The house I live in was built in 1940. Until last fall it still sported the original windows; they were single panes of glass fitted in a wooden frame, and each window had six glass panes on the top half and six glass panes on the bottom half.
I spent many years frustrated with my old windows. In the winter they were not only cold, but they also would condense on the inside because of the temperature difference on either side of the glass. I couldn’t see out the windows in the wintertime because the condensation was so heavy, and as soon as I wiped it away it would be clouded over again a few minutes later. This condensation ran down the panes and soaked the wooden frames, It was a breeding ground for mold!
Many times the winter winds would howl, and the flimsy panes of glass would rattle in their frames. In the summertime they magnified the sun’s rays, and you could feel the east side of the house heating up in the morning. By afternoon, the west side was baking. It was nearly impossible for me to open the old windows because it took strength and leverage, and I also had to prop them open with a book or other object so they wouldn’t slam shut unexpectedly.
My house is a three-story house with a main floor sandwiched between a basement and an attic. It’s built into a hillside so about a third of the basement’s walls are underground and have no windows.
When I moved in the house had only baseboard heaters and a fireplace but no air conditioning. I live in an area that has four seasons, with highs in the upper 90’s in the summer and lows dipping down below zero in the winter. Efficient windows are a big help under these conditions.
The original windows only added to the weather extremes. In the winter the basement was so cold that I would run down to do laundry and run back up before my feet froze to the concrete floor. The attic was the same: I never went up there in the winter. During the summer the basement was nice and cool, but if you needed something from the attic you had to retrieve it by 10 or 11 a.m. because after that you could feel the humidity and temperature rising with each step on the staircase, and it was positively stifling once you got to the actual floor.
My sister recommended Window World. They replace windows, doors, and gutters. A representative came out to my house and measured my windows. I found out I would have to replace 33 windows! I bought 30 double-hung windows, two picture windows (that don’t open) and one garden window for my cats to enjoy.
I had a lot of options to choose from, and I went with the double-paned windows with the gas in between for maximum insulation. I was told the windows were rated to hold up to 150-mph hurricane-strength winds. I live in NC so hurricanes weren’t my number one priority, but it is nice to know that they are strong: it made me feel better about the possibility of someone breaking in.
I didn’t like how the windows were only available in white. Don’t these manufacturers know how much we women love to have colors to choose from?
Here’s a quick summary:
Pros: They have windows that range in price from under $100 a window upwards, so I think they’d fit anyone’s budget.
The windows tilt in for easy cleaning.
The windows are insulating and keep my house warm.
I don’t have to put 10 extra blankets on my bed in the winter because my bed is in the corner between two windows.
Cons: It took Window World about 6-8 weeks to order the windows.
It took several additional weeks for Window World to get a contractor to my house to install the windows.
The installer was a bit behind so it took several weeks for my windows to be finished.
Overall I was very pleased once everything was finished. The one thing that made me think twice about using Window World again (or recommending them) was that the guy who sold me the windows failed to inform me that buying a garden window isn’t the best idea in the area where I live (mostly national forest land).
I had the big, pretty window installed and then had to have it removed about three months later because it would condense at the top and then the water would drip down onto the wooden panel that made up the bottom (or floor) of the window. No matter what I did mold grew on the wood (even after I varnished it). I was told that the bottom panel isn’t insulated (not sure if I believe that but it something had to have caused it) so it’s essentially a piece of wood on the bottom. The window was very cold over the winter, and I never got to enjoy it.
Worst of all, the garden window was much more expensive than the rest of the windows. I paid around $200 per regular window, but the garden window was nearly $2, 000. I wasn’t reimbursed for this expense, but I did get a free replacement window when they took out the garden window (note the sarcasm here!). The installer was the one who told me that garden windows should never be put in in my area of the country, and I wished someone had told me that before I bought it.
I spent just under $10K for these doors and windows. I’m happy to have newer windows that are easy to open and that keep my house warmer/cooler, but I wouldn’t recommend Window World to anyone unless they were getting basic windows and nothing special. I felt like they misled me in selling me a window they knew would cause me problems (I have asthma and allergies and mold is not the best thing to have around!). I would have overlooked this if I’d gotten some kind of reimbursement, but instead I got a free replacement window that cost around $200.
I do have a lifetime limited warranty, which means I'd get replacement of the vinyl parts, mechanical parts, glass parts, glass breakage (due to accidents, not acts of nature), and free labor to fix anything that needs to be fixed that is covered by the warranty. I think I got a good quality product but it was not without a hassle and I wouldn't go back to Window World if I had other options. I don't like being taken advantage of.
The pictures above that have brown frames are the old windows. The white-framed windows are the new ones, and there is one picture that shows the condensation on my garden window.
Windows are a big purchase, so think twice before you use Window World.