Start Here

Most folks go about this all wrong.  When you think about it, that shouldn’t be too surprising.  I know a whole lot about windows, but I don’t know anything about your job.  If you dropped me in the middle of your office and told me to handle things, there’s a solid chance I wouldn’t do nearly as well as you do.

On this site we work to solve that problem.  Our goal is to give you the info you need to do a great job with your window project.

The number one thing you can do to start your project off right is to talk to a great window company about your project.

You see we get comments from people all over the US and Canada who have received a TON of misinformation from some high-pressure window sales company.  It’s not their fault.  Some company probably came knocking on the door offering a great deal because they were working in the area (or some other silly sales tactic).  The potential customer let them in and then got bombarded by the BS.

We know how this goes.  That’s why we try to put you in touch with a great local window company right off the bat.

If you start off by talking to a reputable company you’re much more likely to get accurate and helpful information from someone who is trying to take great care of his customers.  That’s what you wanted in the first place right?

 

Common mistake #1: Don’t try to pick out windows first

There are 2 reasons that trying to pick out a brand or model of windows before you identify a few great local installation companies is a HUGE mistake.

Reason 1: The absolute most important part of your window project is the quality of the installation.  You can get great windows, installed by a joker and you’ll have problems.  You can get solidly mediocre windows installed by a craftsman and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Reason 2: Many window brands have limited distribution.  There may only be one company in your town that offers a certain brand.  They may be great or they may be jerks.  It’s a big waste of time to fall in love with a window model only to discover that you don’t like the company that sells it.  We see that happen all the time.  I mean ALL the time.  Someone probably posted a comment about it today.  Don’t be that scorned window shopper!

Solution: Luckily, there is a very easy solution to this problem.  Start by identifying a few fantastic local window companies and see what they suggest.  I bet you lunch that if you do a good job of identifying which companies to meet with you’ll be happy with their suggestions, you’ll avoid all of the common window scams and you won’t understand why some folks have such a bad experience buying new windows.

How do you know all of this?

I’ve been in the window business since 2004.  That’s a pretty long time to be working with replacement windows.   I started out working in a distribution center in Baltimore unloading semi trucks.  From there I worked in manufacturing, distribution, sales, installation all over the country.  Now I own one of the largest window companies in the country.  That means I know a lot of people in the industry, both the good and the bad.

If you’re in an area my company serves I’d be happy to help you out and if you’re in an area where I know of a great company I’ll be happy to send you their way.  You can find our list of the best window companies right here.

It might feel like every window salesperson is a complete jerk, but I promise there are plenty of good folks out there and I’m happy to let you know who the good guys are.

Once you’ve identified a great company or two the next step is to compare their suggestions to find the best replacement windows for you.  You can compare their options with our in-depth collection of replacement window reviews right here.  We’ll show you how to understand the ratings, compare the warranties and much more.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts on the next 3 most common mistakes folks make, and our fantastic new video comparisons that will be out soon.

For now, take a look through the most common window sales scams to save yourself a lot of trouble down the road!

Thanks for stopping by; we really are glad you’re here.  We sincerely hope you find the info here to be helpful.  If you have any questions or suggestions just post a comment on any page.  We check them all and respond as quickly as we can.

Remember the number one piece of advice I have is to start with the a great company and you can find the best companies I know of right here.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

315 thoughts on “Start Here”

    1. We are looking to replace 2 dormer picture windows that open to an unused attic. We want windows that are plain, with obscure glass, weatherproof and with a good warrantee. We have 5 estimates. All are companies with good ratings on Angie’s list. The windows proposed are Sunrise Essentials, Softlite Pro, Ideal Perfect Fit, Simonton 5300, and Alside Mezzo. Which do you recommend and why?

  1. Have you heard of the Starmark brand? And, are vinyl windows traditionally better for energy conservation/insulation than wood?

  2. Hello-
    Trying to decide between Pella 450 Aluminum Clad Wood from Lowes vs. VantagePointe by Simonton via Home Depot. Much more impressed with the installer from Lowes and know the Pella name, but Home Depot talks, talks, talks about Simonton as being much better.
    Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Neither one is fantastic. The box stores typically don’t offer a great value when it comes to vinyl windows. I would suggest getting a quote from a reputable local company to compare. You’ll likely get more personal attention and better warranties from someone who specializes in windows.

      1. Thanks for your help. After reading most of your website, I agree. I know I want vinyl, single, replacement windows for brick mid century modern. Still trying to narrow down companies???

          1. The recommendation on windows, in Carrollton Texas

          2. Window dog- first thanks for the excellent source of info. Second, we live in Denver and have 4 new windows by Amerimax. Our installer got them for us at an amazingly reasonable price, however they have a terrible draft that comes of the glass and quite a bit of condensation on cold mornings/days. These 4 windows aren’t really big so I’m concerned that the much larger windows we’re replacing will look great but be no better than the 15 year old builder grade windows we have currently. We’re remodeling and need new windows that have better uv protection so everything doesn’t fade, are not drafty (we don’t want heavy window coverings-we’re going for an open look) and don’t have half the window covered in condensation every fall/winter day that it’s 40° or less. We stayed at a hotel in the mountains. They had big windows that had zero draft (even off the panes of glass). They were Milgard but I don’t know what style. I’m overwhelmed and just need great windows at a great price. What are your thoughts?

          3. Hi there, sorry to hear about your trouble. Luckily it’s pretty easy to quantify the difference between replacement window models when it comes to air infiltration and condensation resistance. You should be able to get both of those ratings from the company offering the windows to you. With that info you can compare the differences and pick a model that should work well for you.

            If the company suggesting the windows doesn’t know the ratings or says they can’t get them for you I’d look for another company.

            We tend to offer models with air infiltration rates under 0.05 and condensation resistance rates in the range of 60 to 70 or higher. You’ll find that window options that are frequently praised by installers often don’t have very good ratings. That’s the topic of a post I’m working on right now.

          4. On your list of “Best Window Companies in my town”, you do not list any for South West Florida. Ft Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs etc. Are there companies with in this region you would recommend?

          5. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone in the area to recommend. If you find a great company let us know.

      2. Do you have any thought on patio slider doors. I have one already from Home Depot which Is so-so. I was also considering a simonton forna mid range option

  3. it is imperative to view windows on display (in a showroom or “windows store” or Lowes or Home Depot )before you even begin to consider an installer. i was stunned to find that even “big name” manufacturers (e.g., anderson) still fabricate with visible, raggedy, interior corner weld lines. OK for a garage or basement, but certainly not for a living or bed room. What are these manufacturers thinking about?

    1. You’re absolutely right. I would never suggest buying windows without seeing samples. Often companies will being samples to you as it’s like pulling teeth to get most customers to come to a showroom. Good advice not to order out of a brochure.

    2. What quality are Andersen windows compared to Simonyon? I have never heard of Simonton, are they any good?

      1. Simonton makes a range of options from ok to not so great. They don’t make really nice vinyl windows, but there are worse options. Andersen is the same way. The vinyl windows they make are on the lower end, but they make some nicer wood windows. It’s hard to compare one whole brand to another as they all make a range of options. It’s like saying is Lexus better than BMW. There are cheap BMWs and there are fancy Lexus cars out there. It really depends which model you’re comparing.

        1. Any recommendations for replacement windows in the $150-$200 range? I’d be doing the install.

          I was initially eyeing the Simonton Asure, but there are so many options I think I’m overwhelmed.

          1. You’ll probably need to spend a little more to get a nicer custom made window. There are penalty of great options out there.

  4. Are there any reasons/advantages to purchase double (vs single) hung replacement windows? i saved almost $1000 by purchasing 17 single hung vinyl windows. In the 42 years in my house, I can’t recall opening any top window except for painting or repair, neither of which I expect to (rarely) require for my warrantied vinyl windows. And, as often I expect to need to clean the outside of the top window, it should be easy to access it from the flipped-down bottom.

    1. No that’s a great way to save a few bucks. The cost difference between single hung and double hung windows is typical about $20-$30 per window. The downsides are that with single hung windows you can’t open the top and you can’t tilt the top in for easy cleaning. If you’re ok with that trade it’s a great option.

    2. Looking for replacement windows that have the option to have black as the interior color, in the $500 per window range, Based in Houston.

  5. I am considering having a local lumber company install replacement vinyl windows made by Custom Window Systems, Ocala FL. Any rating on their windows? How do they compare with Alside which we had on a previous house and we were happy with. Thanks

  6. I am looking for some information on Diamond windows by public supply in Oklahoma City. The company is now bankrupt and for the last several years they have been selling silver line by Anderson. But before that they manufactured these “diamond windows”. I have found a guy that bought out the entire inventory during a bankruptcy sale. There are hundreds of windows and are VERY reasonably priced. I was just wondering, are these quality windows? Thanks in advance!

  7. Looking at Windsor vinyl/sash sash kit vs Simonton Asure I don’t see any reviews on Windsor. I know that I will be giving up some glass with the Simonton but any other pros/cons?

    1. I my experience people are often unhappy with sash kits. I’d look at a vinyl window with a thinner frame if you’re concerned about glass area.

  8. We are in the market for replacement windows and our budget has us looking at midrange windows. We live in northwest Missouri where it seems we can get both extremes in our weather. I have gotten several estimates and have it narrowed down to four window manufacturers and I was wondering which would be the best way to go. We are choosing between Pella 250 series, Alside Mezzo, Plygem contractor, and the Sunrise windows. What are your thoughts. Thanks

  9. Are you familiar with Rosati Windows, Columbus, OH? We are considering replacing our windows (20) and a sliding glass door.

  10. Fantastic info!!! We currently have single pane double hung wood frame windows with additional storm wundows. Should we replace all of it with triple pane ? Or should we just replace the single pane with double pane and keep the storm windows? We live in Atlanta, GA .

    1. You may not need triple pane windows in Atlanta, but if you like them go for it! Glad you find the site to be helpful!

  11. Looking for information on American Jewel Windows. Did you hear of them and are their windows any good?

      1. Yes. Do you have an opinion on the Omega 12 single hung windows? Can you give me 3-5 comparable alternatives from competitors?

        Thank you.

  12. Hi there,

    I’ve found your website to be most helpful as we decide on replacement windows. Most of the brands we are considering have reviews published with the exception of PlyGem. The bid for Plygem windows is the lowest considering all our other options. I’m keenly interested in your opinion when it comes to the PlyGem products. Any insight?

    Thanks-

    1. Hi Jamie, glad you’re enjoying the site. PlyGem makes so many products now. It seems they offer about everything. Which brands or models are you considering?

  13. what is the best material for the frame. seems life most are vinyl
    will these hold up long term. just tying to make the best decision
    thanks jack

  14. We are currently working with a builder preconstruction. Original plan includes installing Casco windows which is a direct, local company. I researched reviews and became concerns after some of the reviews I saw. Obviously we want a quality window but certainly do not want high end. I guess we are looking for middle of the road with known quality. Our builder is open to other windows. What would you recommend? Windows will be double hung and we will need a sliding door. We are in Chicago, IL area. Thanks!

  15. Trying to decide between Alside Fusion windows and VWD 210 series (both double hung). Two different contractors gave me estimates, one uses the fusion, the other uses VWD. Price wise they are comparable, however, I can’t find any insulating specifications for the Fusions while VWD has the U-values of the 210 series published online.

    Your insights are appreciated!

    1. The best advice I have is to spend a few bucks more and upgrade to the Alside Mezzo window. The cost difference between the Mezzo and the Fusion is small and the product difference is huge. You’ll be much happier with the end result.

  16. what advice do you have for someone in Western Maine where temps can dip to -20 and below. still trying to decide between replacing my old (original to the 1940 house) with replacement or new construction…some of my sills are punky, soft…..on the Northern side of the house. I will miss the character of the old window but not the heat loss.

    1. Those old windows are pretty, but they’re just not too efficient. If you’re going to be replacing them you might want to look at triple pane options. The best options would be windows with low u-factors and higher solar heat gain as you’ll want the heat from the sun.

      I would expect the local window companies would be able to make some good suggestions for the area.

      1. they have given me a quote for 10 Silverline new construction double hung windows… 31 1/2 w x 59 1/2 Energy star standard white low E argon DP 45 standard glass colonial contour grills between the glass , full screen, double lock, jchannel filler and nailing fin …each one is 243.89….just not sure about that brand Silver line by Anderson…and the grills between the glass just look cheesy to me. I am so used to my old windows.