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Old 02-24-2008, 02:23 PM   #16
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(true) Replacement window cost


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Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
Now onto the subject of who is installing the windows. I have been in the position to use both employees and subs to install for me. Personally I prefer subs and the reason is very simple, they are better and more skilled installers. Think about it like this, I you could install 10 windows a day for $20 per hr. that would be fine, however, if you could get $50-$80 per window when each window takes about an hour, which would you choose? It is really a no-brainer and it is why the best and smartest installers are subs not employees. The comment on quality being affected by someone rushing through is nonsense. First of all, a competent company will have someone making sure that the job is done completely and correctly, second of all the job most often needs to be done in a day regardless, so employees are forced to keep a steady pace as well. Another point is that anytime a sub does screw up, he is forced to go back and fix it for free, where as an employee is on the clock by law. I can't say that there aren't bad subs out there (and bad employees for that matter) but if you are choosing a respectable company, it is likely that they have checked backgrounds, references, etc, just like an employer would and have chosen someone who they trust will represent their company well.
HomeSealed has a valid point containing to his company. But most of your
bigger window companies which are franchises use only sub-contractors. (Home Depot, Lowe's,Castle Window,Install America,Window World,Window Depot,Clear Choice,Only Doors & Windows,Sea-Thru Windows,Fairway Windows,Universal Windows Direct,Comfort World, etc...I could go on and on there are many.
Where I live the Window World dealership only pays their installers $30 per window, and that includes wrapping the outside casings with aluminum.
Compare that to what the going rate is here for a qualified experienced installer who gets paid in a range of $75-$115, and some red flags should come up. What is the background of these installers that they would work for a third or less what they could make everywhere else?
Could it be that maybe no one else will hire them? Or maybe they did work for many of the other companies and didn't make the grade? One thing is for sure, none of the great installers I know in my area will work that cheap.
I been in the window business for over 20 years (just windows) Hiring a sub with good customer service skills that people are comfortable having in their homes, will never miss a scheduled job, has the experience and cares enough to always make the finished job look great, and will always represent my company in the best manner possible is ten times harder.
If you do go with one of these franchises that uses sub-contractors it is a hit or miss on what type of installation you will receive.

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Old 02-24-2008, 04:03 PM   #17
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(true) Replacement window cost


good choice.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:09 PM   #18
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(true) Replacement window cost


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Originally Posted by Hartford View Post
HomeSealed has a valid point containing to his company. But most of your
bigger window companies which are franchises use only sub-contractors. (Home Depot, Lowe's,Castle Window,Install America,Window World,Window Depot,Clear Choice,Only Doors & Windows,Sea-Thru Windows,Fairway Windows,Universal Windows Direct,Comfort World, etc...I could go on and on there are many.
Where I live the Window World dealership only pays their installers $30 per window, and that includes wrapping the outside casings with aluminum.
Compare that to what the going rate is here for a qualified experienced installer who gets paid in a range of $75-$115, and some red flags should come up. What is the background of these installers that they would work for a third or less what they could make everywhere else?
Could it be that maybe no one else will hire them? Or maybe they did work for many of the other companies and didn't make the grade? One thing is for sure, none of the great installers I know in my area will work that cheap.
I been in the window business for over 20 years (just windows) Hiring a sub with good customer service skills that people are comfortable having in their homes, will never miss a scheduled job, has the experience and cares enough to always make the finished job look great, and will always represent my company in the best manner possible is ten times harder.
If you do go with one of these franchises that uses sub-contractors it is a hit or miss on what type of installation you will receive.
These comments make a lot of sense. In chicago you will never get a quallified installer for 20-30/hour. I've tried it both ways. some of the best craftsman have their own small businesses like ouselves. They have insurance as well and pay their own taxes. So you can pass this info on to customer. really they get doube the protection with your insurance and subs and professional job. subs are no longer taboo.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #19
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(true) Replacement window cost


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Originally Posted by Hartford View Post
HomeSealed has a valid point containing to his company. But most of your
bigger window companies which are franchises use only sub-contractors. (Home Depot, Lowe's,Castle Window,Install America,Window World,Window Depot,Clear Choice,Only Doors & Windows,Sea-Thru Windows,Fairway Windows,Universal Windows Direct,Comfort World, etc...I could go on and on there are many.
Where I live the Window World dealership only pays their installers $30 per window, and that includes wrapping the outside casings with aluminum.
Compare that to what the going rate is here for a qualified experienced installer who gets paid in a range of $75-$115, and some red flags should come up. What is the background of these installers that they would work for a third or less what they could make everywhere else?
Could it be that maybe no one else will hire them? Or maybe they did work for many of the other companies and didn't make the grade? One thing is for sure, none of the great installers I know in my area will work that cheap.
I considered getting an estimate for siding and sliding doors from Sears and even went so far as scheduling/rescheduling and finally decided to go with a local company who has a proven track record with crews they trust. Lord only knows what I would have gotten had I gone with Sears - probably the same cheap labor (yeilding cheap results) as I did when I went with Home Depot for a carpet install...

To Cole's point, not every contractor is trying to rip you off. As with EVERYTHING, there are competent and non-competent; honest and not honest. I'm about to sign a contractor who is a couple hundred higher than a competing bid but my gut tells me that he's the right person for the job.

Good luck and I hope all works out!!

BTW, I chose Soft-Lite Imperial Pro (2 sliding glass doors)

Last edited by ~Coach Dave~; 10-04-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:26 PM   #20
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Get your head in the game Coach... it's a 3-1/2 year old thread!

I bought coffee & donuts when the Home Depot subs started the work on my house last Nov... by 11AM I was asking what they wanted for pizza & subs for lunch... by 4PM when they were finishing I offered more coffee...

I watched them work the entire time... it was LOUSY weather, snowing and cold, and getting dark at the end... they did a great job on the windows in my opinion, it's been nearly a year and I still feel like they did a great job.

Just proof that it comes down the individual doing the work and how they feel about you! Be nice, offer food...
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #21
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Get your head in the game Coach... it's a 3-1/2 year old thread!

I bought coffee & donuts when the Home Depot subs started the work on my house last Nov... by 11AM I was asking what they wanted for pizza & subs for lunch... by 4PM when they were finishing I offered more coffee...

I watched them work the entire time... it was LOUSY weather, snowing and cold, and getting dark at the end... they did a great job on the windows in my opinion, it's been nearly a year and I still feel like they did a great job.

Just proof that it comes down the individual doing the work and how they feel about you! Be nice, offer food...
ahahahaha I came across this thread when looking for info on Soft-lite and felt the need to chime in - guess I didn't really think about how old the thread was. Clearly your HD experience was better than mine. I was present all day doing odd jobs around my condo as I watched the contractor and his "helper/buddy" jack around. Had I offered them food/drink (above and beyond the courteous "can I get you something to drink") they probably would have taken 11 hours to carpet an 800 square foot condo... Greasing the wheels with food or not, I got a dud subcontractor - it happens

Perhaps I'll take your advice on my upcoming job

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