Vinyl window quote

tucker_troyJanuary 27, 2010

Hello all,

I live in South Texas and will be replacing 12 windows of various shapes and sizes with vinyl (can't afford fiberglass). Anyway, I've narrowed it down to two well known brands. I'm not going to say which ones because I'm hoping to avoid any bias comments (don't laugh). I've examined both windows in detail and they seem well constructed using Lowe3 366 glass and have similar warranties. The one difference is that one brand has reinforced vinyl clad aluminum sashes and the other doesn't. This seems like a plus to me since that should help prevent any possible sagging in the hot Texas sun. However, their use of aluminum raises the U value to .32 which disqualifies them from the tax rebate. But that's not a big deal because they cost $1000 less than the pure vinyl ones making them cost neutral. In addition, I can still qualify for the tax rebate when I make other home improvements later on. Is my reasoning sound? Please discuss.

Thanks,

TT

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skydawggy

What you are trying to do is like deciding whether a Mercedes is a better vehicle than a Kia based solely on fuel economy. The brand of window has a lot to do with which is a better choice.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 10:11AM
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tucker_troy

Thanks Skydawggy. I appreciate all your posts on this forum and I know you're a big fan of Simonton windows which I did consider. However, I disagree the your car analogy; in this day and age where everyone is watching their pennies many would take a well built Korean car (a Hyundai perhaps) over a German one.

I'm just wondering if the Al reinforced sashes are just a gimmick or will they actually stand-up better/longer in the hot Texas sun. I know people who have both types of windows and are happy with their performance.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 1:26PM
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skydawggy

I would recommend reinforced sashes in Texas. There are many windows available that have sash reinforcements that will also qualify for the tax credit. Have you considered air and water infiltration ratings between the 2 windows? I would also point out again that who manufactures the windows is a major consideration. Many manufacturers don't have the most sterling reputation when it comes to honoring warranties etc. Some manufacturers even offer what are seemingly similar warranties until you read the fine print. I would also question whether the U-factor was tested by NFRC or by the manufacturer. Other items to consider is type of spacer, sill design, vinyl thickness, type of balance system etc. I would also recommend a triple coated LowE glass.

Also keep in mind that nobody knows better what their product is worth than the company that made it. If one window is substantially less than another, you can be sure there's a reason for it. Question then becomes, do you want to find out the reason before you purchase or 5 years after you purchase?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 3:12PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington

+1 on all of Sky's recommendations for further evaluation.

I would also point out that reinforcement in the entire window is not really required. As long as the meeting rail in reinforced, you will be fine.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 4:10PM
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tucker_troy

All very good points to consider. Thank you both.

"Also keep in mind that nobody knows better what their product is worth than the company that made it. If one window is substantially less than another, you can be sure there's a reason for it. Question then becomes, do you want to find out the reason before you purchase or 5 years after you purchase?"

That's exactly it. With so much price inflation, it's almost impossible to find out what their product is really worth. Case in point with Simonton windows; I received one quote from a very reputable dealer and he initially quoted me $18K retail for 12 windows, discounted to $10K which comes out to $833/window. After much research, I found another supplier that would provide and install the exact same window (Reflections 5500) for $6K, or $500/window. $4K difference? Come on! So how does one figure out the true costs? I understand that they can't do it for free but how much of a profit margin is reasonable? And don't even get me started with Pella, Marvin and Champion; they are all well north of $10K.

Just saying, they would make a lot more money if people didn't feel like they were getting ripped off.

OK, done venting...TT

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:30PM
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skydawggy

Your frustration is very understandable. I always recommend getting at least 2 more estimates once you find a window you like. Simonton doesn't tell dealers what to charge, that's why there can be a wide range on pricing. $18k for 12 Reflections 5500 is absurd. I'd have told the guy to jump in a lake, too. $500 is pretty reasonable for the 5500 if it includes the 366 glass.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 9:13PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington

Imagine if you didn't have a board like this to assist with your buying decision background investigation.

I always recommend that customers get multiple quotes.

Good luck with your search.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 10:34PM
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