I have been searching for a while for a good "above-average" window in the Atlanta market, and I recently received a quote from my local Clear Choice USA. Normally, I would shy away from the "WalMart-y" national sales groups, but the owner of the franchise lives in my neighborhood, and he has assured me that only their "best" installers will do the job. So, I have some comfort that he has a vested interest in making sure one of the houses on his own street has a good install. Plus, I know where he lives if things go wrong.
Anyway, he tells me that the two main windows they use are from Silverline and Heartland. I know from reading many, many posts here that the Silverline they offer are the bottom rung on the budget replacement window ladder (and he agrees). However, he believes the Heartland windows they carry are several notches above what Champion, Dixie, Sears and HD have to offer. I searched through posts here and other boards, and the few posts I've read (mostly from windowmann2000) are all very complementary of the Heartland windows, and they seem to compare very well with almost everything I've seen locally. Plus, the price is very competitive ($295 installed for a double hung window (up to 120UI), including LowE/Argon, grids, and capping for the 1400 Hampton).
So, for those of you familiar with the Heartland, do you still recommend them? They seem to have a lot of distributors in the Midwest, but I have been able to find surprisingly little information about the overall quality of their windows (aside from what has been posted here). Also, what are the major differences between the step-up models beyond aesthetics? The 1400 Elite is sold at a $40 premium, and the 700 Hartford is $90 more. As the incremental price is not exhorbitant, I'd consider upgrading from the Hampton if there is a reasonable reason for doing so.
Thanks in advance for all replies.