Window World / Alside questions

sjetexasFebruary 11, 2010

I am looking into replacing my windows (15-20 windows or so). I currently have builder-grade single panes that are original to my home (built in 92). They are pretty terribleÂthey block pretty much no outside noise and seem to perform poorly the few times it gets cold here (Houston, TX area).

I got a recommendation from a coworker to look into Window World, which from my research use Alside windows. The prices seem to be very good (300-350ish depending on options it seems), the local BBB rating is flawless, and my friend said the sales and install process went smoothly (although heÂs no window expert). Reviews IÂve seen online for both Window World and Alside have been mixed. But many of the poor reviews/opinions seem to mainly be from window resellers, and they sometimes read as being a bit biased (i.e. assuming the installers suck since the prices are low, etc).

Anyway...my questions.

1) I was looking at the Comfort World 6000, which is apparently the Alside Sheffield. Thoughts on this window? Most of the reviews I see are on the 4000/Excalibur...which apparently have poor air infiltration. Is the Sheffield better in this sense?

2) Does anyone know if Window World/Alside provide laminated glass? I donÂt see anything on their website. My primary reason for new windows is to block sound better. How much improvement can I expect going to these (either laminated or not) windows from 20yr old single panes? Right now itÂs bad enough where I can hear normal conversations on the front sidewalk from my upstairs window. Passing cars in my neighborhood almost sound like I donÂt have windows at all.

3) As far as installation goesÂif a house is relatively new like mine (15-20yrs old instead of say 50-100+ yrs old), does that tend to make the job of replacing windows easier? Curious if the required skill is less or if less things can potentially go wrong.

4) Anyone else have personal experience with WW or Alside they can share?

5) Does anyone have any other window company recommendations in the Houston area? Prefer to stay away from outfits like Home Depot, Sears, etc.

6) If a window is hurricane rated, does that imply laminated glass? Or anything specific?

Thanks!

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websnooper

These are not reviews from other windows professionals. Consider yourself forewarned.

http://www.my3cents.com/search.cgi?criteria=Window+World

1. Not significantly. Sheffield has issues too.
2. Yes. Laminated glass is an option.
3. Makes no difference really if the installer is skilled.
4. See link.
5. http://ultrawindows.net/ No personal experience but highly regarded on other boards.
6. No. Means that it has a DP50 usually. Laminated glass is usually for impact rated windows.

Happy Hunting

Here is a link that might be useful: Window World Reviews

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 6:16PM
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skydawggy

I won't bother commenting since my opinion as someone who has actually had dealings with many different windows and manufacturers over many years is apparently viewed as "biased". And comments akin to "I just bought my WW windows and I love them" is what the poster considers valid and "unbiased".

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 8:01PM
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sjetexas

Um, way to be overly sensitive. I don't think my post implied all professionals were biased. If you read it that way, well sorry. I just noticed on OTHER forums that SOME seem to hate on WW simply because of their low prices. If you're an expert and you have reason to believe the Sheffields/WW are terrible, great...I'd love to hear about it. But, I'd also love to hear from consumers whether they did or didn't like their decision to go with WW...is that so terrible?

Thanks for the info, websnooper.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 10:37PM
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skydawggy

If you have been reading other forums where some seem to dislike WW because of their low prices then you are taking away from those forums exactly what you want to hear. My experience in reading and participating in other forums is the Pros usually give very valid reasons other than cost as a factor driving their recommendations. Points like poor installations using "quick cost cutting procedures" little or no insulation, high add-on charges, high air and water infiltration, low grade vinyl, poor designs etc. are some of the reasons I always read about. In my experience, they are all valid and those Pros have removed the same crappy windows that only a few tears before the homeowner was raving about. Maybe we just might know something about what happens 10 years down the road.

But please, continue your search for enough people to tell you "we just had them installed and we love them" so you can convince yourself to buy on the bottom end and ignore those of us who actually see the long term deteriation and might actually know what we are talking about.

Best Wishes.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 10:54PM
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afsa

very well written skydawggy I agree 100%.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 10:12AM
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hartford

The reason I don't like the Alside Sheffield they do not use a true sloped sill. It is a side jamb with thick snap-ins on top.

It is much cheaper for a factory to use the same extrusion on all 4 sides. This way, all they need to cut the frame pieces is a 45 degree chop saw, and a simple straight line welder. It is a cheap way to make a window even though it doesn't make a quality well designed window, and as a factory you don't have to spend millions on robotic equipment that can cut and weld dissimilar profiles.


The red in the picture is the "side jamb" piece they use as the starting point for their sill. The blue in the photo is the snap in piece that transforms the "side jamb" into a sill. Note how the screen track sticks up past the sill. This screen track sticking up has a couple holes through it to drain to the outside, but much of the water can seep through down into the extrusion....where you can't get to for cleaning and mold could form.
Many of you out there keep asking us, "what makes a good window". In my opinion, here is a real good chance to learn some basics about window construction and to know one more thing to look for in a window that has a good design.One flaw is with the handle , which is that when you lift up on the handle snap-in, it puts stress on the glass.( figure - 8 ) Many other windows have this handle extruded right into the sash rail


Here is a picture of a true sloped sill.

This photo shows a window that has a similar side jamb profile to the previous photo, but has a dedicated sill...a sill that was made as a sill.
This factory has spent the extra money on sophisticated machinery to cut and weld dissimilar extrusions to provide you with a sloped sill that provides proper drainage and keeps the glass loss to a minimum. (Look At The Picture)The sill is not being used as a multi-chambered gutter to get rid of water that leaks in through the snap-ins...because there are none. See how much glass you lose with a Sheffield. You have 4 to 5 inches of vinyl before the glass starts at the sill..

To me its a very ugly cheap window.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 4:15PM
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sjetexas

Interesting...must say I don't care for the lost glass...it is sort of ugly. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 5:21PM
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lacy05

I went to the Alside website and it seems they block out most of the sill on their Sheffield.

Go to this link and then click on View Product Details right above the energy star logo in the middle of the page.

http://www.alside.com/index.aspx?page=77#

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 12:28PM
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lacy05

Take a look at this link.

http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/window-world-a51716.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Window World

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:36PM
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varin351_yahoo_com

My experience with Alside Windows and Window World has been horrible. I own 4 rental properties and used them to replace the windows. Not only was installation poor, but the windows themselves are foggy, many have cracked, and leaks. I have had zero luck with any warranty coverage from either WW or Alside. I would recommend going with any company that doesn't use Alside

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:21PM
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