Hi, my honeys! If you've been following along on my Instagram, you may have seen me post the reveal of our giant new bow window we had installed by my partner Universal Windows Direct! This blog post will walk you through the entire process of getting new windows, and I hope to answer any questions you might have! It's definitely a big purchase, so I want to make sure y'all are well informed and that you know why we chose Universal Windows Direct. I hope this post is helpful for you!
Deciding which window(s) to replace:
First, we started with an evaluation of our windows in our home. Our house was a flip house we purchased back in 2015 that was gutted basically down to the studs, and to be honest, the house flippers did not do that great of a job and skimped on a lot of things. Sadly, our windows are definitely cheaper in quality, and you can definitely tell. They aren't as noise canceling as they could be, one had moisture in it, and they're the standard side by side instead of the nice double hung. They aren't old, they're just cheap. We've known for awhile now that before we were to move from this house, we'd want to replace most or all of the windows.
To be fair, we cannot afford to do them all at once (not everyone can), so we tried to narrow down which windows would be the best to replace now that would have the most impact. We thought about replacing our back slider and kitchen window, but we ultimately felt that replacing our MASSIVE front window, we'd get the most impact! Obviously, at over 90" wide, we wanted to make sure that window was of the highest quality so we don't leak our AC or heat out the front of the house! It's also one of the first things you see, front and center on our home when you pull up to our home. We knew that buy replacing this big guy, we'd make such a big impact not only on the outside, but it would also add some much needed character and openness to our tiny living space. Our living room and kitchen are all open concept on the main floor, so our entire first floor would get the benefit of the light and style that the new window would bring.
Meeting with our Universal Windows Direct sales rep:
I swear it was kismet when Universal Windows Direct contacted me to partner, because we were already put on to their company and actively looking for a new front window. I'm so glad they reached out, because we have just had the best customer care with them! They sent out a sales rep right away to discuss our options, and we were so excited for this appointment. To be clear, my husband and I knew NOTHING about windows, so we were ready to be schooled, and we wanted to know all of our options to make an informed decision!
Our meeting with our UWD sales rep was awesome, and it actually included a couple demos and science experiments haha! He was thorough in explaining why Universal Windows are superior and what options we had when it came to our size window and space. Here are some key points I took away from the presentation:
- They only use 100% virgin vinyl that will never rot, fade, chip, or peel ( compared to lower quality windows on the market using recycled vinyl or cheap filler)
- They have a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from
- They have what's called the True Lifetime Warranty which includes all parts, glass frames, hardware, installation, and labor, and is transferable to the subsequent homeowner for the period of 30 years
- All their windows are custom made and custom fit to your home, not standard sizes
- Their window frames are fusion welded and not screwed and glued which could come apart
- Their windows have heat stopper technology called Super Spacer that's unique to their windows with a liquid to foam insulation to get into all the nooks and crannies
There were lots of other benefits, too, but too many to list here. I was really impressed with how the quality of their windows stacks up against the big box brands. Our sales rep also did a quick demonstration with a blow torch showing how heat resistant our new windows would be, and I'll definitely have to show you that in the Youtube video of the whole process coming soon! It was fascinating to me, and I hated science class haha!
Picking out our window:
It was then time to measure our window and check our overhang on the front of our house to see what type of window we could put at the front of our home. After measuring, he informed us that our best options would be either new double hung windows, or to do a bow window. A bow window is similar to a bay window in that it extends outward from the front of your home, but a bow window is typically less deep than a bay window and is 4 or more windows combined into one. A bay window is deeper and is typically more meant for a window seat with only three windows. You have to have a deep overhang on your house to have a bay window so that water from your roof doesn't leak onto it and cause problems. We were excited about the bow window option, which would give our cats a decent size ledge to perch on, add visual depth to our living room, and be cute to style plants and all kinds of cute decor on it!
Once we decided on a bow window, we looked through the color and finish options as well as the window grid options. With the recent install of our slat wall fireplace, we knew even though the stained wood options were beautiful, we thought white would be best so our room didn't feel too wood heavy. I wanted to keep the living room light, bright, and airy! We also opted to add on a grid pattern to our windows for privacy and for a fun design element! Our sales rep wrote up our order, double checked everything to make sure it was what we wanted, and he told us there would be someone to come measure our window again for exact sizing!
Measuring and Production:
As soon as our order was in, it was time to have their professional installer come out to measure the exact space in our home because these are custom windows meant to fit exactly into the space, not standard sizes. This part was super quick! He came, he measured, he peaced out, lol! We then got a notification that our window was in production! I love that Universal Windows Direct sends frequent updates on your window order, so you know what's happening with it at all times! We got an estimated delivery date of our window to the factory, so we knew about when our window would be ready for install! That was helpful in planning our other home updates around it!
We got the magical email that our window was delivered to the factory and ready for install, and we were so so excited! We then got a call from UWD headquarters to schedule our install, and sure enough they had an opening the very next morning! We were given a two hour time slot for their arrival, which I thought was quite reasonable! To prep for the installers, we had to remove our cellular blind, and we moved our couch to give them about 6 feet of space to work with in installing the new window! The install crew comes with their own tarps and furniture covers, so you don't have to worry about them tracking dirt in your home or getting anything messy!
The guys showed up early in the time slot the next morning and were kind enough to give me a call when they were about 45 minutes to an hour out, so we were ready for them! Plan to have any vehicles in your driveway moved to the street, because they come riding dirty like 3 vehicles deep including a big truck! You'll want to make sure you secure your pets, too, because there will be a hole in your house for a short period of time haha! We stashed our kitties upstairs, and they just took long naps haha!
Our crew of 4 guys wasted no time at all and got to work on removing our old window after laying down lots of tarps to protect our floors and furniture. My husband and I could only stop and stare at the process because these guys were next level in their speed and efficiency! Every man on their team had specific tasks, and they all worked in tandem--it was literally like Santa's workshop lol! Guys, if you're reading this, I'm not calling you elves! Haha! Our old window was out in mere minutes and they hauled into their truck, so we didn't have to handle that!
Then, it was time to get our new window, and boy, was it a glorious sight to see our beast of a new window get put into place. What really fascinated me about the interior process was how they have all the little pieces of trim work laid out and ready to go. You don't just get a window replacement, you get all the fancy trim work to really make the window pop! They made quick work of that, and then they got to work on the outside! They add a very nice upper section where the gap is between our house and the jutted out portion of the window. They painted it white to match our window, and it looks seriously like it's always been there but new at the same time!
The entire install process was roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes for our giant window install. The installation crew we had from Universal Windows Direct was top notch. Honestly, my husband and I could not get over their professionalism, skill, and humor! They were very personable, and we were grateful to have a solid group of guys doing the work on our home! I actually reached out to the company to make sure the guys got some accolades for their hard work, because I think it goes a long way to give people who do great work on your home some credit!
COVID Protocol/ Cleanup:
I wanted to make note that everyone from the sales rep to the installation crew followed COVID guidelines and wore masks. The installation crew showed up, masked up, and ready to work, which I found to be extremely considerate and especially so because of my immune compromised situation! There were some factory delays due to COVID, but they were always sending updates and were upfront and honest about that, so it didn't bother me at all. They also were diligent in cleaning up behind them. They carefully pulled up tarps and vacuumed up the entire work area after the window was installed. It seriously looked like they hadn't even done construction on our home--very impressed!
Truly, we had such a great experience with Universal Windows Direct, and I'd recommend them to my own family and friends (and have been). Keep in mind that these custom windows do take some time to manufacture and install, so plan accordingly. Plan on it taking a couple of months time between picking out your windows and the install. This is the case for any window company like this, so just be sure to manage your expectations with the time frame.
I promise, these windows are worth the wait. We are so in love with our new window, and it's honestly better than what we had imagined. It makes such a huge impact on our living room and first floor of our home, and I love that someday when we eventually move from this home, we'll be able to transfer the warranty of this window onto the new homeowners! I hope this post was helpful for you, and it provided much needed information on getting new windows. We had no idea what the process would be like, but we are so glad we did it!
If you want to see the full process of my window being picked out and installed, check out my YouTube video here! I want to thank Universal Windows Direct for partnering with me, and if you are in the market for new windows, doors, siding, etc--they do it all! They are based out of Ohio, but they have national distribution, too, so if you live elsewhere, check their website to see if they service your area! Thanks for reading, y'all!