When cost is not a problem (sort of)
I have proposals for 12 stationary awning windows and 4 operating awning windows (about 36" x 36") from Marvin for their Ultimate type and Anderson for their 400 Series. It is very important to me to maintain a certain look for the windows so it is a 2 down by 3 across colonial type grill. The windows are white on the outside and pine on the inside which will be stained approriately. Also I wanted the muntins to be 1 3/4 wide with a certain typical historical profile. It was easy to get a Marvin proposal which included a bright young carpenter experienced in proper installs. The local Anderson dealer finally got me his proposal, and we added in the install cost from a good young local carpenter. However, The Anderson 400 is Fibrex on the outside and the maximum muntin width is 1 1/8 with their odd profile. The Anderson cost just for the windows is less than the Marvin cost, but both including the installs are slightly greater than $1,000 per window.
I would not go for the Anderson proposal in its current form due to not matching my requirements. However, I wanted at least one other proposal that would compete with Marvin without regard to cost. Just by chance today in another posting in the Windows forum someone talked about the Anderson Eagle products (Anderson E-series/Eagle Architectural Collection). How would we know? The dealers appear to be different than the regular Anderson dealers and no Anderson dealer said to me "Hey, there may be an Anderson Division that meets your needs better." Is this so? Are there other companies hidden out there?
So far I had four proposals developed for me. One was from another Marvin dealer, but the cost was much higher for the same product than the one mentioned above. Another was from a Weathershield dealer, but his costs were equivalent to the first two I mentioned above, and he did not note any of the difficulties of the install including preserving the interior trim.
Now I see why homeowners get big headaches on window installs.