New Windows: Some lessons are learned the HARD way

One of the reasons I wanted to move to a house that needed work was to teach myself some lessons.  (Crazy, right?)  Well, yesterday I definitely learned a couple.  I like to think of myself as a very smart and capable person, therefore it was with great enthusiasm and energy that I decided to install new living room windows ourselves.  Nick and I enlisted the help of our neighbor, and with great gusto we started off taking out the old window sashes, weights, etc.  We filled in the holes, scraped the old caulk and unwrapped the first window only to find out…

The windows were wrong.  Three special order Andersen all wood, colonial-style windows.  It was a frustrating moment to say the least.  Let me be honest…I almost burst into instantaneous tears.  I had two giant holes in the FRONT of my house and I’d only just realized that the three special order windows I’d waited a month for were wrong.   What exactly was wrong with them you ask?  Well, not only were the windows that I’d ordered NOT actually replacement windows (these were for NEW construction), but one of them was one inch too wide.  UGH.  I wanted to scream.  The only way I’d even considered buying these windows was because Home Depot was having a sale on them (it’s basically something that never happens on Andersen windows), and I’d also opened the Home Depot card so that I could save another 10%.

Well, after some serious back and forth on the phone with the sales person at Home Depot, we arranged that I’d bring the windows back and re-order the correct ones.  I’d have to wait for the windows again, but they agreed to waive the 15% re-stocking fee.  They wouldn’t budge on giving me the sale price though.  So now my new windows (that I could barely afford the first time) were going to be FULL PRICE.  I felt frustrated and like a TOTAL idiot.  After all, I could have saved myself all this trouble and expense if I’d double checked my order with the window sizes again when I got home.  I should have also someone experienced with this type of thing to the store with me in the first place, and I would have gotten the correct type of windows.

One other important thing I learned yesterday was about being a good neighbor.  Our neighbor agreed to help us install the windows and unfortunately got a lot more than he bargained for.  He spent all day long with us going above and beyond to help me get things straightened out.  We had to re-install the old windows, take the new windows back to Home Depot, and sit and deal with the frustrating salespeople to get the correct windows re-ordered.  At the end of the day I was frustrated and felt like an idiot… BUT I’d also never felt so grateful and happy to have moved to this particular block.  My old ‘hood definitely didn’t have neighbors like this.  Someone who helped out even when it wasn’t convenient.  I was reminded how each of us is called to be a good neighbor.  I can only hope that I prove to be just as kind and generous to him (and whomever else) someday.   Life calls us to be kind to each other.   The world is a much better place when we help each other out.

Big lessons for today:

  1. Enlist the advice of someone experienced.
  2. Double check your order.
  3. Review the new product before ripping old things apart.
  4. Be thankful for your neighbors…and be kind, generous to them.   You never know when you’ll completely turn around their day for good.

8 thoughts on “New Windows: Some lessons are learned the HARD way

  1. I think it must be some sort of rule that the first window order is never the correct window order b/c ours arrived too and one of them is wrong. Thankfully, the company installed them and it’s as simple a fix as re-ordering the correct style and then just swapping out the glass part, but hot damn what a nuisance. I’m sorry to hear that Home Depot was so inflexible with giving you the original sales price. Sometimes I stay away from Home Depot simply because I don’t always enjoy my interactions with the people who work there.

  2. Yes, I’m NOT a fan of Home Depot either. Especially after this experience. Ordering the windows to begin with was terribly difficult. I went to FOUR home depot stores before I spoke with someone [at the millwork desk] who seemed to know a) how to use their computer system and b) what they were talking about. I was very frustrated in the end to have dealt with someone who SHOULD have known what type of window I needed based on my description. I clearly told him that I was replacing windows in my OLD house. I brought diagrams with dimensions drawn out. I thought I’d done everything correctly. Therefore I feel kind of burned. The reason I went there though was because of the sale on Andersen windows. I realize how rare that is.

    I think from now on, I’ll also stick to my locally-owned True Value store. The guys that work there are extremely helpful and work very hard for my business. They have great tips and recommendations on what I should do. I feel like Home Depot should train their sales associates better, especially in an area as specific as that one. Oh well. I guess that’s ANOTHER lesson learned.

  3. Ouch! That’s rough. We had great friends and neighbors help with the installation of a huge window this spring.

    Once you get the new ones in, you’ll enjoy them for years to come and you’ll be glad you got what you wanted (even if you had to spend more.) And you’ll have a good story to tell.

  4. I think you had paid it forward when you helped me get ready for my open house. This is your payback for spending a day cleaning and decorating someone else’s house.
    Thank you again, by the way…

  5. Johnna…no problem. Getting to spend time with a friend and decorating their house is one of my favorite things. Haha. (But you’re welcome anyways.)

  6. Dear Home Depot Customer,

    On behalf of The Home Depot I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced in regard to your purchase of Special Order Windows with our company

    Please know that it is The Home Depot’s goal to satisfy all of our customers with our products and services. We look forward to assisting you and your family with all of your future home improvement needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


    Christian L. Sagna
    Agent Expert
    2455 Paces Ferry Road/B-3
    Atlanta, GA 30339
    Phone: (770) 433-8211 or 800-654-0688 x84861
    Fax: (770) 384-5038

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