This year I decided to get 7 of my windows replaced with double-hung vinyl replacements. I was going to do my due diligence and scope out the best replacement window companies in Pittsburgh that were going to do my windows for the best price possible. I had 6 businesses give me quotes. Some were bad, some were good. All were from Pittsburgh.
I decided on vinyl windows because while we value our house, I do not plan on living there for the rest of my life. There isn’t much yard, and I am only 26. I will have a lot of moving around in my lifetime but for now we are living in Bellevue and we need new windows. We currently have the 100 year old wooden single-pane windows that are like a sieve when it comes to air and noise. They have no screens, and some won’t even open at all. It was time for new windows.
Because this wasn’t for the house of our dreams, I didn’t even take a look at some major, better known companies such as Champion, Swingline, Thermo-Twin, Anderson and Pella. I assumed (hopefully correctly) that they would be too expensive for my budget. Plus, vinyl windows are vinyl windows right?
CastleFirst company to come in was Castle Windows The Window People. The salesman was nice, and his windows were touted as having the best warranty on the market. I can vouch for that: no other company had this type of warranty. As you will surely see in your experiences warranties are great, but some go to extents that are really not practical. We felt comfortable with Castle, especially since one our good friends bought their windows from them. I made the mistake of mentioning too soon that I had 5 other companies coming out for estimates and that I WAS NOT MAKING A DECISION TODAY, PERIOD”. He then mentioned that he was going to talk with his manager before I got his final quote, then left after about an hour.
Damn it. I got over-zealous thinking that I was going to have to beat these salesmen off with a stick, but it wasn’t the case here. Actually it wasn’t the case with any of our estimates, except one. More on that one later.
Second company to come in was Universal Window Company. The salesman came in on a Saturday morning, completely unorganized, without a demo window but was a very nice and pleasant guy. He measured, gave his quote of $3700 and left after about an hour. I thought the price was kind of high, but it was the only quote so far I had gotten.
SearsThird came Sears. Oh my god, what was I thinking? This guy came in smelling like he just took a bath in cigarette smoke, had the typical used-car-salesman approach and then the kicker was that my 7 month-old daughter was getting fussy (she was usually in bed at this time) and this guy didn’t even seem to notice! I mentioned that we had to hurry this up, it had already taken about 45 minutes and he hadn’t even measured yet, and he said that if he is not at a potential customer’s house for at least 2 hours then he didn’t do his job correctly. I said no thanks, just get me the quote and please leave. He measured, talked some more, offered to sleep on my couch if it gave him the job, then gave me a quote of $6600. Holy Shit! $6600 for 7 windows. He saw the shock, and quickly threw in that he can take 10% off the price immediately if we sign right now. I couldn’t believe it. Are you kidding me? This guy was acting like a fraud the whole time, and this was the icing on the cake. We asked him to leave. He said, sure. only after you sign this document stating that you turned down the 10% discount offer”. I signed and showed him the door. Wow, 1.5 hours of my day wasted on this schmuck. $6600
TracoNext up was Pittsburgh Window and Door of Millvale. They are the smallest business we are dealing with, but they are offering Traco windows. At first, seeing that name on the window scared me. Traco is in the Statue of Liberty imagine the cost for our measly house! I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. The salesman was actually one of the owners, and he was very polite. He measured, talked to us a little bit about our daughter, quoted us at $2750 then left. It only took 35 minutes, and it was a nice change from what we encountered with Sears the day earlier. As he was driving away, my wife said we should just call him back and sign with them right away. No chance I still had 2 more companies to look at.
Windows UnlimitedFifth in line was Windows Unlimited. We have all heard their jingle on TV and now it was time to see their windows up close. The salesman was great, one of the owners I believe, and was very sincere when taking about his company and how he runs a business. He also mentioned that because of the quality of work he does if we were looking for the cheapest price it wasn’t going to be though him. He was right. His quote was a little high at $3900, but he was nice and he did put on a great presentation.
Lastly was Metropolitan Windows. I found them via their TV ad that Saturday. They are mostly known for their fiberglass windows, but they deal in vinyl as well so they came out. After making sure that they knew they weren’t going to sell me any high-priced fiberglass windows we got down to business. After a quick hour, we got our last quote of $3500.
Castle Windows still hadn’t gotten back to me with their quote after about a week and a half at this point so I called them. The salesman called me right back and said that they were going to be $3275 with the best warranty on the market. Decent price, but all I could think about now was the $2750 Traco quote.
The final decision came down to Castle because of the recommendation I had and their warranty, and Pittsburgh Window and Door because of their price, the fact that they install Traco windows and that my wife really liked the owner.
About 2 weeks after I started my search I called and signed on with Pittsburgh Window and Door. The windows were just installed this week, about 5 weeks from the time I ordered them. The 2 installation guys had the 7 windows torn out, replaced and cleaned in about 6.5 hours. You could tell that they were experienced and had been doing this type of work for quite some time. I am more than happy with our new windows.