Pella & Jeld-Wen Windows @ Lowe's & Home Depot

mydreamhomeJuly 5, 2009

My DH & I are contracting our new home and need some hlep with the windows. We are down to Pella Arch & Jeld-Wen as far as brand, both with wood interior and aluminum cladding exterior. We have gotten quotes from the Pella Showroom and 2 builder supply companies for Jeld-Wen. I was in Lowe's the other day and the window guy there said they have the same Pella windows as Pella Showroom but at a better price because they do so much volume. Guaranteed at least a $7,000 difference in price. Researched Home Depot, and they say the same about getting a better price on the Jeld-Wen. Installation has not been included in any of our quotes as our framer will be handling it.

Does anyone know if this is true or have any experience with this?

Are the windows exactly the same quality just with a lower price?

What if the order is wrong? Will Lowe's/Home Depot take it back no matter who is at fault?

What about warranty-does Pella/Jeld-Wen come out if there's a problem or is it up to Lowe's/Home Depot?

If this is the real deal, I'd love to take advantage of it. I definitely don't want to pay more than I have to for the same product (especially with 40 windows in the house). But I've also learned that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. I'm hoping this is the exception! Your input is greatly appreciated. If I'm missing concerns, please feel free to add. Thanks!

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From what I have learned, a lot of window failures can be traced to improper window installation. The window manufacturers know this and often will not stand behind their products if someone other than their authorized agents installed the windows. Having your framers install the windows may well result in finger pointing over who is responsible if there is a problem.

From personal experience, I would not contract with Home Depot to install anything. Some of their low bid subs couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instruction were tattooed on the heel. I have heard of people getting good work and great service from the Home Depot subs, but I have also witnessed first hand how awful the process can be and what kind of whack jobs can show up at your house. Never again.

My assumption is Lowes is no better.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 12:09AM
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Box stores usually have their own "series" from a manufacturer, making exact comparison shopping difficult. What you look at to compare are the specs, including thickness of glass, material used, etc. Very often, they are right in that they do a volume business and can get you a cheaper price.

NO retailer will take back a custom ordered window. And, they are pretty much all custom ordered. If you don't have enough confidence that you are able to discern the quality differences or to order correctly, then you need to turn the sourcing over to someone with enough familiarity to do the job correctly and let them order through whomever they've established a relationship with. Saaving 6K on windows isn't worth losing 15K on an incorrect order that you have to eat.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 8:33AM
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Anyone else have any knowledge of these major maker windows in big box stores:

Are the windows exactly the same quality just with a lower price as Lowes and HD say?

What about warranty-does Pella/Jeld-Wen come out if there's a problem or is it up to Lowe's/Home Depot?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Prices will only be low for the ones they stock--not a whole lot of choice as I remember. You'd have to special order the rest from them at a price that was higher than what we were quoted at our local lumber yard.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 8:44AM
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I'll point out another issue for you to research.
solar heat gain coefficenets and u-values.
all brands should have a nfrc sticker on them that
show these numbers. if not..look at windows that do.
understand that this is an independent 3 part verification
of performance.
also flashing of windows.
pella and jeld wen have very good install directions.
make sure that house wrap is installed correctly
and housewrap in cut in inverted Y not incorrect X
that drains water into the top of the window.

water intrusion is an huge issue (y'all remember cindy lou
who's saga...some of y'all old timers).
prolly 80% of clients that hire me have issues with this.
it can take years to become apparent from inside the house
or in extreme cases only weeks/months.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 2:48PM
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As was implied in a couple of posts above is that the installation is every bit as important as the window. YOu're shopping very good windows -- what I will do when I order (as I did with Kohler products from Lowe's) is to call the mfg and ask if this product is identical to the one they supply to a plumbing (or window) supply house.

In the process of vetting your framers, have you checked with the references to see how they've done on windows? I would do that as well -- if you have a half dozen references and three of them say they have leaky windows, I wouldn't let them install mine!

But as someone said, I sure as heck wouldn't let HD or Lowe's do an install either, simply because you have no information as to whether they know what they're doing, or whether they bid the job out so low (to get work in a down market) that they won't take the time to do it right.

Your job is to shop carefully and thoroughly. You'll have to ask the people who know the product and the installer.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Thank you, everyone for your insight!

energy rater la-your information on energy ratings, double vs. triple pane, solar gain/loss has been invaluable.

creekside, livewire oak, jimandanne mi and JWilson-your advice is well taken on double checking quality & pricing standards as well as ensuring proper by the (manufacturers) book installation is carried out as well as checking framer references on windows that may have issues.

We haven't decided yet--waiting on some other quotes, but we're getting close!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 12:06AM
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first off, i work at Lowes in the millwork department. they are exactly the same pella wise. we have less of a markup in the product. they are exactly the same series. the vinyl is exactly the same. they call theirs encompass and lowes is thermastar. installation wise, we gurantee our installs for a year whereas if you get a no namer to do it, he may ditch town and never hear from him again. we install by aama standards and if they are not installed correctly, warranties are voided. WE DO TAKE BACK CUSTOM ORDER WINDOWS. there isnt a thing in the store we dont return. people have ripped off storms doors and returned them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 3:30PM
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lowes always stands behind everything they install, if you are in the springfield,mo area call chris 417-536-8676

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 6:20PM
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I am a door and window dealer. Home Depot and Lowes will usually sell stock items for less than I am willing. If the item is special order I can easily beat their price, but more importantly I go to the jobsite and I confirm dimensions and code compliance for no additional cost. Windows and doors can be very complex and expensive and they cannot be returned. This is an area where unless you have had a bad expierence you cannot fully appreciate the value of that service. If the cost from a window specialist is even close to HD or Lowes it's a no brainer. After all if you can't trust them to mix paint correctly how can you expect them to understand Egress codes, Jamb widths, Sight lines, DP ratings, Solar Heat Gain, Structural mulls, flashing details or Temper codes. All of these details must come together in order to ensure a proper fit not just in the opening but in reference to the application. Vinyl windows are not as tricky but they still require more knowledge than their employees usually have. The simple rule of thumb for the big box stores, if you know exactly what you need and where to find it on the shelf, buy it and you probably saved some money. If not, find a professional that you trust.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 2:51PM
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