Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities: Our Year in Review 2013

We love the opportunity to be reflective, celebrate our success and growth over the past year, and then turn the page to a new and exciting year to come.

Wow.   It is hard to believe another year has raced by us!  We love the opportunity to be reflective, celebrate our success and growth over the past year, and then turn the page to a new and exciting year to come.

steve and t at champlinWe are a family business, so blurred lines are a way of life for us.  If you call the office you might hear the baby making noise. If you come inside there will be toys everywhere.   If there is something fun happening for the family, the office takes a back seat and if there is a home show or event in the area, Tessie and I will definitely be there to check it out and visit Steve.

At the same time, when we have big home shows or long weeks working the county fairsfunfest, we rely on our fantastic family community to take Tessie into their homes to care for her, play with her, and love her.  She is a total jellyfish just going with the flow and adapting to every different house or situation she is thrown in to.     Those county fair days were crazy with a different house every day but she was a rock star.  I think it was easier for her than for me!

smiling install 1Just as we rely on each customer for their loyal support and business, we rely on our installers for their dependability and eye for quality work, and we rely on our family and friends to be our backbone and ultimate support system.  We cannot thank all of you enough.

2013 was a busy year for us!  Our Tessie morphed before our eyes from an adorable lump of a baby just learning to crawl to a full on toddler with all of the activity (times one thousand) that comes with that.   Our fantastic installer of 4 years left us to get married, build a house and move to a union job – forcing us to do our best to replace him.   If you met Matt you know those were big shoes to fill.. And we are thrilled to have Brad and his crew doing just that.   We also added a part time employee to the office to help with all of the daily work that piles up!  She makes life easier for us every single day.

Heat Stopper TechnologyFrom a product perspective, we saw great changes to our exclusive UniShield Windows and Doors, like enhanced glass packages, heat stopper technology, Innergy fiberglass reinforcements, and brand new glass designs in our entry doors.  We stepped up our siding business and continued to sell the awesome insulated backed Craneboard that customers just love.  BROLL_UWD_steve meeting_12.00min 0045 We even moved into roofing and were able to achieve the status of Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor.  Business was booming, we enjoyed a busier than average summer and fall, and our storage was overflowing on more than one occasion.   We had our biggest year ever and feel this is definitely a good sign for the economy, don’t you?

BBB  A+ RatingNot only were we busy, but we managed to win a few awards! At the 2013 Minneapolis friendlyHome and Garden Show we won the award for Friendliest Exhibitor one day!  We were named the Favorite Window Company by readers of the Sun Newspapers, and we achieved the Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2013.    We continue to be one of the top Universal Windows Direct Dealers in the Nation and we have maintained our A+ BBB rating for 5 years.

cake head onOf course, we took time out of work for family events, meeting our new niece and nephew, swimming lessons, visiting the beach, going to the zoo, and celebrating Tessie’s First Birthday.   We continued our tradition of a family themed Halloween Costumes, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner and we went completely wild for halloweenChristmas!   Somehow we managed to give Tessie 90% hand me down toys and I was able to surprise Steve with a new snow blower under the tree.  Whoop whoop!

snowblower tree



As we look in to 2014 we know we will continue to see changes.   Our window and door lines will continue to be tweaked to provide even better energy saving benefits to homeowners.   We will take full advantage of our Owens Corning Preferred Roofing Contractor Status, and will step up our attic insulation business as well.  We are hiring for in home sales, and additional siding and roofing installers,  we are planning some cool new displays for the Home and Garden show at the end of February and are already planning Tessie’s Golden  2nd Birthday Party Extravaganza for this May.

Our biggest news is summed up in this poem:

“Twas the Day before Christmas (Eve) and all through our house we were brimming with excitement…. Even the mouse!

A building we noticed quite a long time ago was available and perfect! We couldn’t say no!

Room for a warehouse and our offices and trailers Even a room to assemble our mailers!

Space for storage and plenty of room to grow... With a playroom for Tessie... we were a GO!

We scooped up the baby and scraped the snow off our cars Then dashed to the building, signed the lease and it’s OURS!”

That’s right!   In the coming month we will be moving into a new office space and we are thrilled!

family lease day

Follow us on Twitter for a behind the scenes look at the move.   #UWDMoves

Like us on Facebook for current activity, product info and lots of pictures

Call us any time for free quotes on any of our fabulous home improvement products.   We sell direct to the consumer or remodeler, we sell fully installed solutions, and we can meet the requirements of most every townhome or housing association.   We work with realtors, landlords and investors who buy and sell homes.  We would love the opportunity to work with you and your contacts.  Please keep us in mind for the coming year.  612-866-2888

Cheers!  Be Safe and Enjoy a Wonderful 2014!

Author:  Melissa Brager


Window Replacement: Choosing Colors and Grid Patterns

Window color and grid patterns are just a few of the decisions you have to make when choosing a replacement window for your home.    When you invite us out for a consultation we will help you choose from a variety of options.   Generally, you should have an idea of if you want to keep the same sort of look as you have in your home now or if you are interested in changing it.   Replacing windows in your home makes an impact and choosing a different color and adding, changing or removing grids can increase that impact tremendously!

This window is a 3 lite bay in cherry wood grain with the oak framed stained to match,  with wood grain prairie grids.   

Replacement Window Colors

When choosing new windows,  the way they look is almost as important as the way they perform.  Obviously as you choose your windows you want them to be super energy efficient.. But that is on the inside.  The fact of the matter is that the outside of the window is what you’ll look at all the time and what you’ll see when you pull up to your house.  So what do you like?  Are you drawn to a brand new white window because it looks like a fresh and new house?   Do you prefer a tan vinyl to soften it up a bit or a dark brown to match the style of your home?  Better yet, does a wood grain interior option give you the extra warmth in a room you crave?   With four different interior wood grains to choose from we are confident we can help you choose one that go well with your living space. Let's not forget,  the joy of vinyl - even a wood grain vinyl - is that it is maintenance free and will look wonderful for years. 

Replacement Window Grid Options

Similarly, window grids can change the appearance of your windows.   You can put grids on just the top sash, the top and bottom sash, or choose no grids at all.  For a more modern look some people like just 2 vertical bars in their window with no horizontal.   If you’ve had the traditional colonial style grids in your house you might want to switch to a prairie view.  You may even want to remove the grids entirely and enjoy a clear view out to the back yard,  or highlight a special room in your house with an etched floral view.   Check out our website for a more complete listing of color and grid patterns available to you.


For a more in-depth guide on window options along with some insider tips and tricks on buying download our FREE eBook here.  


We are a shop at home company specializing in replacing windows, siding, roofs and front entry doors.   As we sit with you and learn about what you want to change on your home we can provide the best product and color options to you.  You can expect lots of questions from us as we try to understand what you're looking for.  For that reason,  it is best if both homeowners are there.   We commit to giving you a detailed, same day estimate.  



Author:  Melissa Brager 


Good Stuff?   Check out some of our other recent blog posts!

1.  Curb Appeal Matters When Selling Your Home

2.  What to do if you think you have storm damage on your home

3.  Windows, Siding and Roofing are investments into your home


Steve the Window Guy for Universal Windows Direct is owned and operated in Bloomington, MN by Steve and Melissa Brager.   Steve and his team are experts at working with people just like you to create a plan for updating and enhancing your home exterior to create beauty, warmth and the curb appeal you dreamed about;  at a price within your budget.    We are part of a national dealer network that has catapulted the company to the 16th remodeler in the Nation*.  Locally we have an A+ rating with the BBB with zero complaints and have won the Angie's Super Service Award 5 consecutive years.  Steve has been recognized by Universal Windows Direct as National Dealer of The Year three different times for his hard work and dedication.    Updating your home can be easy.  Contact us today!

*Source: 2017 Qualified Remodeler Top 500 list