Windows Newbie...12-14 windows to purchase for our remodel

vovaJanuary 16, 2012

Hi all - we're doing a fairly extensive remodel in what I would call a nice neighborhood of the Bay Area. I would love a "starter thread" that someone can point me to for a good overview and honest opinions of pluses and minuses (cost, aesthetics, prestige, etc) when deciding on vinyl vs. fiberglass vs. fiberglass & wood vs. wood & aluminum clad vs. etc...

Spent 4 hours in a door and windows shop on Saturday (instead of watching NFL playoffs...but i digress) and I'm still confused on which way I should go. The miser in me seems to lean toward vinyl (we were looking at Milgard Tuscany for example) but folks are talking up a higher end product such as Marvin Integrity or others. While I would like to keep costs down, I am also taking into account things like curb appeal and resale value - i'm happy to invest in better products if I would get value for them in resale vs. something that others wouldn't notice or think to ask about.

In the end i'm wondering if upspending on windows is worthwhile. Direction would be most appreciated.

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Unfortunately there's no magic website that will give you the information you are seeking. First of all because any information like that would be highly subjective. Secondly, why would someone spend the amount of time necessary toy put together such a site? How would they benefit unless you purchased the windows from them?

Doing some research on different brands on the internet is good but ultimately, it's going to require leaving the house and looking at different windows until you formulate what you want, and then getting estimates and talking to different installers until you find the one you think will do the best job for you. Do not assume all installers will all be competent or that all will install at the same level.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 5:07PM
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Thanks skydawggy - i appreciate the advice. This forum has helped me at least figure out which questions i should be thinking about...if not quite the answers to all my questions. I'll keep researching.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I would start with what you want the window to look like? That is what you will be staring at for the next "X" years.

If you really like the fiberglass look, you are going to pay a premium over vinyl on that.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 6:36PM
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We installed 29 Marvin Infinity windows in our 1923 home in 2009.
Infinity is Marvin's all fiberglass window.
It's available in a number of colors and in several different grid designs.
We went with brown on the outside and white on the inside.
We also looked at Andersen's and Pella's fiberglass products and decided that Marvin had the best look, feel and quality. They also come with the best warranty.
We went with fiberglass because of the near zero maintenance factor.
The Marvin's also best replicated the old windows.
Here's a shot.

2 1/2 years later the windows are tight and look great.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 11:32PM
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Nice looking kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I would advise thinking about how you want each window to function - from how much you see it, what time of day or night you might want to open it, to whether you'll want to keep it covered or not during the day and if so with what kind of window coverings - and also from the outside, what kind of conditions will the window be exposed to? It is possible that upspending will be warranted on one side of the house but not the other.

For example, the windows under our porch overhang get almost no weather at all, and the curtains are almost always closed. So when we replace those, it will be with inexpensive wood windows. But when we replace an east, south, or west window that gets brutal sun or the full force of the rain and wind, we will be spending a bit more. We learned this when we put an inexpensive wood window in a very exposed location, and after 15 years had to rebuild part of the frame that was rotting.

I realize people like windows to match, but you may be able to get a very comparable look from manufacturers at different price points for different applications.

Karin L

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 2:31PM
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