basement window: BEFORE
basement window: AFTER
It’s the home stretch. The much discussed windows are in, still in time to qualify for the government tax credit. For a refresher, here are the first two posts in this window journey: windows part 1, and windows part 2. So far we’ve chosen vinyl style, the Simonton brand, and were looking for the installer.
And here’s Scott wrapping up the window play-by-play.
So, I searched around for reviews and comments on experiences with Home Depot windows. Frustratingly, there was nothing conclusive. The comments varied from “they were wonderful and even fixed my windows, no questions asked when the neighbor kids broke them with footballs”, to “they sent smelly, rude installers who tried to eat my poodle and now all of my windows leak. I would have been better off just putting plastic wrap over the holes!”
Then, out of the blue, jackpot!
I stumbled upon a forum where people ask questions about the endlessly confusing world of vinyl windows. One thread was specifically about experiences with the windows Home Depot sells and installs.
Right in the middle was a post by “Bill” from Uneeda Window and Home Improvement. Bill’s comment says it all: “In my neck of the woods I can provide the top of the line Simonton 9800 with triple pane for less than what Depot is getting for their 6500. ”
And that neck of the woods is just a few towns away from us!
Since it was a Sunday and the post was from 2005 I didn’t get too excited.
outside, dining room window: BEFORE
outside, dining room window: AFTER
The next day I called Uneeda and asked if a “Bill” was still there and sure enough they connected me right to Bill Kallio. He was a little amused that I’d tracked him down from his five-year-old, first-name-only post, but quickly went on to explain that they are a distributor for Simonton and “always do better” on top-of-the-line Simonton windows than the Home Depot can do on the middle line Simonton stuff.
Bill said the best thing to do is buy the windows directly from him and make separate arrangements with an installer because his company is booked through the end of the year “thanks to the tax credit.” First thing is to call the installer so they can measure the windows and place the order with Bill.
inside, dining room window: BEFORE, with uneven panels
inside, dining room window: AFTER, no bars
Bill referred me to Pat Donnelley, an installer who does work in my area. I called Pat and he came right over to measure. He quoted me a flat installation rate and said he’d give all of the information to Bill at Uneeda. A few hours later, a detailed quote for top-of-the-line Simonton 9800 windows arrived in an e-mail from Bill.
Combined with the installation, the total came to $3,964 — $1,014 less than Home Depot for better windows!
Didn’t have to think about that very long! We paid Bill with a credit card over the phone and were told the windows would arrive in about two weeks.
living room window: BEFORE
living room window: AFTER. It looks more like a picture window without all those panels. I think it makes the window look bigger.
Simonton vinyl window installation
As promised, just under two weeks later, Pat Donnelley called and said the windows had arrived at Uneeda and he’d pick them up and install them as soon as we were ready. He offered to do it on the upcoming Saturday which was perfect for us since we wouldn’t have to take off from work.
When Pat and his crew of 2 got there, they got straight to work. The first floor was finished on day one and Pat came back on Sunday to finish the basement.
It was all fast and efficient. The guys even cleaned up the dust at the end of each day. We’re very happy with the results — namely top-of-the-line windows, professionally installed, for less than a big chain or a fly-by-night.
If you’re in the New Jersey area, give these guys a call:
Simonton windows: Bill Kallio 908-925-2300
Window installation: Pat Donnelley 732-248-8474
Thanks again, Bill and Pat!
Note from Irina: We are not getting kickbacks for recommending these guys. We just think they did a great job and are glad to spread the word about good home improvement work.
The vinyl window tax credit
You can still get in on the tax credit if you order your windows soon. Everything you need to know is here.
another basement window: BEFORE
another basement window: AFTER
I wish we could have done the whole house, but the upstairs will have to wait until next year.