'Authorized' dealer/installer vs independent installer?

albertdcApril 21, 2011

In case you haven�t seen my other thread, I am about to replace 25 windows in my house. It is a 1989 Stucco home in Utah. Current windows are double pane, but all the seals are failing and the windows have crummy aluminum frames that transmit cold and completely ice up in the winter. Thus the replacement saga begins.

I have a question regarding choosing an installer. If you�ve seen my other thread regarding which brand to use, you know I am leaning towards the Marvin Integrity windows. One of the companies that is actually on the Marvin website as the "authorized dealer" has come out and given a bid. The salesman has been very helpful, knowledgeable, and gives a great feeling regarding their work�. But of course, he is not the one actually installing the windows. I have references, but have not been able to talk with them. Regardless, even if they had a good experience with the install, I don�t know whether I can be sure the same crew comes to my house.

The alternative is a small independent window company where the "salesman" is the owner and is the lead installer. I have a positive reference for him from a colleague at work and his company is rated highly on Angie�s list (for what that�s worth). He can get and install the Integrity windows. I am still waiting for his bid, but I think it will be comparable (or even lower). The advantage is that I know exactly who it is I�m getting as an installer.

Here�s my worry: Marvin�s warranty states "This Limited Warranty applies to Integrity� windows and doors purchased from an authorized Integrity dealer, and extends to the owner of the structure in which the products are originally installed. "

Does that mean that Marvin will (or can) essentially negate their warranty if the independent window contractor installs the windows (as opposed to the "authorized dealer")? That is what is implied � I guess I am wondering whether anyone know whether they ever go that route or whether they sand behind their product, period. Of course installation is important, but I do believe this guy would do a good job.

Comments?

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millworkman

For the Integrity by Marvin product warranty it does not matter who installs them. Integrity by Marvin offers nothing in the way if installation warranties.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 7:38AM
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skydawggy

Often "Factory Authorized or Factory Certified" means nothing more than someone from the company sat through a 2 hour training course or watched a training video that told them what they already knew. In some cases, it means nothing more than the factory authorized/certified the dealer to sell their products based on the fact he was able to pay for them.

The only certification that means anything IMO is the AAMA Installation Masters Certification. But, even that doesn't guarantee a good install nor does it mean that someone who isn't certified won't do an excellent job. It always comes down to the same thing, get recent references and call them. If you can, go by the job and see for yourself if it looks like quality work. Don't rely on certificates or time in business to be too much of an influence. I don't mean ignore them, but don't assign them too much weight. I'd rather have an enthusiastic installer with a great work ethic and a ton of experience who just started his own business working on my house than an old established company who views me as just another customer.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:36PM
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millworkman

Excellent points sky, I am making a mental note for future reference of these points

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:45PM
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VIENNAKID_AOL_COM

Be aware,that only a long time contractor who built houses and is familiar with window installation is an expert in that field.Not some two hour trained sloppy lad !

I just had two large casement total replaced
Very pleased!

Purchased them through the Lumberyard with his help!

I rest my case

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:09PM
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skydawggy

What case is that?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 7:52PM
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windowsonwashington

Factory training is mostly BS as Skydawggy mentioned.

Factory training does not make a poor installer good bad without it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 3:12PM
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