I need to replace a sliding glass door, and several windows. Who would be the best to do this? A contractor, or a place who just does windows. They are so expensive.
Get bids from both and see what happens.
A small licensed contractor whose specialty is just replacing windows might have better sources than the showroom-style specialty shops. With them, you are paying for the storefront.
And while you are at the "storefront", you can learn about the types of windows and doors they have available and then speak more knowledgeably to a contractor. Remember if you are going for competitive pricing, you need to be shopping for the same thing. You might have to do some research beforehand.
I've used both the store front type place to install windows and later used a contractor on different windows. If I had to do it again, I would use a contractor.
I found that the window store subcontracts the install and a lot of details / options concerning trim (interior and exterior) were not communicated to me at the time of purchase. When the installer arrived, they just did whatever is shown on the order. Of course, in retrospect I should have provided more details concerning trim, but I wasn't aware that there were so many variables.
With my contractor, we discussed trim in detail and he showed me mock ups on my house so I could choose. We worked together to match existing interior trim and found ways to improve exterior trim.
As for sliding door, I went with Anderson 400 series. It's a great door, but I think the sliding screens are rickety and cheap. My Moms 25 year old Pella has much better screen and automatic closing. I wish I had gotten that. Also, Pella offers the blinds in the glass. If you don't like vertical blinds, it's difficult to find another option that works well on sliders.
These are just some things I hadn't considered at the time of my decisions. Hope it's helpful to you. I believe the major window companies have authorized installers, so that can be a consideration when you look at contractors.
My Mom replaced windows using a contractor and he surprisingly measured wrong! When the windows arrived they did not fit and he had to re-order. I'm sure he lost money on that one!!!
I do agree with the research in depth first. Ask a lot of questions.
I have someone from Anderson coming tomorrow evening to discuss options. I will come back when I see what he says.
I replaced my windows with Anderson 400 series windows, but I replaced my sliding door with a Marvin Door. The Marvin quality was so much better for a door that gets a lot more use than a window does. For me, it was well worth the higher price.
I put an Andersen sliding door in where there had been a rotted-out three-bay window. I had to get the most expensive Andersen door because I needed the bronze color on the outside and the most expensive door was the only one that came in that color.
I would NOT get an Andersen sliding door again. This door leaks air like crazy and doesn't close with any surety (i.e.: it doesn't get sucked into a closed position, just feels like it's pushed against the wall, so it is very easy to leave open a crack). I paid $1700 for it and am very disappointed.
We've had an Andersen sliding door for over 20 years with no issues. Tibb...maybe it was a poor installation. I do agree the screen door is not the greatest.
Ashley....I would do a French door over a slider if possible...you won't have to clean out the tracks which get so icky...and are hard to clean. We are replacing our slider with a French door in the basement...could not do it off the kitchen because of the configuration both inside and outside..sigh.
Go to the "Windows" forum on the main page. Lots of professionals and customers there with good advice. You might get a lead on an installer, as well.
We had to replace the sliding door to our sunroom last summer. We bought an Andersen door and had a contractor (who was working on a neighbor's house) install it. We love the quality of the door. Had it not been so convenient to hire our neighbor's contractor, we would have had "Mr. Handyman" install it.