Who is The Window Dog?

Since the beginning we’ve tried to be clear about who we are and how our experience in the replacement window business can help you better understand what’s going on.

We didn’t want to make this site a huge advertisement for our business, but we did think you should know who we are.  We’ve always listed our company and info about us on the page called “Background” which is available at the bottom of every site.

We also list our company on the various state and city pages for the areas that we cover.  Recently some folks have asked so we thought we’d make it more clear.

For those of you who weren’t aware, my name is Dan and I’m one of the founders of Window Universe.  We’ve grown from one store in Alexandria, VA to several locations spanning several states and I couldn’t be more proud of the company.

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We’ve found that by offering a fantastic value we didn’t need to be pushy or rely on some of the old fashioned sales tricks that many of our competitors use.  We can get you a detailed itemized quote in 30-40 minutes with no pressure to sign today.  In fact, if you’d like to think it over for a while we leave you with all of the materials that we discussed and our entire price list so you’ll have all of the information you need to make an educated decision.

We know what the other folks in town are offering and we know our offering compares pretty well.  As a result we know you’ll place your order with us without a “special sign today managers special discount!”

If you haven’t shopped for windows lately you may not realize that this is different than the way many old fashioned window companies operate.  We’re put together some information on common window sales tactics so you can get a feel for what is out there and what to watch out for.

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We also have some fun information on understanding replacement window ratings and our reviews of various replacement window products.

If you’re in an area we serve and you’d like a free quote we would be more than happy to help out.  Just click on our page here and give us a ring.

We appreciate the fact that you’re taking the time to learn about replacement windows.  If you have any suggestions relating to additional info we could add or any specific questions please feel free to post a comment anywhere on the site or send us an email through the contact link at the bottom.  We read every email and we do our best to respond.

Want to keep reading?  Head back to our home page.

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.  

25 thoughts on “Who is The Window Dog?”

  1. Best info I have found .
    I have picked my installer companies . You are not in my area dog or it would be you . 25 windows

    I plan to stay in this home only 2 to 4 years longer . Im Atlanta

    Installer A . Vytex Georgetown – card e 366 / reinforcement added – 440
    Installer B . Simonton 550 PPG 2 layer with argon added – 450

    Help ?

    1. Hi Fred, glad to hear you’ve found the site to be helpful! Of those windows I’d probably pick the Vytex, but you’re in luck. We’re almost nationwide now and I bet I can save you a bundle. Check this out!

  2. I can’t find my previous post on this site from last week. I was inquiring about the soft-lite element window. I was quoted about 16,774 for 16 windows. The windows have wood grain interior, beige exterior, and they wrap the exterior window frames to match the window. They will take any lead away and replace any rotten wood before replacing window. Most windows are large while 2 are small bathroom windows. They are doing a few other things for a couple half windows I’m not replacing. It figures to be about 1,080 per window? Am I paying to much here in Kansas City?

    1. Hi Jim, I see your other post on the soft-lite page. Sometimes it takes a bit for them to show up, our spam filter is top notch as we get over 1000 spam comments per day.

      We install windows in Kansas City for quite a bit less than that so unless there’s more to your project than I’m aware of you might want to shop around a bit. Unfortunately sometimes companies give repeat customers high prices as they know you’re likely to buy without comparing your options.

  3. One of my contractor accounts advised me of your website. After 30+ years in the construction trade, I found you site, findings, and opinions to be the most forthcoming I’ve encountered. I will tell my accounts in Georgia about it….. keep up the good work.

  4. Is there a difference between the Polaris Ultraweld and the Simonton Reflection 5500? Side by side the look like they are made on the same line. I can only find slight differences like the Ultraweld has ridged thermal reinforcements. We are looking to do a full tear out instead of inserts and the Polaris and Simonton are within our budget. We are located in WI. Would you recommend any other brand of window to consider before we sign on the line?

  5. Dan, not sure if you can offer any advice or help. We are one of the unlucky people who purchased Gorrell windows. The local company who sold them to us has changed owners and present one is not as helpful. He isn’t a dealer for Soft Lite. He claims that due to that fact, he has problems getting glass packs for us. (We have a couple windows where the seals are breaking down.) His company placed an order three months ago beginning of March. I’ve called them twice checking on any progress/status. Should I try to contact Soft Lite on my own? Any suggestions since the windows are in a very visible room (kitchen & living room). Would prefer you respond to our e-mail address. Thanks

  6. Would love some advice on replacing 48 yr old wood windows in Arkansas. I know we want wood inside and I am being told we should do Aluminum clad on the outside – Makes me nervous ! We have large 36 x 72 windows on the front and on the porch – so can see very well as you enter the porch going to the front door – they are not like they are hidden behind the landscape! Choices I have been given: Anderson E series, Weather shield – Signature or Prem., Jeld Wen & Quaker – Please give me some idea as which I should consider or not consider – Of course there is price difference – but windows we hope to not replace again.

    1. I believe Jeld Wen has the best warranty with a lifetime warranty on the wood against rot and termites. I like their extruded aluminum cladding. We deal with WeatherShield in Ohio with great results as well. Have you picked a winner yet? Feel free to let us know which option you picked and how things went.

  7. Hi Window Dog. I’m writing a profile of a fast-growing window company in Florida for a remodeling trade magazine and want to interview you for the article. Up for it? If so, please send an email address and/or phone number. Thanks! Jim Cory

  8. Most vinyl companies, especially non-namebrand companies, fold in a short time because they have to backtrack and replace the vinyl windows in 1-10 years that have seal failure (loss of revenue for them), and then the customer is stuck with what they thought was a lifetime warranty. Meanwhile, some of these vinyl companies open up under another name, and the original warranty is null and void. Vinyl can work if you want a short-term (few months to few years option, but not always). Customers aren’t just buying a window. They will pay more for a better window, because they’re buying a well-known, established brand name, a company who gives excellent customer service, warranties that you don’t pay to have repairs/replacements for, a return on their window project investment when they sell their home, and a professional installation process done by skilled window installers. You don’t get any of these with the majority of vinyl windows or other windows for that matter. You basically get what you pay for in home improvement/products. Renewal by Andersen windows are not inexpensive, but nothing of high quality is. According to factual contractors pricing guides on home improvement projects, the Renewal by Andersen window is priced in the middle of name brand windows. They are not the most expensive window and they’re not the least expensive. However, in my opinion, from seeing other windows two to three times a day, six days a week for six years, the Renewal by Andersen window is the best value for the money. You can’t compare a hollow vinyl window with a Renewal by Andersen window. One is low end and one is high end. It’s a fact that Andersen is the most recognized window brand in the world, the largest window company in the world, the window most contractors choose to use, and in my opinion, Renewal by Andersen is the very best window. In my appointments with homeowners, I see firsthand how wood requires maintenance, warps, rots and sticks, and how vinyl is plastic-looking, flimsy, has weather stripping protruding, caulked edges, two locks (unattractive when two windows are side by side so then you see four locks), difficult to lock over time, seal failure in a few years (usually in 3 to 8 not in 15 or 20 years), bowing issues, air infiltration, sometimes even water infiltration, and not worth the money (unless, of course, you’re moving in a few months and just want a window in an opening). I respect your opinion, but you are promoting vinyl and other products. It seems like this is because you aren’t able to get your hands on Renewal by Andersen windows to sell them, so basically you’re missing out on this part of the window replacement market. Since vinyl is what most contractors can get their hands on, and for a low price since it’s plastic, most contractors and window companies will promote vinyl because that’s where their bread and butter is. A lot of contractors feel like this because Renewal by Andersen windows are exclusive products and not sold to contractors. Andersen has been around since 1903 and still holds a high reputation for being excellent. They do all the research on windows and pricing and set the prices for all of their windows based on their research of materials, labor costs, shipping costs, etc. What I’m seeing on my appointment with customers on a daily basis is that 9 out of 10 times they want to replace a vinyl or wood window. The other 1% is replacing an original Andersen window that’s been in place over 20-30 years or replace an aluminum window. Everything is about perceived value, and from my experience selling windows for six years day in and day out, the value of the Renewal by Andersen window is by far the best value for the money, so much so that I put them in my home even when I already had original Andersen windows. The Renewal by Andersen window is beautiful, energy efficient (rated Partner of the Year 2017 for Energy Efficiency), was given the JD Power Award 2017 for outstanding customer service, requires no maintenance and is a good investment when you sell. This is all from my hands on experience, but don’t just take my word for it. If anyone needs windows in the New Jersey/New York areas, you can call the Cranford, New Jersey Office at (908) 497-1020 and make an appointment with me specifically. My name is Deborah. I would be happy to show you why Renewal by Andersen is the best, and you can decide for yourself!

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks for taking the time to write. I don’t understand the need to try to bash vinyl window companies when Andersen makes more vinyl windows than almost anyone else under the Silverline brand.

      You’re right that some vinyl window companies have gone out of business, but may haven’t. Lots of poorly run companies go bankrupt.

      I do think Andersen as a company provides good customer service and there is real value in working with a well established manufacturer.

      If the Renewal by Andersen products were so great and the value was so strong I don’t think you’d see so many reports of reps using the old fashioned sales tactics that we write about all the time. A well made product at a good price doesn’t require that.

      BTW, while you’re here do you know the air infiltration rate for the Renewal by Andersen windows? I was trying to find it for a customer the other day with no luck. I saw one site that said it was 0.29. Since most nicer vinyl windows let in significantly less air than that I was thinking it must be wrong, but then if it was a great rating I would think Andersen would make it easy to find. Do you have any insight on that?

      1. Hi. I’m surprised at your reply. You post your “opinion” of windows and materials, but when I post mine, you saying I’m “bashing?” I find that so funny!! I have been selling Renewal windows for over six years, and what I change for customers day in and day out is vinyl, original wood, or aluminum clad. Every now and then there’s an aluminum window or an over 20 year Andersen window to replace.

        Yes, you’re correct, Andersen bought a line of vinyl called Silverline. If you notice, Andersen does not put their etching on the Silverline window, and there’s a reason for that. They don’t consider Silverline a true Andersen window. They sell these windows to contractors, who are looking to build condos in mass production, or for contractors who are renovating kitchens and bathrooms but are not skilled window installers, or for do-it-yourselfers who want a cheap window. Andersen is a window and door business. If they have a line they can sell that fits certain needs, then why not sell it? Any company would do that if it’s a vinyl window that does not bear the Andersen logo. I tell customers that there are different windows for different applications just like there are different levels of tools, roofs, doors, cars, appliances, etc. With the Andersen products, it’s no different. The Renewal line happens to be their best window, and for many reasons. One being it’s maintenance free in and out without bending, warping, rotting. Two, the installation is warranted, something that isn’t given on any of their other products. Three, the glass, sealants, frame and gas are superior to other products being used in other windows today. I guess if you’re partial to vinyl, none of this will matter to you, but these things are factual not just my opinion.

        Of course, vinyl has its place, and I tell customers that as well. For instance, if I was selling my house in a few months and needed to replace a window, I certainly wouldn’t install a top-of-the-line window if I’m moving. I don’t think 99% of other people would either. If I had a rental property that was very old, but I needed to replace windows, vinyl could work there, too. From my experience, I consider vinyl a short-term option for window replacement if you need a window for 1-10 years max. I consider Renewal a much better long-term option because you get more back when you sell your home since Andersen is an established brand, and because you’ll get at least 20 years of longevity with the window.

        As far as you stating that “most nicer vinyl windows let significantly less air that that (0.29),” the reason you may find that with vinyl is because initially the silicone seals are tight, and like anything new, in the beginning it will work. However, over time (and sometimes a very short time), the hollow vinyl frame will expand and contract with heat and cold and cause the seal to crack. Once this happens, the argon gas leaks out, and the customer is stuck having to replace the window! The Renewal by Andersen window has the perfect blend of argon and nitrogen (which no other window company offers). The window will maintain the same energy efficiency over 20 years (warranted) or more. The vinyl window may start out stronger in terms of efficiency, but it will fail much, much sooner. As far as your next comment that “if it was a great rating I would think Andersen would make it easy to find,” well, you found it didn’t you?? lol…

        Wish you all the best. Hope my reply gave you some insight as to why the Renewal by Andersen window is the best!!

        1. I believe that you believe that stuff. It’s a shame that they need to teach their reps to lie about these things. I’ve been dealing with some of the same vinyl windows for 15 years now and I don’t see the original customers all calling with failing windows.

          I think you guys would have a better reputation if you were more honest with people. For example, Andersen does put their name on the American Craftsman line of vinyl windows. It’s right there on their website with their logo. Andersen is one of the largest manufacturers of vinyl windows in the country. You wouldn’t be suggesting that they intentionally produce bad products would you?

          I would think if you made your pitch more about looks rather than about lies about competing options you’d have more success, but nobody asked me. The Renewal windows do look very nice.

          You have absolutely no evidence to back up your claims and it’s just a fact that you can’t get as efficient windows from Renewal as you can find a nicer vinyl manufacturer. That’s ok, not the end of the world. It’s like saying you don’t get Prius mileage in an F-150. The F-150 guy doesn’t need to lie about the milage, he just talks about the advantage of his products.

          The only advantage I see with the Renewal product is that it looks more like a wood window. That’s absolutely true and for the customer who values that it may be a great fit. You don’t need to spread ghost stories about competing options failing in 10 years in order to sell it.

  9. One more thing…you mention “sales tactics”…that’s a fair comment…many people, who are in the market to make a purchase, want everything to be on their terms, so I could see how you may read posts about sales tactics. Let me explain what I see from being a consumer and from being a Sales Rep.

    As a consumer, I would love to go buy an appliance, a car or even a coat and get the same price the Sales Rep gave me today a month or two later. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Businesses are in business to make a profit. The more quickly the sale is made, the more the business can move on to sell to other customers.

    As a Sales Rep, I see that people need a little push most of the time. I’m not talking about pressure. I’m talking about guiding them to make some sort of decision whether that is to buy or not to buy. For the customers who buy, my job is to help make the transition smooth. For the customers who don’t, my job is to let them know I was happy to help them have more information about windows and doors. If a customer feels “pressured,” I find it’s only because they were looking to get a high quality product for a low price, and that just isn’t realistic in windows.

    1. Hi Deborah, I think it is realistic that people can get a great price without being pushed. I know because we do it every day at my company and we’re not the only ones. Your costs don’t change daily, why would you change your prices daily?

  10. Hello – We’re closing on our first home this week and had gone into the purchase process knowing we would be replacing all 18 windows and 2 patio/deck sliding doors (home was built in the mid eighties).

    I am so glad to have found your site on this process as I never realized this was like buying a used car.

    We are in the Everett area of WA, so hopefully will find a good place to complete this end to end. We were planning on looking at Home Depot and Lowe’s for guidance, but it seems they are also part of the ‘problem’ too. We’ve always heard about Anderson so that’s on our short list, but given they can be twice as much might be out of our reach and I just don’t have the stomach or patience to deal with high pressure sales tactics.

    We’ve signed up on consumer reports and they recommend the Simonton Pro Contractor windows alond with American craftsman by Anderson. So, confusing…add in Jeld Wen and it becomes a mixed bag of what?!?

    Love your site!

    Bill

  11. I’m in process of replacing my windows. I live in the Smokies on the side of a tall Mountian, and I get wind, lots Of It I’m winter. My windows Leak so bad, bb thus the replacement. I met with Eco windows today, and they are suggesting to me the Simonton 5050 windows. I do have sliding windows downstairs, should I be scared putting the Simonton sliders back in? Or should I stick with no sliders? But interested on what you think about the suggested window vs. my location/weather conditions…tnks

    1. Look at the air infiltration rates for different models and you’ll see the difference. Typically the best windows for a high wind situation are casement windows. The way they lock shut typically gives them the best seal and they’re usually very heavily built. Sliding windows will usually let in more air than casement windows.

  12. Hey there Window dog,

    First wanted to thank you for your time, information and effort you put in this site, its much appreciated
    I recently put a post on your wincore section, I hope you see it soon. I’m unsure about the possible quality, not sure if the problems are due to the installation, or if its the windows them selves. 3 of out of the 14 windows- the sashes hit while opening /closing, some bow up in the center, several appear not to close evenly (when closed you can see a difference in space), several are very difficult to lock. I’m really concern I’ve possibly made a bad choice even tho I thought I done abit of research. I looked at Simonton, PGT, MI, Wincore- we chose the wincore 7700 series, cause of its cell structure, it seem to have more cells and smaller cell structure, so we thought it would be a more structurally sound window, make it more durable and long lasting, to our knowledge it has good energy ratings(U-factor 0.30, solar heat gain coefficient 0.19, visible transmittance 0.41, air leakage <0.3 ) the less than sign has a minus sign under it , not sure what the two symbols together means, I'm thinking less than. I honestly took a long time before I made a decision, trying to find the best information and fair pricing.
    I like to say on a personal note, I miss my old aluminum awning windows, number one I felt safer, due to I didn't have to worry about someone crawling in or out my windows!, they definitely allowed a full breeze to flow in, I could have my windows open when it rained and it wouldn't blow in the window, they appeared to be more structurally sound, the ones that were still in good shape sealed well to my knowledge, unfortunately several were broken, couldn't find parts to fix them properly and u can not buy awning windows anymore (they were over thirty yrs old) and I was told they were fading out with aluminum windows due to Florida codes. I can't state about the U factor or solar heat gain and so forth, So that's why we looked into the vinyl windows. Well thank you for your time and listening ear(lol). I'll be looking for your response, anxiously but patiently waiting! I'm sure your quiet busy. Thank you again…

    Sincerely,
    Tracey 🙂

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