Buying Thermo-Pane Replacement Windows and what you should know .. The Salesman Speaks Out
I've noticed that a lot articles are "how to" and tend to be very informative. It amazes me how much people know . "How to train your dog to use the toilet, How to grow a two hundred pound watermelon." There's no end. Quite frankly, I don't know how to do a whole lot I guess, so I stay away from trying to do this type of blogging. I got to thinking .. surely I know something informative ... Well, as it turns out, I do know something. So I thought I'd take a shot writing a "how to" piece.
As I've mentioned in previous Hubs, my background is in marketing. I've been a consultant for an NFL team, a University, and I've set up marketing programs for start up business, as well as business with marketing results going south. My start in sales began in home improvements while going to college where I eventualy earned my degrees in Developmental Marketing and Management Development. I ended up working with this fine company for fourteen years, before going into business for myself. Within twelve years from the beginning of the company's start, it became the largest vertical home improvement company in the U.S. The primary reason for success was due to the high quality of it's products and installation, aggressive marketing, and on going sales education. I started in in home sales, and worked my way up the management ladder before going into business for myself. The primary product of this company? Thermopane windows .
I'm not going to write this from a scientific or engineering standpoint as much as just talking some basics. I don't need Google to help me with this one. I've lived with this product from sale to installation. I'm the one the customer calls if there's a service problem or have a referral . After all I'm the salesman. I'm not an engineer, and you'll be buying your windows from me, not him anyway. He sits in his office drawing pictures. I turn those pictures into revenue.
I'm going to tell you what you need to know to make sure you get the most for your dollar while purchasing windows, but I'm going to tell you a little bit about the sales end also. It's necessary to give the big picture, and I get a chance to brag. Bragging is very important to TheManWithNoPants, because great salesmen have great egos.
I shattered every personal record associated with the selling of residential windows. You probably think I did it by being one smooth talking son of a bitch right? Nope. A great liar? Nope. Crushing them like a bug with high pressure? Nope. How then?
By maintaining control in the home, and giving them all the information. There is no transaction of any kind that is one hundred percent positive for the buyer. There are always down sides. If you can't close the deal, there is one of four reasons why. The customer doesn't need it, doesn't want it, can't afford it, or doesn't understand it. The later is usually the problem, and it's because they've been given the good news, but not the bad, and that's the critical information they needed to make the decision. Believe it or not, I never focused on sales, I wanted decisions, yes or no. It worked for me, I had a good product backed by a good company at a fair price. Although we were higher than anybody else, the difference in quality warranted the price, and I always told the people that before I told them anything else. There was nothing to hide, and the people knew they'd be treated with respect if they made a no decision. I can't be anybody but myself, and people have always sensed my transparency. (I'm an awful liar, I've tried it many times with no success.) Other salesmen with more experience than me could never get it. If you want the people to buy tonight, tell them that's what you're shooting for. Don't sneak up on them. If their house is going to have a fine layer of dust covering everything when the installation is finished, tell em! Don't let them find out for themselves. I never lost a sale by telling people what they needed to know, instead I closed the deal and made a friend for life. People run from what scares them. I was a closer, not a salesman. A closer is a Gladiator who has ultimate respect for his or her opponent and will play by the rules. A closer knows that it's not about selling everyone, it's about selling everyone who should be sold. Shoving stuff down somebodies throat who needs help paying the bills they already have is a bad sale and kills you in the end. I was in it for the long haul. My closing percentage never suffered because of letting some poor bastard off the hook. I never could get the pros to buy into it in spite of their tears as they looked at my commission checks. The truth is most salesmen function through the fear of losing a sale. How sad for everyone.
I think I'll do a piece that gives inside information about how it works with in home sales as it pertains to this product in the future.
Okay, first there are some good windows and some not so good windows, but the best window is only as good as it's installer. If you're shopping online, Service Magic is a referral company that screens it's contractors pretty thoroughly. In any case the contractor should be licensed, bonded,insured, and have references. Every company has some outstanding service, and they'll never give you an unhappy customer to call, so don't put a whole lot of stock into that last one.
Custom made. Most of the window companies can actually fall into the legal definition of this although the definition is very loose. Most contractors buy their windows from someone else who builds the window according to the specs submitted by the contractor. Most of these so called manufactures aren't really manufactures. They buy raw extrusions from the manufacturer, cut them down and assemble them. Bottom line, having them fit usually won't be a problem.
Materials. If you're thinking vinyl, think virgin vinyl, especially where there are weather extremes. If your thinking aluminium, think thermo break aluminium. Aluminum conducts heat and cold, but with the thermo break frame, temperature doesn't transfer from out side to inside. Also it's important that if it's going to be aluminium, make sure it's "aircraft" grade aluminium (t-66 or better.)
Double strength glass This is require in most places. Make sure they're using it on each and every window.
Argon Gas. Experts say the gas dissipates, settles and become a non factor. Some say it takes six months, some say a year, while some say it's null by the time it's installed. Although it boost commissions and profit, I always told my customers to stay away from it.
Low E Glass. This is good stuff, but only benefits the buyer on the sun exposed windows. You're wasting your money to use low e on the entire home.
Manufactures There are quite a few good ones. Anderson and Pella are good quality, but cost as much as a submarine. Some other good names are CertainTeed, and Alside. The Alside window's frame has fusion welded corners. It's a really good product. I used this window when I was in business and it's the window Sears used. I heard they're using another window now, but I'm not sure. The only downside is the frame is thick, making them a bit bulky looking. If you don't like the looks for your home, the CertainTeed window might be the one for you. It's not quite as well built as the Alside window, but is still good.
On one lite windows (fixed glass stationary windows like those skinny little windows beside your front door) I suggest putting a storm panel on these as opposed to tearing them out and replacing them. This will help keep the costs down without losing effiency.
Everybody hits the energy savings hot button as the main selling point. These windows are definitely an energy saver. I always told my customers that how much energy they save depends on the life style of the user. I've seen installations on homes where kids are running in and out, leaving doors open and such. Obviously the efficiency goes down in this situation. energy savings is important, but I wanted my customers to buy these windows for the right reasons. I always told them that they could invest the money they'd spend on my windows in an IRA, and come out ahead on a five yearperiod.
Here's what you get with a good installation of thermopane windows. The number one thing my customers reported as to what they enjoyed was comfort. The home heats and cools evenly with no hot and cold spots. Number two - Security. High impact glass held in with marine glazing, and an almost jimmy proof locking system, make breaking in a very noisy job. Number three - Keeps out noise.
When it's all said and done you're getting a product that will make your home more comfortable, add security and value, and if you live a long life .. will pay for itself.
I hear companies advertising window replacement for $299.00 per opening. This is bull. It's the old car sales tactic where they advertise a new car at an unbelievably low price. When you get there the salesman gives you the old " Oh, you wanted tires with the car?" By the time the ad on costs are added up, you have a dramatically more expensive window. The cost of a window depends on the size, but when you average it out, you had better plan on between $600 to $850 per opening for a premium window and installation.
If you're considering a purchase like this and have additional questions drop me a comment. If I know the answer, I'll give it to you, and my opinions are always given with enthusiasm. For some nice "No Pants Politics" go to .. http://hubpages.com/hub/Im-Running-For-President-no-pants-politics