transparent that way because the rate is not hidden in the cost of the windows.

Should I get a cash discount?

We’re going to be writing a whole post on cash discounts soon so stay tuned, but the short answer is no. If you’re offered one price for cash and another price for 0% financing then you’re not really getting 0% financing, the finance charge is the difference in the two prices and advertising that as 0% is a little deceptive. Spoiler alert: Window companies can be deceptive so watch out.

That’s why we don’t advertise or price our products like that but that doesn’t stop many companies from pricing their products that way . It’s tricky and it happens all the time and you should watch out for it.

What does it cost a window company to offer financing?

Not that much for most plans. For example, my company also accepts all credit cards and the financing programs cost about the same as accepting a credit card. It’s just a cost of being in business and basically every larger company will offer financing. It leads to more business over the course of a year. Ultimately it would cost us more money to not offer financing when you factor in the lost orders.

Sometimes people think the price should be lower if they pay by check vs credit card because the company does need to pay a fee to accept a card or to use financing. That’s true but only for the smallest of companies. As our business got larger and larger we found that dealing with checks was a real hassle.

Someone needs to make sure the checks are the right amount, that they get to the bank on time, someone needs to deal with it when they bounce and then we need to do it all over again when the project is completed and the final payment is due. That can be a bit of work, someone needs to get paid to do that so it’s not free. Accepting checks comes with a cost too so I wouldn’t expect a price difference between cash and credit card from a larger company.

Some companies will intentionally price their products high and plan to offer a discount. During the sales process the salesperson will be looking for what motivates you. If you’re a school teacher or a veteran or a first responder he’ll likely have a “school teacher discount” or “first responder discount”. It’s not real, just designed to make you feel special.

If you’re making a big deal about how you’re going to be paying cash it’ll be a cash discount. The idea is to make you feel special with the name of the discount. You would have received that discount no matter what as it’s part of his closing process and the goal is to make you feel like you’re getting the deal of the century even though you’re getting the same deal, or a worse deal, than everyone else. Those door to door sales guys can be pretty good so watch out.

Why don’t all companies offer financing for new windows?

All larger companies do, but often times small outfits don’t. The banks will have requirements that the companies need to meet in order to offer financing options.

Small companies won’t qualify (even if they don’t look small). Also owners with bad credit won’t be able to offer financing.

For example, if they declared bankruptcy last year and just reopened with a new name they might look and sound great, but the banks won’t want to deal with them. They won’t be able to offer financing. Spoiler alert: this happens more than you might expect.

I’d say whether or not you end up using the financing, just the fact that it’s available tells you the company is at least a little more substantial than some others.

How should I decide whether or not to finance new windows?

I’d make sure you understand the financing offer that is available to you. Make sure you understand what the payments will be and be confident that they’ll fit into the budget. Companies may offer multiple options so it’s worthwhile to ask questions if the option presented doesn’t seem like the right fit.

If the options they offer to finance new windows come with a high interest rate, say over 12% or if they’re playing games with cash discounts and the numbers keep changing then you’ll want to try to nail down what the final offer is.

Usually any reputable company will make the pricing and the payment options very clear. If you feel like a company is being slippery with the info or the options it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

If the offer seems like a fair deal, fits into the budget and the pricing and financing info are clear and easy to understand then financing new windows can be a great deal.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Don’t get distracted by the super special discounts or silly claims by salespeople. Understand the choices and if you’re not sure if they’re making you a decent offer, compare with someone else or get a quote from our company and ask our rep any questions that you’d like.

To find our company or other recommended companies in your area check this section. You can also find window reviews here and information about the tricky window sales tactics that many companies uses here. We hope you enjoy the site!

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.

Top 11 Lies Told By Window Salesmen

Sometimes window salesmen write in all upset thinking I’m picking on them about something.  Usually I’m not, but I suppose in this case I am.  I’m not picking on the knowledgable and helpful person who may disagree with me on something.  Rather, the uninformed rep who doesn’t know what he’s talking about but speaks with all the confidence he got it last week’s sales meeting.

Some of these guys just don’t let the truth get in their way.  Some only know what they’ve been taught. They may really believe what they’re saying or they may know they’re full of it.  Either way, it’s important that you know the truth.

Here are the common claims you’ll hear out there.  Click on them to find information and explanations that may make the salesperson’s thoughts seem a little more questionable.

Top 11 Lies Told by Window Salesmen:

  • These windows were made specifically for our company
  • Fiberglass windows are far superior to all other types
  • We use virgin vinyl while the other guys use regrind vinyl
  • Our installers are employees not subcontractors
  • We use foam in the window frames while nobody else does
  • We have the more layers of low-e in our glass
  • Our windows are fusion welded and others aren’t
  • Vinyl windows will warp and crack in your climate
  • Our lifetime warranty is great and others are “limited”
  • Triple pane windows are the best option to reduce sound
  • We have special spacers, glass, vinyl, parts, etc

If you’ve been shopping for windows you’ve probably heard some of these whoppers.  We’ll be updating posts about each of these topics in the coming days.  Check back here for updates and you can even bookmark this page to keep track.

If you have any suggestions for additional topics or examples of creative storytelling by window salespeople post a comment and let us know.  We’re always looking for great material for future posts!

In the meantime you may want to check out our section on the most common replacement window sales tactics.  Replacement window salespeople can be a never-ending source of amusement!

Other posts you might find helpful:

And, if you want to skip the hassle of dealing with salespeople like this you can find our listing of the best window companies all over the country right here.