Foggy Windows: Why are my new windows fogging up?

This blog post reviews why you might see fog on your brand new windows.

Has this ever happened to you?    You step into the kitchen to get a hot cup of coffee and notice that the entire window is fogged up.

Like this.fogged up window

You freak out.   Didn’t that window guy tell you that a fogged up window is a sign of seal failure?   Didn’t he say that his windows had this amazing warranty so they were guaranteed not to fog up?   You just spent all this money on new windows and now this?

You’re mad.  You panic.

Deep breath.

This is normal. Your new windows are still awesome.

 

Here is the thing.   There are two kinds of condensation that can be on windows: Exterior Condensation.  The kind you can drag your finger through and leave a drippy mess. Interior Condensation.   The kind that is in between the panes of glass.    You can’t touch it.

What causes condensation on your windows?

  1. Exterior condensation is typically found when temperatures outside are very hot and humid, and the temperature inside is very cool and dry.  Like August in MN.  Like today.
  2. Interior condensation is typically found when your window seal has failed – so all the gas has escaped and any wind and water that wants to gather and get trapped in between the window panes is welcome to.

So as you can see, exterior condensation is really nothing to worry about.   If it is indoors you can reduce humidity.  If it is outdoors you can be happy that it is summer because we all know that in Minnesota, summer is fleeting.

Steve The Window Guy

 

However, if you interior condensation and are afraid that your windows have failed, call us.   We’ll send Steve the Window Guy out to your home to take a look, diagnose the problem, and give you a quote on some new energy efficient windows.

 

 

Author:  Melissa Brager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Fairs: Universal Windows Direct works the County Fair

Read this blog for a behind the scenes look at Universal Windows Direct working the Anoka County Fair.

It’s a glamorous life. County fairs.

photo 1 (2) The view from my booth today is much the same as it has been every day with one small exception. Today there is a cheese curd sitting in the doorway.

I am fortunate to have a great spot. We are the first booth you can see when you enter the building and our display spreads out across the entire wall. This allows us to display windows, siding, asphalt shingles, steel roofing, entry doors and we even have a little patio door sample here!

During the day I love watching the 4H kids come through here. The wild messy hair, the dirty jeans and the cowboy boots are perfectly accessorized by the pride those kids have and their super confident walks. When a group of kids walks through you can always tell which kid is the 4H kid and which ones are friends and family here for a visit. They just carry themselves differently.

Have you ever been to a county fair?  If you have, I bet you went at night. Or over the weekend. Day times at the fair are slow. People meander. They stroll. They generally look around at what the fair has to offer, then they indulge in a corn dog. Or mini donuts. Well, and cheese curds. Always cheese curds.

I think most people check out the animal buildings. Then they walk through the midway, and then MAYBE… just MAYBE they decide to go into the commercial buildings.(Just to get out of the sun for a minute or two.)  Very seldom do daytime fair people come in to the commercial building with the intent to truly visit with the vendors, to learn about products or to schedule appointments. The meandering county fair crowd is not known for having an agenda.

County Fairs get exciting at night time. That is when they have bands play, the grandstand hosts their festivities and the Midway lights up. The energy is just different. Crowds flood the streets and people want to stay and soak it all in. This includes the commercial buildings. And talking to vendors. And scheduling appointments. Nights and weekends at the fair... that’s where it’s at.

photo 2 (2)As I write this it occurs to me that when you staff a county fair you want to do it in a way that is opposite of how you train a horse. You do not want to “break” your best sales people early. You don't want them to be so bored and hot and burned out from the week that they are worthless all weekend.

Those employees that are the best at working with people and asking for the appointment should only work nights and weekends. For example, Steve the Window Guy will be here Friday night and all day Saturday.  He will burst into this building like a game show contestant  - smiling from ear to ear and clapping.  He will infuse the  building with energy.  That is perfect.  You should really save the boring early week day time hours for other people. Like me.

I love working the slow daytime hours. My typical days look like this. The fair opens at 10am. I walk into the building and set up the booth. I greet the same handful of  people that have been around me all week. We exchange quips about our night. We speculate on the weather. We comment that it is at least 15 muggy degrees warmer in the building than it is outside. We see the other vendors wandering around doing their thing too.

Side note:  If it is 10:20 am and a single man in a polo shirt slowly walks by the booth looking curious he is working at the fair. At another home improvement company. Without exception. They aren’t sneaky.  They are all nosy.    I hope they like our booth. I think it looks amazing.   I like that they notice.

I bring a laptop. Most everyone has their phones, or puzzles or a newspaper or novel to keep them occupied.   The fair has been open for 90 minutes right now and there is only one person in this building. I can get some work done. I am accessible if needed, but I am productive.

Later this afternoon I will wander and find a snack. Maybe a Dole Whip and maybe some Kettle Korn. I promised the girls at Tessie’s Daycare Cotton Candy. A bit of fresh air will do me good. In the meantime, I sit. I hold down the fort.    I am proud that I am keeping my sales guys fresh so when the crowds arrive and the buyers flock in they can work their magic.   We are poised to have a great Fair.

If you are at the fair this year, stop out and say HI.  We'd love to see you! Reporting live from the Anoka County Fair… peace out.

Author: Melissa Brager

Radio!: Steve the Window Guy records radio spots!

Steve the Window Guy recorded his first radio spots this morning. Read this blog for a behind the scenes look!

Steve The Window Guy

 

Radio.   Radio!  RADIO!!!   (So many ways you can say it!)   We are taking the plunge into radio advertising!  After talking and planning and writing ad copy for the last few weeks today was the big day and we recorded our spots!

We were both nervous but the kind of nervous where you don’t talk about it – you just both know it is there.    The morning was busy as we got our peanut dropped off at Primrose, we got the installers going, met a contractor who was placing an order, sent in payroll and generally tried to get our desks in order.   By 9:15 we were on our way!

radio recording 2We recorded at Clear Channel Studios in St Louis Park.   From the minute the elevator doors opened we knew we were in a creative space!  Shiny stainless steel looking floors, bright colors and lots of pictures were everywhere!   We got there early, of course, so we were treated to a wonderful conversation with a studio exec who was so warm and positive and genuine that all of our nerves melted away on the spot.

He gave us the quick tour of the offices where we went into the very very cool Studio C and we were able to catch a glimpse of KDWB, KFAN and K102 recording their shows.   We popped in quick to meet Lee Valsvick and we ran into Keri Noble and Adam West in the hallways.     If radio personalities you hear all the time can be normal people in jeans and a cozy hoodie then what could we possibly be worried about, right?Steve The Window GUy

By the time we entered our studio to record we were ready!   Both our marketing guru Loni and the sound genius Dave  made it really easy to get a finished product we are excited about.   Doesn't Steve look professional?

 

Steve might say it wasn’t really easy, but no one gets it perfect the first time.  We recorded the same words and the same phrases about one hundred times.  We edited copy on the spot, we swapped our phrases, we re-ordered things, and we recorded until it was perfect.

Do you wish you were a fly on the wall?  Click here for a  quick taste:  Steve the Window Guy Recording In Action

Literally one hour later we walked out with 2 completed 15 second spots.  It felt incredibly productive and wonderful.

Our spots will be running on KFAN and on MYTALK 107.1 starting next week in the 6-9am slots.  Tune in on your way to work and when you hear our ads tell us.   Write on our Facebook Page and tell us what you think.  WE hope you love them as much as we do!

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in the market for windows, siding, doors or roofing, contact us for a free quote!   I’ll send Steve The Window Guy out to your home and you’ll have a blast!

 

Author: Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Shows: Steve the Window Guy Closes out Spring Home Shows

This blog gives a behind the scenes look at our life working home shows!

We survived.

The spring home show season for 2014 is officially over for us.

show staff Some companies hire a staff of people who do nothing but work shows.   We chose not to do that.   Steve, Zach and I work most of them.   We prefer to have people in our booth who know the product and can have an intelligent conversation with you.    Zach, Dave, Joe, Sarah and Mike are all people we adore both personally and professionally.    They are smart.  They are helpful.  They are knowledgeable.  They are good people and we trusted them to represent our company.   Having that level of trust made those big huge long shows very successful for us.   More importantly, their help meant we didn't have to be there every minute.

Home shows are a lot of hours.  Still, they are the best way to get our name out to the local communities.      Are they the only way for us to personally connect with homeowners and potential customers?  YES!   Are they hands down the best way for a prospective customer to see the quality of our replacement windows and doors while comparing to the competition?  ABSOLUTELY!

But is working a home show every weekend easy?  NO!

While everyone else is winding down their Friday and calculating how much longer they have to pretend to work before Happy Hour , we are just getting started.  We are loading the truck.  We are printing our move-in instructions.  We are gambling with rush hour traffic; trying to get a bit more done in the office before we go set up.

sarah showHave you ever seen a home show get set up?  It’s like one of those little Chinese puzzles we used to get as kids at birthday parties.  Everyone is jockeying for a spot by the door.  Everyone is frantically unloading their stuff and dumping it into their booth so they can move the truck and the next guy can get in.  It isn’t a calm process.

Then, once all of our displays are inside we arrange the booth.   Do you think the booth would be easy to arrange every time?  It isn’t!   We have different set ups every single time based on the location and size of the booth, the number of corners the booth has, whether or not we’re on the end, and even what show it is.     This means once everything is unloaded we do the whole scratching our head thing and start moving stuff until it feels right.    (Not unlike when we moved into our home trying to decide the best spot for the sofa!)

We do our best.  We make a list of what we forgot, and we head home.  Do we stop for ice cream?  Yes.  Most days.

If we are both working, the “show prep” continues with prepping the babysitter for the next day.   We try to clean the house so we don’t look like total slobs.   We try to make sure there is food for the sitter and for the baby… and we usually do an okay job at it.      Just like that our Friday night is shot.

Saturday Mornings are crazy.  We are busy getting up and ready to go.  We need a big breakfast.  We need to pack a lunch.  We spend what time we can with our daughter.   We greet the babysitter and give her last minute instructions, then we race off to buy the caffeine we’ll need for the day and then race to the show.    Often we stop at the office to grab something.   More often then I’d like to admit, we stop at the grocery store to buy food for lunch.   And a doughnut.   (our nutrition suffers). Doughnut

By the time the show opens we are ready to go and we work.   We talk to hundreds of people every day.  We demo our replacement windows.  We show the quality of our steel and fiberglass entry doors.    We talk about the benefit of being a preferred contractor with Owens Corning for our roofing.   We talk until we cannot talk any more.  Then we ride home in silence.   Exhausted.

The next day we repeat the whole routine..  with the added bonus of tear down.    At the end of the show we tear it all down, pack it all up, re-load the truck, jockey for loading space in the back of the show space and then take it all home.  And unload it all back in to the warehouse.   Sunday night is usually a late night.

Then on Monday morning the week starts all over again.   The phone keeps ringing, orders keep getting placed, jobs keep getting installed, and our sales guys keep running appointments.   We look ahead to the next weekend and what we need to do to get ready.

For us, home show season starts at the end of January and goes until mid-April.   We have a few weekends off, but for the most part we are working every weekend.  It is necessary.  It is beneficial.  It is tiring.  It is exhausting.

weides at the home showIf you talked to us at a show this year, thank you very much.     We appreciate your time and consideration.    We love our company.   We believe in our products and we strive to do the best possible job for you and your family.

Next weekend we have a weekend.   This is going to feel new to us.  And it is going to feel so very  GOOD.   I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, if you or someone you know is in the market for replacement windows,  doors, siding or roofing, please contact us for a free quote.

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Related Articles:

Why you should go to a Home Show

Tips for Visiting Companies at a Home Shows

Finding a Contractor you can trust

 

 

 

 

Universal Windows Direct Earns Angie's List Super Service Award 2013!

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 consumer review service in 2013.

Universal Windows Direct  Earns Esteemed 2013 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 consumer review service in 2013.

“We are so proud to have been given this honor. We work hard for our customers, and we are always pleased to see that they are happy with our business. We would like to thank everyone that universal windows direct mnhelped us receive this award.”

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Universal Windows Direct competes with in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul are in Minnesota are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 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, have a fully complete profile, 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. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Angie's List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie's List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive

Happy New Year from Universal Windows Direct

This blog gives an update on our week at the Seminar and shares some plans for 2014!

 

Universal Windows Direct is ready for an AWESOME New Year!   Are you?

At Universal Windows Direct we are very excited about 2014 and having our best year ever. Our goal is a lofty one, but we know that with the help of an amazing staff, awesome installers, and people like you we can do it!

Last week we were fortunate to attend the 2014 Universal Windows Direct Success Seat sucess seminarminar. We were happy to escape the 30 below MN weather to go to the beautiful Marriot Hotel in Downtown Cleveland Ohio – where it was a balmy 20 degrees! For several days we enjoyed numerous seminars on business growth, advertising, marketing, and sales. Not only that, but we benefitted greatly from listening to the stories of our dealer partners from around the country. It is amazing how so many people with different experiences and different backgrounds can come together and help each other grow. We walked away from the meeting exhausted, but ready to put plans into action!

Factory Tour Now THAT is factory direct!

The last day of the seminar was a factory tour at Polaris. There is something very very cool about being in the factory and actually watching all of the men and women who work there building the product that we sell. There is an enormous amount of pride there, and we love that our business is part of what keeps them busy. We were super impressed at not only the cleanliness of the factory but the efficiency of the process. Perhaps the highlight of the tour was noticing our most recent order of window completed, and ready to be loaded. This window will be installed within the next 2 weeks!

How did Tessie do? She rocked. Our little jellyfish spent 5 days and nights with 5 different people, in 5 different houses and sleeping in 5 different beds.  Playing cousins, demanding kisses every second and loving every minute of it..  She even went to a huge family birthday party so she literally spent time with everyone!  Tessie and Jake Jan14 Have I mentioned our blessed we are? Thank you a million times over to our community of family members who will take her in, love her and play with her until she reaches exhaustion! We missed her like crazy but we know she had fun. So here we are. Back in the office prepping for our move, consolidating our notes, and poised to put our plans in to action. Get ready to see a lot more of Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities in the coming year.  Our office is nearing completion,  we are planning a job fair and we excited at the possibilities.

Last but not least, if you or anyone you know is considering replacing their windows, Universal Windows DIrectsiding, entry doors, patio doors, roofing or attic insulation give us a call! Quotes are always free and we will provide you with the information you need to make a decision along with a same day – in writing – estimate of the job. Contact us today at through our website at www.universalwindowsmn.com , email us at twincities@universalwindowsdirect.com, or call us in the office at (612) 866-2888.

Chat soon!

Author: Melissa Brager

Recent Articles: 2013 in Review

Introducing UniShield Max

What is Innergy?

Do I want Heat Stopper in my Windows?

UniShield Max: Universal Windows Direct, MN Now Offers UniShield Max Windows

UniShield Max is the latest product development in the exclusive UniShield line of windows sold by Universal Windows Direct dealers across the nation.

UniShield Max is here!

UniShield Max is the latest product development in the exclusive UniShield line of windows sold by Universal Windows Direct dealers across the nation.   In Minnesota, look no further than Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities servicing the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro Area.

The UniShield Max  is an enhanced replacement window that adds construction stability, strength and insulation into the actual frames and sashes.    Combine it with our double pane or triple pane glass packages with argon or krypton fill and you will find yourself with one of the best windows you can buy.

innergy product photoInnergy comes standard with UniShield Max.  Innergy is  an advanced fiberglass reinforced resin insert that is specially designed to slide into window and door chambers to provide greater insulation AND greater support to your window frames. It eliminates the use of  metal or aluminum as a part of the window construction; increasing the window's performance by 700 times over windows with aluminum in them.

Heat Stopper TechnologyHeat Stopper technology is another standard feature in the UniShield Max.   This technology eliminates hollow chambers in the window frame and sashes by filling them.  While  some air circulation in the window frame is needed;  when the entire chamber is empty too much air circulates and the entire outside of the frame and sash can get extremely cold.  Heat stopper can keep more of that cold outside, and the additional structure it provides gives more strength to the window sashes; ensuring that your brand new windows will look brand new for years and years to come.

UniShield Max is simply a combination of the innergy feature, the heat stopper technology, our super spacer, and our energy efficient glass packages.  It truly delivers a strong, long lasting window that is perfect for the Minnesota climate.

So  who is the ideal customer for the UniShield Max?   We believe that every homeowner who likes the no maintenance side of vinyl, and who wants to put an insulated, energy efficient window into their home is going to love the UniShield Max.  Does that sound like you?  Call Steve the Window Guy at today for your free, no obligation estimate!

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Related Articles:

Heat Stopper Technology

Innergy

Energy Efficient Window Contractor

 

Draft Stoppers: Universal Windows Direct suggests using a draft stopper on drafty windows and doors in MN

You don't have to replace your drafty windows before winter. Just get a draft stopper!

door draft stopperSkip replacing your windows and doors this fall.   If they are too drafty to keep you comfortable, you can just use a draft stopper!

Sure Universal Windows Direct would love to earn your business – like every window company out there, but we understand that this fall might not be the best time for you to make that purchase.     And it would be silly to assume that just because your home is drafty that the only solution is replacing your windows and doors.   Why not just get your hands on a few draft stoppers and stop those drafts?

What is a draft stopper, you ask?   It is a cloth shape that is small and narrow - designed to be the width of your door.   You jam it up against the bottom of the door to literally stop the draft.    I think they are fun because I think decorating is fun. And a draft stopper is a practical way of stopping the breeze from disturbing you while at the same time making the room cuter.     Click here for  a tutorial from eHow on how to make your own.

It seems like you could make a few to fit in to all the different cold weather holidays.   Move from a ghost or a witch for Halloween to a pilgrim for Thanksgiving and then a

Santa Door Stopper from Kaboodle.com Santa Door Stopper from Kaboodle.com

snowman for the rest of winter.  Or just choose fabrics that are holiday-ish.  OR.. Like most people, just make one with fabric that matches the décor of your house.  Actually, the amount of patterns and tutorials about draft stoppers that you can find on the internet will surprise you.

Draft stoppers aren’t just for doors.   Go ahead and use one on your windows, too!  Check out this cute options:  draft stopper window 2

Not crafty?  No access to a sewing machine?   Head out to a local craft show and look for one.   Prefer online shopping?  www.etsy.com   you can get anything there.  See?  lots of options!

All joking aside, why are you putting it off?  Don’t get scared off by horror stories of ridiculously inflated window prices. Our exclusive UniShield windows and Doors are some of  the nicest on the market and our factory direct pricing will surprise you.   We don’t do high pressure sales.   Steve The Window Guy is an expert with working with

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!
Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

 

homeowners to break jobs up into multiple pieces that fit nicely into any budget. Not only that, but we offer GE Financing programs to qualified buyers that include both a 12 months same as cash option as well as several options for low monthly payments without a penalty for prepayment ever.

So contact us today to get a free, no obligation estimate.  You'll be glad you did!

Author:  Melissa Brager

Recent Articles:

Fall Home Improvement Projects

Roofing and Siding Replacement

Why you should care about your window warranty

 

 

 

Window Installers - Universal Windows Direct is Hiring Window Installers

Window installers make it all happen.

Let’s face it.   Deciding to get your windows replaced is a big deal.   Everyone knows they have windows that they might like to get replaced when the time is right, or when they get a little worse, or when they get sick of the plastic or when they finally get paid that bonus they’ve been waiting for.   When you start thinking about getting windows replaced you’re thinking about getting the windows replaced.  Period.

What you’re not thinking about:

  1. You’re not thinking about giving up a few hours of your evening to visit with a window salesperson.BROLL_UWD_steve meeting_12.00min 0045
  2. You’re not thinking about the investment you’re not making in your home and how that could help with resale.
  3. You’re not thinking about the hit to your bank account and
  4. I’m guessing you’re not thinking about finally making the decision and then waiting 6-8 weeks to see the windows.

What you’re thinking about.

  1. You’re thinking about GETTING THE WINDOWS INSTALLED.  The end result!
  2. The fresh clean look.
  3. The nice grids between the panes of glass.
  4. The nice double hung windows that tilt in for easy cleaning.
  5. The casement window that actually cranks in.
  6. The ability to see through that patio door that has been fogged for months.

smiling install 1We get it.

When it comes down to it, the installers are the ones who really make it happen.    They arrive at your house with your brand new windows in their trailer.   They pull out the windows you have been so excited to get rid of and before they leave at the end of the day they install all the brand new ones.

Basically, they make your dreams come true.

Now hiring:  Dream fulfillers / Happiness Deliver-ers / Window Installers.    We have immediate openings for experienced window installers.   Must be able to work throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area and be available at least 2 days per week and up to 5 days per week.  We install throughout the winter too and our spring season starts in March.   If you or someone you know might be interested and available contact us today.

We need your help to make people happy throughout the Twin Cities.  Call us today for more info.  612-866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

Related Articles

Meet Steve the Window Guy

Twin Cities Window Replacement Company

How to prepare for your Window Installation

 

 

 

Warranty on Windows: Why Warranty Matters on Replacement Windows

This article is a light hearted look at why warranty matters when buying replacement windows

war·ran·ty [n. wawr-uhn-tee]

"a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer, usually specifying that the manufacturer will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time.

Warranty.

Not too subtely subtitled “how long the manufacturer expects their product to last”

True story.  I have this friend who starts every day by having 2 pieces of toast. With peanut butter (and coffee, of course). One morning her whole morning was disrupted when she realized that her beloved toaster was no longer working.

So.. off to the store she went. She thought buying a toaster would be easy (aren’t they all the same?) but she quickly realized that there are lots of different options. What would she be toasting? 2 slices, 4 slices, or bagels? What color did she want? White, red, stainless steel? Did she want a reheat button? Confusing!! Should she spend more for a popular name brand? Should she just choose an American made product? Does warranty even matter?

Guess what?? She would be having the EXACT SAME decision process if she was buying windows. Everyone starts out thinking every window is the same. Then they start learning about glass package and construction and operation and options and ratings and pretty soon they get overwhelmed. Sometimes they throw up their hands and spend twice as much on a popular name brand. Sometimes they choose an American made product, and replacement windowsometimes (SOMETIMES) they look at warranty.

 

Here is the thing. Warranty matters. Every single time on every single product you ever buy. It doesn’t matter how long you shop or how hard the buying decision is for you  -  even how much you spend. Warranty matters. I believe that the bigger the investment, the more the decision should be based on the warranty.

So no surprise that I also believe that when you are looking to make an investment in your home that the warranty of the product should be high on the list of things you look at. Why would you choose to spend more money on a product that you know you will need to replace in 15 or 20 years.

Given the choice  which would you choose? 1) All the options you want, reasonable price, 30 year non pro-rated warranty. 2) All the options you want, up to twice as expensive, 15 year prorated warranty.

Don’t waste your money on a product with a poor warranty.   Get all the options you want, spend an amount of money you are comfortable with and always check the warranty!

Call Steve the Window Guy from Universal Windows Direct and have him show you our exclusive line of windows and doors. He can work with you to determine the options, color and styles that work best with your house. Give him a chance to show you how our warranty is one of the best in the business, and how our factory direct pricing model can save you hundreds of dollars on your next project.

Author: Melissa Brager Related Articles:

 

Universal Windows Direct at Father Hennepin Days 2013

Universal Windows Direct will be participating in the Father Hennepin Days Business Expo June 8, 2013 !

We have done so many Home Shows and Summer Events that we have preparing for them and packing down to a science.   We bring different samples for different size booths, for example.   We bring carpet to an indoor event and lots of bungee cords and weights to outdoor events so our tent doesn't blow away.   When we are done packing the back of the truck is a work of art.  Every single thing is in its place.

But that was before baby.  She is 13 months now so she is at a more "normal" place schedule wise.  This means we can take her with us to more of these summer events.  So Father Hennepin Days is officially moving into a Family Fun Day that won't even feel like work!     We can spend some time in the tent with Steve and then we can explore the rest of the Festival.   I checked the Father Hennepin Days Event Schedule today and in addition to the Business Expo there is a Craft Fair, Carnival Rides, a Petting Zoo and a Skateboard Park...  just to name a few events.  We'll just bombard her senses and then she'll take a huge nap.   Right?   The weather is supposed to be very nice and mild so she might even get to nap in the stroller outside in the fresh air.    I don't know about you, but that sounds divine to me.

That's all for now.   We'll post pictures of the fun tomorrow on our Facebook page.

Oh - PS - If you are in the area we'd love for you to stop by our booth and see Steve the Window Guy!   We'll have samples of windows, siding, doors and roofing, brochures, and even some coupons.

Enjoy your weekend!

Melissa Brager

Universal Windows Direct, MN

Recent Blog Posts

Get better bug protection with upgraded screens

Who is Steve the Window Guy

Universal Windows Direct gears up for summer

 

Hello Summer!: Universal Windows Direct MN is excited for Summer!

Bring out the white shoes and fire up the grill..  this weekend is the official start to Summer!  This is always cause for celebration but when you've just survived 7 months of winter and have written off spring entirely, this is even better.

funfestAs a home improvement company summer means no more indoor home shows with sensible shoes and pressed shirts.  Bring out the shorts and the sunglasses because we will be outside in parks, in tents, and even on the side of the road.    Instead of being flanked by window and siding companies we are likely to be flanked by a liquor store, a local gym or a real estate agent.   We say goodbye to packing sensible "home show"  lunches and say hello to packing gallons of water and  enjoying yummy food truck food.  Can you say "deep fried apple pie?" I can.   With a side of cinnamon ice cream, please.   This year we look forward to bringing our baby to these fun summer events so she can enjoy the action and energy of the midway,  and maybe even a few rides or a taste of cotton candy.   And who knows, if she can help us pull in an extra lead or two all the better!

Ask any window replacement company and they will gladly tell you their installers LOVE working in the summer.   Winters get slow and winters get rough and all summer does is get sunny!  Yeah!!

Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN! Steve The Window Guy sells more than just windows in MN!

When we're not outside work/playing at events we've got new marketing campaigns to work on,  new products to share with you, enhancements to our existing products and a new salesman to introduce to you.

On a personal note we are looking forward to being outside.   I plan on  going to the park, enjoying hot afternoons in the pool, and drinking lemonade with friends and watching some baseball games.  I have always dreamed of having an outdoor living space... totally not practical in MN..  but I do have my outside furniture out and my grill cleaned.   What else?  Burger Friday is Back!    Check our Facebook page every Friday for awesome and yummy burger recipes.   We don't just stick to beef.  You'll see some great chicken, pork, turkey and meat-free burger recipes too.

I. Am. Ready.  How do YOU celebrate the beginning of Summer?

Author:  Melissa Brager

Recent Posts:

Meet Steve the Window Guy

Making Us Memorable

Go with your gut!

 

Universal Windows Direct: Making us Memorable

Window replacement companies in the Twin Cities.   Do you want to guess at how many there are?   It seems like there are thousands.   I can only imagine how confusing it must be for a homeowner to make a decision on which company to call for an estimate.     Even when a homeowner goes to a home show to look at windows it can be overwhelming because (and I swear I am not exaggerating here) 25-50% of the vendors at some shows will sell you a window.  Is it easier if you are looking for a siding or roofing contractor?  I don't think so.

Remember Us?

The challenge for us is being memorable.  So what can we do to become memorable?  When you see us at a home show what makes you stop and talk to us?   When you are surfing online for information what makes you stop on our page and explore for awhile?  What can we do to help you remember us?

I overhear sales guys on the phone making calls to homeowners they just met last week.  Those phone calls oftentimes start like this.  "From Universal Windows Direct. Universal Windows Direct.  Universal.  Windows. Direct." Our name just isn't ringing any bells to them.   They have looked at and talked to so many different window companies that everybody has started to sound alike. No matter how much fun they had in their home talking about their project with us, they just don't remember that the guy calling them on the phone is the one they liked.  Sometimes the homeowners actually say "Hold on while I get my notes"  and then they come back and say "OH HI!!  We like you!  Thanks for calling!"

Sure, it sounds a bit crazy but it makes sense.  It is human nature.   Shopping for windows can be like shopping for that perfect pair of dress pants.   Do you remember the last time you ventured into the Mall looking for pants?  After shopping for hours you finally decide on the perfect pair and you get ready to make your purchase.  But where was that store again?   What was the name of it?   Suddenly every store you go in to looks the same.   All the pants look the same.   All the sales people  sound the same.   You're so overwhelmed that you don't care anymore.  "These pants are fine", you tell yourself.  "The price isn't what I wanted but it is fine" You just want to be done.  You make the purchase and cross it off your list.

So here is my point.   We have plans to make us more memorable.  Big plans.  Plans to make us stick in your head..  catchy plans if you will.   Plans to make you smile when you see us.      We want you to know that when you are looking for a window  siding or door contractor we are the ones you are looking for.   We don't want there to be a doubt in your head that its us.  You are going to love working with us and we are going to take good care of you.

We can't wait to show you what we've been working on.   Next week's blog is going to be a doozie.   See you then!

Author:Melissa Brager

Tips on Visiting Home Shows

Replacement Window Contractors in Twin Cities

Hiring a Window Contractor

Window and Door Replacement Problems: Why expecting problems can make your project better

Window and Door Replacement Jobs can have problems.   Knowing what to expect can make your job go more smoothly even if a problem is experienced.

A very VERY long time ago I worked at an amusement park.   While I was there  I spent a few summers interviewing  teenagers for jobs  - which was really just a big “realistic job preview” song and dance.  It was a total “no surprises” kind of work statement and it went like this:

“You are working outside.  Your uniform is shorts.   When it is cold out you will need a sweatshirt.  When it is hot out you will sweat.  When it rains all day you will be very wet.  If there is a storm, we stay open. If the storm is very very bad, we will evacuate.   This is part of the job.  Some days you will talk to hundreds of people.  Some days you might only talk to 5 people.    You will hear the exact same question repeatedly all day long.   This is what you can expect"

Then I asked if they still wanted the job and if they said yes we hired them.  We figured that if they knew everything that could go wrong at the beginning and were still interested that all would be fine.  For the most part, it was.   Some kids were surprised at how much they didn't like working in the rain, for example, but they weren't surprised that they had to work in the rain.   They were prepared.

As a business owner, I think of that situation now. I understand it would be sales  sabotage if our salesman sat face to face with a homeowner and listed out everything that could go wrong as they sign the contract and collect the initial investment.   But at the same time,  it sure would be nice if we could prepare homeowners and say something like this:

"90% of the time jobs go very smoothly, however  we do expect to have some problems some of the time. Our windows are made by real people in a real factory.   They are USA made and they keep people working, and towns functioning. We are proud of this.   At the same time we know that mistakes happen.   To help you prepare, here is a list of problems that could affect your job.

  1. Sometimes windows get broken or screens get gouged on the truck
  2. Sometimes an entire job is loaded on the truck, but one window is forgotten.
  3. Sometimes a window breaks when coming off the line and has  to be remade
  4. Sometimes the weather gets nasty and installation needs to be delayed.
  5. Sometimes an issue with an order isn’t discovered until it gets to the job site.
  6. Sometimes an order gets measured wrong.
  7. Sometimes an order gets placed wrong.   Or Lost.
  8. Sometimes an order gets made wrong.
  9. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding on how the install will work.
  10. Sometimes our installer might get sick, or have a personal emergency, or have truck or trailer problems.   He is a person too, this is unavoidable."

I wonder how people would react if we did this.   Would preparing them for the potential of issues make a difference?   Would they shrug their shoulders in acceptance?  Would they expect more issues and then be even more thrilled when their job was smooth?  It's an interesting thought to consider, but I don't think we'll start doing it anytime soon.

This is the only thing we know for sure.   No matter what may happen some of the time, we know that  ALL OF THE TIME you want a contractor who will acknowledge the problem, empathize with your frustration and then fix it as fast as possible.   We can never control the uncontrollable but we can always control our reaction, and our ability to resolve.   We want your home improvement to be a home improvement.  We want you to love it when it’s done so you tell all your  friends.

If you are ready to start your window, siding, or door replacement project that will most likely go very smoothly  (but could potentially have a surprise hiccup) call us today.  Quotes are always free.   (612) 866-2888.

Author:  Melissa Brager, Operations Manager,  Universal Windows Direct, MN

Recent Articles:

Why going with your gut is best when hiring a contractor

Interior color options for replacement windows

Choosing window upgrades for your home

Windows: Interior Color options for Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct proudly offers 6 different interior window options for replacement windows in the Twin Cities.   So if you are looking to replace your windows you can choose the colors that will be best for you in your home.

White vinyl windows can make a home look fresh and new.  Some people love them.  Most new construction, in fact, starts with white windows.   But some homeowners fear white windows.  They fear that.  stark WHITE that screams out “HI!  I AM A WHITE VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOW!!”    That fear that the windows will “scream” actually is a reason some homeowners give as to why they don’t want to replace their windows.   We get it.

Your replacement windows don’t have to be WHITE.   They can be tan if that will soften it up.  They can be dark chocolate brown (mmm, like a truffle) if that matches the style of your home.   They can even come in wood grains to match the older style of the home, the

Twin Cities replacement window color optionsTan, brown or a wood grain?

existing wood windows, or the surrounding trim work, cabinetry or wood floors.  Would a light honey oak match well?  Would a medium oak color be better?  How about a deeper cherry?  Perhaps a vintage pecan is a better match...  No problem!  We offer all of those colors.

Do all your windows have to be the same color?   Nope!   So if you have thought about  white replacement windows in the basement to brighten things up down there but you would prefer a  wood grain window on the main level; we can do that.     Because all of our windows are custom made for your home we can choose the style and options of window that will work best for you, in your budget, in your home.

Call us today to get started with a free consultation.   We will bring a window into your home in the color you are thinking of, and bring color samples of other options as well.   We can’t wait to work with you to replace those old windows and improve the look of your home.  Join homeowners across the Twin Cities who have improved the look and the value of their home with replacement windows.  612-866-2888

Author:  Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN

Related Blog Posts

Foam filled frames add extra insulation

Do I need safety glass?

Top 12 options for replacement windows

 

 

 

Richfield Home Show: Universal Windows Direct will be at the Richfield Home Show

The Richfield Home & Garden Expo is just about a week away!  Once again this year, Universal Windows Direct will be there, ready to talk with residents about replacement windows, siding, front doors and entry doors.   It doesn't matter if you have one window or a house full of windows, we want to work with you to start making your home warmer, more energy efficient and more comfortable for you and your family.

With a full array of window styles, options, colors and upgrades, we are confident that we can find the replacement window or door solution for every Richfield Home.   Stop by our booth to see the quality of the windows and patio doors for yourself.   Enjoy additional savings for signing up for a quote at the show!

Richfield is our home.    You have probably seen our vehicles around town.  

We have lived here for over 20 years, and we have based our business here.     Of all the window companies you will see at the show, we are your Richfield Residents, ready to keep making Richfield better, one house at a time!

 

We would love to see you at the show.   For more information visit the Richfield Patch article or review the flyer below - seen in local SUN Newspapers!

See you soon!

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

Visit Universal Windows Direct at a Home Show

Tips for Visiting a Home Show

Home Improvement can start small

 

Twin Cities Replacement Window Contractors: Universal Windows Direct

Twin Cities replacement window contractors seem to be everywhere.... how are you supposed to keep them all straight?   It probably seems that every time you open up a coupon packet, turn on the TV or visit a local home improvement show you are surrounded by ads for windows.  So how are you supposed to choose?  How is one company actually different than another company?  How are you expected to choose one when they all say the same thing?   You know what I say?  Go with your Gut.

Universal Windows Direct has been serving the replacement window needs of Twin Cities residents for year. We provide high quality, energy efficient replacement windows at competitive prices.

What makes Universal Windows Direct different from other Twin Cities replacement window contractors?

  1. We have replaced hundreds and hundreds of windows for customers all over the Twin Cities – probably even for some of your neighbors!
  2. We are a family owned business, ensuring that your family receives the best service possible.
  3. We offer colors, styles, and price points for every home and every budget.  We won’t convince you to buy more than you need just so we can make a bigger profit.
  4. We have sold energy efficient windows for under $200 to our contractor clients.
  5. We maintain an A rating with the BBB and enough positive reviews on Angie’s List to win a Super Service Award in 2011.
  6. We sell a better quality replacement window than the ones some of our competitors are charging double for.
  7. No high pressure salespeople. Really.   We don't like to be pressured by people, so why would we pressure you?

If these reasons aren’t enough for you, then call some other Twin Cities replacement window contractors. After a meeting with them you will understand the Universal Window Direct Difference.  Quotes are always free and we would love to meet you and have a chance to earn your business.

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager

Twin Cities Replacement Windows

 

Universal Windows is your Twin Cities Replacement Windows headquarters. Our local, family-owned business has been serving Twin Cities residents with high quality vinyl replacements windows for years. We are conveniently located in Richfield and we service the entire Twin Cities Metro area.   We have replaced windows from Northfield to East Bethel; from Woodbury to South Haven; and nearly everywhere in between.

Our exclusive UniShield window is manufactured by  a factory in Ohio, making this a USA made product. When you order windows with us they are custom made for your home and ordered directly from the factory.   This allows us to offer factory direct pricing on all Twin Cities  Replacement Window jobs because we don’t have any middle men adding their markups.

We know there are a lot of different window companies in the Twin Cities.  There are enough to completely overwhelm you and make you re-think your decision to replace your windows.  Don’t let that happen! You can sacrifice quality by going to a big box store and rolling the dice with your installer, your can pay way too much by going with a big name product sold through multiple middle men, or you can sacrifice nothing by choosing a high quality vinyl window sold by a family owned company working directly with the factory.   Quality, price and service, what more could you ask for?

We offer free in-home consultations for all Twin Cities customers and we will even email you our quote if you like so that you can make a decision on your own terms. We are A+ rated by the BBB and we can offer you testimonials from a large group of satisfied Twin Cities Replacement window customers. Odds are we have already installed replacement windows in your Twin Cities neighborhood at some point and we would love for you to be next!

Melissa Brager

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct

Replacement Windows in Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct is one Twin Cities replacement window dealer among a number of local companies, but not all Twin Cities window dealers are created equal. We have been serving the replacement window needs of Twin Cities residents for years and we are proud to say our windows are manufactured right here in the USA.   Our clients appreciate our commitment to providing a high level of customer service and our track record of success.

We are proud to say that this dedication to taking care of our customers has

We are a member of the BBB!

paid off! We maintain an A rating with the BBB,  we have won won the Super Service award from Angie’s List, and we were voted the Favorite Window Company by readers of the Sun

Current newspaper.

Our installers regularly receive rave reviews from customers who have had great install experiences and beautiful finished products.  We understand that having your windows or doors replaced means your home can be an inconvenience.  We understand that in the winter it can be COLD.  We even understand that you probably love your house and it isn’t fun to see it ripped it apart.    Our job isn’t just to replace your windows, our job is to make sure your house is taken care of and you are comfortable during the process.    Our installers regularly receive positive and rave reviews from our customers!

Let’s be honest…replacing all the windows in your home is a big financial decision for most people. If you are going to spend the money to upgrade your home you should look for a Twin Cities window dealer with the track record to back up their work.

You can be our next satisfied customer.   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Universal Windows Direct, Twin Cities

 

Twin Cities Replacement Window Company

Universal Windows Direct is a Twin Cities replacement window company that offers window replacement services to customers who need to take advantage of our installation services, as well as those who don’t.

replacement windows installed for youLet our installers do the work for you

If you’re like most people, you have no idea how to install a window.  You just know that the old one needs to come out and the new one should go in.

And it should be straight, and insulated and it should be easy to open and close.    If you’ve ever watched HGTV you probably can imagine that lots of things could go wrong in the install and you want nothing to do with that!   Isn’t it so much nicer to work with a window replacement company that has professional and experienced installers who can do all that for you?  Then you can just take a day off of work and curl up with a good book while the guys do all the hard work for you.   Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Wholesale Replacement Windows in the Twin Cities

Universal Windows Direct also sells windows to contractors throughout the Twin Cities.    Our repeat customers include small contractors who may install a window or two as a repair or a one room home remodel, to large remodeling firms who build full additions to homes.    These wholesale customers enjoy the same energy efficient replacement windows Universal Windows Direct is known for, at deep contractor discounts.  After their custom orders are received at our facility, they are picked up and installed by the contractor himself, or his crews rather than our install teams.

Our wholesale clients like that they can install a quality replacement window to their clients in the Twin Cities, while receiving the personal service and attention that working with Universal Windows Direct offers.

Which kind of customer are you?   Call us today to get started at 612.866.2888.

Melissa Brager,

Operations Manager, Universal Windows Direct, MN