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Universal Windows Direct

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3.9

Overall Score

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LAST UPDATED: February 16th, 2024

Opening its doors in 2002, Universal Windows Direct was founded by Michael Strmac and William Barr. These two childhood friends started their company after years of remodelling homes. Universal Windows Direct has made it their goal to provide the best siding products at the lowest price possible. 

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The Good

  • Experience 
  • Multiple Designs
  • Coverage
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Multiple Contracts

Experience

Universal Windows Direct started in 2002, so they only have a moderate amount of industry experience; however, their founders have been in the home remodelling business all of their lives. Their experience and leadership combined with 15 years of successful service make them dependable. 

Multiple Designs 

Unlike some in the siding industry, they show multiple options for siding designs right on their website. You can choose between shakes, scallops, and soffit style siding designs depending on your preference.

Coverage

Operating in 24 states, the chances are good that they’ll be able to help you out with your siding needs. 

Lifetime Warranty

They offer a warranty that covers most of their products for the estimated duration of that product. While the coverage will vary with the manufacturer, you can usually expect coverage for defects, color, hardware, glass films, and insulated glass. 

Multiple Contracts

You have a variety of options regarding contract length. This makes Universal Windows Direct a flexible option, as you can choose among 12-, 18-, or 38-month long contracts.

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The Bad

  • Undisclosed Finance Rates
  • Hidden Fees

Undisclosed Finance Rates

Though they have made it their mission to make quality parts and offer the lowest prices, they aren’t upfront about their APR finance rates. Customers looking for possible finance rate ranges must call in or send an email to get information.

Hidden Fees

Some clients have complained about fees coming up that they didn’t know about in the beginning. Their free window offer turned out to have a $100 fee attached to it. Many customers would appreciate more transparency concerning fees and policies. 

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The Bottom Line

Universal Windows Direct offers a lifetime warranty and multiple siding designs. They also claim to have the cheapest prices. However, their website does not show possible finance rates so clients have no way of knowing what their options might be in the beginning. Though they are relatively experienced in the industry, we cannot confidently recommend Universal Windows Direct to customers. Assess your options and keep Universal Windows Direct as a possible alternative to other companies.

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Star Rating

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2.2

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13 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

23%

4 grade

8%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

69%

Sentiment Criteria

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craig Schuster Folsom, PA

To start off with, I will say the price of the windows ( for a lifetime warranty) was a great deal. The installation didn't take that long and the workers completed the job in 1 day doing 10 windows. They cleaned up and didn't leave a trace of them being there. That's the good part. The bad part happened about 4 months after installation. The caulking cracked and pulled away and while cleaning the windows for the first time in the spring I noticed the main frame on one window was damaged. I contacted my sales person and they directed me to the customer support to get these issues fixed. A worker came out pretty fast, took photos and measurements for the main frame and sent out to get the repairs started. Then I had to wait from June 30th until Sept 12th to see them come out again. I left work early to accommodate the work crew with the main frame installation. However, the worker measured the old window and mainframe that took months to build and said if he installed it I wouldn't be able to open the window, because it was the wrong size. So he took more pictures and measurements and sent those to the office. He did redo the caulking on windows that was failing (that looks better now, lets hope it stays that way). Now i wait for another main frame for my windows. This warranty which is the main reason I went with Universal Windows Direct seems to be lacking and is making me second guess my decision to go with this company. I would be careful about using them because of this issue I am currently having. It makes me worry if there is ever a real issue how long it will take to resolve correctly. I will say that if this is fixed in a timely manner I may alter this review, but until that happens I can not in good faith say that universal windows direct is the best company for your whole house window renovations. Was just informed it will be another 9 weeks before this main frame can be fixed putting this warranty repair now at over 18 weeks. 09/13/2023, Now they are saying (in their reply here) it's due to production delays. No, it was measured not once, not twice but three times. If it was done correctly the first time, there would not be another 9 weeks of lead time. I really now will not be changing my review and do not recommend Universal Windows Direct for you replacement window needs. 09/14/2023-- Update they tried to install again on 11/28/2023 an the dimensions were wrong yet again and could not be installed.. This is not a company I can recommend.

5 months ago Edited November 30, 2023

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Kerry Briggs Denver, NC

NEVER USE THIS COMPANY!! We met with the sales person, who sat in our kitchen and lied to us from the beginning. This will be a 1 day job, forgot about the 3 years to get to the one day. It was over 3 years for them to complete the job. All are crews work for us they said, not contracted. Lie #2. None of the crews work for them other than contract, one crew had only worked for them for 2 weeks. Day 1, they showed up without the sliding glass door and didn't know where it was. Finally found it under some other name. Showed up at leased 8 times and the crews didn't even know why they were there and when informed said they didn't have the parts they needed and would have to come back. Each time was a 2-4 hour window that you had to wait on them and not go to work yourself. The crew day 1 dropped a window on the corner and damages the frame and screen and installed it and didn't say anything about it, we found it later that day. Took them over 6 months and 2 different times to replace the window and the guys didn't even have the screen to replace and had to come back again. They installed the sliding window without shimming them and they sagged and had to be fixed with another visit. They have had to replace multiple screens on new window that were installed wrong and coming apart. They finally sent a trouble shooter out because we had so many problems and he was saying he never seen a job like this and wrote down all this info, that never was given to anyone and no one knew anything about it. He got promoted and know knows what happened to his notes. Any time you try to get ahold of anyone you are on hold forever and never get anyone, they have a nice leave a message that no one calls you back. They are problem tired of hearing all the complaints. NEVER USE THIS COMPANY! Oh, they did offer us $400 off a $16,000 job.

5 months ago

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Ryan’s Bargersville, IN

Customer service is excellent. Universal Windows provides a high quality product and superior installation. High quality in the look, the hardware, and service at an affordable cost. What is amazing is the reduction in my heating and air which is definitely 30% or better. My window cracked due to something hitting it. Universal Windows replaced the window immediately. They have your windows identified so that you report the window by phone and they manufacture a new one and replace. That is an honorable guarantee.

4 years ago

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Дарья Хилл St Louis, MO

Please be advised and do not go with this Company: UWD, awful customer service without acknowledging your needs or requests. Good to grab your money, but totally do not care about your needs and satisfaction. Just know that if you already got into the contract - there is no way out...True Life Warranty is there, but to submit request and see the job to be done will take you months, lots of effort from your side - nothing will be done without you putting and pushing an effort/request/control. No one will call and follow up with you even after several requests were done. One projects 4k was not done right, will I trust the bigger projects estimated by them for 30k? I do not think so. I went for average price range and It usually works the best, I'm sure if i would go with Lowe's or Home Depot - I would get better service, better price and better satisfaction. Live and learn. Please be advised.

11 months ago

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Derrick Austin Elkton, MD

DO NOT TRUST. Signed a contract for some windows and a door via Universal Windows Direct in the first week of October 22. I was told I would hear back in 10 to 12 weeks for scheduling. It's February 2023 I still have not heard back from them so I reach out and they say I was put on production hold due to an issue. Talk to sales manager he says the issue was with a measurement and he just needs me to sign off on the measurement revision for the door. So he sends the contract over again which I had read over the original one completely so I just sign off because it's just a measurement change. Have to reach out several more times for other issues but eventually door Install comes around May 9 23. Door shows up and it's not what I ordered. Turns out they changed the door without me asking them to or telling me they did it on the amendment to the contract. Says I'm to blame and won't resolve issue. They either proposedly changed door for a bait and switch or made a mistake.

11 months ago

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Brian Parsons

All the negative reviews you read are true. Our salesman Ricky was not only a liar, he was incompetent as well. We received a quote to have every window replaced in our house. We specifically asked how they counted the bay windows with 3 small windows on top and Ricky told us it was counted as one window. Installation came and went and they did not replace the 3 small windows we specifically asked about. We got in contact with Jason, the area sales manager and told him about the issue. He told us it would normally be $3,600 but if we gave them a 5 star review they would offer us the employee pricing of $3,000. Insulting. These windows are small (please see photo) and $3,000 seems outrageous, especially when it was their mistake. We had other issues with the company before this, lied to about when financing would start, hour late for the measuring appointment after my wife left work early to work with their schedule etc… they are also very unresponsive. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this company.

11 months ago

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Emily Perkins Indianapolis, IN

They arrived promptly 1st day, but it rained so we scheduled it for the next day. They were late due to heavy traffic caused by some accident. They were very quick, friendly and efficient. David R was the supervisor & did a great job. Excellent job of cleaning up & hauling away old windows & screens.

4 years ago

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James Poole Aurora, IL

I would and will advise everyone I come in contact with to stay away from this company. I signed a contract to purchase windows with them that would have replaced all the windows in my house. 5 days later I had a terrible family situation that is going to cost me who knows how much money over the next few months. In addition to calling off work, canceling vacations, etc., I call to cancel this window project. It’s been an unprofessional nightmare since then. I’ve had to request the project be canceled 7 times and I still haven’t received confirmation. Rather than simply respecting my request initially and letting me move on with what I need to do for my family, this guy Jason keeps calling and texting me asking me to extend the project and purchase less windows. I’ve emailed and requested to talk to senior management and I’ve heard nothing back from them either. This company has done no work, ordered no materials and they haven’t even been out to confirm measurements. My initial thought was that I would try to resolve my family situation then come back and restart the project after I got my arms around costs and logistics for my family. Universal wasn’t the best, but they were close enough to the best and the salesman Josh was an awesome guy. Josh is who I feel sorry for because Jason being tone deaf and this company’s lack of ability to police Jason just killed a $29K sale for Josh. I’m so irritated that I’m even still dealing with this that I’m complaining everywhere that has an inbox. In addition to being a leader at one of the biggest tech firms in the world, I’m a real estate broker in Chicago so Jason couldn’t have picked a worse person to do this with other than maybe an attorney. I sit on several boards for Real Estate start-ups and associations in Chicago and I’ve already sent them an email about this experience. I sit on the board of my own homeowner’s association for goodness’ sake. There are 20+ homes on my block alone. That email has already gone out as well and I’m just getting started. This is an indication of how this company will handle issues in the future and I suggest anyone considering doing work to their home avoid Universal Windows Direct at all costs. It’s not worth the headache if something needs to change in your project.

1 year ago

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shane goodman Indianapolis, IN

***Update*** After a few quotes and offered a higher rated triple pane window for the same as their double and looking at the 37, yes 37 Better Business Bureau complaints for the Indianapolis franchise, I decided to spend my money elsewhere. I highly recommend to look at the BBB and shop around. Never sign at the sales pitch because this is how mine went…. I needed 8 windows and my original quote for double hung with low E, Argon and Muntins was + $27K but don’t forget the buy 1 get 1 so then the price was $13.8k. Then when I didn’t jump on it, I was offered a deal to let them put a sign in my yard for a 1 time offer of $11.6k. Then when the last call a few days later came, we was down to $7900 and a $200 Amazon gift card *** Original sales pitch review**** So far I’ve just been through the sales process and what I’m reviewing here. I’ve made no decision on who I’m using as of yet. If I decide to go with universal window direct, I will update as the process proceeds. I had a salesman out on Thursday May 19, 2022. He was personable and did honestly seem to believe in the product and wares he was there to peddle. But didn’t seem as informed as he should be. May have been good enough for the average person that had never worked in the window/glass industry but lacked technical knowledge and seemed to only know whatever was taught at the employee orientation meeting. When I asked about a glue chip, rain or pattern 62 lite for my bathroom he said they didn’t have anything like that. After he left I looked on their website and it appeared they sold, all three as an option. So, did he just not know what I was asking and instead of saying “what’s that?” He just made up a no? He also did not know how the “nasa” engineered spacer adhered to the glass nor what a muntin was. Next was the “peel them off the ceiling” style sales pitch. God I hate those!!!! I actually told the scheduler if this was their style of selling that I would throw the salesman out of my house. I just wanted their pricing they would replace them for and would not need follow up calls offering lower prices, “ if I act now” So down to my definition of “peel them off the ceiling” sell tactics. This is where the salesman throws out a number so high, it gives you sticker shock! Then they say but if you act now “like once I leave, you’ll never get this price again” which is usually 50-60% less than the “ceiling” number. Then if you still act hesitant, here comes the “well beings I like you so much and we would like to get more business in your neighborhood” if you let us put up a yard sign for 30days we’ll take another couple grand off, but you have to act now (of course) But if you hold off he eventually told me the “act now” price is good for 30days. At this point we part ways as I always get several quotes and research every company before deciding which way to go. Next came the harassing phone calls every day after the visit offering even more discounts “direct” from the factory! My recommendation is to wait for this call! You might finally get their bottom dollar “take or leave” price!

1 year ago

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Review Source

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Carry Alex Los Angeles, CA

The team at UWD displayed expert craftsmanship during our window installation, resulting in a flawless finish that exceeded our expectations.

2 months ago

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Lenore Chandler, AZ

Although the company does say they have a satisfaction guarantee they take their time fixing issues. I had one screen installed with a cut in it and 2 screen doors without complete locking mechanisms. That was almost 6 months ago and I am still waiting for them to make it right. Not once did my project manager reach out to me with updates. I always have to contact him.

2 years ago

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Emma Bela Las Vegas, NV

Worst company ever. Waiting time for patio door 7 months while they get paid $4900 to do the job supposedly in 4-6 weeks. Charged the credit card without permission. Delivered wrong doors, cheap and not the one signed in the contract. The doors doesn’t close the frame isn’t going with the windows. The house is open snd we are still waiting...

3 years ago

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Amber Louisville, KY

Excellent team of professionals! Windows are high quality, beautiful, and affordable. I will be a returning customer.

5 years ago