My wife and I recently closed on a pre-war co-op apartment in Kips Bay and one of the first projects was to replace the old, broken, brown aluminum windows (if you've ever rented an apartment in NYC you know what I'm talking about—these "builder grade" windows are ubiquitous). After doing some research, I decided that I wanted to go with Pella and so called the Pella showroom in FiDi who ultimately put me in touch with Chris. He impressed me right off the bat during our initial phone conversation: while we were talking, he pulled up my building on Google Street View and immediately knew what type of windows I would need to get to match what was already there and gave me a rough price estimate over the phone (something that nobody else was willing to do) that wound up being basically the same as the number on the formal quote I received after he came and took measurements. I will say that I had a little bit of "sticker shock" (if you've never done a project like this in NYC, however much you think it's going to cost, it's going to be quite a bit more) but ultimately I decided that it was important to get a quality product installed by a seasoned (and presumably well-paid) crew, as my research indicated that most problems that folks have with their windows are the result of a poorly done install.
Once we got the process started, Chris was very good about keeping all the details of the project spelled out in the contract (except the time frame; more on that later), as well as a detailed proposal document that included every last spec of what I was getting, so I knew there would not be any mistakes in my order (and there weren't any). I especially appreciated his patience with me for updating these documents a few times; after my wife and I paid a visit to the Pella showroom, we had a field day with the color, hardware, and glass options. We wound up incurring some upcharges (such as opting for sound control glass, which was a great decision by the way) but Chris was very transparent about all of this and once we finalized all of our choices, his price didn't change.
The final thing that I needed was co-op board approval. Fortunately my building is pretty lax and so only asked for a photo showing what the windows look like from the outside (to ensure that they would match what was already there), as well as a certificate of insurance, which Chris promptly provided.
Fast forward to the install, which definitely validated my decision to go with Chris and his team. It was a pleasure dealing with Pete, Mike, and their crews. We unfortunately couldn't get the install done before we moved in, but they were very respectful of our junk (I mean, uh, belongings), carefully covering areas before unleashing any construction dust. They even made sure not to track any dust or debris around the apartment or into the common areas of the building (we got dinged in the past for a contractor leaving dusty footprints in the elevator, but not so with these guys!). It was also great that they were willing to work around the fact that we have two cats and so insisted on always designating a safe room to keep them in. Further, they didn't so much as break a sweat when dealing with unforeseen issues, such as one of the window openings being particularly badly warped (the building was built in 1911, after all), thereby making it more of a challenge to put the new window in properly.
In sum, these guys are truly skilled at their trade and it really shows that windows are all they do. Though of course, I suppose I won't quite know for sure how good of a job they did until I see how it holds up over the years. ;)
The only thing we had to do after they left was some paint touch-up work, but Chris was very clear about that going in, and Mike did the interior trim in such a way as to minimize that as much as possible.
I feel bad saying anything negative given my overwhelmingly positive experience, but the one hiccup was that we did have some gaps in communication that led to some dragging of the timeline. Specifically, Chris told me that the estimated window fabrication time frame was 6–8 weeks, but even though we had the contract finalized and fabrication deposit paid on November 14, the install didn't start until February 24, almost 15 weeks later. I can't say whether this is typical, but it's something to keep in mind if you are on a tight timeline. Also, I was surprised that the crew needed a full week to get the install done; the apartment only has six windows. This was a bit more of an inconvenience than I was anticipating (which is partially my bad for not asking Chris earlier in the process how long the install would take, though it's not like he was volunteering this information either). But it's hard to be too upset about that; better that the job get done right than get done fast. It is certainly not worth docking any stars from my rating over these minor points.
Enough with the petty complaints. To end this on a positive note: thanks again Chris, Pete, Mike, et al. for hooking us up with great new windows! It's so nice to no longer have top sashes that need to be held up with a piece of wood and bottom sashes that keep popping out!