Home Depot vs. Lowe's windows


Old 04-01-03, 11:17 AM
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Red face Home Depot vs. Lowe's windows

I decided on vinyl replacement windows in my house and I understand most windows are basically the same. Has anyone compared the American Craftsman at HD to the Reliabilt at Lowe's. Would you choose one over the other? If so, for what reasons?
I seen to like Lowe's better for the customer service and the attention of the sales reps.

I also need to go with a rather large(94" x 53") new construction bow window - would you choose either of the above for this type of window?

Note: I will be installing the replacements myself and a contractor will be doinng the bow.

Thanks forum. You're always hepful.
Old 04-02-03, 09:47 AM
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What's the median home price in your area?

That and the expected period one intends to remain in the home would drive my decision. Also, cash available (I do all our work from savings) would be a factor as well.

We live in a rural area in a modest ranch home, where median homes are in the 200K range (including acreage) so decided to forego the higher end products while redoing our patio door. I currently have a Reliabilt slider sitting on the patio, awaiting installation this weekend, and I'm a bit ambivilent about its quality. But, compared to 1K+ for a Pella, Therma-Tru or Andersen door, at 320.00, it is, I feel, in line with the house it's going into.

We were considering a bow window for the living room but have decided to trade that extra expense for bumping the quality of the front windows, which see northwesterly winds (winter storms) in our area. So we'll likely be going with Pella or equivilent in a standard casement window.

If we were installing a bow window, I'd be going with one of the name brands like mentioned above and purchased through an authorized dealer. A bow window is a complex structure which leaves much room for slips in QC and materials.

I'll have a more accurate opinion of the Reliabilt brand after we install the slider this weekend. I must say, for the great selections Lowe's has, getting someone to help me load the door was a real PITA, even on an early Sunday morning (very few customers). I suggested to one of the receiving guys (who only unload, not load) that maybe the store manager had a couple minutes to help out a customer who'd been waiting a half hour. That did the trick.

Good luck with your project and I'd suggest getting a professional opinion from your contractor; they work with this stuff everyday.

Old 04-03-03, 05:37 PM
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I am noticing that you are looking at Vinyl replacements. American Craftsman makes a great vinyl replacement window. If I was you I would check with your local vinyl siding wholesalers and see what their prices are, to compare. Certainteed top of the line vinyl replacement window out performs all windows in weather testing,wind, rain sunlight etc.. That means wood windows too. There are only 4-6 major manufactures of vinyl replacement windows. If you get PPG glass thats the best. Box stores work off a higher markup, usually 30-35%. Good luck.
Old 04-07-03, 07:52 AM
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My company was the millwork installer for 2 Home Depots in my area and HAD the unique opportunity to install their American Craftsman windows on 1 job, before I dropped both accounts. These windows might have been good about 20 yrs ago-literally. Almost all vinyl window manufactures have left the design the ACraftman windows long in the past. They still use the ancient L expander that is supposed to fit the average sill, and H expander on the top since they are basically- find a window that is close to the opening size and install it, then instead of having mull strips that lock the windows together,they also use the fossilized H mull stirpping. I dropped the accounts for some moeny issues-none coming in after I finished jobs and also for the poor quailty of product they sell the customer-there are 3 entites that touched a customers estimate/invoice before the customer actually gets it and by then the price is WAY overinflated, escpecially considering the quality of the product, so after measuring nearly 100 jobs, installing 2, and then going over 2 months before recieving my money, it was a very bad deal all around. With all the duties windows are required to perform, don't skimp-as you'll regret it it the next couple years. Unless of course this is a rental unit, then I'd consider them since your not living there. Yes I am hostile at the money issues, but I went into business to help customers evaluate their situation and get them the best quality for the money, even if your dirt poor I still would'nt recommend these windows-VERY low quality and I've installed many different window brands avaliable in my area so I have enough experience to compare products.
Old 04-07-03, 09:31 AM
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Just wanted to post an update on the install of our Reliabilt (Wenco) slider from Lowe's. Other than the frame being slightly racked, which we corrected during the install, the door went in and fit well. The main door operates very smoothly and seals well. The latch doesn't operate as smoothly as I'd like but I'll adjust that as I trim out the door. The screen is typical for a low-end slider; it appears the resistance it offers is created by the rubber flap seal at the trailing edge. I'll remove and compare and, if so, find a better way to do that job without all the drag.

Other than being heavy and requiring two people to set the door safely, I found the job pretty painless. I was fortunate that the concrete sill was level and flat, as were the side studs. I had to remove and rip one slightly to provide the correct installation clearance, as well as slightly trim the sole plate and interior sheetrock.


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