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 Post subject: Window world, Champion or Gilkey
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:58 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:19 am
Posts: 11
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Hello everyone.
I have had 3 quotes on windows so far, and I live in the central Ky area. I am looking to replace 8 wood double hung windows, all in the 38x68 size range. The quotes are for double hung, low E, half screen, and wrapping the exterior trim and sills. I am looking for a good mid priced window and plan on living in my home another 7 or 8 years.

My first quote was from Champion. $4650.00. I checked bbb, Champion has had 16 complaints over the lat 36 monthes, 3 in the last 12.

My second quote was from Gilkey. $3800.00. 2 complaints with bbb over the last 36 mos, 0 during the last 12.

Third quote was from Window world. Their 6000 series. This 6000 series had a sloped sill so maybe it is closer to the Sheffield. Their quote was $2850.00. They had 1 complaint from bbb over the last 36 mos, 0 in the last 12.

Any opinions would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Window World Remarks
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:28 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:12 am
Posts: 1
Location: Alabama
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Can't say for the other two, but we just had WW 4000 put in from Bham, AL distributor. First, don't believe insurance pitch. They insure from Alside to thier place to your house. Sub Contractor is responcible for their own insurance at your place for install and WW doesn't keep track if they have paid their premiums.
Don't believe "Professionally trained" installers. They watch a video (the sub contractor's words) and, if lucky, work with someone with a bit more experience for a while. We have a brick house, the sub contractor had never done a brick house. Therefore it is a crappy installation.
The windows/screens let in bugs. The cheap two inch piece of foam trim lets bugs through and into our house via the window sills. (I've seen more spiders and tree raoches with these new windows than our old aluminum. AND the alum windows were really old and crappy- we thought.)
We have two triple window units that after two attempts they still don't fit correctly. We signed the contract for our windows on Dec. 29, 2006. It's now June 17, 2007 and we are still trying to get decent windows with a good installation. Their stated timelines are unrealistic.
On the plus side, they have been very nice and seemingly willing to do whatever it takes to make us happy.
My advice, Don't pay all up front, or when asked for. You'll need leverage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:34 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Posts: 538
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area
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We have a WW right in the next county. Many times I'll go out to see some folks that have had them out for an estimate. What I've found is that people simply remember one thing. PRICE!!!!!!!!! Just the other day I spent some time with a couple who had WW give them a verbal quote of $200 a window and an extra $50 for capping. When I asked how they the windows would be capped (brick with tons of old caulk and lintels) they said WW didn't give them any details.

These people didn't really have a good vibe about doing business with WW. When I stated some of cleaning issues with that Alside snap in sill they really didn't look to happy. If that sill is anything like the one that MI uses on the the Capital single-hung new construction units, I would avoid that window at all cost. Cheapest and most difficult screens on the market and it takes about a gallon of Simple Green to clean 10 of their sills. I can say this because my wife has a rental that we had to spruce up for some new renters and the windows had not be cleaned in about 3 years. I spent 3 hours on 10 windows at that was just the inside. And this pretty much the same sill as what WW has on their cheap stuff.

What I reall don't like about WW is their slogin "Simply the Best for Less." Kiss my ~ WW. That statement is a bold lie. When I see yard signs in my area I view them as open season for my black sharpie markers. I almost re-did my ad in the yellow pages this year since my ad is right next to WW's ad. It was going to state "We fix $189.00 windows." Than I thought I would have to hire a bunch of service techs and put in a hot line at the store just for the influx of calls.

Also, Joe Public never gets to see the trade magazines that has all of the WW ads for potential franchise owners. Let me tell you that owning a WW is all about making money, not providing a respectable service to the community.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:19 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 345
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dm, I guess I should have replied to this thread instead of the Comforworld one but your points reinforce what most window dealers know, WW is very suspect when it comes to quality and professionalism.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:29 am
Posts: 2
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I also live in central KY and am in the process of selecting replacement windows for my home. I started my search last fall, and got so frustrated with all the contradictory opinions and outright misrepresentations that I gave up for the time being. My wife insists that we replace our drafty 50 year old wood windows before this winter, so I have begun my research anew. The reason I'm responding to your question is because I had an interesting experience with Champion that you might want to keep in mind.

After calling Champion and unable to get some general questions answered by phone, I agreed to an in-home visit. A very personable and professional factory representative came and gave an hour-long presentation complete with sample windows, heat lamps and temperature sensors. After the presentation, he measured our windows and then prepared a quote. We have 14 windows, 3 of which are on the second floor. We decided to replace those on the second floor, and if we liked them after seeing how they performed over the winter, we would replace the first floor windows the following spring.

He started with a quote of around $3,000, but then with the 40% discount coupon, he offered the 3 windows for $1,850. After it was clear that we couldn't decide right away, he said he was authorized to drop another 5% off if we signed that day. That put us at $1,750. When we told him we really had to sleep on it, he told us we had 3 business days to opt out of the contract, and since this deal was only good for that day, we should go ahead an sign and then back out later if wanted to. Finally, when he saw we weren't going to sign, he made an additional offer to replace one of our storm doors. and guarantee 45% off on all future windows, if we signed that day. My stomach was growling for dinner and after reading the Buyers Right to Cancel on the contract, we went ahead and signed the deal.

A couple of days later, after talking it over with my wife, we agreed that we needed to do more research before proceeding with Champion. I'm an engineer by profession and tend to do a lot of research before making a purchase of this magnitude. The high pressure sales had gotten to us before we were really ready to commit. I went to the showroom, and told the receptionist that I was canceling the order. To make a long story short, they agreed to cancel it, but not without more pressure from the store owner, including an offer to drop the price to $1,580 plus the storm door.

The bottom line is that you may not have the rock bottom price that Champion is willing to offer. I've looked into Gilkey and been to their showroom, and am going to Window World soon. My impression of the three is that Champion is the best of the three, Gilkey next and then WW. However, I'm not convinced that the value of a Champion is more than 1-1/2 times that of WW. When you buy a Champion window you are also covering their pervasive overhead and advertising which I'm sure anyone living around here can attest to. Heck, they have a minor league baseball field in northern KY named after them. Someone has to pay for that.

I also have talked to a local contractor who buys and installs windows from a local manufacturer called Rogers Windows. They have a manufacturing facility and very modest showroom located between Lexington and Winchester. It looks like a middle of the road window. They will give you detailed price lists from which you select your desired features, and based on size, you can determine the exact window price. It's really geared toward contractors, so if you buy direct, you cut out the middle man. There is no haggling. The contractor said he can replace a window in less than an hour and charges about $30/hr. I can hear the objections already, but I've see his workmanship and feel I would get a good job. All in all, I can get replacement windows with this route for about $250 per. I know I take a risk not going with a larger manufacturer, and hiring a guy with a pick-up truck to install them, but it's one of the options I'm weighing.

Hope my ramblings help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:19 am
Posts: 11
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Thanks everyone for your replies.

Waterguy your ramblings do help. Thanks for the advice with Champion. Please post after you check out WW showroom. I'm interested in what you think of them. I was fairly impressed with their window. The salesman will actually remove a window then will step all over it. To prove its strength, I guess.

I'm still leaning towards Gilkey, as I think it's as good a window as Champions, maybe even better, but almost $1000.00 cheaper on their quote.
I haven't ruled out WW yet though, still the cheapest and a decent window with a very good better business record here in Ky.

Good luck


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:50 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 345
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waterguy, if you think Champion is the best of that three, you'd better go back and take another look at Gilkey. Champion's vinyl is like a wet noodle when compared to Gilkey. The only thing exceptional about Champion is their price. Exceptionally high for the quality received.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:29 am
Posts: 2
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kywingnut0077 - I recently had Window World give me a quote. $4700 for 14 windows. Series 6000, Low E, Argon, with the trim, no grids. The 6000 sash and frame look pretty beefy, and the components, such as the warm edge spacer, and thick glass look good to me. Comparing all the options I've considered, it looks like the best deal for the money. I don't live in the Taj Majal and can't afford the absolute best. From a cost benefit standpoint, I'm going to go w/ WW.

Their price is remarkably low compared to the competition, which makes me circumspect. However, the sales rep explained that they can afford to sell the windows at the price they do through high volume sales and low labor overhead. Each WW store is independently owned. None of the staff are employed by WW. The installers are independent, but apparently are required to commit in writing that they will not work for anyone but WW. So, WW doesn't have to pay these folks any benefits or health insurance. Setting aside potential ethical concerns with this practice, it does make sense how they can greatly cut costs this way.

Incidentally, for what it's worth, I've read elsewhere on this website discussions as to whether or not WW gets their windows from Alside. This rep had no hesitation admitting that their windows are Alside.

I also plan to take the day off work and watch the installation closely. I've spent a lot of time on construction sites and am pretty familiar with frame construction, and will do my best to insure a quality installation.


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 Post subject: reply
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:18 am
Posts: 553
Location: Illinois
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Waterguy

The product you purchased probably cost the dealer about $90 bucks, and they pay their installers about $65 a hole. Do you truly believe that your watching the installation will give you energy savings or your desired result? I inspect homes on a daily basis with these products installed and have infrared images of their consistant failures. Why do you think ALL of the government tax incentives (approved or proposed) don't include much for just any "Energy Star" window? I sit on many of the Gov. participation boards (EPA, DOE, HUD, ES) and the new legislation will require performance testing instead of advertising based sales receipts. You may feel comfort differences because you want to... but thermography, digital photography and pressure testing don't have the ability to lie.

Sorry, not trying to bring you down, but I did try to give warning with 485 previous posts on this site alone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:19 am
Posts: 11
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Waterguy

Good luck with your windows and the installation. I haven't made my decision yet. It will either be Window world's 8 double hung 6000's for $2900 or Gilkeys 8 for $3400. I like both windows but am still confused on the 6000/ultra max. Ultra max seems to get good reviews but not if window world is selling them as 6000's.

Do most people still feel that Gilkey windows are better than the Ultramax/6000 window? Any opinions would be appreciated.

I have talked to a few people in my neighborhood that had window world install windows in their home. One had the 4000's and the other 6000's. Both are happy with the windows and the install and would make the same choice again. So far anyway.

Good luck


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 7:19 am
Posts: 11
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I called alside today, and they told me that they do make the windows for window world. They also said that the comfortline 6000 at window world represents the ultramax and the sheffield. The 4000 is the excalibur.

I called window world of lexingon and they confirmed that they sell the ultramax and the sheffield as the 6000. The salesman said that the only differences between the window is the sloped sill on the sheffield and pocket sill on the ultramax. The ultramax also has a triple lift rail. One on the top middle and bottom. This is what they have on display in their showroom. They will sell either the sheffield and the ultramax for the same price.

So this is my question. Even though I have learned alittle about windows this past few weeks, I don't have close to the knowledge of other posters on his site. I would appreciate advice from these experts.

I can buy 8 sheffields from window world for $2900. Excellent better business report locally. I know a few people in the neighborhood that were happy with the company.

I can buy 8 Gilkeys for $3400 (G10 series). They also have a excellent bb report. I have talked to people that have had them installed and were happy with Gilkey and the installers.

So, which is the better window? The Sheffields or the Gilkeys for $500 more. I know I have asked this once, but the discussion always seems to turn to window world the company or the ultra max window. What is the differences between the sheffield and the Gilkey. Doe the Gilkey have the snap in sill?

It appears that the ww franchise in Lexington is a decent company. Gilkey has an excellent reputation here. So if the installs are equal, I would like to purchase the best window for the money.

Thanks in advance for any final thoughts on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Window world, Champion or Gilkey
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:11 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:53 am
Posts: 1
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Just a bit of advice from someone that bought the champion windows.

I purchased 14 dbl hung and 4 casement windows from Champion and so far I am VERY disappointed. I would not recommend them to an enemy.
First off, their windows and installation was terrible. I was standing by one of my bedroom windows and (no exaggeration) I could actually feel the cold air blowing on my arm. I am trying to get them to replace the windows or refund my money.

The installation complaint is that the caulk they put around the windows is probably 1/2 to 5/8ths of an inch wide. I looks terrible. They were contractors hired by champion I guess and WAY less professional than what champion advertised. They arrived in two broke down trucks, one guy had to go back over the caulk that his "brother" put on.
Drafty, flies come on either thru the screens or thru the weep holes.
Absolutely terrible windows and installation.
I'm calling gilkey - who installed windows in my neighbors house. He loves them


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 Post subject: Re: Window world, Champion or Gilkey
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:27 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 508
Location: Kentucky
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In KY just put in Gorell and Soft-lite and everyone would be happy. Both leak less air than the units you indicated. Those guys are sales based organization while most customers need a service based company. Huge difference- sales, whats best for the company. Service- whats best for the consumer.

PS, as to the gilky, who wants a pocket sill which increases mold growth, especially in the Ohio Valley. Are your allegies and sinuses not bad enough already.

:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Window world, Champion or Gilkey
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Posts: 3347
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Interesting information about Champion for those persons believing that "employee" installations offer you more protection.... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Window world, Champion or Gilkey
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:06 pm
Posts: 508
Location: Kentucky
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They have a full time sunroom crew that installs windows when they are not busy. Other than that they use subs.


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