...The Home Depot
It was a tough decision as it came down to a race between Pella and The Home Depot for our business. Renewal by Andersen was just unrealistically pricey for our home, though their windows are no doubt fantastic and built like tanks - perhaps too good for our house. Feldco was, of course, eliminated in the first round with me cancelling their in-home consultation after learning of their unacceptable "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau and reading a never-ending list of complaints online. Pella really had the patio door that we wanted, but we felt that their windows weren't different enough from the ones we chose from The Home Depot to justify the higher price. The Home Depot ended up winning our business because their rep scored big at the in-home consultation by focusing more on why choose Home Depot vs. why not to choose the other guys. That was what really rubbed me wrong on the other presentations, particularly that from Renewal by Andersen - too much time spent ripping the competition.
The Home Depot also scored with The Rock Daughters, the rep noticing that we have the Toys "R" Us Exclusive Step2 Home Depot Workshop (I'm a paid Brand Ambassador for The Step2 Company), prompting him to go grab a couple of aprons and project kits from his car. Still, we took a few days to decide, and called Home Depot back when it was all said and done. With a sale that came up (a spend more, save more type of deal) and using our Home Depot credit card for special financing, we were able to replace all of our windows with Andersen American Craftsman Professional Series double-hung windows for under $5K. This was a MASSIVE improvement over what was here - single-hung windows with decorative grates (we went totally clear with the new ones) that were improperly installed by a previous homeowner that duped a few other homeowners here in the neighborhood into going in on windows that he installed. Every house that "Lou" did has major problems, and after our drafty windows came out, we could see why - there was not a single bit of insulation around any window in our house. Not only that, they were so poorly installed that they were surrounded by all sorts of yuck.
The Home Depot sent a guy to get precision measurements on our windows prior to placing a formal order. Within a few weeks, the crew arrived on what happened to be the traditional end-of-season freak snowstorm day that we always get here in Northern Illinois. Two days prior, the ground was soft, it was 60° and I was installing a mailbox. On window day, it was snowing like crazy. Regardless of the snow outside, the crew arrived with our new windows.
After coming in and laying down tarps to protect things in the house, they got to work on ripping the old stuff out - which wasn't very hard at all given how badly they'd been put in. The Home Depot crew got the new windows installed in just about eight hours - and after seeing how our openings were pretty "off" in their dimensions, I was a bit worried seeing the new windows going in and at first not looking quite "right" - but that was my own paranoia. Perfectly leveled, insulated, and then sealed with caulk and wooden finishing stops on the inside, the finished job looked great.
So how are they four months in? They're fantastic. Even our neighbors, friends and family have commented on them - not only in appearance, but the fact that there's no longer any draftiness inside the house - something that we'd dealt with for years. The windows look great, function great, and thus far are holding up as they should.
If I were to find one negative in the entire experience, it's that The Home Depot crew did not clean the windows themselves after being installed. They really needed a deep cleaning with some Windex and a razor to get some of the "goo" from the Energy Star labels off - along with the finger prints and such.
As for the companies we didn't go with on this job, Feldco has continued to call us repeatedly (I've asked them to stop), while Renewal by Anderson and Pella have been hitting the mailbox with a bunch of print advertising. We do really like the Pella sliding door with the internal blinds, so there is a possibility that we'll circle back to them at some point... though we might just order something comparable from The Home Depot.
The Next Projects at Rock Father HQ:
In the meantime, we have our biggest project ever ahead of us - a complete bathroom remodel prompted by a tub that's been leaking into our family room (it sits above the family room and the leak has come through the ceiling). It's going to be a costly endeavor, and one we're having an outside crew take care of since it's well outside of my skillset. After the bathroom, I will be doing the family room myself, as the ceiling repair will lead into that. And what could be after those two rooms? The kitchen is on our "wish list," but unfortunately we have no money tree growing outside, so we'll be doing things only as we can. The bathroom remodel is gonna hurt a bit in that department. Stay tuned...
As noted in the first installment, this particular series on total home window replacement was sponsored by no one. The Rock Father and his wife have the credit card statements to prove that.