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Any suggestions on where to get custom windows?


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Kabot's Forum Posts: 3

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By Kabot in Austin, TX on 10/6/2002


Has anyone found any reasonably priced custom windows? I will need some extra large ones for the home that I will be building and just trying to get an idea of some pricing. Thanks.
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By Jim in Austin, TX on 10/7/2002


Kabot, On your search for custom windows, you can try Pella wood windows, Kolbe & Kolbe, and Marvin Windows. All of these manufacturers offer large format windows and can customize any window to fit your needs. I have shopped for windows for a recent client and found that the Kolbe & Kolbe dealer guaranteed to beat both Pella and Marvin Windows on price and service. Their clad product had a far better warranty than either of the other two. He also installs his own product and guarantees his installation throughout the building phase. This was nice in that you weren't at the mercy of the framer to install the windows during his dry-in. Wood windows are far to expensive for framer "OOPS". I hope this helps with your search. Good Luck. - Jim G.
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By Kabot in Austin, TX on 10/8/2002


Thanks Jim, I will check them out.
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By John in Los Angeles, CA on 1/8/2003


Depending where you are, sometimes the best custom windows are made by small local shops. Windows are a big part of the cost of any house. You have the right guy when you find one who insists on coming out to the job site to measure and look things over. You want your job to be a big piece of the window guy's annual gross, so it'll be worthy of great care and attention. The right window guy will also have recommendations from satisfied customers. -- J.S.
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By Gordon on 9/19/2003


We purchased and installed new Kolbe & Kolbe Ultra Series windows and doors about two years ago. They seemed on par with the other manufacturers we were looking at (Marvin, Pella, and Andersen), and the distributor told me the same thing (that he could get me the Kolbe's for much less).

Nearly every unit exposed to rain leaked. Most everyone’s first assumption was, and usually is that they were either flashed or installed incorrectly. These unit were installed according to the manufacturers installation specifications. These windows and doors were tested by Kolbe & Kolbe’s team of attorneys, technicians, and construction experts using an isolation procedure eliminating the possibility of water leaks from anywhere other than the window units themselves. When tested they failed (leaked). This test was performed after the Kolbe & Kolbe service technicians spent more than six months performing various unsuccessful field fixes which included among others, drilling holes into the frames and injecting large amounts of silicone into them.

I’m sure there will be a reply to this message similar to “ we have Kolbe windows and never had a problem, we love them”. We loved ours also until they leaked. Every building site has it’s own unique situation with various weather and exposure. I have some of the same windows on parts of my home that we have not yet detected leaks because they don’t share the same exposure as the others. This doesn't’t mean they are not defective. Kolbe & Kolbe was aware of a leaking problem before I reported the leaks. They had already drafted a field fix memo that instructs their technician how to perform the procedure of drilling and injecting mentioned above.

The Kolbe & Kolbe distributor in our area (Northern California) who recommended this product to us has been selling Kolbe & Kolbe in our area for years. A manufacturer should stand behind their claims of quality and performance whether their product will be installed in the desert, city, or the mountains.

It has been over two years since these windows were installed and Kolbe & Kolbe has yet to resolve our problem. As a result of these leaking windows and doors, the construction on our home was halted. We have been unable to finish and move into our new home that was scheduled to be completed over 20 months ago.

Take your time, ask all the questions, and do your research. And be careful of what the salesman/distributor tells you. Look where that great warranty got me! We thought we did our homework, but still made the worst choice of our lives.

Gordon


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By Dean in Wilmington, NC on 6/7/2006


I had the same exact experience with Kolbe & Kolbe Windows.  Their product was incredibly shoddy and defective, falling apart after three years on a ten year warranty, and they refused to honor the warranty.  I put  up a website detailing exactly what happened, with photographic evidence including pictures of the windows and scans of the invoice, their warranty and their letter of refusal to honor the warranty.  See http://www.kolbewindowssucks.com  for all the dirty details.


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By Lisa in Onalaska, WI on 1/21/2007


I have spent 30 plus hours in the last week researching windows. What a maze to get through! Some of the research I saw made Kolbe windows sound okay, but this thread has definitely given me a different opinion on that. My research was prompted by the fact that we have the opportunity right now to purchase our windows ahead of time at a great price but would have to store them for over a year. Has anyone had experience with this?  The storage unit fee is well worth the savings we would realize (paying $600 to save over $5,000) but I am wondering if there are any issues with storing windows for this amount of time. They are Pella wood/aluminum clad and will be stored in an unheated storage unit in Wisconsin. Any thoughts on this? 
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By Drue in Henderson, NV on 7/15/2007


Hey Lisa, I had the same concerns, but I will state the obvious on this one, windows by their very nature and physicality take the brunt of all conditions and from all sides there entire life (cold on one side in winter but heated on the other and of course the opposite in summer, which on paper should bend and twist them all ways but straight), I am sure you will be fine, I stored mine for three months Las Vegas, 10% to 30% humidity and a heat range in that period of 60F to 117F.
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