Opinions on Fleetwood Windows x post?

palimpsestJune 8, 2012

I also asked this in building. This is a 1963 Modernist-Brutalist house. The original glass wall was probably stick built muntins, (still there I think) with quarter-round holding in single glazing, and a slider. Currently it is vinyl replacement windows and these sorta cobbled to fit french doors.

I would like to replace it with something appropriate, and maybe a bit better than the original. The house was designed by a well-known architect but built for budget-minded buyers so the ideas are sometimes better than the execution.

I was looking at Fleetwood Windows online, and liked the fact that fixed units, operable units and doors can all be mulled together and the sights on all the glass area are the same. But I don't know much about them, and the site isn't all that comprehensive. Any opinions on Fleetwood?

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Fleetwood is a pretty good window I did not mean "not bad" you can also look at Weiland and Panda they are also pretty good windows.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Thanks, I bookmarked both sites.:c)

The Weiland look awfully close to what I was thinking, especially the hinged doors that look like sliders (for the other part of the house.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 9:01PM
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We recently purchased Fleetwood windows and doors for a new home construction - modern/industrial style. The product is expensive, but also excellent quality. Their swing door is simply the bomb! Their patio doors are also super nice. We went with the mid-level ball bearing rollers which allow large 8h x 5'w patio doors to roll like a dream. Everyone notices this - and that's what sold us on their product to begin with. The FSB door handles are very sleek. We later discovered Omnia makes a comparable design, for a 5th of the price of FSB, so we are using this on all our interior doors for a matched look. We have some very large windows, some are 8'h x 10'w, with a single mullion. Fleetwood can handle large sizes. All of Fleetwood's sizing is custom - there are no "standard sizes." You spec what you want. That means, of course, that you must know what you want and know how to spec their product.

The Fleetwood web site and overall product marketing are simply awful, however. The product naming is meaningless, confusing and unmemorable. This is another manufacturing oriented company that has not learned what it means to be consumer facing. This is a shame and ends up wasting a lot of time just trying to remember what you were interested in and why. Also, you can not purchase directly from Fleetwood and must use a distributor. We got several bids and some were twice as high as others. Also, they offer differing bargaining leverage to their distributors based on their gold/silver/whatever status - another antiquated bugaboo if you are the end buyer as I was.

I literally spent months compiling my order to make sure every window and door was spec'd to the "T" - this includes window style, glazing parameters, sizing, door swings, sill heights, thermal options, finishes, hardware, etc. I found the distributors did little to help me value engineer - i.e. trying to compare pricing between window style A and B became difficult to impossible. Windows and doors are speced from the exterior - somehow I got turned around when specing my corner windows. Luckily the glazing on both sides was close in size, so we were able to install the corners windows upside down, caulk over the existing weep holes that were then at the top of the frame, and cutting in new weep holes at the bottom of the frame. Otherwise, this could have been a costly mistake. I had also attended a trade show where Fleetwood had a booth. One of the salesmen told me about ordering a casement window that opened inward, with an different cam handle, which was a nicer option since screens would then be on the exterior rather than the interior. This is just one example of the level of detailed knowledge that can be obtained, but it takes a lot of leg work to get there. The distributors we dealt with were little more than order takers and had none of this level of detailed knowledge, nor would they commit to doing any measuring before placing an order or even checking my specifications for accuracy, like noticing my corner window error. That was all on me.

When all is said and done, Fleetwood is expensive, looks great, functions great, is top quality and the noise blocking is amazing. The web-site, product marketing and sales process really need a major overhaul. Fleetwood can do super oversized sliding windows, which no one else seems to do. Their rollers and overall design for patio doors and hardware are excellent and if your project calls for a swing door - the Pacific 3500 is must have real beauty. But do shop around, not all distributors and installers are equal here. If budget allows, it's an excellent choice, just plan on doing a lot of homework before placing your order.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Great windows. HORRIBLE customer service. It is almost a comically inefficient company. I ordered a whole houseful of Fleetwood windows and doors. Their promises of when they will be ready are laughable. They take WEEKS longer than they say. And then when the order comes windows and doors are missing or the wrong color. They have to be re-ordered and take WEEKS for the next order. I just got a call from their distributor this morning that they made yet a THIRD mistake with a large window, without which I can't get a building inspection, and it will be yet more weeks until this one comes. Fleetwood is an awful company. Try to find comparable windows if you care at all about a time frame.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:43AM
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You sure it is Fleetwood making these mistakes and not the distributor? That does not sound like the experience I have had with them.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:10PM
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