Vinyl Windows, Siding and other great investments for your Home.


You’ve just bought the worst house in the best neighborhood. Now it’s time to spruce the place up a bit. But deciding how to split up your budget could make a lasting impact.




Kitchen remodel

Kitchen & Bath.

Remodeling your Kitchen or bath is sure fire way to WOW guests and also give you a pretty nice return. Kitchen and Bath remodels are usually the most expensive when comes to construction with an average recouped cost of 66.75%. So what are the best investments when redoing your Kitchen or Bathroom? Keep the finishes traditional with all-wood cabinets and stone countertops. Save square footage by skipping the whirlpool tub and going for a walk-in shower. If you recently purchased an old home with a lot of charm but only one bathroom, it is a smart investment to add more Bathrooms rather than remodel your current one.


Windows

Home maintenance.

The major thing that homeowners often overlook is the structural things like windows, roofing, and a front door. Although choosing the right windows might not be as glamorous as choosing colors of granite countertops, it will improve the livability of the home as well as increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell. Investing in Home maintenance like windows or doors will give you the largest cost recouped in the metro with an average of 73%. It is important to remember that not all windows are created equal. Universal Direct windows are custom made for each home, while other window providers have one size fits all windows, Universal Windows Direct windows look like they were original to the home. An effective replacement window will keep the inner pane of glass warmer to the touch during winter and cooler to the touch during the summer. Our exclusive UniShield® system has been proven to be more effective than comparable products on the market today, which in turn, means more energy savings for the homeowner.


Siding

Curb appeal.

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions count. If the exterior of your home is lackluster, it doesn’t matter how nice the inside is, most buyers won’t get past the front door. That’s why siding has a recouped cost of 74.9%. Make smart decisions when it comes to siding, Vinyl siding looks great and is guaranteed to be maintenance free. Our exclusive UniShield Vinyl Siding offers endearing looks and enduring performance, making your vision for your home a reality. All of our vinyl siding delivers the warmth and quality appearance of wood without the costly, time-consuming maintenance and repairs. Superior panel thickness and an advanced lock design provide superior rigidity and exceptional holding power, keeping panels straight and tight in the most extreme of conditions. UniShield siding has been tested extensively and rated to withstand virtually anything that Mother Nature may throw at, including Gale-force winds, hail, as well as snow and ice during the winter.


Home Additions

Extra space.

A common problem for homeowners is running out of space. If you are living in a booming housing market, it might be to be too expensive to stay in your desired neighborhood while increasing your square footage. Make your current home, your dream home by investing in additions like extras bedrooms or bathrooms. Every 1,000 square feet added to a home boosts the sale price by more than 30 percent, according to the 2005 study for the National Association of Realtors. A new trend for home additions is hobby rooms. Whether it's an exercise room or room devoted solely to your antique stamp collection, it will increase the value of your home. The average cost recouped for home additions 53.4% But don't go square footage crazy, you don't want to price yourself out of your current neighborhood.

Call today Steve for a free in-home estimate
(612) 866-2888


Replace Windows: Should You Replace Windows This Winter?

Is this winter the right time to replace your windows?  Take this quiz and find out!

 

It doesn't matter if you have a few windows to replace or if you know you need to replace all of them.  Finding the right time to do it is tricky.   At Universal Windows Direct, our installers work year-round making Minnesota homes warmer and more comfortable.   Replacing windows will not only keep you and your family more comfortable but it will increase the value of your home.     Winter savings make now a great time to move forward on the project.  

Download our free eBook to lean what questions to ask a contractor before you hire him.

   

Ready for that quote?   Call us today and we'll schedule you for a day, night, or weekend that is convenient for you!   612-866-2888.

 

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

 

 

 

 

Window Replacement: Do you Check the Contractor's Insurance Before You Sign a Contract?

Replacing Windows in your home can be a long and confusing process.   Once a decision is made on a window purchase,  contractor details can be overlooked.    

 

The results are not surprising.   If you're like most people you care about the level of liability insurance your contractor carries,  but when you're in the thick of decision making on windows you don't think of it.   You and your window buying partner are choosing styles, colors, glass upgrades, and often trying to fit the windows you want replaced in to your budget.    By the time you've come to decisions on all of that,  it can be hard to remember if your contractor carries insurance.   Did it come up when you first met him?  Did you ask to see it?  Did he say he had it but you didn't see it?    Suddenly, the excitement of buying new windows can be clouded by panic that you may not have hired the right person for the job.  

 

Next time you meet with a contractor to discuss a project, arm yourself with information.     Download our FREE eBook on "9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor"  and feel confident in your decision to hire.

  

 

 

Replacement Windows: Now or Later?

 

Replacement Windows: To replace Now or later? That is the question.

People like you ask us all the time… do I need to replace my windows now or should I wait until later?  How do I know if now the right time is?  I don’t want to regret my decision; but I have a lot of projects going on right now.   Should I do my ___________________ (insert project here) first, or replace my windows first?

If you listen to any window salesman talk he will say NOW NOW NOW!    Every radio commercial you hear and every advertisement you see might make it look like you absolutely need to drop everything and get your windows replaced immediately.  

Guess what?   You don’t.  There are situations with every homeowner in every home where you can wait to replace them.    Maybe your windows are old, but still seem to be working just fine.   Maybe the seal has failed but the window is in a back bedroom that sits empty.   Maybe starting with the windows in your main living space would make you more comfortable.   Maybe you really WANT new windows to make a space look fresh but realistically you know they aren’t dire and you can save money by waiting. Here is the thing.   Maybe you’re right.  

Download our FREE infographic on “Replacement Windows:  Now or later?“  and see for yourself. 

When you’re ready, contact us.  We’ll give you a free, no obligation quote,  talk to you about interest free financing AND even introduce our Guaranteed Price Program.

Author: Melissa Brager

 

Related Article:

9 Questions to ask before you hire a contractor

 

 

 

Steve the Window Guy and Universal Windows Direct, MN earn Angie's List Super Service Award 2014

 

 

 

 

Universal Windows Direct Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

 

 

 

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

 

 

 

Universal Windows Direct has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

  

Steve the Window Guy, owner of Universal Windows Direct said, “As a family owned business, earning the trust and the praise of our customers is the most important thing to us.   We are honored to once again receive this award.  It lets us know that our hard work and determination is paying off.”

  

“Only about 5 percent of the Window companies in Twin Cities have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

  

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

  

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

 

 

 

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Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Confident Hiring A Contractor

 

Replacing windows, siding, doors, and roofing is a scary idea for a lot of people.   It can be scary if you've never done it before and you don't know where to start.  It can even more scary if you have done it before... but had a bad experience.   Guess what?  It doesn't have to be.  Knowing the right questions to ask when you're hiring a contractor is a great first step in a successful home improvement.  Not only that, but feeling confident in your decision and knowing that your contractor is professional will give you the peace of mind you need. 

 

Steve the Window Guy, with Universal Windows Direct MN, can help.   Download this free eBook today and get started.   You'll be glad you did!   We would love the opportunity to earn your business.  Call us at 612-866-2888 to schedule a free, no obligation estimate.  Or, contact us via email and we'll call you to schedule.   Happy home improvements!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replacement Window Cost: What does it cost to replace a window?

What does a window cost?  

You know you need to replace some windows but you really feel you need to get an idea of what windows cost before you let a sales guy into your home.   You do a quick web search, you call a few places, and find you aren’t really getting a straight answer.   Frustrating!     What does a window cost?   It seems like it should be a straight answer.  But it isn’t.   You wouldn’t call a car dealership and ask what a car costs would you?   The last time you wanted a house did you call a Realtor and ask what a house costs?   No – because with those purchases you’ve made them before and you understand that quality, options, brand, and features all make a difference in the bottom line price.

Guess what?  Windows are the same way.  {gallery}double hung{/gallery}

Sure, you can buy a window for $189 but you can also  buy a window for $1500 or more.   That is a wide range and not particularly helpful.  So when you call and ask us what a window costs we can't tell you.   We aren’t trying to be rude.   We need to understand what you’re shopping for so we can be helpful.   The answer to each of the questions below will impact the price of the window. 

 

How big is the window?

What style is the window?

Are you looking at vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum clad, a composite or a mix?

Do you want the window unfinished, primed, stained, painted, an upgraded vinyl color?

Do you want double pane or triple pane glass?

Do you care about energy efficiency?  You can have air, argon or krypton in the panes of glass

How many coats of Low E do you want?

Which spacer do you want in the glass package?

Does the window need to be tempered glass or egress size to meet code?

Do want the glass obscured?

Do you want to upgrade your screen to a full screen or a smaller weave?

Do you want grids or etched glass?

What is the condition of the existing window frame?   Does the sill need to be rebuilt?

Are we doing the install or are you?

Is the install a pocket / retrofit / replacement or is it a full frame install?

Is nailing fin required?

Will new stops, sills and jamb need to be built?  If yes, are we looking at pine or oak?  Will you paint or stain when we’re done?

How does the interior casing look?  Can we re-use it?

 

You don't have to know all of these answers right now.   The purpose of an in-home estimate is to help you and your window buying partner understand what these options mean, and decide what you're really buying so we can give you a price.  

Every window replacement job is going to be different, and different factors and decisions will play into the cost.  If you know you need to replace windows in your home and you want to get an idea on what it will cost you, an in-home estimate is the only way.   Let a window consultant come into your home and help you and your window buying partner decide what you want in your home.  In -home estimates should be free, and should not come with an obligation to buy.

Contact Steve the Window Guy today and get started with that quote.  

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

 

Want more info?  Check out these blogs:

 

Choosing a glass package

Choosing window colors and options

 

 

 

 

 

Now Hiring: Marketing Manager

Marketing Manager needed to work in our Bloomington, MN office.

 

Who we are:   

  • We are a local, family – owned company with offices in Bloomington, MN.  
  • Steve the Window Guy is a brand of our business.   Universal Windows Direct is our company name, and ties us to a pretty awesome group of dealers and resources throughout the country.
  • We work hard, we take our work seriously, and we laugh a lot.  
  • We love cheeseburgers & popcorn and some days we have a toddler in the office.

What we do:

  • We make homes warmer, cozier, and prettier.
  • We sell and install windows, siding, roofing, front doors, patio doors, and attic insulation
  • We do what we say we’re going to do and we take pride in our work.
  • We all pitch in.  We all share ideas.  We all work together to meet our goals.

What you’ll do:

  • You’ll make sure we have appointments in the books for our sales guys to run.
  • You’ll hire, train, and manage a small staff of people who will set appointments by
    • Working home shows and events
    • Marketing our products door to door
    • Working in a call center
  • You’ll work shows, you’ll market door to door, and you’ll make phone calls, too
  • You’ll work tirelessly to help the team meet our goals.

Your background will include:

  • College degree in business, management, marketing, or similar field.
  • 2+ years in a customer service field;
  • 1+ years supervising staff
  • 1+ years working in a call center or canvassing preferred
  • Proficiency with Microsoft word, excel, and internet programs. 
  • You will need to be able to lift 50-75 pounds. 
  • You will need to be able to stand on your feet for up to 8 hours a day.

 

To apply: Send resume and letter of interest with salary requirements to Melissa at mbrager@universalwindowsdirect.com.

To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.SteveTheWindowGuy.com   or www.UniversalWindowsMN.com

 

 

 

Window Guys can be awesome. A story from Universal Windows Direct.

      Getting a quote for replacement windows doesn't have to be awful.    I took a call from a new customer yesterday and we spoke for about 5 minutes or so.   Although she was calling to schedule the measure for her new windows, she spent most of the time raving to me about how great our salesman Zach was in the house.    

 

  Here are some highlights.

 ·        He was on time.

·        He was a great listener.

·        He was genuinely easy to have in the house.

·        He was very knowledgeable about the product.

·        He answered all their questions.

·        He was a delight.

 

She went on to tell me that even though they cancelled the other appointments for window quotes they still had a guy show up the very next night.  Wrinkled.  In a baseball cap.   Pushy about giving them a quote even though they already bought.   Driving a luxury vehicle.  

I’m not surprised at all.   Zach is the best.   His behavior and the way he presents himself in a home is not an accident.   We know that replacement window salesman are a rather smarmy bunch.   We made the decision very early on that we would go into the home prepared.  And clean.   In un-wrinkled clothing free of pet hair and stains.   Our shirts and/or our jackets would carry our logo.   And always, we’d carry a smile AND a sample into the home.  

 

Does that seem like common sense?  

It is.  

So why doesn’t everyone do it that way?

Who knows.

 

If you are sipping your coffee, looking out into the snowy windy outdoors and knowing that your winter will be cozier if you replace a few of those windows, call us.  

We'll send Zach out and you'll be delighted too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Things.. Weekly Recap from Steve the Window Guy

Happy Halloween from your favorite window guy!

Enjoy this blog post showing our top 8 highlights from the past week!

 

 

  1. We are blessed with an incredible team of installers  - from windows and doors to siding to roofing.   This week we blessed them right back with the addition of a fenced in dumpster on site by our warehouse.  
  2. Installs include not one but two amazing bay windows, several houses full of windows, and a patio door.   
  3. The siding on the duplex was completed and Jamie and the boys rolled right into their next house.  
  4. Our warehouse is taking shape with the addition of a wall to really clarify our space.  It's been a long time coming and we're thrilled.
  5. We joined Instagram!  Follow us at StevetheWindowGuy for a behind the scenes look at our business.
  6. We somehow managed to return calls and run all of our appointments even though Steve the Window Guy lost his voice.   Nothing creepier than a sales guy who shows up and just whispers, right?
  7. We are loading up for a show in Maple Grove as we speak.
  8. And...  we managed to find time for pumpkin carving.  Our little window toddler didn't like it so much.  It was too messy for her.  Who does that sound like?

We hope your week was grand!  Have a safe and SWEET Halloween.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back on Saturday night!