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 Post subject: Heartland Windows from Clear Choice USA
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:09 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:43 am
Posts: 2
Location: Marietta, GA USA
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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. :wink:

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.

Seth


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:51 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 345
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I'm not sure about your quote.We sell the Heartland window made in Iowa and if indeed that's what your looking at the Elite is comparable to a middle of the line Simonton. Its looks more like a wood window because of the built in finger pulls and is a decent window. It operates quite effortlessly and has an air test of .14-not the best but ok. We primarily use the 7000 when representing them and sell a lot of the triple glaze units. The 7000 has a u of .20 with triple glaze and an air test of .07 which very few windows can boast. The only thing about the window I don't like are the unequal sashes, but it installs like a dream and functions great.
Remember a bad installer can screw up any job and I feel the same way about Clear Choice as I do Windowworld. Because of their low prices you may or may not get a good installer.


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 Post subject: Specific install issues with Heartlands?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:43 am
Posts: 2
Location: Marietta, GA USA
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Thanks windowmann2000, I appreciate the prompt response. I agree that Clear Choice is a lot like WW, but was convinced to look at them by the Atlanta franchise owner, who lives in my subdivision. I can't imagine he'd let the installation go badly, given that I could walk to his house to let him know of the problems. Plus, he knows I'm an attorney. 8)

I frankly am surprised that they are able to sell these windows so inexpensively - they must truly undercut the labor. They sell the 1400 for $185, the Elite for $225, and the 7000 for $275. Of course, low E/argon, grids, and capping are extra.

I think I will probably go with the Elite, as I'm not convinced that the (generally) mild Atlanta climate requires the 7000's.

In your opinion, are there specific things I should watch for when these windows are being installed? Do they come with the weatherstripping like the Gorells? Do they need insulation around the frame under the cap (low expansion foam)? Any other tips specific to these windows?

Thanks for your prompt reply, and your help to the viewres on this board.

Seth


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:29 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 345
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I just installed 9 Elites for my brother in Iowa City in early Dec. They rave about them and are very pleased with both the comfort level and the extreme ease of operation. They ordered the dark oakgrain and it was a perfect match for their woodwork.
At the price your at with Clear Choice you need to look no further and I'm sure you well like the windows. The extrusion your looking at is proprieatory(I think that's spelled right) to Heartland and is a very attractive window and beats anything in the mid-range products available to me. Their tolerances are always excellent and I can't say enough about how effortlessly they operate.
I doubt the installers well work with foam unless it is their std method of operations. And unless they have don't force the issue as it can get messy. If they caulk both inside and outside and insulate the top sides and underneath the sill, you'll be good to go for sometime. We usually use a foam wrap and carefully tuck in fiberglass around the corners to insure all voids are properly sealed.
The fact that you are an attorney and live in the same neighborhood is a nice little insurance policy. All work should be performed at the same level of consistancy on every job but I know if I were the window dealer in your situation it would be perfect.


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