replacing single pane aluminum windows, Gulf coast

betsyeliseFebruary 5, 2014

I live very close to the Gulf coast near Houston -- lots of rain, humidity, sun, and salt air.
I have a brick house built in the 70's with single pane aluminum windows.
Been reading and researching replacment windows until my eyes are crossed.
I am now leaning towards aluminum double pane because of the narrower frames and hence larger glass area.
I welcome opinions.

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UltraWindows

Thermally-broken aluminum windows are a great option for the Gulf coast. Don Young makes a great product, specifically their 8200 series single hung.

Just make sure the installation is well done with great air sealing or you could get some interior sweating when the humidity is high and your air conditioner is running. It's critical to separate the outdoor air from the interior surface of the aluminum.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 6:09PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Your best resource is right there below your post.

Can't find a better window contractor and more solid person than Ultra Windows.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:33PM
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betsyelise

Thanks for the feedback.
What are advantages/disadvantages to aluminum vs wood clad or fiberglass?
What is the difference in frame width which affects sq inches of glass area?
Do I really need the fake "grids" on glass for a 70's one story Ranch style home?
Thanks again for any feedback!
Just joined Forum yesterday. :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:11AM
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betsyelise

Thanks for the feedback.
What are advantages/disadvantages to aluminum vs wood clad or fiberglass?
What is the difference in frame width which affects sq inches of glass area?
Do I really need the fake "grids" on glass for a 70's one story Ranch style home?
Thanks again for any feedback!
Just joined Forum yesterday. :)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:25AM
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UltraWindows

Aluminum is less expensive, and it's stronger. It won't rot like wood clad will, and it's far less expensive than fiberglass. Grids are personal preference. If you don't like them, a ranch will look just fine without them.

Aluminum will allow more glass than wood clad or vinyl, and about the same as fiberglass.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 6:34PM
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betsyelise

I am in window hell.
Being on Texas Gulf coast, I am subject to new specs by TDI ( TX Dept of Insurance) -- apparently put in place after Hurricane Ike in 2008.
I can only use windows that have been specially tested and show up on TDI website.
DON Young is out -- horizontal slider has not been tested -- $12K
NT Windows -- only double hung tested -- $13.5K.
I want single hung.

Now looking at Vinyl.
Gulf Coast Windows -- $23K
Home Craftsman -- $9K
Window Mart -- $9K

I have a Bay and a Bow window, Contractors tell me they will have to install two 2x4s at each mullion. So , I will go from 3inches between windows to like 8 inches! This will be a significant change in the looks -- beefier! Plus less glass. The four windows making up the bow window currently have 21 inches of glass each. Will be reduced to about 17 inch width!

One guy suggested I "outlaw" Bay and Bow by not including them in inspection. He would do a wedge configuration on 2x4s to narrow the mullion. Not approved installation by TDI.
Somehow my 40 year old windows have survived every hurricane to date!

HELP!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 1:27PM
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betsyelise

I am in window hell.
Being on Texas Gulf coast, I am subject to new specs by TDI ( TX Dept of Insurance) -- apparently put in place after Hurricane Ike in 2008.
I can only use windows that have been specially tested and show up on TDI website.
DON Young is out -- horizontal slider has not been tested -- $12K
NT Windows -- only double hung tested -- $13.5K.
I want single hung.

Now looking at Vinyl.
Gulf Coast Windows -- $23K
Home Craftsman -- $9K
Window Mart -- $9K

I have a Bay and a Bow window, Contractors tell me they will have to install two 2x4s at each mullion. So , I will go from 3inches between windows to like 8 inches! This will be a significant change in the looks -- beefier! Plus less glass. The four windows making up the bow window currently have 21 inches of glass each. Will be reduced to about 17 inch width!

One guy suggested I "outlaw" Bay and Bow by not including them in inspection. He would do a wedge configuration on 2x4s to narrow the mullion. Not approved installation by TDI.
Somehow my 40 year old windows have survived every hurricane to date!

HELP!

Opinions of vinyl options, please.
Opinions of "outlaw" installation.
Why are Gulf Coast Windows so pricey and are they worth it?
If I outlaw Bay and Bow windows why not do the same for 2 sliders and go with Don Young, my original choice?

This post was edited by betsyelise on Mon, Jan 12, 15 at 13:52

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 1:47PM
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UltraWindows

Yes you are. It's become a nightmare to do business down there, and as a result it's going to become very expensive for homeowners to remodel with limited products to choose from and limited contractors willing to jump through all of the hoops.

Vinyl is ok if it's well constructed and that eliminates Home Craftsman and Window Mart from the start. NT would be a decent choice but as you found out, only their double hung is certified. Have you looked at Simonton?

I would not recommend the "outlaw" installation. Should you have an insurance claim in the future it very well could come back to bite you (and the contractor).

Companies generally have high prices because of high overhead. They have some good products and some not so good, so I'd have to know which one they're offering to you.

Don Young's single hung aluminum window is a great product, but the weak link is the slider for your zone. One option might be (depending upon egress requirements) to put in two casements side be side.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 7:31PM
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