Deciding which contractor/windows to go with

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Deciding which contractor/windows to go with

#1 Post by Hls444 »

I live in a single floor ranch with about 20 windows. I've had three estimates:

1. Renewal by Andersen - nope
2. Contractor recommended by a local community
3. Contractor recommended by my in-laws

C1 took up about 2 hours of my time. I had read a ton of reviews that my money would be better spent elsewhere, but I wanted to get an idea of what I might want to know about windows I'm buying so it was more of a practice run and I picked his brain a lot.

C2 was a guy that my wife and I both liked. He showed up on time and instead of trying to sell me on the windows, he was giving both of us options in case we wanted to change some casements to sliders or double hungs, and potential style changes. He works with Tri-State windows and gave two estimates:

1. $32,300 for triple pane krypton insulated 5400 series
2. $30,000 for double pane argon insulated 4100 series

C3 was all recommendation and reputation, but neither my wife nor I like him that much. He showed up at 4:30 for a 3:00 appointment when we let him know days in advance that I had a 5:00 appointment I couldn't miss. He grabs the measurements super fast, then gets on his way. Days went by and he kept stalling on giving an estimate and my wife followed up with him every couple of days and it felt like he was stalling. He works primarily with Andersen windows (not RBA) and gave us a rough quote of about $36,000 for double pane argon insulated 400 series. The ONLY reason we would be choosing him is that an anal family friend refused to work with anyone but him for his work quality.

After typing it out, it almost seems like a no-brainer to go with C2 except that Tri-state doesn't seem to make any top 10 lists or recommendations. If they were triple pane krypton Andersens, they would probably cost a lot more but there's the brand recognition.

Are Andersens mid-range? It's hard to find good information on how to pick out windows to compare specs which is how I would normally approach that part of this decision.

I found an old post in this sub that was linked several times as the go-to "how to figure out what windows to buy" but it has since been deleted.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Location: southern PA, north east MD

Re: Deciding which contractor/windows to go with

#2 Post by Ricknez »

Stay away from the family friend of the in laws. Does he have an actual business location other than his garage?
The fact that he uses andersen leads me to think he just buys windows directly from a hardware store or supply house. A legitimate window company usually buys direct from the manufacturer and has a bonified business location.
Dont be tempted by the cheap price, it will end up costing you a lot.
Any grids with these windows? What part of the country are you in?

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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Deciding which contractor/windows to go with

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd »

The starting recommendation for us in AW is 400 WoodWright, it is a completely clad exterior. The 400TW does not have a clad sash.
As for performance high quality/high performance vinyl is vastly superior. You need to decide how much draft is okay. A little, a lot, or none.
Certain high performance vinyl will give you no draft.
I love wood windows, wished they were more affordable, didn't rot, or leak so much air.
But for my "wood snobs" we do Pella, Marvin, or AW.

Are you looking at the same install type. Two basic types: insert or full frame/full tear.

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Windows on Washington
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Deciding which contractor/windows to go with

#4 Post by Windows on Washington »

Recommendations are great...if they are actual businesses with some skin in the game.

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