Decided on fiberglass (i think) and now focused on manufacturer

vovaFebruary 2, 2012

Hi everyone - I think after reading a lot of advice here and talking to folks we are likely going to go with a fiberglass clad window (15-18 windows in all). The two brands that most people mention to us have been Milgard Ultra and Integrity (Marvin) Ultrex.

Folks (our architect, windows seller and a GC we're interested in) have been steering us towards the Milgard Ultra but it seems that most of what I read on this forum is more upbeat on the Integrity Ultrex. The prices between the two are pretty close so price doesn't seem to be a factor. They tell us that Milgard has great warranty but what i really care about is a great product. Any recommendations out there that looked at these two products specifically?

I am also reading some nice things about Kolbe and Anderson 400' do these compare in quality/price?

Heading to another showroom this weekend...lord help me.

In case it's important, our new home is in the Peninsula area of the Bay Area.

Thanks again!

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I personally like the Integrity and feel it is a great choice. However I have not sold nor truthfully even seen a Milgard Fiberglass window to be fair. Kolbe does not make a fiberglass unit and Andersen while the best of the lot with Andersen is vinyl wrapped with painted sash on double hungs. And to be exact both "Integrity, Milgard and most every fiberglass window are pretty much all fiberglass not clad.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:07PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


I think the Integrity is a bit more well thought out product.

I like the look with the wood/hybrid interior.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Integrity has a great warranty too. I would want to know why they are pushing the Milgard so hard. Maybe it's just the brand they've used before. Maybe there is a kick back to them. Maybe the window seller you're dealing with isn't a Marvin dealer so he would lose your business. Just an FYI--Marvin offers a 10% rebate if this is the first time the builder uses their product.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:58AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

I wouldn't worry about the "kick-back" theorization.

No such things exist in the construction world. Only on the Sopranos.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 9:20AM
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Stay away from Anderson A series.
My best friend owns a large building supply company.
I'm rerplacing 13 windows, he recommended Integrity Ultrex.
Like a dummy I didn't listen and bought 1 Anderson A series. Anderson quality has gone down the tubes. Fortunately I only bought 1, next 12 will Marvin Integrity.
Link below will take you to DIY chatroom. Go to 'Windows and Doors' then to 'Anderson A series window' for pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY chatroom

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:26PM
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We went with Milgard because they offered a black-on-black option. Marvin did not offer a black interior option. I thought casements, when open, would look funny with black exteriors and white interiors. And I thought the black interiors would provide a more dramatic effect inside the home. Milgard's lifetime warranty is a big plus too. My builder raves about Milgard.

Ultimately I don't think you can go wrong with either Marvin or Milgard.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:19AM
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Thanks CWirick - we're deciding between these as well. At the 11th hour i am also getting Kolbe and Jeld-wen priced out and am finding that these aluminum clad products are actually relatively close in price (and in some cases cheaper) than going all fiberglass. The warranty is nowhere as good on these as what Milgard gives on their products though and not sure if ultimately anyone notices the difference between a fiberglass and a aluminum clad/wood interior product after taking into account the wood framing around the windows.

Also looked at the Milgard Essence product this weekend and it looks really nice but is pricier than both the Marvin Ultrex/Wood and Marvin All-Ultrex products as well as the quotes i'm getting on Kolbe and Jeld-wen but the nice thing with Milgard is all the options you get on sizing...and the warranty is great. decisions decisions.
thank you all for your perspectives and advice...feel free to add more as i'm obviously still undecided. This is the one area where i'm somehow less price conscious than my wife...who thinks fiberglass is fine and gives her more dollars to spend on fixtures/granite/shutters/etc...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 2:34PM
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For a wood interior, the Marvin Ultimate and Integrity are my favs. If you are not set on wood interior, I generally prefer premium vinyl. Have you spent much time weighing the performance ratings (u-value, Dp , air leakage, etc) in on your decision?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Big vote for Marvin Integrity. As already's a very well thought out window. Our builder was pushing Anderson. After weeks of research, stress, and heart palpitations (!!!), we went with Marvin Integrity. It kind of like a get what you get, not much customizing available, but what you get is what you need...LowE 2 Argon, etc, theres more, but I can't remember, I think after all that stress I blocked almost all of my newly found window knowledge from my memory! Others it seemed we would start with a basic window, and each thing we added to make them better costed more.

Not moved in yet, but it's the 1st time our builder has worked with Integrity windows and he is pleased...all the way from the ordering process to install. 10 days from order to delivery. Took them only 1 day to install all 17 windows! We got the wood/ultrex because we want the wood inside.

Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Depending on the size of his grew I would be a little nervous that they put in that many windows in one day.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 7:43AM
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We installed Integrity Wood/Ultrex double hungs this summer. We're very happy with the windows. The fit, finish and function are all very nice. As my DH is a contractor, we installed them ourselves. He indicated that they were some of the easiest new construction windows he's done. We also installed a french door and are very happy with it as well.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 4:17PM
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