When my husband and I moved into our new house in June 2018, the 1982 ranch had all its original aluminum windows, most without screens in them. As two people who prefer fresh air to air conditioning, we were eager to be able to open the windows — without the risk of bugs flying in — but decided modern, better insulated windows were a better answer for us than just replacing screens.
So, in January, we decided the time was right for us to take on this project, or at least get the ball rolling and look into it. We knew Wallside Windows was our No. 1 pick for replacement vinyl windows. We liked that the company handles every step of the process from production at its Michigan factory to installation - and that it’s a family-owned company with a long history of serving homeowners and its employees well.
So, with that, we scheduled our free, in-home estimate. Here’s a look at how it went for our family.
The Free Estimate
I scheduled an appointment online for noon, Jan. 12. The salesman called that morning to see if we wanted him to come over at 10 instead, because he had a cancellation. We liked that he offered us that spot, but it wasn’t going to work, so he arrived at noon as planned.
Once he walked in and introduced himself, he got to work measuring the nine windows in our house and garage. We talked about the types of window options available to us. We were happy to realize that, since every window is custom made at the Taylor factory, we didn’t have to worry about whether our windows are standard sizes.
Once the salesman saw everything, we sat down and he showed us a sample window, explaining their efficiency and how they slide open from both sides, have insulated frames, flexible screens and more. We were impressed with the technology that had gone into these modern windows, especially compared our old windows.
He showed us various color options available for the windows themselves and the trim, inside and outside. We were glad that we could replace our brown window frames with vinyl frames that are white on the inside, to better match the interior of our house, but had options for the outside also, so that the windows would blend in with the exterior, where a shade of brown would be a better fit.
Once we decided on window styles, color and number, and the sizes were established, the salesman did the math of what the cost would be.
As you may know from their commercials, Wallside regularly offers great deals, so with that and some brief negotiation, the price we agreed to pay was less than half the original starting cost.
With a half-down deposit made via credit card, we scheduled an install date for March 8 — eight weeks out — which is standard for this type of installation. The salesman said they’d had a busier winter than usual and install dates had to be scheduled out farther than is typical for this time of year. Knowing that the wait was eight weeks, even in winter, we were happy that we made the choice to get our estimate in winter, rather than waiting until spring, like we’d originally planned. This way, even with a wait, our windows would be ready to take in fresh air once spring hit!
The salesman left us with the information that Wallside would contact us within the next week about a time for a measurer to come out to the house and do a final measurement before the windows were produced.
About a week later, the measurer called me to set up a time to come by the house. He was available that day, but we planned for the following day. When he showed up, he was friendly and quickly got to work.
He made small talk as he worked and was on his way in about 15 minutes! All we had to do then was wait for the install date to arrive.
The Install Prep
A couple weeks before the install, we received a postcard in the mail that told us how we could prepare for the install. It explained that we should remove window hangings and clear the area around the window 6 feet — or as far as possible.
Our house is 1,100 square feet, so there’s not a lot of room to move furniture but we did the best we could. We took down all of our blinds and curtains as well as the fixtures. We moved furniture as much as possible.
7:30 a.m. - On the day of our estimate, the salesman told us to expect a call at 7 a.m. on install day and that the installers would let us know when they’d arrive. Around 7:30, Andy, who led the install crew, called and said they’d be over between 8 and 9 a.m.
8:40 a.m. - A crew of three arrived in two trucks. Andy introduced himself and got to work measuring all the windows again while the other two installers prepped outside.
8:45 a.m. - The crew covered the floors near the windows and along the paths they’d walk with drop cloths and plastic. They also covered other areas immediately near the windows, like the kitchen sink, baby’s crib and back of the toilet.
9:01 a.m. - The first old window sash went out the door!
9:35 a.m. - First new window was set in, and they moved on to the next one. It was impressive how much brighter the room already seemed. The space around the first window was still open as it hadn’t yet been filled with insulation and the casing. Whenever I would look at our old windows and think of new ones, I was so curious how they get them out without having to redo the whole wall. It turns out they use razors to cut the various seals and hammers to get them out!
It got pretty cold in the house once they took out the large living room window, it was short-lived compared to the whole process.
12:15 p.m. - All the windows were in and the crew had completely moved on to working outside. This involved putting new trim around the windows and putting shutters back on.
2:15 p.m. – One installer started removing drop clothes, vacuuming inside and wiping down surfaces.
4:40 p.m. - Andy came inside to let me know the job was done. No money was exchanged because he said the Wallside office has our card on file. With that, he shook my hand and the crew was off.
After the Install
Thanks to drop cloths and careful preparation we had very little clean-up to do — nothing that a vacuum and dust rag couldn’t take care of.
When we tried to remove the sashes to clean the glass for the first time, we had a few questions when it came time to lift them out.
My husband called our salesman who directed him to the service department of Wallside. He was really pleased with how friendly and quick to act the person on the phone was. He was able to choose a date they’d send a tech out to look at the windows to make sure everything was as it should be. Every step of the way, Wallside’s employees were friendly and helpful to deal with, and knew their product well.