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Window replacement - Cascade Windows by mycontractor.com

 

comments43 comments. Current rating: 4 stars (15 votes). Leave comments and/ or rate it.

Summary:
I would not recommend to work with mycontractor.com
nor would I recommend to buy Cascade Windows.



May 2006. I was looking to get my old single-pane windows to be replaced with dual-pane energy efficient windows.
I already had a bid from Home Depot to install Jeld-Wen Windows totalling $10,000 including material, labor and tax. However I was a bit suspicious that Jeld-Wen may not be the right choice. I sought a comparison web site that would compare the different Window manufacturers. The price difference is quite significant after all.

Example:
A Jeld-Wen patio door costs $550 at Home Depot.
A same size Milgard patio door costs $1250 at Home Depot.

What are the differences? As I was googling for 'Window replacement comparison' I found no good web site. Every "comparison" web site turned out to be in some referral business. Every single site that I visited wanted my address/ phone number to offer a free estimate.

Eventually I gave in and was referred to mycontractor.com

I filled out their questionaire and they called me back 2 days later to schedule an appointment for "their guy" to measure my windows and make an estimate. Wednesday 7pm.

I organized my schedule to be home at that time but about 4 hours before the appointment, mycontractor.com called me and cancelled their appointment. Apparantly they overbook their sales force assuming some prospective clients will not be home. (Similar how airlines overbook their planes assuming some travelers will not show up.)

We rescheduled for Saturday but the guy never showed up.

Tuesday I got a call. We rescheduled for Friday 6pm.

This time things worked out. I had my windows' measures taken before but mycontractor.com had a different system. Other companies would take exact measurements e.g. 23.5 x 48.7 inches and take all kinds of notes, basically take exact measures ready to build the windows using these numbers.
The guy from mycontractor.com would just take estimates. E.g. instead of 23.5 x 48.7 he would write down (20-30) x (40-50)
He said any size in that range will cost the same amount of money. Once I decide to purchase from them, a second guy will come and take *exact* measurements.
One of my Windows is half-circle shaped and he would treat it as a rectangular window measuring width and height. I seriously wonder how precise this type of estimate is as every other installer told me that this half-circle shaped window would be more expensive - both material and labor.
This guy from mycontractor.com worked with a flat fee for any size window.

He gave me a quote of $12,777 everything included. This would be Cascade WinPro low-E windows, with no Argon gas filling. He said the Argon would cost an extra $500 but not make sense in my mild coastal California climate.

His company only offered Cascade Windows for installation. He said that they are a lot better than the low-end Jeld-Wens. I asked him about how they compare to Milgard and he said literally:

'Not to knock Milgard, they are pretty good, but Cascade Windows are clearly better.'

I asked him how they are better than Jeld-Wen for example. He said that one of his friends worked at a Jeld-Wen plant. There would be no question that Cascade was better than Jeld-Wen. In particular, the PVC frame of Cascade Windows has steel inside while Jeld-Wen is solid PVC only thus being weaker.

He also said that Cascade is the only manufacturer that has the special coated low-E glass both inside and outside.

His biggest selling point was that Cascade is the only window with a special rubber spacer which will make it impossible that the seals break. Other companies use something based on aluminum which reacts to temperature changes.

At this point, I had all the information I needed and expected he would leave but he expected to write a sale.

The typical crook tactic followed.

'If you sign now, I can give you a 10% discount. That brings it down to $11,499'

Hm, I wanted to research Cascade and mycontractor.com further, and I did not like how difficult it was to get an appointment. So I said 'No, I rather pay $1277 more but have the time to make an informed decision'.

Then he said 'Ok, if you sign today, we will give you a free argon gas filling which is worth $500.
And you have 3 business days to cancel your order.'

I was in a rush, so I signed, total price was $11,499.

Over the weekend I found this web site:

http://www.replacement-windows.com/windowbb/index.php

This is a very good forum. You can read a thread started by myself here:
http://www.replacement-windows.com/windowbb/viewtopic.php?t=1520

I asked there about the quality of Cascade Windows and experiences with mycontractor.com.
I also looked at the BBB (Better Business Bureau's web site)

The truth about mycontractor.com and Cascade Windows

  • Cascade has changed their business name, they used to do business as WPI. One wonders if this is a strategy to avoid having to honor warranties. (The windows typically come with a 30yr or life time warranty)
    From that discussion board:
    "They [Cascade] are the company formerly known as WPI or Widow Products Inc. They are bottom feeders on the window food chain. Funny, at the IG seminar I went to a few years ago where I met the EPI manager, I also me two managers from Cascade. They were from a wood plant though. I would not let them insulate glass for my Dog House.

    I would stay away from the Cascade window know that I know who they really are. Hope it is not too late."

  • "Two coating of Low-E, one on the inside and one on the out, is a lie."

  • "For your location, argon might not be worth the money on the cascade window, especially if they are filling it in Washington and driving it over the pass with a breather tube in the window that lets the air pressure out."

  • "Cascade is a company who changes quite a bit. Look at past windows and the warranties. See if they stand behind their older products or just change names or owners."

  • The story about the rubber spacer versus the aluminum based spacer was bogus according to 2 other companies I spoke to.

  • When I called mycontractor.com I was told all Cascade Windows come with Argon gas filling. It would not be an option at all.

  • BBB has no complaints against mycontractor.com so they seem ok, only their local Windows sale guy was not honest.

  • I learnt from another installer that the glass of these major brands (Jeld-Wen, Milgard, Simonton) is the same. The difference is in the spacers, the lock mechanism, other hardware and the warranty. E.g. some manufacturers give a warranty that includes replacement even if a baseball broke your window.


Needless to say, I cancelled my order with mycontractor.com and will not buy a Cascade Window.


Comments:

You are on page 1 of 3, other pages: [1] 2 3
2006-07-11, 22:57:34
[hidden] from United States  
The thing about buying a JELD-WEN or a Milgard is that both Companies have been around a long time and aren't going to go out of business any time soon and my guess is that Home Depot and Lowes aren't either. JELD-WEN is priced lower at the home depot because Depot sells an insane amount of product for them and JELD-WEN gives them a rock bottom price as a result. Milgard does not sell much at any specific retailer but sells to a large number of retailers so they can get a better margin for their product.
2006-08-15, 11:47:01
anonymous from United States  
I first want to say that I am sorry that you had to go through all the trouble that you did just to get some windows in your house, it seems like it shouldn't be that hard. Second I want o tell you what I know about Cascade windows and why I think you shouldn't judge them so fast. They did start out as Window Products Inc. And were WPI for many years, They recently changed their name, however, that really has nothing to do with the quality of windows. Also I will tell you how WPI/Cascade Windows started from. A man name Carl Fry started it in the eighties out of his garage, he eventually got a plant in Spokane Washington (where the plant is, to this day, still there) and his son Mike Fry eventually took over in the early ninties. Mike Fry is still a large part of the company and him and few others, still sit down and design windows as a goal to keep it what it has always been. As far as saying that Cascade are the 'bottom Feeders', Was that another window manufacture that told you that.......? I bet it was, that is because they know that Cascade windows are great quality and they are scared. Not to mention Cascade sells to 11 states and from what I hear from contractors and new home owners with the windows say that they are one of the best you can find. And they do coat with Low-e on both sides of glass, and figure that out for yourself, and weather or not you need it. Don't take the advice from and internet guy, or any sales man for that matter. Oh and I know that they do give warranties on all windows made by Window products or Cascade. (I know form experiance:)
Now as far as Mycontractor.com, well I don't think I would try to by windows from a website. Strictly because of what you went though! Go to show rooms, ask to see the manufactuing plants, talk to friends. Are we becoming so used to our computers that we can't even buy household items without it?
All I am saying is PEOPLE, DO YOUR RESEARCH YOURSELF, FIND OUT WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU! And don't trust websites and salesmen to make all your desitions.


www.cascadewindows.com
www.milgard.com
2006-10-28, 15:20:34
roofing from United States  
Year after year the Home Depot sends out a press release on how they are going to spend millions of dollars on customer service. I have a news flash for the Home Depot 'It is not working' When I signed my contract on 9-14-05 the Home Depot was full of promises and now they can not seem to keep them. Now almost 14 months later and problems still are not corrected you can see the Home Depot just does not care about its customers. They will lose one customer at a time and end up like the old HQ. You can visit my web site at http://www.freewebs..com/myroof to see the destruction.


Keywords: Home Depot quality work :-(
2006-11-06, 21:04:00
anonymous from United States  
I totally agree with the complaint, the Cascade windows in the Spokane housing developments sometimes use no LOW / E glass in new homes. I have never seen this practice before. they claim that there is enough wall space to meeting energy star in new homes, but from what I know about energy saving from Low/e its huge. Try standing behind a window with low/e in the sun and then try it again with low/e. I work for the worlds largest vinyl window manufacturer and we promote Low/e and Argon in our products.
2007-01-13, 14:18:58
anonymous from United States  
rating
Actually, if you did some reaserch you would have found out that mycontractor.com is another scam company owned by Gary Iskra who owned Pacesetter corp. who also scamed thousands of people for millons. Check out Pacesettersucks.com and you'll get the wind knocked out of you.....Another company that changes its name after screwing enough people to get rich.
2007-01-21, 14:24:29
[hidden] from Lafayette in California, United States  
I also got a few calls from MyContractor. The phone rep. lied to me, and told me it was 'the law' that my wife had to attend all sales and measurement meetings with anyone who comes out. The guy was evasive and slippery. I told them to get lost, but they still kept calling. Stay far, far away from Mycontractor.com.
2007-02-01, 14:37:28
ridebikemuck@yahoo.com from Sacramento in California, United States  
rating
Your summary of mycontractor.com is astoundingly the same as the ongoing experience
that I'am having, with the exception of the window manufacturer. Our windows are manufactured by Atrium.

All windows were retro-fit and were to slide right into the existing aluminum frames, they
were measured in the same manner that you described. Everyone of those windows (9)
that were delivered were too large for the openings (oops) and they cut off the inside edges of the aluminum frames, I was told that this sometimes happens and is standard
operating procedure.
2007-04-03, 15:59:19
anonymous  
I am filing a complaint against MyContractor.com with the CSLB, for its failing to secure building permits for several remodeling jobs they have near-completed at my home. I am also concerned that they failed to secure the permits, to avoid inspection of the work they did, and to avoid additional construction costs. I have a feeling (mostly fear) that after my county completes its inspection, many other of its screw-ups will surface. Will keep you posted, but for now.....I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE MYCONTRACTOR.COM FOR ANYTHING!!
2007-05-02, 22:32:38
marcus.ridgely@comcast.net from Spokane, United States  
I understand your grief, but to come down on Cascade Windows like that is unjust and slander. Just because a business changes thier name doesn't mean they bail out on thier warranty obligations, do you have first hand knowledge of this? Because i'm sure they would love to hear about it. Personally I believe they have one of the best warranty and service departments in the industry, and I would know I have been involved in the window and door consulting business for 15 years. Anyone shoping for windows and doors should do thier homework, the internet is a great tool, but you need to ask for references. Dont be afraid to call past customers, drive by and look at some of thier completed jobs. Key word 'completed'. Ask lots of questions. So many of these window salesmen out there have no idea how the windows are even going to be installed in your home, they are simply salesmen, they dont care what they are selling, thier job is simply to close the deal! These are the companies that I recomend staying away from.
Cascade Windows, Migard and Jeld Wen have been in this industry for a long long time and mark my words they will be around long after these scam artist are out of business.
And about the Cascade waranty, if you do know someone with waranty issues, thier number is 509-922-8128, sorry i dont have the toll free number with me right now.
2007-05-21, 15:52:40
anonymous from United States  
Gary Iskra has never completely paid me and many other X Pacesetter employees.
Mr.Iskra owes me 12,671.54 in back wages {2 months} worth of commissions. Plus an estimated 6,486.00 in bank fees. I wrote alot of checks that bounced expecting my paychecks clear. I eventually lost over 300 points on my beacon score...ouch
Gary Iskra, You are in debt to me and my family. You have brought pain and suffering to many people. We have unfinished business.
2007-05-21, 17:23:50   (updated: 2007-05-21, 17:32:09)
[hidden] from United States  
I haven't looked at this page in a while, it really seems that the problem is mycontractor.com - not the window manufacturer Cascade. This web site (mentioned above) is worth a read in case you want to learn about www.mycontractor.com :

http://www.pacesett..ucks.com/


To marcus.ridgely@comcast.net, who apparantly works for Cascade:
Maybe your company should not authorize shady installers. The shady company (mycontractor.com) uses your name in their marketing material. Yes, I understand that this means lost sales if you stop doing business with them. Just a thought.

-Peter, owner of this site
2007-05-21, 20:17:49
marcus.ridgely@comcast.net from United States  
Dear Pete,
No I do not work for Cascade Windows. I own a window installation company and have purchased products from them for something close to 10 years now. I supply and install a variety of different products from multiple manufactures depending on my customers needs. It is a shame that these shady contractors cant be stoped, i see and hear of it every day, not only in our window business, but also in our remodel work as well. It would be nice if the state that issued these business licenses would also actually police them as well and hold them acountable when they rip people off. All we can do is try to expose them to the world and hopefully consumers will listen. I just cant stress enough for customers (mine included) to ask for references and lots of them, and dont be afraid to call thier references either. Check with the BBB, find out if they are involved in a builders assosiation of some kind and do your research. Dont just go handing your hard earned money to a stanger with a good sales pitch. Cascade unfortunatly cant monitor everyone that installs thier product, the products could be being purchased from a dealer that doesnt screen thier customers.
2007-08-24, 03:28:51
anonymous from United States  
I have a question, I bought my windows when the company was called 'Pacesetters'. Now that the company is defunct. Where can I find parts for my windows. I just need the plastic water drain covers that goes on the outside. They are about a inch long.
2007-09-11, 20:44:08
anonymous from United States  
When it comes to Cascade windows you just need to remember one thing. You get what you pay for. I recently had all the windows in my home replaced and while researching various window manufactures I had estimates from Home Depot and four other window installers in the Sacramento area. The prices ranged from around $8,000 to over $11,000 with Home Depot being the highest. The quality of the windows seemed to be close although the Home Depot brand was quite a bit thicker and did appear to have a better construction than the others. In the end I let myself be swayed by the low cost of the Cascade windows. I purchased them from a local company called Clarke and Rush and was surprised when the estimate came in at only around $4,200. I was leery but again I let the sales person convince me that Cascade had been around for many years and sold a quality product. When the day of installation came I knew there was going to be problems since I could find obvious problems with almost all of the windows. These ranged from fingerprints and scratches on the inside of the dual panes and small bubbles in many of the glasses. Clark and Rush agreed to have replacements sent out and when the new panes arrived some still had bubbles, one was the wrong side (slider) and one came with an obvious crack in one lower corner. It’s been about four months now and I’m still trying to get the last window replaced. I’ve contacted the Cascade area rep and hopefully he’ll be able to solve my problems. In closing if you’re not looking to live with these windows and are installing them in a rental unit or just to upgrade to sell your home Cascade would be a low cost option. If these windows are for your primary residence however I would not recommend using them or Clarke and Rush for that matter.
2007-09-12, 12:15:15
pbswindows@aol.com from United States  
I agree with Marcus (sp) above...I too offer a variety of vinyl windows depending on my customers budget, needs ,etc. I have used Cascade Windows and have had no issues with the product overall. I did have one window come in built upside down but they reacted quickly to the issue. Keep in mind that these manufacturers sell to dealers so it is the individual dealer that can soil a mfg reputation even though they may do things right. Some of these cases, it could be the install co measured wrong and that is why they did not fit. Also, in production..mistakes can occur..by anyone including Milgard or Jeld-Wen. What makes a company is how they react and resolve the issue and Cascade has not let me down. Cascade uses PPG for their glass (a well know faabricator of glass) and Veka for their vinyl (another well-known company in the vinyl window extrusion business)..they are not a fly-by-night company and I am proud to represent their products to my customers.
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