The installation of our replacement windows began just as planned, the second week of January right after we returned from vacation. In total, it took approximately 3 weeks to complete and reflecting back on it, the installation went without a hitch.
Since this was our first of this type of renovation, we did not fully know what to expect in terms of exactly how the work was to unfold. Rick had explained things to us, but it was a whole other thing to experience it. Since the Marvin Integrity windows are standard sizing there were larger gaps to fill than if we had bought the more expensive custom fit windows. During the installation there were window perimeter sections of the sheet rock that were exposed without trim and it looked more ‘destructive’ than we thought. For a short while, we were a bit concerned that it would never look right. Some sections of sheet rock had to be filled and re-textured, and we were concerned that the tiles and trim would not go back in place correctly.
All our concerns were for naught. Eric and Mark are perfectionists. The end result was every bit as good as the original, in terms of appearance. From a structural standpoint, the new windows are installed far better. Eric took the time to walk us around and show us how the old windows were installed and how he was installing the new windows. In some cases the old windows only had 6 screws holding them in place – without any additional sealant – and this is for double casement windows that are 5 feet tall. The new windows are fastened, flashed, sealed and insulated way more effectively than the originals. It is a wonder that we did have more leakage and problems with the old windows!
The only real ‘issue’ we had with the final result of our replacement windows was fitment of our original shades. We had done a LOT of homework ahead of time to verify whether or not the original cellular shades would fit into the new frames. Rick had obtained design prints from Marvin and we measured several times. We thought that we would need to replace only a couple of shades.
We knew all along that the new kitchen window and 2 other windows would definitely require new shades. We were in the process of finding ways to have 2 shades cut down and color match the material on the 3rd when we discovered that in fact only 6 shades (out of 26) were going to fit after the install was complete. Needless to say this was a bit of a surprise and, in the heat of the moment, we wondered whether we’d made the right decision to go with the standard sized Marvin Integrity window versus the custom sized Ultimate. One of the Pella quotes included internal shades but we dismissed these out of hand because of the huge incremental expense. We wondered, looking back, whether we would have made chosen the Marvin Ultimate series realizing that new shades were now part of the expenses.
We contacted Rick to discuss things. Rick chose to bring the SolarGlass owner, Gwénaël, so that we could also discuss this with him, and it would give Gwénaël an opportunity to see the final result. They arrived as the job was being completed so they were able to see the finished job. We talked about the process and how we felt (both positively and negatively) about the entire process from investigation to installation. Gwénaël was extremely professional, listening intently and actively questioning us on our perspective. He asked us to continue getting prices on the shades and for us to suggest a proposal that would help offset things. All too often in this kind of situation there would be a bunch of hand waving and dismissals. He is clearly not that kind of businessman. It is very refreshing to work with him.