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.