Champion Windows is one of the largest retailers of residential replacement windows in the country. They produce their windows at their factory in Cincinnati, OH and they sell them through a network of company owned and independant stores that they call factory showrooms.
Champion is a little unique in the replacement window business as they produce their own product. Most other large nationwide window retailers are franchises and they do not produce their own product.
Does this make Champion windows better? No, not necessarily, but it is certainly a difference in the structure of the company.
A drawback with any company that produces their own product is that they must tell you that their product is the best thing for you. They have to do that because they don’t have anything else to offer. A company that is not tied to a specific product may be able to offer better advice. Whether or not this is important to you comes down to what you’re trying to get out of your meeting with a window company. If you’re looking for an objective recommendation, this may not be the type of company for you.
Champion windows are generally regarded to be a good quality product. They offer very energy efficient options and they have a good reputation for quality installations.
However, Champion windows are typically sold at a relatively high price. Many consumers find that there are other options with similar efficiency ratings available at better prices.
Some salespeople from Champion windows have been known to tell consumers they they produce the glass and that no other company offers the same low-e glass options. They also frequently use a heat lamp demonstration to tell folks that their windows are better than anything else on the market. This is just not true and it casts the Champion sales process in a bad light.
Here’s an example of an NFRC sticker from a Champion window. It shows the performance ratings for this particular model. As you can see the ratings are fine, but there is nothing remarkable about them.
In addition to average ratings, Champion windows are typically sold at wildly varying prices. We see Champion window prices in the Washington DC and Northern Virginia area as high as $800 to $1000 per window. Then you see the exact same windows sold in Richmond or Cleveland for a substantially lower price.
One reason for large range of prices for the same Champion windows is the pricing model that they use. There tends to be a good amount of negation and “special” pricing that is designed to entice a customer to purchase on the spot. When we see a Champion window quote for $800 per window and then another for $450 per window the only explanation we can think of is that one customer did a better job of saying no than the other.
Regardless of the reason Champion tends to use an outdated and old fashioned pricing model that often results in the consumer paying substantially more than they need to for average products.
To sum things up: buyer beware.
If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List. For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run. You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here.
If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your area right here.