How to find good window installer


Greetings,
I need to replace seven basement windows and have settled on vinyl sliders for the 38x25 brick openings.
I've been to a zillion different web sites and read about different manufacturers (Alside, Gilkey, Feldco [local], Thermal Industries, Simonton, American Craftsman...) and what it seems to really boil down to is the installer. A lousy installer can trash the most expensive window and a good installer can make the most of the low- or mid-range products.
I've read online reviews until I'm cross-eyed and again, but while window brands may be available nationally, the install is truly a local issue and reviews aren't numerous enough to be meaningful.
So, how exactly do you know that you're hiring a quality installer? The big box sub-contractors are such a crap shoot, and although Sears Home supposedly stands (eventually) behind their installers, they were very pricey, meaning I'm paying for someone's bad install, somewhere.
~JMA
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Referrals....
Ask your friends.
If you get someone from the borgs, insist on checking references. If they're good, they'll happily provide names of people who will let you see the work. If they hesitate, tell them, "I'll let you know."
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Jul 29, 10:20 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The best way is double check the work yourself as it goes and before you pay, read instalation manuals and warranty online at a site like Pella. A few ideas, the window cant fit to tight, be screwed to tight that the frame bows and it sticks, the space inbetween the window and frame should be insulated, I think fiberglass. Caulk everything. Most important is Plumb, Level and Square. Pella , Anderson, dont allow more than 1/8" out or warranty is void from day one. Some comanies may have zero tolerance, im not sure. Or hire someone to oversee it. A way to be sure is hire the companies crew, Pella, Marvin, Anderson have certified stores and installers. I had Pellas and Anderson put in by a hack that had to be redone. Consider Glass block, you get 2-3x the insulating R value than glass. Yes hacks do ruin the best windows and doors from rushing jobs.
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I had HD do a whole house worth of windows for me. I piecemealed it as I had the money. I ended up with 2 different crews over time. Home depot makes sure it gets done right. I had very little problem..
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I had HD do a whole house worth of windows for me. I piecemealed it as I had the money. I ended up with 2 different crews over time. Home depot makes sure it gets done right. I had very little problem..
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On Jul 30, 5:53 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I wonder, have you checked plumb, level and square on all windows, HD subs and only "makes sure" when you complain of an issue. But they will fix things.
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On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 22:20:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Avoid "piece work" installers; meaning they get paid per window, and are more interested in tossing windows into the frame RO. Some companies insist the installers be trained for their products. If they show up without a few levels, stop the work.
Ask neighbors for references.

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I'd go with Pella or Andersen and use one of their certified installers. By the way the most important thing is the flashing. Pella makes great tape for that purpose.

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