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Old 03-15-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,188 posts, read 9,810,360 times
Reputation: 3821

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I'm likely going to get the windows in my house replaced this year, and was wondering if anyone could recommend a local window company for the job. It will be for ~17 windows and I'm looking for full-service (i.e. measure, order, install, etc). I'm not interested in buying them myself and having someone else install, nor will I be installing them myself. I usually look for contractors in the middle with regard to pricing - I want good service and a company that will be around to handle any warranty issues.

Anyone work with the Aluminum Company of NC? They did a house in my neighborhood but of course now I don't remember which house it was!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:29 PM
 
27 posts, read 91,314 times
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Kelly Window and Door in Cary did my house and did a fabulous job! Made a huge difference in my heating and cooling bill !
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:59 AM
 
Location: in & around the Triangle
583 posts, read 2,569,695 times
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I had the Aluminum Company of NC do the vinyl/gutters on my house a couple years ago. It was very competitive pricing, and I was pleased with the installation, etc. They had to come back out later for an issue w/ the gutter and were quick to do so. If I'd not moved, I would have definitely contacted them to get estimates for replacemement windows on the house.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,005 posts, read 4,944,882 times
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I am using Window World and have been pleased with their work and product. They have a lifetime warranty on the windows for breakage,etc. and have been in the business a long time. Get a couple estimates and weigh them against each other.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
747 posts, read 1,487,381 times
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This is a decision we just made. We chose Aluminum Company because they're doing the windows as part of a larger job. They have not done the job yet so I can't recommend them quite yet but we're encouraged so far by what we've heard.

BTW, this is what we learned during the window shopping process. From my research, just about everyone is pleased with new windows after they're installed but that doesn't mean they got quality windows that will hold up over the long haul. Research the different window brands/types and make sure you know what you're talking about before dealing with anyone. Go see as many windows as you can in showrooms/stores so you can touch and feel them. Get familiar with specs like U-rating, air infiltration, seal quality, coatings, AAMA ratings, vinyl quality, spacers, balances, manufacturing quality control, and glass packages. Read the warranties closely. Don't believe a word the brochures/marketing pieces say. Find out how and where the windows are made. A lot of old "name brands" have been bought out recently so three different "models" of windows might be the exact same thing manufactured by one conglomerate (look up Associated Materials for one example). Windows have become as confusing as mattresses. There are forums out there with helpful experts and installers that can help you research brands and types of windows and help identify clones and choose options.

After this process, find some companies that will install the window properly with a great warranty (Angie's List was a decent resource for us, but the monthly fee is a turn off and companies seem to solicit positive feedback there). Then make sure you're comfortable with the actual people that will install your windows. It's my understanding that some budget installers are not consistent with whom they send out to install your windows. You might get a good review from someone but there's no guarantee you get the same crew. The best window in the world will be crap with poor installation and insulation.

As for the windows themselves, Gorell, Simonton, and Soft-Lite are all well-regarded brands that are installed in this area. All have budget and high-end lines to choose from. We ended up choosing Gorell 5300 over the Simonton 5500 and Alside Excalibur available at Aluminum Company. You can see all three in their show room to compare. After researching the specs and opinions about these windows, and actually touching them, the choice was obvious.

Sorry for the essay and good luck!
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:47 AM
 
2,410 posts, read 6,719,909 times
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You might also look here for energy efficiency information:

NFRC - Welcome

The NFRC is the org that certifies windows for the 30% tax credit.

Frank
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,149 posts, read 6,950,773 times
Reputation: 3635
Quote:
Originally Posted by aldamon View Post
This is a decision we just made. We chose Aluminum Company because they're doing the windows as part of a larger job. They have not done the job yet so I can't recommend them quite yet but we're encouraged so far by what we've heard.

BTW, this is what we learned during the window shopping process. From my research, just about everyone is pleased with new windows after they're installed but that doesn't mean they got quality windows that will hold up over the long haul. Research the different window brands/types and make sure you know what you're talking about before dealing with anyone. Go see as many windows as you can in showrooms/stores so you can touch and feel them. Get familiar with specs like U-rating, air infiltration, seal quality, coatings, AAMA ratings, vinyl quality, spacers, balances, manufacturing quality control, and glass packages. Read the warranties closely. Don't believe a word the brochures/marketing pieces say. Find out how and where the windows are made. A lot of old "name brands" have been bought out recently so three different "models" of windows might be the exact same thing manufactured by one conglomerate (look up Associated Materials for one example). Windows have become as confusing as mattresses. There are forums out there with helpful experts and installers that can help you research brands and types of windows and help identify clones and choose options.

After this process, find some companies that will install the window properly with a great warranty (Angie's List was a decent resource for us, but the monthly fee is a turn off and companies seem to solicit positive feedback there). Then make sure you're comfortable with the actual people that will install your windows. It's my understanding that some budget installers are not consistent with whom they send out to install your windows. You might get a good review from someone but there's no guarantee you get the same crew. The best window in the world will be crap with poor installation and insulation.

As for the windows themselves, Gorell, Simonton, and Soft-Lite are all well-regarded brands that are installed in this area. All have budget and high-end lines to choose from. We ended up choosing Gorell 5300 over the Simonton 5500 and Alside Excalibur available at Aluminum Company. You can see all three in their show room to compare. After researching the specs and opinions about these windows, and actually touching them, the choice was obvious.

Sorry for the essay and good luck!
I can honestly say this is absolutely excellent advice since I am currently going through the process as well. Do your research! Don't assume a brand name (Pella and Anderson are two popular names that come to mind) is the best because Cindy Lou down the road has had them for 2 years and loves them and has never had a problem with them (what are the chances of having a problem in 2 years?). In all actuality those two names manufacture the worst rated windows on the market! I, too, have chosen to go with Gorell due to the build construction, efficiency, and warranty (read the companies' warranty thoroughly! a lot of loop holes in some).

@aldamon: have you had Aluminum Co. do the installation yet? If so, are you pleased and would you recommend them? They gave me an estimate and was very strong in their pricing.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
747 posts, read 1,487,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
@aldamon: have you had Aluminum Co. do the installation yet? If so, are you pleased and would you recommend them?
Yes, they finished the entire remodel last week. They ended up installing Gorell 5305s in our house. The windows and pockets in our house were very old so they had to remove the wood frame and trim holding each window in place, rebuild each frame on site, install/level the windows, add insulation, add drip caps, replace the trim, and caulk. Additional flashing was installed on request on the damp side of the house. It was much more work than they originally anticipated but they stuck with the original quote. They look and work great. We'll see how they hold up. I've yet to read anything bad about the 5300s so I optimistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
They gave me an estimate and was very strong in their pricing.
This made me double-take a bit though because in this other thread we were talking about how their bids can be high and they have a habit of pushing Alside Excaliburs. If they gave you a good quote on Gorells, I would definitely consider them because they've been around forever and have a good warranty. Combine that with the fact Gorell has a good warranty, and a problem will probably get fixed easily in a few years if needed. They're not fly-by-night by any means.

It probably wouldn't hurt to talk to a dedicated window installer as well just to compare. I'm not sure if Gorell has another one the area but it's worth a shot.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
3,149 posts, read 6,950,773 times
Reputation: 3635
^So I guess it's safe to assume you are pleased with the installation (not worried about the windows. I know they're top-notch quality) and would recommend Aluminum Co.? The salesman for Aluminum Co. was trying to push Alside but like I told him and every other salesman who came to my home that the reason I called their company is because they sell the brand windows I want to have installed. The Aluminum Co. salesman quickly backed off the Alsides. I'm sure they get a better return on the Alside windows. They just started selling Gorell. The other salesmen weren't happy to learn that.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
747 posts, read 1,487,381 times
Reputation: 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
^So I guess it's safe to assume you are pleased with the installation (not worried about the windows. I know they're top-notch quality) and would recommend Aluminum Co.?
I think they did an excellent job installing the windows. Like I said, the full pocket replacement was a lot more involved than just popping in a new window and they adapted and handled it easily, even though the additional work was unexpected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
The salesman for Aluminum Co. was trying to push Alside but like I told him and every other salesman who came to my home that the reason I called their company is because they sell the brand windows I want to have installed. The Aluminum Co. salesman quickly backed off the Alsides. I'm sure they get a better return on the Alside windows. They just started selling Gorell. The other salesmen weren't happy to learn that.
The reason they gave me for selling Gorells was the fact they can be ordered in different interior/exterior colors and with different finishes like wood grain. Ours were white.
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