Monday, May 17, 2010

Review of Ecoline Windows

Ecoline Windows installs windows in Calgary. In April 2010 I had a sales representative from Ecoline Windows visit my house to provide a quote for the replacement of two windows. The salesman was not as knowledgable as other sales reps that visited me due to a lack of personal experience installing windows. Nonetheless the Ecoline salesman was able to give a good demonstration of their windows (Ecoline does not manufacture windows but rather installs windows manufactured by Gentek). The sales pitch is high pressure with the apparent expectation that you make a decision on the spot. They offered a 25% discount to sign a contract within 24 hours of the sales visit although this discount was bogus when you consider their discounted price puts them on par with other vendors. On the strength of the windows and being unable to find negative reviews, I placed my order with Ecoline.

Gentek completed manufacture of my windows ahead of schedule. Ecoline telephoned me to schedule installation. They wanted to perform the installation on a Friday afternoon, which was not convenient for me, but I scheduled the appointment anyway at their urging as the next available appointment was some time away. Having waited at home that Friday afternoon I become concerned when no installer arrived by 4h15pm. I telephoned Ecoline and they were not aware of the situation but got back to me at 5h15 that the installation team would show up the following day instead. It is unfortunate that they didn't attend the appointment they pressured me to accept and they didn't telephone so I could use the time for alternative purposes. No compensation was provided for wasting a half day of my time.

Ecoline Windows arrived around 3pm on Saturday afternoon. They installed both windows in the course of a few hours. The windows themselves appear to be a quality product. I had two windows installed.

The first window was installed without damage. The exterior trim of the window is not attractive but the installer explained that it was a difficult installation and could not be done more attractively. There is a sharp corner that could potentially cut someone. I am not a trim expert so I have to take these comments at face value. I intend to wrap the rest of my window/door trim with maintenance-free aluminum so I will ask my future contractor if it can be improved. The interior of the window is a mess. During the sales visit I confirmed explicitly that I could have flat-style window trim installed on the interior as that is the style used throughout my house including trim sections a very few feet away. The installer only brought curvy-style trim, however. He repeatedly offered to install curvy-style trim but that was not what I agreed with my sales rep and that was not what I wanted. Rather than remove the unwanted trim later, I asked them to leave the job for me to finish on my own. I will buy the trim on my own and install it myself. No compensation was provided for not meeting agreed expectations.

The second window was installed with some damage. The window trim is nice on this window because the installer was able to re-use the trim from the old window. That works well because it sits adjacent to another window with the same finishing. This window has two opening sections. Unfortunately one of the control knobs did not get installed with a set-screw so the handle falls off as soon as it is turned. I should have identified this problem before the installers left but I was not thinking logically. Additionally, there is a gouge in the right side of the window. I initially thought this was dirt as both windows were left quite dirty but unfortunately the marking is permanent. Finally, a lot of mess was left from this window installation. Some installation material leaked onto the carpet and could not be cleaned properly. Hopefully steam cleaning the carpet will fix this problem. Also there is some yellow stain from expanding foam on my front roof visible through the new window. I will climb on the roof and hit it with a hose, which will hopefully clean it up.