Replacement Window Recommendation

milledelJanuary 28, 2013

We are replacing the old, rotting, wooden windows in our home with vinyl replacements -- I'll be installing them myself. We've received quotes from several local resellers for a variety of windows. Here's the list so far:

Viwinco Signature
Silverline 8500
Pella 350
Provia Aeris

There are also a couple more resellers that sell Jeld-Wen and Atrium.

Our criteria for each of the reseller has been a decent, mid-grade vinyl window for installation on a 40 year old brick ranch. Pricing has been reasonable for all quotes.

So, among those choices, do any stand out as exceptional windows? Should any be avoided?

I'm lost at figuring it out.

Thanks in advance for any input!

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millworkman

Not being an the most experienced with vinyl I will say the only window I would consider from your entire list would be the Provia, and there may be better from the same mfr. All the rest would be a stretch to be considered decent or even mid-grade. Softlite, Himark and Softlite would be higher grade and much better products. Do yourself a favor and do more research and stay away from the box stores (HD, Lowes etc).

This post was edited by millworkman on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 19:17

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:13PM
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HomeSealed

I'd agree with MWM's assessment. I would not say that any of those are exceptional, although the Provia is fairly solid from my experience. Where are you located? Some of the best vinyl products are somewhat regional.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:25PM
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mmarse1

Agree, the Provia is the best choice by far while the silver line is the worst. That said, you may want to look at higher end vinyl : HiMark - Okna- Sunrise, or Soft Lite.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 11:37PM
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milledel

Millworkman, let me explain a little further... I've been trying to research vinyl windows for weeks and feel just as lost as when I started. Can you point me to some decent spots to find reliable product comparisons & information? Seems that most of what I've found is either marketing fluff, has info about the companies but not the products, or is mostly opinion that seem all over the board -- one person like XXX and that's all they install, another hates XXX and says to stay away, lots say they love their new windows...

I have tried to stay away from the box stores but went to HD for a quote because they carry Simonton -- turns out they only carry them through their installers & you can't walk in and buy. HD ended up quoting me the Silverline -- which I *KNOW* I don't want. I went to Lowes (Pella) just for comparison sake. The other quotes come from local builder supply shops and I'm running out of options. Is there somewhere else I should be looking for quotes?

HomeSealed, We're located in North East Ohio not far from the Provia headquarters in Sugarcreek. There's lots of 'local' options as it seems every Amish guy in the area is building vinyl windows. :-/ Don't want to go *that* local. :) Any other regional suggestions would be welcome.

We're looking for 12 windows, mostly double-hung and the quotes are coming in in the $5500 - $7000 range, which we can afford but we're not far from our limit. Maybe that price range only gets crappy windows?? Was hoping to install myself so as to put the money into better windows rather than installer labor.

Mmarse1, thanks for the suggestion, I'd not heard of any but Soft Lite. I'll check them all out.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:45AM
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HomeSealed

There are several very good options available in OH and the surrounding areas. Wading through all of the garbage that the salesguys throw at you can be daunting. My advice: look at the thermal and structural performance ratings. U value, SHGC (climate specific), Air infiltration and design pressure. These ratings will give you a great indication as to how each product will actually perform, as well as the quality of its design and build. The best double hung ratings that you'll find are U-value: .25 (double pane), AI .01, DP 60-70, and SHGC higher than .25 for your location... You don't necessarily have to hit those marks to have a good product, but that gives you an idea of where elite level performance lies. Depending on your installation circumstances and option content, it would not be outside of the realm of reason to get a great window INSTALLED in that that price range (albeit probably the higher end), and most certainly you can get the window alone for that or less.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:17PM
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milledel

HomeSealed, you mention that there are some good options in OH and the surrounding areas but then didn't comment any further. Would you mind elaborating? :)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:01PM
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toddinmn

Lowe's sells Ply-Gem which is a nice product in their premium line. The other brands the others listed can be hard to find for DIYS. Should be able to find a window under $300 unless you are adding alot of options

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:42AM
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HomeSealed

Actually all of the brands listed above should be available to you, with Softlite and Polaris (if Im not mistaken) being right in your back yard... Okna/Himark may or may not be in OH yet... As Todd mentioned, the premium brands are often reserved for dealer networks so they can be harder to find for diy, but most often with some diligence you can find a supply house or a dealer that will sell them DIY.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:26AM
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windowsonwashington

Polaris does have some distribution via their network if I recall correctly. Modern Builders Supply is their supply chain.

If you look at their window, the UltraWeld is a solid performer all around.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:26AM
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milledel

Just wanted to say thanks to all who responded to my inquiry. We ended up going with Polaris Ultrawelds. 13 windows (1 double casement, 1 solid, 11 double-hung) + Patio Door, low-e gas filled panes, foam filled cores, tan, with exterior trim molding, $5300 delivered, will be here in a couple of weeks. All that's left now is to figure out where to store them until it warms up a little...

Thanks again to all that chimed in!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:00PM
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HomeSealed

Congrats, nice choice!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 11:32PM
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windowsonwashington

+1

Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 6:41PM
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