Shop talk - Product Info, Legacy Promotions and More

May 2016

Window reviews online- can you believe them?

How important are online reviews? Are they real?
Online reviews are something that can be important, but they’re all over the board for most products.  Having spent 25 years in vinyl window manufacturing in quality control I know most reviews are:

1. manipulated by an interested party

2. based on installation and product

An example of the former is many manufacturers have an employee address all negative reviews. It’s never clear that the person works for or has an interest in the promotion of that specific brand of windows.
An example of the latter is some national companies use a cheap window and sell it for a cheap price.  They buy that window from a manufacturer that has five plants and produces both low end and high end products.  Persons selling against the high end offering will use the reviews on the lower end product to confuse the homeowner.
What’s a homeowner to do?
We take the Shakespearean approach: Believe nothing you hear, one-half of what you see.
On reviews, if you know the review organization has a strict review authentication program, example, Angie’s List, then you can probably trust the reviews.  Someone can place a Google review without ever knowing or seeing the company and it can’t be removed.  It can only be answered.

It’s all in the Numbers!

The US government created testing standards so consumers can objectively compare windows and doors and not rely on opinions. There is thermal testing and structural testing.

Alside is one of the vinyl manufacturers LEGACY Window and Door represent. I also sell Simonton (this is where I worked) and Polaris.  On wood windows we sell Andersen, Jeld Wen and Pella.
Alside is a large vinyl manufacturer with 5 plants in the USA.  They offer 7 different windows.  At LEGACY we represent the Mezzo series. This line was introduced in late 2014 and is a major upgrade in quality and look for Alside.
However most of Alside reviews focus on their lower end windows, not the Mezzo.  Review cross over is used here to confuse the homeowner and degrade the Alside offering. Note Alside has 100 service centers in the USA and is one of the few manufacturers to offer field service.

The Polaris Ultra Weld and the Simonton 5500 have universally great reviews.  With Alside you will find reviews all over the board.
Interestingly from our perspective, their is no difference on service issues.
How is it that among the brands LEGACY Window and Door in Carmel Indiana offers, the rate of service is equally low for all three brands?
There are three elements to a great replacement window project.
1.  Good product
2.  Exact measurement
3. Sealed, insulated and installed by an experienced professional
The Mezzo and Ultra Weld by Polaris are stellar on air infiltration (.04). This number tells us how well manufactured the window is.  How tight does it seal? Mezzo and Ultra Weld among the best.

All of our windows, Mezzo, 5500 and Polaris, are AAMA Gold Certified for structural integrity.  AAMA –  American Architectural Manufacturing Association tests structural quality: weld quality, design pressure against glass, forced entry resistance ability,  anti-fade effectiveness, etc.

The glass itself is where you have the opportunity to cut your energy consumption and have the windows pay for themselves over time.
At LEGACY Window and Door we always recommend triple pane glass.  We offer the most affordable triple pane glass package because its the right thing to do.  If everyone in America had these type of windows our country would save billions in reduced energy costs.
Glass ratings are administered by NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council).  The NFRC was created in the early 1980’s as Low E glass become more common.  Low e glass has a microscopic layer of silver imbedded into the glass. This slows the heat transfer through the glass therefore it works in the summer and winter.  The dead air space is filled with Argon gas.  This inert gas is heavier than air and again, slows the transfer of heat.
The key glass numbers are U value, Solar Heat Gain Coefficiency (SHGC) and visible transmittance.  Most manufacturers list these numbers in their site so homeowners can directly access the information.
Why isn’t there a variation in the number of services on LEGACY Window and Door windows?
At LEGACY we don’t have services because we measure the window right (we order by the 1/16 of an inch increments) and its installed by experienced professionals that only install windows.
The bottom line on reviews online?  Be careful, place your trust in the more objective tools at your disposal: thermal numbers by NFRC and structural testing by AAMA.

Simonton is one of our quality manufacturers
Simonton is one of our quality manufacturers


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