12:40AM | 06/05/04
Member Since: 06/04/04
1 lifetime posts
The more research I do on this topic, the more confused I become--information overload. What should I look for in evaluating the qualities of various brands of replacement windows, i.e; structural, heat loss, etc.? What questions should I ask? What are the "must haves" for a vinyl replacement window to be considered a "good quality" and "premium quality" window. How do I evaluate the quality of the vinyl? Are there "vinyl" standards? Is there a real quality difference in the windows purchased directly from the various home improvement centers, i.e.' **********, *****, *******, versus purchasing their "premium" professionally installed brands of replacement vinyl windows. How does Feldco vinyl replacement windows compare to other comparable brands such as Alside and are Feldco's windows Energy Star compliant.

I live in the Chicagoland area. This is a MAJOR-MAJOR investment for me; I need to replace 33 windows--last year's energy bills were outrageous. How do I determine what is a "fair" price per window versus a "you're being ripped off" price. Please let me know of your experiences, good and bad, with various companies.

Thanks for your help


09:25AM | 06/05/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
I have purchsed lots of windows for both new construction and replacement. I never use the large retailers, but instead identify the quality of window I want, select 2 to 3 manufacturers or brands. I then develop a schedule with the number of windows, type and size. I bid this list directly to distributors or manufacturer's representatives and get contractor or wholesale prices.

Usually the manufacturer's representatives will take care of a number of details like comming out to the project to verify the measurements prior to ordering, and they back up the window with post-installation service if necessary. The windows are ordered and purchased in a purchase order or contract and either delivered to the job site, or at the distributor's warehouse.

Take a look at the yellow pages under windows and note how many different outlets there are for direct or distributor sales. These guys will not only beat the prices of the big box retailers, but will back up the product and give you a much higher level of expertise. Windows and doors is all they do, and thy are very competitive and competent to sell what you need, and to guide you in the purchase. Visit some showrooms before developing the bid schedule, then using comparable quality request bids.
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