Find detailed Traco windows reviews right here. Unfortunately Traco windows is a great example of the risks associated with buying windows from a smaller or less well established manufacturer.
We should note that is post is talking about the Traco windows residential business. Traco sold their commercial business to a different company and that brand survives. The Traco commercial windows are less of an interesting story and we’ll have reviews of those coming soon.
There was a time, shortly after I got into this business, that Traco windows were the darlings of the internet. Window salespeople loved writing online about how fantastic these Traco windows were. There was not shortage of glowing Traco windows reviews.
If you were shopping for windows back then, say around 2006, it would be hard not to think that Traco windows were a fantastic choice. Unfortunately everyone who took that advice got taken for a ride.
When did Traco windows go out of business?
In 2008 Traco sold their residential window business to the previous owner of then bankrupt Republic windows out of Chicago. It was a bit of a scandal when Republic Windows went away so it was a little suspect when the owner showed up in Iowa as the buyer of Traco.
They formed a new company at the manufacturing plant in Ohio that was called Echo Windows. That venture would prove to be short lived as well.
In 2009 Echo Windows closed up shop as well. That left everyone at the Iowa plant out of work and customers were without warranties or access to replacement parts.
What happened to Echo Windows?
Interestingly that’s not the end of the story. The assets of the now bankrupt Echo Windows were sold to a company called MGM industries and they produce the Sienna window line that was previously produced by Traco.
I found an old article online that said MGM was going to honor the warranty for the Traco Sienna windows for a period of time. To this day they still have a website for the Sienna windows but I can’t say I’ve ever heard of them in the market.
If you have older Traco Sienna windows with a warranty issue I’d defininltey suggest reaching out to MGM Industries to see if they can help out. Other than that you’ll probably be out of luck.
What happened to the “experts” who recommended Traco windows?
Nothing happened to them. They just started selling other brands of windows. All of the sudden they were recommending Gorell windows or Kensington Windows or BF Rich windows. Do you know what all of those companies have in common? They all went out of business too. Everyone who took that advice also got a bad result.
Why are online window “experts” bad at recommending good windows?
It’s a bit of a long story, but the short version is that they’re trying to sell windows above market price. These guys who write about windows online (present company excluded) are typically very small window companies. Usually they’re run by former window installers who take their work very seriously.
These guys are often very meticulous installers who don’t have a lot of experience in sales, marketing or running a business.
The result of this is that their costs per window are very high. That means they need to sell their windows for a higher price than the next company. They think if they sold a common model like an Alside Mezzo or a Simonton Reflections 5500 they wold face too much price competition. They wouldn’t be able to see those products for an above market price and they’d go out of business just like these small manufacturers.
Instead of doing that these guys love to sell products from tiny manufacturers. They do this because these manufactures will be happy to make exclusive distribution agreements with them. That means the small retail installation company will be the only guy in town selling that model.
He believes that being the only guy around with a certain model will let him charge a higher price which allows his small and inefficient business to survive.
So, these guys sell products from these tiny manufacturers. In order to sell these basically unknown products they write about them online, telling everyone how fantastic these windows are.
When the manufacturer goes out of business they just start selling something else. It seems to work for the small time window “expert” but it’s most definitely bad for the consumer.
Unfortunately if you found this page by googling Traco Windows Reviews you may have fallen into this trap.
What’s the bottom line?
Sometimes readers of the site think I’m being mean to small companies when I don’t recommend their products. This strange window story illustrates where my thinking comes from.
The former customers of Republic, Echo and Traco are all likely completely out of luck when it comes to warranty service or replacement parts for their windows.
If they had it to do over again do you think those customers would buy from those companies again? Of course they wouldn’t. Buying from these small companies, even if they have great salespeople, is a substantial risk. Why take the gamble when you can get windows that are just as good from many other places?
There’s no reason.
How can you find a great window company?
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 know which companies to avoid you can find common window sales tactics here. That’s become one of the most popular sections on the site. You can also find the most detailed window reviews on the internet here.
Remember, for more great window company info you can find our suggestions for the best local companies in 2022 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 here.