looking for some help picking a replacement windo

prm2003March 13, 2012

I am w:

We need to replace all the windows in our house (14 double hungs, 1 slider, and 1 fixed) due to some sill/ trim rot and window pane seal breakdown. I have received quotes from several different contractors using several different products. We are planning on staying in the home for at least the next 10 years so I want a good products that will last and improve our energy usage. We are planning on doing a vinyl replacement window, with an exterior aluminum wrap; we want a window that has a color shaded outside that will match the tan trim on our house. Here the quotes I have thus far:

Lowe's- would get a $600 in store credit

Atrium (Reliabuilt) 3201 series windows � 5789.00

Pella (Thermastar) 20 series windows � 6274.00

PlyGem 3800 series double pain- 6996.00

PlyGem 3800 series triple pain- 7398.00

Lowe's- without in-store credit

Alside Ultramaxx windows w/ climatech glass, white interior w/ beige exterior for 7853.00

Local independent contractor- friend of a friend I know that will do a great job

Alside Ultramaxx windows w/ climatech glass, white interior w/ beige exterior for 8989.00

Window world- large chain

Series 6000 (equal to the Alside Ultramaxx) 7577.00

I have looked at consumer reports (CR) a bit to do some research and I am thinking the the Pella (Thermastar) 20 are out due to low ratings. I like the alsides rating but they are most per unit on CR and one of the more expensive options I have had quoted. Anyone have a thoughts on the reliability?, they have a good rating on CR in the testing but have two very bad reviews.

I am bit overwhelming with this process. I really just want a good quality window that will last for at least 20+ years for a reasonable price. I was a bit apprehensive with Lowe's, given they are just contracting it out, but my neighbor used them and had very good luck and the product install looks great.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated.

Thanks- Paul

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My first recombination would be to run away from all those quotes and people your getting the quotes from. Internet search Simonton, Gorrel, Okna, or Softlite. Stay away from HD, Lowes and Window World.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 1:58PM
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If you don't mind my asking, what is "vinyl replacement window, with an exterior aluminum wrap"?

I have never heard of it. I am actively shopping for windows this very moment and I have 14 double-hungs as well (lol) but also doors to replace. For windows, I have quotes for Winsor Legend and Simonton (both vinyl) which are quite reasonable but I am waiting for quotes from Marvin and Kolbe. All four from independent contractors.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:13PM
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That term generally refers to doing an "insert" style installation where the new window fits inside the existing frame. This is substantially less work = less $$$. Completely tearing out the existing frame is the alternative method. The person that quotes you should be able to tell you which method would better fit your individual situation.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Insert, pocket, replacement are all common terms for an other than full tear out type installation.

The cladding or wrap to the exterior is designed to shed the moisture and protect the trim wood from weather and eliminate future maintenance.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:34PM
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I had 27 windows replaced with double pane Plygem windows about 10 years ago. They look as good as the day they were installed. The distributor/installer we used has been in business for 35 years. Incindently, the installation took 2 weeks. All moveable windows are double hung.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:51AM
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It took 2 weeks to install 27 windows?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Maybe they meant 2 days :) lol.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 2:45PM
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I hope so.

2 weeks might be reasonable if they were building them onsite and melting the glass themselves too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:08AM
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