looking for mid-range vinyl replacement windows in Chicago area
We want to replace 11 double-hungs and one picture window in our house. The current windows are from 1951, so the draftiness and peeling paint have become too much to handle. We decided to look for a mid-range vinyl replacement since we plan to be in the home another 7-10 years. They are doing a lot of tear-downs in this neighborhood (sad), so I'm looking for windows that meet our needs and budget now and not planning that we'll necessarily get a lot of resale value from this project. That said, I'm hoping to get some recommendations on both windows and installers/companies that we might contact. So far, we've spoken to a private installer (uses Alside Ultra Maxx or Excalibur), Illinois Energy (Worthington), Sears (Wincorp), and Champion reps. Seen a lot of complaints on this site for both Alside windows and Sears installation and windows. Illinois Energy seemed to have a good product, but I can't find much info and it seemed pretty expensive (12K) for our house. We just spoke with Champion today, so haven't made up my mind on that yet. Simonton seems to be referred to often here, so we will contact them. I would really love to hear any experience or suggestions. We are new to this process and trying to learn what we can and do it right. Some bad experiences lately with other home projects, so hopefully this will be a good one! I would like a decent quality, good service, decent warranty, and mostly piece of mind with the install. I would also like it if we don't loose a lot of glass with the replacements. Please share your expertise and recommendations!