New Windows from Window World!

When we were first discussing buying a home a few years ago (what it would take to be prepared for that momentous life experience), I suggested that we have $10,000 in savings to get things done on the house after we moved in. I felt that was a pretty safe number to encompass all those little things that would add up, and also cover any 'surprise' expenses.
 Would it surprise anyone if I said we didn't have that kind of money lying around when we bought our home just over 2 months ago? I really wish we did have that kind of money! If you are not buying a brand new house, I would recommend trying to save as much money as you can to go into your house, not towards your house as a down payment! Then you can replace ALL your windows, get a water softener and replace some of the plywood framing, insulation and siding and repaint the house and not worry about having to wait until you have saved up enough money to do so.

Anyway..... onto the story. 

About a week or so after we moved in I happened to look out my office window and noticed a car stopped in the suicide lane with a woman taking a photo of my house. Creepy. 
Later that same day, another young woman comes and knocks on my door. She is from American Exteriors and they are going around my neighborhood offering to give quotes AND since I am in such a great location (near the freeway and on a busy street near 2 churches, a park and a school), I can be part of their promotional campaign and get 'deep discounts' for letting them use before and after shots of my house as well as putting a sign in my front yard. Can they come by and give me a quote?
Sure" I say. 

Our schedules ended up conflicting with that coming Saturday they wanted to come give us a quote, so we scheduled it for the following week. 

Now I did earn my bachelor's degree in interior design. I took an entire class solely about "Materials and Sources". I knew a thing or two about windows. However, I graduated 9 years ago and never worked with window sales reps after my graduation - so I knew I needed to do a refresher course. Plus, the only window brand I really knew well was Pella - and a local window company that our last apartment bore the name of.

So I started going through my weekly mailer and making some phone calls. I had another local window company come and give me a quote for windows the afternoon before the American Exterior rep came. 

1st quote (higher end local window dealer) $5,647.00 for the 10 windows that needed to be replaced - this was for the mid grade window and a limited lifetime warranty for as long as we owned the home and included about 25% off of list price ($8,063.00) plus an additional $400 off that was part of the current TV ad

2nd quote (American Exteriors) was closer to $10,000 AFTER all the "great" discounts they were giving me for being part of the promotional campaign.... the original quote was $15,000. He said I could probably go down to Home Depot and buy all these windows for $9,000 installed so he would give me that price..... too bad he didn't know I priced out the windows on HD's website the night before and got closer to getting all my windows for about $2,000 (if we installed them ourselves - which I really didn't want to do but I did need a 'materials' base price). Oh yeah, and this was for the standard mid-grade window they offered (they offer 3 types)

3rd quote was for Window World - $5,126.00 for their standard window - which was really the high end window that American Exteriors was offering. But these windows come with a transferable warranty, meaning that if we sell the house and the new owner's son hits a baseball into the window and breaks it, it will be replaced for free. The super nice sales guy also told me that once you are a Window World customer you are ALWAYS a Window World customer - so I will get the same price in 10 years on my windows that I got today. That is also a boon if you only have enough money right now to replace just a few windows - you'll still get the same deal a few months, a year or 5 years from now (which is important to consider since the American Exterior rep told us vinyl windows are going up in price later this year due to the increase in oil... and vinyl windows are a petroleum product you know). He even said he would give me that price even if I move to a new home. I don't know if all Window World franchises are like this, but I'm really loving Utah's Window World! It's no wonder that Dave Ramsey advertises them on his show!

Quote 4 came from the mid-range local window provider - that came in at $3,409.00 for their standard low grade window. Not bad. 

Quote 5 was from yet another door to door solicitor - their quotes ranged from: 
$3,687 for the low grade window, 
to $4,608 for the mid range window,
to $6,144 for the high end window (which was the same as the WW standard window)

Tips noticed around that time a flier in our mailer that said we could call over the phone and get a quote instantly and if it wasn't lower than our lowest offer than they would give it to us for 10% below that quote!

For anyone who didn't catch it - I learned from all of this that YES, American Exteriors has extremely high prices so that when they give you the 'deep discounts' for being part of their promotional campaign you are still going to pay more than you would if you went with a local company. Granted I never had Pella come out and give me a quote, but at least with Pella you are getting serious brand name recognition if you pay that much for your windows.... and Pella sells hardwood or fiberglass window frames for goodness sake, not just vinyl windows like the rest of these companies do!

We were going to wait. Until we got the April cold front in and it was freezing in my living room again. But I had already decided that when we got new windows, we would go with Window World due to all their fabulous perks - especially the transferable warranty!

Plus, after getting 5 quotes for windows I was tired of having strange people in my house measuring my windows!

After the guy-who-actually-measures came out to get accurate measurements, he told me that it would be about June when the windows got into the factory.Imagine my surprise when they called a week ago to come install them! I thought I'd have to wait until this fall to tell the difference, but with the temperature drop yesterday, I could tell a difference when I walked out to my living room and it wasn't chilly walking past our entry stairs!

So now for the BEFORE pictures:

 Oh yes, let's not forget the basement bathroom window that is in the shower. Super large crack in the right window... talk about liability if it broke while our tenant was in the bath or shower! I didn't even think of THAT until the day the installers were installing our windows! Not to mention our inspector observed that the window didn't have a weather seal on it anymore. Nice....

Our bathroom window also got a crack when I was trying to clean the hard water deposits off with our steam cleaner. That could have been potential problems.

And then since we are nice landlords, we decided that for the 5th window we would replace our tenant's bedroom window to help cut down the noise for him AND because his window is south facing and doesn't get very much shade - that would heat up his bedroom a LOT this summer if left as is.

And here are the installers taking out our entry window... it cracked on them when they were trying to get it out, so that IS his hand coming through the crack in the glass.

And now for the AFTER photos:

So clear and pretty!!! And now that there is tempered glass in the sidelight window I don't have to worry about it breaking and being a safety hazard like the lovely single pane textured glass was.

 Looks SO much better!

 Goodbye cracked, aluminum frame windows with icky hard water build up in between the window panes! And Hello clean double-hung windows with the option to slide down the top window or slide up the bottom window.

Now all that is left  to do on the outside of the house is to rip off the siding around the upstairs bathroom window (you can see a crack on the paneling under the bottom left corner of the window), rip off the rotted framing plyboard and any insulation that is ruined and replace all of the above and repaint the back of the house. Plus put some batting up over each of the siding seams since nails are popping out because the wood has gotten wet around it, etc etc etc (isn't it great to have a general contractor for an older brother? But at least I know now what needs to be done.... I'm sure THAT project will make it on here later this summer....) Oh yeah, and we need to finish getting our garden in, get grass seed in the rest of our yard, put up the fence for the backyard, stain the deck (once the stairs are finished) and finish ripping out our neighbor's super old dead lilac bushes (with her blessing of course).


menomom said…
Thanks so much for this informative article. We are probably going to have to replace some windows, so I'm more than happy that you already did the homework for me. Now I'm off to see if we have a Window World in IL
Nicole said…
ok, you don't know me, but i was searching for people with WW in Utah experiences, since we are replacing our old, 50 yr old gross aluminum single pane windows. We BAKE in the summer heat. Anyway, I had the EXACT same experience as you. Am Ex came out.... 16,000 for 9 windows. after all their 'deals' which included me advertising an arm and a leg for them to GET those discounts, it was down to 8,800. We had about 2 or 3 other quotes.... all over 6,000. I had called WW about 2 years ago and received a quote for 3,900 for 10 windows. Since we're turning a window now into an exterior door, we only need 9. I called back our sales rep almost 2 1/2 yrs later at WW and he said he'd honor that price, even though some things (their price of labor installation) had gone up. Anyway, I was sold! I'm super excited..... Can't wait for my new windows to block out some of the heat this summer!!

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