Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Windows for America (and for Debbie)

When I bought the house, I knew one of the first things I'd have to buy for it would be new windows - my front picture window appeared to have a B.B. Gun shot in it, one window was missing a pane and instead had plexiglass.  Luckily for me, the government was giving me $8,000 to buy a house so I knew I could use that money to do some improvements. 

In November, I started contacting window companies.  I got estimates from Home Depot, New Windows for America, and....a company whose name I can't recall.  All the quotes were around the same price and all the companies really wanted me to sign on the dotted line while the salesman was there.  I actually did sign on that line with Home Depot, but since I only had that one quote I decided to cancel that order while I still had time and get some other companies in. 

I had the other salesmen come in and I decided to mull it over instead of signing right away.  I went with a company called New Windows for America - they had the best price with a comparable window to Home Depot.  When the salesman from HD called me back, this was the only time it started feeling slimy...he said that it turned out he talked to his boss and he could get me this discount and that discount, etc etc.  I stuck with New Windows and three weeks later I had windows with real glass, no bullet holes, and double-hung white vinyl.  So pretty!  They also have a double lifetime warranty on the whole thing - glass, screen etc.  So that means no matter what breaks the glass - a gun shot, rock, baseball - the company will come out and replace it for free.  And they'll do that for me, and for the next owner of the house. How sweet is that!

The saddest part about it all was saying goodbye to my tax credit - but the investment will be well worth it.

If you look really closely, right at the top of the bed cover where it starts from the cab, you can see the bullet hole. Too bad I didn't get a better pic before I got the new windows.


Terrible picture, but such a pretty sliding picture window!  And yes, they installed in the middle of winter.

You can see the quality of the window better here.

All in all, I wound up replacing 9 windows.  Two of the windows were sliding - the front picture and the upper bath.  The rest were regular double hung.  I had only one set of windows that were the same size - otherwise every single window was a different non-standard size.  My total cost was just over $6,000.  With the purchase of the windows, I also qualified for an energy star tax credit, so I did get an extra $1,500 back in taxes this year, which also helped offset the cost of some of my home improvement projects. Not only did I get the windows, there were installed in two days, with only one day inside the house.  They also put on the .... flashing? I forget what exactly its called, but its the stuff on the outside of the windows that makes it look nice and uniform on the outside of the entire house.  So, no mess, no cleanup, and just a beautiful end result.  For free! *some restrictions apply ;-)

Lessons learned:
  1. Get multiple quotes, don't be afarid to tell the salesman no or that you're not ready to decide.  Also, if you feel pressured at all, just go with a different company.  Don't deal with a company who might be giving you the skeevies, even if they give you the best price. 
  2. Ask friends and family for recommendations and opinions. Even if you don't use their opinions it might help you make your decision. It's especially useful to just bounce ideas off people.  Thanks Rita!
  3. Get familiar with any tax write-off, credit, etc. that you might qualify for by your purchase.  Lower end windows wouldn't have qualified, but would've been slightly cheaper.

1 comment:

  1. That first picture frames your neighbor's truck nicely! ;)