2014 Dealer of the Year: Excellence in Installation

Charles Window & Door recognized for excellence in installation
October 27, 2014



LEADERSHIP: Co-owners Niko Frithof and George Pilloton

LOCATION: San Rafael, Calif.

SALES VOLUME: $5 million


PRODUCTS: Milgard, Marvin, Integrity, Simonton, Andersen, Cherry Creek and White Bird Woods windows; Western Window Systems sliding and bi-fold doors; PlastPro and Simpson entry doors

It says something about your installation process when a customer is so satisfied that he is compelled to purchase the company. And that’s just what Niko Frithiof did after using Charles Window & Door for his window and door needs. “During the 10 years I was a Charles Window & Door client, I recommended a lot of people to [then-owner] Richard Charles,” says Frithiof, who was a restaurant owner when he first hired the company. “The installers were very clean, super-efficient, and it seemed they didn’t leave a single stone unturned.”

 Charles Window & Door co-owners Niko Frithiof, left, and George Pilloton

When Frithiof and co-owner George Pilloton purchased the company in 2004, they spent a lot of time speaking with the crews. “The thing we’re proudest of is that all the installers that were with the company then are still with us,” Frithiof says. “This lack of turnover means we’re able to deliver the highest quality care.”

CW&D installers go through a two-year in-house training program, and the company employs several InstallationMasters Certified Installers. “They’re employees, not ‘occasionals,’” says Pilloton. “And each one has a strong level of water infiltration expertise.”

A good installation begins with the first phone call, according to the co-owners. “We sit on the same side of the table as the customer,” Frithiof says. “Within the lines we carry, we can come up with a solution everyone is happy with.” Sales consultants educate clients about different materials, help them choose products and offer design assistance for their project. The lead installer then goes over everything to make sure nothing was missed.

“Our current lead installer, Yuri Orlov, has about 25 years in the business. He is the guru and one of the big reasons we bought the company,” Frithiof says. Once he has measured everything and gone over the details, the order is placed. The project management team then oversees product delivery and the crews so they know where to start and how to protect the customer’s home.

According to Frithiof and Pilloton, clients rave about CW&D’s cleanliness. “On customer surveys [done by Guild Quality] they say the house is cleaner when we left than when we showed up,” Frithiof says.

One client, Larry Atsumi, told this publication that Charles Window & Door installers were “very clean in setting up and finishing, and the installation went smoothly. They said they’d finish in eight hours and it took six, but they weren’t rushing. They are a first-rate organization from top to bottom.”