Disambiguating between Similar Windows
May 23, 2014 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Posting for a friend: Help me figure out if my new windows are really "the same" as my old windows, or if our window salesperson bait-and-switched us! Details inside.

We replaced about half our windows in Feb 2011 with new windows we bought through Penguin in Washington. They've since gone out of business. But we're very happy with the windows.

Another company told us they are now able to offer the same windows from the same manufacturer, they just don't have the Penguin logos. We were having other work done on our house and decided to replace the other half of our windows, too.

The windows were installed yesterday. I looked at them for a while and they just aren't quite the same. The sizing of parts of the frames are different. The hardware isn't the color I requested and are a different shape. They don't close as snugly. The color of the insulation on the inside of the window between the panes of glass is a different color (and missing in one window.) It's just a bunch of little stuff that could be because three years has passed and stuff changes. I looked at the warranty that the installer left, and the warranty didn't cover glass breakage from "impact of foreign objects" and the warranty on my previous windows did. It didn't feel like they ordered the same windows.

The new windows are Cutting Edge II Plus by Tribuilt. The penguin windows were made by Great Lakes Windows. I called Great Lakes and they verified that they were the Eco (Eco Max?) line, but that they also are called Uniframe, and that those windows are still sold.

I should clearly have done all the research before instead of trusting that the salesperson was telling the truth (a fool and her money, too easily parted.) Now I want to figure out if what I've got is the same under two different names and the windows just aren't made the same way anymore, or if there are differences in quality beyond the slight difference in look that are driving me distracted and if I should ask that the correct windows be purchased and installed.

Does anyone know where I can find out details beyond sales brochures? Or happen to know?
posted by KathrynT to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
Can you take pics of the issues you have with the windows and email them to a sales rep at Great Lakes to verify if they are actually the Eco line? Did you ask if those same windows were still protected with the foreign object breakage warranty?

If the hardware and color aren't as you requested, then you have cause for complaint regarding their installation. If there's no insulation in one window, then that window is defective and they either need to replace it or make it right.

Maybe the manufacturer quality has gone down, and maybe you got involved with a shady installer. Sounds like the second. If so, perhaps you need to file with small claims court.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:21 PM on May 23, 2014

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