Pella windows from Lowes?

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I'm going to be pricing replacement windows and wonder whether anyone has had any experience with buying windows with installation (or any other installation service for that matter) from Lowes and how it went.
I've seen lots of comments about HD purchases and installations of a variety of things and there seems to be a fair amount of dissatisfaction with the HD experience. But I haven't really seen any comments one way or the other about Lowes.
I wonder how much oversight these companies have over the companies they contract with to do the work and to what extent they get involved in customer service issues should it become necessary.
Thanks.
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First off unless things have changed the Pella windows from Lowes are strictly vinyl and not really made by "Pella". Pella bought a company a few years ago so they could have a cheaper window at lowes. So compare products with www.Pella.com and what is available at your local Pella store if you have one. I prefer their aluminun clad windows and other neat options available on their real windows like inside shades and invisible screens.
As far as Lowes installations, I bought a refrigerator from them. This just got delivered (not installed) and they had the wrong color and they had removed the door to bring it into the house and when my wife said it was the wrong color the guy stopped installing the door, unknown to me, and just hung it on the refrigerator. I called up Lowes about the color problem. They asked me the model number inside the door. I touched the door and it fell off the refrigator and I caught it midair on my ankle and was brusied badly for months. No permanent injury though. But that is not all. THen the guy drops the door on my hard wood floor when installing it after I had just saved the door from hitting the floor. Their insurance company covered $250 for replacing a couple of planks of Bruce prefinished flooring.
We also bought an expensive Fisher Penkal dishwasher with drawers. Turns out it is relatively difficult to install. Their installer had to come at least 5 times to modify the installation but after 6 months it is still not quite right. I was a nice guy and tipped him $20 to $50 every extra trip because I felt sorry for his plight but he has never made the final trip for one last easy installation issue despite calls by me and Lowes. We are about to install new Corian counter tops and will have the issue resolved at that time.
WE DID NOT GIVE LOWES AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON THE CORIAN. If you were wondering.
By the way if you ever get the fancy dishwasher, the drain hoses have to be kinkfree and run along the floor so they support no weight until they get to the drain. Then they go up above the drain, down around the bracket it comes with and down to the drain. Any variation and they will kink in a few months and the dishwasher will give an error code. Tell that to Lowes when you see them.

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Menards sells pella , co warranty and service is the same.
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Art wrote:

Not true at all. Lowes has wood *and* vinyl windows from Pella. Check their weekly ad on their web site right now - you'll see one in there on the window page (top right of the page).
They don't sell these on the web site but at the Lowes by me, they have them on display. It's the 850 series - I think that's the lowest line of wood from Pella, but it's still wood. And it's "real" Pella.

Just FYI, it is the law in some places to remove the door of a refrigerator for transport. He probably assumed he was going to have to take it back, so why install the door only to have to remove it later?
I'm just checking out this thread because I'm also considering hitting up Lowes for a quote on some Pella windows, but figured I may as well at least correct the vinyl vs. wood thing. Lowes does carry wood Pella.
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If he had a brain he would have carefully put the door on the carpet so it wouldn't possible do damage or get someone hurt.

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(snip)

refrigerators are delivered in the box, at least as far as the driveway. Suspect you may be conflating that with the law that most places have that dead refrigerators left outside must have the door removed or chained, to keep little kids from playing rocket ship and suffocating. Not near the problem it used to be since nobody uses mechanical latches on household fridges any more.
aem sends...
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The Pella windows at Lowes are very cheap. The warranty is short term and tells the quality story pretty well.
Do yourself a favor before you buy. If there is a Champion Window store in your area, let them come out and do their dog and pony show. Right now it may seem to you like a waste of time, but you will know every little thing to look for before you make a purchase. And don't let their "suggested retail" price scare you off. You will find out just what a high quality window like Pella would cost (about the same as Champion's suggested retail) and be able to buy them from Champion for about half to 2/3's that price
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D4 wrote:

The warranty appears to be the same as it is on all the wood windows Pella sells... 10/20/5-10.
Seems like there are a lot of anti-Lowes people here but so far it doesn't seem like anyone has so much as taken the time to look at their web site and see what they actually offer. So, here you go:
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=brandPageProcessor&brandpage=pell
On the left is the wood line, on the right is the vinyl. Click through the "windows" link and you can then click again between wood or vinyl (left side/right side, same as before).
Lowes offers an "850", "450" and "250" series in wood. These don't correspond to anything on Pella's own web site BUT, surprise surprise, Pella does offer three lines of their own called "Architect", "Designer" and Pro-line".
Lowes offers one line of replacement wood window from Pella ("Renovation"), which is listed as a Consumer Digest "best buy". And again, Pella also offers one model of replacement window, with a different name ("Precision Fit"), but it's also listed as a "best buy" with the same logo. Do you really think Lowes' own window was *separately* named a "best buy" from CD?
It seems to me that Lowes probably offers the exact same windows Pella does themselves, under a different name. (The fact that the Pella frame on Lowes' web site is actually hosted by Pella and uses the same pictures may or may not also mean anything.) This is not unlike what Lowes does with a lot of their products, which just have different model numbers than other retailers so they can claim an "exclusive".
The "Precision Fit" line was what I was shown by the Pella guy at my house; I wonder what the "Renovation" replacements - which I have little doubt are the exact same window - would cost from Lowes. I'm heading up there to buy a window a/c from them tonight; maybe I'll find out.

Does Champion do wood? I looked up their web site and they advertise only vinyl.
For myself, after having a guy come out and show me some Quantum2 windows and getting a price quote pretty far below Pella's, I'm about 50/50 now on wood vs. vinyl for my second floor (I'll still definitely do wood for the public areas on the first floor). I'm trying to convince myself I can live with vinyl if it means I can afford getting the whole second floor done. But the original poster here seemed to specifically be looking for wood, if I remember right.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Just re-read his post - nowhere does he say wood, just Pella. So for all I know he's only even seen the ThermaStar line.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Actually I haven't seen ANY line yet. Just trying to research and get some background before I go venturing out among the sharks.
My original intent was to find out whether Lowes would be a reliable source to consider buying from knowing that in many case the box stores' pricing is more competitive. But lower prices won't trump lousy service. If service is lousy, I'd spend a bit more and go straight to Pella if there were a Pella store in this area.
But I'm not locked into Pella either. As someone just beginning to look, Pella just happened to be one of the names I recognized and thought worth considering. Now I'm finding other alternatives to look at as well.
Thanks for all the input so far.
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al wrote:

Ok, here's my latest update. As I said, we went to Lowes for an a/c unit tonight anyway so I figured I'd hit them up for some window info.
I first went and looked at their windows and verified that they are the exact same window the Pella guy who came to my house showed me. They are. It even says "Precision Fit" on my measurement sheet, so they're not even using their own name ("Renovation") everywhere.
I hit up the sales guy and said I was interested in 9 Pella replacement windows and gave him the measurements. First, he seemed confused - he said "replacements? You're talking about vinyl then." I said "no, wood, you have them over there." His buddy came over and pointed them out to him in the computer. So, I think it's possible this is a very new line for them - maybe they *did* only carry vinyl until recently.
The price quote I got for my smaller windows (28x50) - with custom hardware - was $464 each, plus $119 per window for installation. $583 total. The bigger windows (36x50) were about $50 more.
Add onto that our 10% new homeowner discount and it's only about $530 per window total (the discount applies to the window only, not install).
That contrasts with $865 per window installed from Pella. For the same exact windows! That's a huge difference. That's practically the same price as the Quantum2 vinyl windows I just looked at (granted, those are good vinyl windows - probably even better from an energy standpoint than Pella wood... but not nearly as attractive).
I specifically asked how they do the install and whether they'll fill up the voids in my trim with foam (I have counterweight windows now). He said he didn't know. So, yellow flag there. I'll be asking a lot of questions of the installer who takes the measurements, and I could still call it off. But I was intrigued enough to pay the $35 to have the installer come out (yeah, no free estimates... but they take the cost of the measuring off if you buy the windows).
I mean, I can't see justifying paying $330 extra *per window* for installation, however much better it is. I think for myself, the option is now Lowes or vinyl. These windows obviously do not cost anywhere near what Pella themselves charge for them and there's no justification I can think of for what amounts to a $450 install charge per window. So, and YMMV, but my advice is not to let Pella rip you off. Either buy them and pay someone else to install them or buy another window. I almost feel bad for the Pella guy who came to our house - he was a nice, older guy, seemed honest, and I'm sure he doesn't set these prices - but I just can't pay basically an extra $3,000 for nothing.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hope you get a chance to let us know how the appointment goes. But if you're not impressed with the installer, windows can still be purchased at the savings you've described and installation arranged with another contractor, right?
Good luck...
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al wrote:

True enough I guess. I'd just rather not deal with the hassle of buying a bunch of windows and then having them sit in my house while I find a decent installer. I mean it's not easy finding good contractors of any kind, and this is an important structural element (if water or air can get in after a shoddy install, you could be in for some major repairs). I'm not exactly well-connected in the construction industry.
So it would just be a choice to make based on whether I think going wood is worth the trouble of buying windows separately from having them installed.
For you, if you're comfortable finding your own installer then I don't think you can go wrong with those prices based on what I've seen. I mean $464 for a 28x50 Pella replacement wood window with custom hardware is cheaper than stock Andersen and only a little more expensive than Quantum2 vinyl windows at those same dimensions. (Andersen double-hung insert windows *start* at $588 according to their web site.) Generally you'd expect to pay a little premium for decent wood so I'm totally happy with that price; it just comes down to the install.
I'll keep the thread updated...
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al wrote:

Alright, I know it seems like it's been a while but I just got this guy out here this morning. They told me it'd be 24-48 hours before I heard from him, but instead it was more like 10 days and I ended up having to call him first before he called me back. Annoying, but I'm finding this is basically par for the course in the little world known as contractor-ville.
Anyway, he was a nice enough guy once he got here and he seemed like he knew what he was doing, at least he had answers for all my questions. I asked him about the condition of some of my window frames and he said it's no problem, if any of the frames are too far gone they'll just replace whatever needs replacing. But he didn't think any of my frames looked in poor enough condition to worry about. I asked him about whether they do anything with the counterweight voids and he said typically no, although they can if you pay extra. (This is included in Pella's own installation.) They have to remove the front of the window trim in order to remove the weight and fill up the space with insulation, so it's extra time and effort. Not included in the $119 installation charge, I guess, but he said it's not a lot extra to add that on if I wanted to.
He said included with the installation is removal of the old storm windows and trim and the installation of some basic trim molding outside. I don't know what this looks like, but I don't much care either - anything's going to be better than the 80 year old unpainted aluminum exterior I have now.
I'm thinking we'll go ahead with it once we get the financing (I'm just waiting on the Lowes project card I applied for). It seems decent enough. My next update will probably not be for a while, then, because it takes about 6 weeks to custom-make the windows, then however long to get them installed. But I'll dig up the thread again at that point and let everybody know how it went.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Please do, because there are interested readers, who have not participated in this thread. TIA... :) bj
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote in message

I'm not anti-Lowes. I am anti some of their products, and I'm definitely anti-salespeople who don't know how to find their way out of the door, let alone where anything might actually be. They hire too many young kids, at least where I am. YMMV
Cheri
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But Lowes stores are much brighter and more cheerful the Home Depot... at least in my area.
"Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote in message wrote in message

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Yes, that's true in my area too. Home Depot is is sort of depressing. :-)
-- Cheri
Art wrote in message ...

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I have vinyl clad windows from andersen and some pella aluminum clad windows. Althought very popular, I am not impressed by the Andersen vinyl clad. On the south side of my house the vinyl has clearly stiffened and changed color. Also we had an accident requiring replacement of some vinyl on a window and it was almost impossible. Pella are easier to repair.

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We had Lowes do our carpet and were quite satisfied with the carpet and the installation. NOW the 12 months same as cash deal took an extra 6 months to straighten out after we paid it off in the 11th month and they tried to stick us with some bogus bullshit charge. It was finally removed and all is well. But we won't use that option again.
--
Steve Barker


"al" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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