Window Shopping: Thompson Creek

Recently, we refinanced out mortgage, as I have mentioned plenty of times before. The refinance was dual purpose: to get out of our ARM into a 30-year fixed, and to take some cash out for some remodeling projects. The first remodeling project is windows. We are looking to replace 10 double hung windows and our big picture window. The picture window may or may not end up being converted to a bay window.
Our first estimate came from Thompson Creek Windows. Thompson Creek is a local Metro DC company based out of Lanham, MD, not too far from FedEx Field where the Redskins play. They tout the fact that they make all their own windows, and control every step of the process from manufacturing to sales to installation. “There’s no middleman,” as the saying goes. Of course, you pay for this kind of service. In our case, the price was just over $14k. That works out to somewhere around $1000 per window. And that wasn’t even including a bay window, which would cost us $7k extra. They are having a sale right now which would knock the price down to around $9k, depending on whether we qualified for it (the guy told us that it was for the initial visit only, but implied that we could get something around the same price regardless). Either way, $9000 would eat up a big portion of our refi money, and we have three or four other estimates yet to come, so we’re looking forward to other estimates. The windows are very nice, which all the usual features: soft coat low-E glass, argon gas fill between panes, and so on. But is it worth the premium to go with the “local” business? We’ll see. We have two more estimates coming this week, and at least one more next week.