cheapest time of the year to buy windows

piper101October 1, 2007

Hi, We need to get replacement windows on 20 yr old house with single pane from the builder. We're in Calif so heat and extreme cold are not really a factor but for a few weeks out of the year.

I'm looking to get the best "bang for the buck" since we need 21 windows (2 of which are palladium type).

ARE THERE TIMES OF THE YEAR WHEN YOU'RE LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO BUY/INSTALL WINDOWS CHEAPER THAN OTHERS? I'm one to take my time researching and get the best my money can buy.

No, I don't have a budget yet since I'm just starting to research this, so I'm sure the hi and low $ range will be quite different.

Any words of wisdom and pointing in the right direction will be appreciated. What's more important, type/manuf. of window or the installation?

Thank you in advance!

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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

First, you must decide whether you want economy windows or quality windows. After you make that decision, then I can help.

Michael

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:10PM
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frisco_ted

Hi Michael,

I'm not the OP, but would appreciate any advice you could offer concerning the best time of year to purchase replacement windows. I am considering Pella, Marvin, and Loewen. Like the OP, I also live in California.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 10:34PM
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piper101

I want quality windows. Just because a company makes commercials doesn't mean they make a good product. They might be great at advertising and marketing.

Trying to weed out the fluff and narrow down. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 12:36AM
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skydawggy

I can't speak for other contractors, but we don't raise and lower our prices on a seasonal basis.

You never said whether you were looking for wood or vinyl.

My recommendation would be Marvin for wood windows and Simonton or Certainteed for vinyl.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:49PM
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hmargar

Hi. I suggest you review the Energy Edition of the current October/2007 for their article on Windows. It has helped me with general information but I am also looking for recommendations, living in Minnesota, on brands/lines and construction (clad-wood, vinyl, or fiberglass). I hope to research behind their recommendations, especially now that I have read so many negative blogs on Pella customer service. At the moment, I am focusing on American Craftsman (Home Depot) 9500 Series (vinyl)($220 plus installation using Consumer Reports example of a 3x5-foot window) and Anderson 200 series Tilt-Wash (clad-wood)($235 uninstalled 3x5)...double-hung in both cases. After reading the negative Pella blogs, I would sure appreciate some positive recommendations on other manufacturers from happy customers. I will need seventeen windows plus a window/windows for a l2-foot "picture window arrangement" to replace a set of sliders set side by side. I also need a 6-foot patio door, slider or swing-out French style. Thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 3:30PM
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fhiwindows

Most windows companies will tell you today they have the best prices. Don't worry if your read this a week from now, it's still today, everyday is today.

Any company with integrity does not change their prices unless their cost changes (labor, overhead, product).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:11PM
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skydawggy

Consumer Reports is a very poor source to use as research to purchase windows. To begin with they only test products that can be purchased surreptiously at a retail store level. That eliminates about 99% of all windows from even being considered. So now your pool of window manufacturers is only 1% of all the available windows. Not a very large universe.

Secondly, most "Hardware store" windows are low end because most manufacturers of quality windows do not produce enough windows to supply the likes of Lowes and Home Depot on a national scale. Therefore the window ratings you see in Consumer Reports are comparing the worst to the worst to determine the best of the worst. Not a very smart methodology.

If you want to find a good quality window, stop relying on Consumer Reports to make it easy for you. Start visiting sites like NFRC, AAMA and Efficient Windows. Once you have an idea of what you want, call a few contractors and invite them out to give you a quote.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the generally poor quality workmanship HD and Lowes etc. are famous for. Ever wonder why HD refuses to install the cheap vinyl windows they sell in the store and only offer the high quality Simonton 6500 series on an installed basis?

.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 1:05AM
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piper101

I want Vinyl.

Can I avoid 2 hrs at a pop of people coming over if I take the measurements and pictures of every window to their show room? That lets me see the cut outs of windows and the like? Will places be offended if I do that? That way I can walk out of their with a price instead of the "I'll work up an estimate and get back to you" routine. I read on the net about some interesting things that I am now considering. Anyone know of a company that has the smallest frame around the window so light isn't greatly reduced?
Thank you all. What do you think about JD Powers list of satisfied customers of replacement windows? Just wondering.
Thanks about the no better time of year to get windows. I know some industries like, A.conditioning, is cheaper NOT to buy in the heat of summer. That is what got me started on my question here.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 3:21PM
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skydawggy

Sure, you can visit showrooms and I'm sure will find some who will at least give a ballpark price subject to final onsite inspection. Only problem is you are eliminating such a large field of good contractors and you may end up paying more for the windows because of the additional overhead of a showroom. I'd use some of the resources we talk about on here and at least try to narrow it down to a few windows that are available in your area. That way you will be making better use of your time by not looking at windows that don't have good quality ratings.

.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:05PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

One important aspect is to make sure the company has a service crew for those needs after the install.

A showroom doesn't mean, high prices. Our showroom means, evaluation, education and execution.

Avoid "owner does all work" type firms. There's no possible way a "busy man" can be doing "all" the work.

Michael

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:10PM
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kec01

Do you own measuring for shopping purposes, but once you've made a decision... ABSOLUTELY have your window supplier do final measurements. That way, if a size is wrong, you're not hung out to dry....they should be on the line for proper sizing.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 6:08AM
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Twinkledome

I live in Calif. and have just ordered 5 vinyl windows from a company called Windor, which has several showrooms in So. Calif. I visited their Anaheim facility which is across the street from Angel Stadium. They will be installed on November 9. They just took the final measurement this afternoon. They make their own windows and install them. What I like about them is the fact that you can order one color for the outside and another for the inside. I have older bronze frame windows on the rest of the windows in the back of the house and so wanted to match them, wanting white frames on the inside. Our two bedroom windows will be double sliders that lock automatically when closed. The 8' sliding door will be two sliders in the center and 2 solid panels at either side. They are double paned and coated with lowE squared, which we were told is even stronger than lowE. The windows are completely vinyl with a space technology product that separates the two panes of glass, thereby the spacer will not expand or contract with the heat and cold. The weatherstripping is triple layered. The rollers are brass. All in all, for the little I know about windows, I really like the product. I visited the showroom and saw all the varieties of window products they manufacture.

I hope the windows are all they claim to be.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 6:23PM
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sundial8

Hi experts,
Is warping of vinyl patio door common or acceptable? I saw a patio door at Champions showroom with space wider at the middle than at top or bottom at the center where the two doors meet/overlap? Champions only sells virgin vinyl products. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:40AM
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skydawggy

Not common or acceptable. If it was in a showroom, my guess is it wasn't installed properly and that caused some bowing in the middle. Champion is a mid-grade product at best.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 1:50PM
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sundial8

Thanks for your reply.
The patio door did look nice and neat otherwise. I don't have a comfort feeling knowing that a big door might turn out like that. Wouldn't warping of the frame might have undue stress points on the glass? Perhaps regular home windows which are smaller might not warp as bad.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:52PM
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skydawggy

Any window or door not installed correctly can and most likely will bow. Yes, an out of square installation can cause stress cracks in the glass, but the more likely and more immediate consequence is cold air infiltration. This is especially true with Bay and Bow windows that use steel cabling to help secure the window.

This is why most Pro's constantly espouse the importance of a quality installation and why the most frequent complaint about new windows is relative to a poor quality installation.

.
.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:35AM
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