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.

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!

Window Shopping Mistake #137 – Making Assumptions

Most of our posts on the site are about the window industry as a whole or claims made by salespeople all over the place. This one is more about a specific customer interaction we seem to have from time to time at our company. It’s about a common window shopping mistake, making assumptions.

A perfect example of this window shopping mistake is an email that someone in our office recieved from a prospective customer just last week. The customer wrote in to thank our rep for her time and to tell us that she was buying from someone else.

That happens from time to time. We can’t be the right fit for everyone. Our standard response is to write back asking what made the difference for them. We leave it open ended and just see what they say.

Over the years we’ve received a lot of great feedback from folks who didn’t buy their new windows from us. As a result we’ve changed our processes or the way we explain things. That feedback has helped our company grow. I’m always interested to see what people write.

In this case the customer said she was buying a window that was not the nicest from a company with a questionable track record. She said she was going to go with them because they had products designed for her climate, Dallas in this case, and because she could see a sample window from them and not from us.

What was the window shopping mistake?

As a larger company we work with thousands of customers all over the place. Everyone we deal with is going through the exact same process. The process of buying new windows is new for you, but it’s pretty standard for us. We help people through it every day.

There’s no need to figure everything out on your own, just ask.

We tend to have an answer for everything. Our rep wrote back to let her know that the option we had suggested is one of the best options for the climate in Dallas. We also let her know that the showroom is available for her to pop in to see a window sample. We can also send out pictures of a display window to save a trip. They’re sometimes easier to see than glossy brochure type pictures.

Finally we provided a few examples of differences in the products. Ultimately, the customer was able to get to the showroom. She saw a sample window. We showed her the differences in the windows and just yesterday she decided to order her new windows from us.

All ended up well, but the customer almost ended up paying more for windows that were less nice because she had made assumptions.

What assumptions did she make?

First, this customer assumed that because the other company had told her a long story about efficiency that they were somehow offering something better. That was just not the case. Our company tends to offer far more efficiency options than the typical door to door salesperson. By skipping the in-home sales show we tell a much shorter story and sometimes customers then assume that the guy with the longer story must have the nicer product. That’s just not how it works.

Next she assumed that because we didn’t send over a salesperson to sit in her living room that she wouldn’t be able to see a sample window. This was also not the case. All she had to do was ask.

What is the lesson here?

Windows are expensive and they’re something you don’t buy very often. The new windows will be in the house for decades. It’s important to get a great result so it makes sense to ask questions.

When we have one customer who almost bought elsewhere I have to think there are others who we could have helped but we didn’t know their concern.

It’s important to ask questions and make sure you understand the options. The door to door window salespeople are typically paid 100% commission. They’re often more interested in getting a contract signed than they are in providing the best solution. It’s a hard job and they have bills to pay. They’re often looking out for themselves, not for you.

If you get a quote by email for new windows from our company it’s definitely wise to ask any questions. Don’t assume we can’t help with something or that because some salesperson told you something it’s necessary true. Just send us over a message and we’ll be happy to help out.

It’s always our goal to make this process just as easy as we can.

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!

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.

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!

2021 Replacement Window Prices – Real Info

If you’ve been considering buying new windows for a while now you may have noticed that window prices have changed over the last year or two. 2021 replacement window prices are a little higher than prices of years past and that’s just the way it is.

It’s not just windows that have seen increasing prices. All building products are up and luckily windows have been much less volatile than roofing or siding or lumber. At least that’s good news.

window repair, glass replacement and screen repair

Since my company offers windows all over the country we deal with a whole lot of customers. Many people order windows right away but some folks get a quote and then come back 2 or 3 years later to place an order.

One challenge we run into in those cases is that prices just aren’t the same now as they were in 2018. Prices for most things tend to go up over time (remember when an iPhone cost less than $1000?). So, it’s not completely unusual but something to be aware of.

What should replacement windows cost these days?

As you’d find with any custom made product there are a pretty wide range of prices out there. We find that 2021 replacement window prices tend to lead you to pretty good quality windows with a great professional installation in the $600-$800 range. There are both less expensive and more expensive options and that tends to be a common range.

Now before you get out the calculator and start multiplying keep in mind that there are many factors that contribute to the prices. If you get fancy windows with different colors and triple pane glass and challenging installations the costs can easily be higher.

Just a few minutes ago I helped a customer with an order for windows that averaged to over $1200 per window. That’s what he picked and it’s a great value for what he’s getting. Different strokes for different folks.

Are more expensive windows better?

Well, better is a little vague. You’ll often times see the door to door sales type of companies selling windows that aren’t great at all for higher prices. There’s a company near my house that sends out groups of kids knocking on doors trying to sell windows that aren’t very nice at all for over $1,400 per window.

My company would offer something similar for closer to $600 so that company is offering a pretty bad deal. They can get away with it sometimes by telling a great story. That’s the type of company you want to watch out for.

As a rule of thumb, the door to door sales companies are just about always a bad deal. See more info on that here.

They tell people that they have the greatest windows in the world, but they’re really not very nice at all. Some people must buy them, but more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Are less expensive windows less good?

Generally yes. Every company is basically playing with the same deck of cards. Windows cost what they cost, installers cost what they cost, in-home salespeople are expensive, sales managers and advertisements are expensive too.

So, if a company is selling things on the cheap they’re cutting costs somewhere. It’s important for you to understand where. Until you have that info it’s pretty much impossible to make a smart decision on what to buy.

A less expensive product might be just fine for your project. We work with landlords and house flippers too and those folks are generally more price focused than most. There’s nothing wrong with that, you just need to understand what you’re not getting in return for the lower price.

As an example, our company is able to cut skip the in-home sales process in most cases and that leads to lower costs. We can charge less than someone else offering the same quality because we’re not paying that higher commission. So the thing you’re not getting is the pushy salesperson and most folks tend to be just fine with that.

But I’ve seen people writing about lower prices, what’s the deal?

Astute readers of this site will see that over the years we’ve never been afraid to talk about replacement window prices and costs. Sometimes people I’m working with will email me back to say they saw me write on the site about lower costs. Keep in mind that was probably 4 or 5 or 6 years ago. Things change.

Our company always strives to be as competitive as we can. Business has been absolutely booming so I’m confident we are very competitive. We’ll even email you the current pricing without sending a salesperson into your living room. If that doesn’t demonstrate confidence in what we offer I don’t know what does.

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!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy DIY Windows at a Box Store

Replacement Window Shopping Mistake #12 – Buying windows at a box store to install yourself

So you’re sick of all of these pushy window salesman and you’re just going to install the windows yourself?  That’s a perfectly reasonable game plan.  Frankly, it’s not that hard if you’re pretty handy and comfortable making large holes in your house.

Contrary to what many window salespeople will tell you, installing windows yourself does NOT void warranties.  To all the salespeople who will comment about how wrong I am, go read the warranty and show me where it says that.  It doesn’t.

So you certainly can install windows yourself.  That’s fine, but you certainly should NOT buy them from a box store.  The windows they sell tend to be the absolute cheapest models out there and I don’t mean cheap in a good way.

You have 2 options when buying windows at a box store, stock sizes off the shelf or custom windows.  They’re both bad choices.

How can that be?  Why wouldn’t the large warehouse store carry nice models? You’re right that it’s not intuitive.  It makes sense that you could get a perfectly nice product at those big stores.  Unfortunately you typically can’t.

The reason has to do with the distribution models used by most manufacturers and the old timey sales tactics used by most dealers.  Here’s the quick breakdown:

Most high quality windows are sold by pushy old fashioned window dealers all over the country.  Those dealers are trying to charge people $800-$1000 or more per window.  To get that price the window product typically needs to be pretty nice.

These pushy dealers collectively make up a pretty large segment of the market for these nice windows.  The manufacturers who make those windows and sell them to those dealers don’t want to jeopardize that business.

If those manufacturers sold their products in Home Depot or Lowes they would need to offer them at much more realistic price.  If Product A was listed at Home Depot for $250 per window it would be hard for Dealer X to sell it for $1000.

In order to avoid losing their high priced dealer business the manufacturers of these products don’t sell to box stores.  The companies who do sell to the box stores are very large manufactures who typically cater to the new construction market. In that end of the market the focus is on price and not quality.

Those manufacturers of cheap windows have nothing to lose if their products are on the shelf at the box store.  Their tycpial customer is a big builder.  He wants it cheap and he’s not shopping at Lowes anyway.

So the only products you tend to see available are the cheapest options out there.  That means they’ll use cheaper hardware, come with more limited warranties, get significantly worse efficiency ratings, have very high (bad) air infiltration rates, etc.  You can save money buying these windows, but you’re stuck with pretty low quality windows.  That might not be what you want.

So how should I get nice windows to install myself?

Great question.  If you call around you can probably find a window dealer who carries certain products who will sell them to you without installation. It used to be that nobody would do that, but we’re seeing it more and more now.

They may give you that old line about voiding the warranty.  I wouldn’t suggest arguing with them.  You probably won’t win.  I’d just move on to the next one. You may need to call several to get someone reasonable.

For example, my company starting offering windows without installation several years ago and it’s become a pretty decent part of our business. For a listing of the areas we cover you can see this page. If we’re not in your area post a comment here and I’ll be happy to recommend someone if I can.

The windows we offer are going to be a little more expensive than what you’d get a a box store.  They’re also going to be a fair bit nicer.  Whether that works for you or not is completely up to you.

For example, I just had a customer email me today to let me know that he could get American Craftsman windows from Home Depot for less than our quote.  That’s absolutely true. It’s also true that after sales tax the price was only about $500 different for the entire order and the model I was suggesting was head and shoulders nicer.

Sometimes cheap windows are what you need and that’s completely fine. If you’re putting windows in your shed or a low end rental those cheep brands will work fine.  If you’re looking for nicer windows you can find them out there for a DIY application and you’ll be glad you did.

For more info on installing your own windows check out this section.  Or, you can find our listings of the very best local window companies here.  Some will probably offer windows without installation and some may not.  This would be a good place to start.

Why Window Installers Make Bad Window Suggestions

Replacement Window Shopping Mistake #17 – Taking a suggestion from a window installer. 

I hear from an extraordinary number of people about their experience shopping for both new construction and replacement windows.  Very frequently I hear about how surprised someone is to be having a problem because the window they picked came so highly recommended.  When they tell me an installer recommended the product I’m not surprised at all.

Folks sometimes think that because an installer works with windows all day long he must be an expert.  Window installers certainly do know a lot about windows, but they’re usually not window experts in the way you’d want them to be if they’re suggesting products.

Remember, the installer has completely different priorities than the customer when it comes to selecting a window.

Ask yourself what is important to a window installer.  He wants the windows to be inexpensive, he wants them delivered quickly, he wants the people he orders from to be knowledgable and helpful especially if/when he orders something wrong.

Now ask yourself what is important to the end user (you) when selecting a new construction or a replacement window.  You probably want the windows to hold up for the long term.  You’d want them to seal out the elements, to be energy efficient, to operate easily, etc.

You see a window installer doesn’t really care about the air infiltration rate of a new window.  He’s not walking around the house in his socks on a cold Sunday morning feeling a draft. He’s not operating that window 10 years from now or dealing with a warranty issue down the road.

He installs the window, it works well, he gets paid and walks away.  That’s a great window in his book.

Installers don’t make bad suggestions because they’re bad guys.  They make bad suggestions because their priorities are different than yours.

The difference between a window with a 0.26 and a 0.04 air infiltration rate is not important at all to a window installer.  He probably doesn’t know the ratings because they’re meaningless to him. They’re just not part of his job. He probably doesn’t know what the condensation resistance rating is or how one option will affect the STC rating. Those things just aren’t what he deals with.

These things aren’t important to the installer, but they’re very important to you.

Of course it’s definitely important to have a good installer involved in your project.  You want someone who knows what he’s doing, who’s been around the block a time or two and who will be able to make sure the project turns out great.

Just don’t let the installers pick out windows for you. Putting in windows for a living is different than living with windows for 5, 10 or 20 years.

Do you agree with this thinking or do you think I’m completely wrong? Post a comment below and let us know about it.

For more info on different types of replacement and new construction windows you can find our section on window ratings and reviews here and you might also get a laugh out of our section on replacement window sales tactics.

If you’d like to hear from someone who can probably make a pretty good suggestion you can find our listing of the best replacement window companies here.