STATEWIDE Windows (also vs. other brands)

Just thought I would share my experiences with “Statewide Windows” (Washington State) since a Google search of newsgroups and the Web turned up surprisingly little. I would also lie to hear other peoples opinions on replacement window types and quality.
We got a cold call from a representative a few weeks back, knocking at the door, and since we did need to replace at least a few windows on the house, we decided to arrange a time for them to “come by and look at the windows, and give us a quote.”
After a few reschedules, they came by yesterday. My first clue there was goingto be a problem was when one of the reps said, “I hope we are going to by some windows today!” And then, “We prefer either one of 2 answers: ‘Yes we will buy some windows’, or ‘No we are not interested’. I quickly told him that our answer would probably be “Maybe”. He ignored me. Anyway, after telling me a bit about their windows, we went around the inside and outside, he did his measurements and inspections, found many problems (of course-but they are 30 y.o. aluminum..), and then the fun began. The woman he was with began into a droning, somewhat well-rehearsed sales pitch about the great things windows can do to your property value, and what a great company Statewide is. Sounds simple, but she used a prepared 3 ring binder, and it took about 45 min to 1 hr. WASTE of my time. They didn’t want to do it without both my wife and I there, and wanted to wait or reschedule when my wife needed to go feed out 3 month old baby. Eventually they just started. And then they went on and f-ng on. WASTE of my time. She finished, then he went into his prepared sales pitch about how bad my windows were, and how great the Statewide brand “Uniframe” windows were. It seemed to go on forever. The woman eventually left, and he took over, and we finally began to discuss how much their quote was, About 3 hours after they got there.
This is when it really got interesting. Because, we –were- interested in their windows (more below). So we had some questions, and then he gave us the price: $21,700, for 10 windows, including a garden box and a huge picture window. Well that seemed high, and then the price started dropping. It took a LONG time, but the price eventually came down to $14000 even, with various “discounts” and one time special offers. It really was like buying a used car. I had the feeling if we really pushed and were super sure, we could have talked him down more.
But we weren’t sure we wanted to all of a sudden drop 14k on new windows, right there right now. We generally like to mull over a quote like this, even if we don’t get any other quotes. And we also generally like to get more than one quote on a project this big. Well, evidently that is not how Statewide operates. They come by your house and expect you to sign then and there. The “quote” they give you is only good for that day. We asked him to give us a quote that we could think about for even a few days, to decide if we wanted to spend the money, could afford it, what it would do to our budget, which color we wanted, etc. That quote was $19600, over 5k more than the “right now” quote. The rep didn’t want to understand that we wanted to think about it, even for a day or two, and became annoyed, angry, and belligerent when we said we wanted to. I was out of the room when he sneered at my wife the “she didn’t understand and know what she was talking about, since she was out of the room feeding the baby” during part of the 2 hour sales pitch. Make a long story short, he left angry, and we woke up relieved.
About the windows The actually seem like pretty decent quality windows. They are triple pane filled with krypton, and very solid construction. The glass is very solid (he slammed it with his steel tape measure to demonstrate), and the pvc vinyl is filled with insulation on the inside. They claim a R10 (i.e. E=0.1) for the windows, and they are backed by a lifetime stall warranty, transferable from owner to owner. The main things I didn’t lie about them were that they are very “chunky” due to there overbuilt construction, so they really don’t look all that great, although they are not tooo bad. And they seem to have a significant “TINT” to them. In other words, when compared to a regular piece of glass, they look very “smoky” and when you look at the light on the floor, it is substantially darker. This might be good for a really super sunny climate, but in Seattle, that much light filtering might be unpleasant, and is probably unnecessary. It is probably due to the fact that the low E coating is the tungsten variant (I think) and that can result in more visible change to the incoming light than the other type of low E coating (correct me if I am wrong here- I ready that one type looks pretty much like uncoated glass). And with 3 panes of glass with that coating, it really cuts down on the light.
I would love to hear others’ input regarding window types, including Statewide. I think the rep did himself and his company a disservice my ragging on Milgard so much, since the research I have done indicates that the company generally stands behind its products and they do have some quality products. He did a lot of half information about other windows, only showing and talking about the worst types of vinyl and then the more expensive vinyl. I know very little about other manufacturers, and would like to get some input before I make any big decisions.
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This is very typical of commission sales reps in the construction biz. I had five different sales pitches on a new roof. Four of them told me there was only one layer of shingles on my roof. I knew there were two, but they didn't want to listen. Two of them said I was wrong. Two of them said if there was two layers, the cost would increas by $1000 for the removal. They estimated the roof at between 25 to 30 squares. I knew it was 22 squares.
The bid from Home Depot was $7500. The others were between $5500 and $4500 plus the $1000 old roof removal. The roof was not leaking so I was in no hurry. In spite of my stating, I was not interested in financing the work, four of them kept bringing up financing. When the one with the 30 squares estimate finally gave me a figure, I asked him to show me how he arrived at the figure. He said it was fairly complicated and boring. I told him that was ok because I was a CPA, had a Masters Degree in Accounting, and was very use to boring stuff. So he summed it up as a cost per square. Then I handed him a piece of paper with drawings and computations showing it was 22 squares. I really pissed him off when I asked for a 27% reduction in his bid from $5200 to $3800.
The contractor who got the work walked the roof, told me it would take 23 squares, said it had to be stripped because it had two layers, point out that the roof did not have a roof vent and needed one, told me one of the attic fans needed to be replaced, and a whole bunch more. He was a fire fighter who ran a roofing company on his days off. He knew roofs. His price including the removal was $4850 and he did an escellent job.

Welcome to the club! This is very typical when someone is interested in selling fast because they can't explain more than they were drilled on.

My 14 year old son and a friend did door-to-door canvassing for a contractor for about six weeks for $9/hour and bonuses if sales were later made. I wanted to replace 11 interior doors and have them stained first so I asked my son to ask the contractor if he did interior doors. My son said words to the effect of "Don't hire him. He told us to tell poeple whatever they wanted to hear in order to schedule an appoinment." He and his friend decided they would tell people that they thought so, but the customer should ask the contractor when he came for the appointment. They did that and when the contractor got a phone call to confirm the correct answer, he fired both of them.
Truly a Caveat Emptor situation.
Dick
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I hear you loud and clear chester!
My wife and I made the *HORRIBLE* mistake of scheduling a Statewide visit the other day. Our experience is almost identical to yours in every regard.
Particularly vexing for my wife and I was that the original rep who scheduled our appointment (baiting us with a $25 gasoline card) said it'd be a 60-90min presentation. She was right, if by 60-90min you mean FOUR HOURS. Never mind the whole pressure cooker "you must make a $20k decision right now (or you're an idiot)" pitch.
The whole experience was replete with every manner of cheap salesperson tricks and lead-questions that I was embarassed to answer: "Now, would you want to pay twice as much money for a window that's half as good ?" Well, duh. Can I have those 5 seconds of my life back, please?
However, I was still impressed with the windows, but I'm a window neophyte. I'd be interested if others have any feedback/data on Uniframe windows...are they any good? I've heard mixed reviews about Argon/Krypton filled gaps, i.e., leakage, too much money for too little benefit, etc...
Anyway, yikes. Stay away folks. Unless you want to burn four hours in the front row of an infomercial, stay away!
Brian
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Just had them out last night...and I mean all night. $20K after all discounts, for 13 windows and a slider. They seems like good windows, but I'm shopping around for other installers. Seems a bit high in price, and to my co-workers, they all knew it was too high, regardless of quality.
Just FYI.....it will be AT LEAST 3 hours long if not longer. My suggestion: make them stand on their 11% "Buy it Now" discount for 90 days.
Everett, WA
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If anyone offers a "buy it now" discount, avoid them. Reputable businesses don't use high pressure tactics.
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Okay I can add more to the Statewide discussion. I received a bid of 22,000 for nine windows and a slider and yes it was the big 3 hour discussion and all of the cheap sales tricks. Going as far as to state that vinal windows deteriate and fall out because they flex. I called a friend that is a glazer and has done window installation for 25 years and he has never even heard of this happening. After I told the company no to their windows I received another call and was told that the commercial division of Statewide could give me a deal at a much discounted price. I agreed to a 5 minute meeting, I was told that I would be given the quote, but the sales rep had to come out and reconfirm the measurements. When the rep arrived she started to get all of her Statewide materials out of her car, I told her I only needed the quote and that I would not listen to another sales pitch. I also informed her that I was not satisfied with Statewides sales practices. Being quite rude was the only way that I received the quote of 14,000, but double paned windows not the triple pained. I told her that I would not accept that bid and told her that I would not put Statewide windows in my house. She called her supervisor and told him what I had said and I thought I was done with Statewide....until today, when they called again asking for a second appointment with the commercial division!!! I responded by telling them that if they called again I would be contacting the attorney general. Just run away from Statewide, I am totally conviced this is a company that preys on peoples fears and ignorance about the vinal window market. I just hope more people learn the truth about this horrible company.
tliv
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Recently, we had 22 windows installed in our home by Statewide Windows. Our experience was excellent from start to finish. Statewide's sales representative was professional, polite and knowledgeable. She answered all our questions and gave us a lot of confidence in our purchase. The installers also did an outstanding job. Their workmanship was excellent and they completely cleaned up everything when they were done. I would recommend Statewide Windows to anyone. Our windows look great and they have made our house so much more comfortable. Triple pane Statewide Windows are the only way to go!
GW Shoreline, WA
GW Shoreline WA
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A couple of months ago I had Statewide come to my house for a presentation. I too had a few problems with they way the presentation happened, but I did end up with the windows and they are truly the BEST.
They sent a sales rep out and after measuring and inspecting my windows and telling me about the problems I already knew about, we were already 45 minutes into it. Then he proceeded to tell me about the reasons why I needed new windows. Again, with single pane aluminum, I already knew that. So I told him to cut to the chase and he did. He gave me no fuss about it. Finally he told me about the different windows out there and showed me the differences. I had previously checked out windows and it seemed that everything he was telling me had been accurate.
I ended up buying the windows. Although I did feel a little bit pressured with that “11%” discount. I felt like I had gotten enough info that I could make an educated decision.
The sales rep actually left my house and took some things to his car so that I could take a minute to think about it. I got no pressure from him at all.
The windows are now installed. I absolutely love them. I would definitely recommend them to anyone. The installation crew was awesome and very professional. They got there on time and they got done when they said they would. I was actually more impressed with them than anything else. I’ve worked with other contractors and have never gotten that kind of service.
My suggestion to other people would be to be prepared to make a decision before Statewide comes. Also, if you don’t want them to be there for 4 hours, then tell them to speed it up. They did for me without harassment. Overall A+ on the windows and installation and B- on the presentation.
Salem, OR
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Everyone must be rich on this thread.
I measured my windows, went to home depot and bought midrange windows for $1300, and installed myself.
I hired a couple of guys and supervised. I think all together it came to $2,500. Labor was the same as materials.
Am I the only one around who fastidiously guards her paycheck?
Look for a person who is installing windows and ask him if he'd like to make some money on the side.
For the costs of the windows projects on this thread, I completely remodeled my house including all hardwood floors refinished, vinyl, windows, yard front and back, paint inside and out, remodel bathroom, new garage door with opener ($600 a little pricey for me but it was something I wouldn't tackle), ceiling fans in every room, and kitchen appliances.
I'd go without before dumping my hard earned cash.
james0180 wrote:

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