AuraLast and Jeld-Wen 'conspiracy'

eleenaMarch 16, 2012

Forgive me, but I need to re-phrase my 'pressure-treated wood' question, so I am starting a new thread in order to draw attention b/c I know that some people (myself included) often don't go back to threads if they have already answered the OP's question. (Wink)

Yesterday, we went to talk to a company that sells several different lines, including Kolbe and Jeld-Wen. From what I have read, Kolbe is more expensive than Jeld-Wen, isn't it? If so, then the sales people should be more interested in selling Kolbe, right?

Why would one recommend Jeld-Wen over Kolbe (as the rep we talked to did)? BTW, the guy was highly recommended by someone I (sort of) trust.

I have been shopping around like a "maniac", LOL, and several installers, independent of each other, recommended Jeld-Wen because of the AuraLast Wood that is guaranteed against rot and termites for 20 years.

I have called a few window companies directly. Some of them told me what kind of wood preservative their wood was treated with. Jeld-Wen rep said it was a proprietary info. To me, that means that it is not a Woodlife perservative.

Here is what their website says:

"AuraLast Wood is the result of years of research and development, producing an exceptional pine wood that lasts and lasts...for many years to come.

The proprietary vacuum-pressure process with leading-edge technology is designed to distribute the active ingredients into the very core of the wood for virtually 100% surface to core protection against wood rot, termites, and water saturation (shown at right in green) .

In contrast, other manufacturers use dip-treated wood (shown at right in red), which is protected on the surface only. This means the treatment's effectiveness will be compromised when the surface is broken during installation."

That is kind of ambitious. :-) Why would they make statements like that if they couldn't back them up?

What's up with "everyone" pushing Jeld-Wen? Are all these folks around me mis-informed? I wouldn't be surprised if they were, btw. Tt is next to impossible to find really competent here - and it is not an "empty" complaint b/c we used to live in places where it was not the case, believe me.

Can AuraLast really that superior to other woods? And, most importantly, does it matter, if I am going with a window that has PVC on the exterior surfaces as well as PVC sash interior?

Thank you for your patience!

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The can make a higher profit margin on Jeldwen because they may buy better than other resellers which is why they push that product. And for my point of view I still would not buy Jeldwen Windows as they are a marginal at best product regardless of the written "Lifetime limited warranty on Pine Exterior Door Frames and Components against wood rot and/or termites".

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I wouldn't put Jeld-Wen windows in my house if you gave them to me for free and paid me to install them.

While other experts on here are much more kinder spoken than I am, I will not pull punches and tell you that I think JW's are junk, and it doesn't matter what their claims are. Anyone can claim anything anytime.

Set your goals for the look you want. Start there. Forget about everything else at first. After you've established your dream look, research companies that can provide the look, and with quality. They will not be the cheapest companies. You want something you'll be proud of with no regrets 5, 10, 20 yrs down the road. This will not happen with a cheap company.

Perhaps the people you know don't know what they're talking about because they are contractors or rehabbers or remodelers, and they do a windows sometimes. That's not the same as a person who lives and breaths windows for decades and has seen the performance and heard the claims and is around when they are torn out and replaced again.

And yes, millworkman was exactly right. They get JW cheaper and so have a higher profit margin on them. You won't go wrong following the advice of the people on this board. They are familiar with all products, all kinds of installations, pricing, have been doing windows for years, and will steer you right.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:13PM
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"You won't go wrong following the advice of the people on this board."


I am not going to get Jeld-Wen, I am just trying to understand the logic behind their statements and other companies' products b/c I have never been so confused about anything in my life (and I have bought and sold two houses before as well as remodeled a good portion of this house).

I am not lazy, I do research for a living, and I have been researching windows for two weeks till "blue in the face", but I am still not clear.

I went to companies websites and got window ratings. Not all, of course, b/c they have so many lines, it is not feasible to get them all, unless I quit my job and abandon my family, LOL.

I have gone to the government websites and looked at the recommendations. But those are kind of "relaxed" (e.g., U-value 0.30. I am not after the credit, just using it as an example of yet another ambiguity.

I had 6 window guys come over to look at my windows. Each time, it took at least an hour or two (plus the commute) that I had to take off work b/c nobody except for one of them would come in the evening or on a weekend. Each of them told me a different story.

I got a quote for windows with U-value=0.29, SHGC=0.16 (see my post about PVC), and thought it was pretty good, but apparently it is not b/c the AL is 0.22.

I don't think I can talk to another local "window guy" (though I have one scheduled for early next week) b/c I am afraid to hear yet another confusing story.

And I cannot even remember how many window companies I called directly and talked to their reps. They hardly know anything, except for the fact that their product is the greatest. Every time I had questions about technical data, they had to call their engineering department, their boss, or someone else.

So, where can I get specific recommendation of what to look for? What do people mean when they say, research such and such companies? If anyone here knows a good window, can't you just tell me?

I live in (very hot and humid) S-E, in a "higher end" subdivision, so I need a window that looks good and wouldn't depreciate the value of the house at re-sale. I don't care if is wood or some stuff from Mars, as long as it looks like and IS a quality product that won't "go bad". I need it to have paint-able interior and last for > 15 years. My current windows are wood and have a 4 9/16" jamb. The house exterior has brick siding. I have been told by several installers that all-vinyl or all-fiberglass windows won't fit my openings w/o major (and expensive) changes to the walls b/c they have jambs that are no more than 3.5".

I am not independently wealthy and don't want to over-spend but I wouldn't want to to compromise the quality to save a few hundred dollars (I know better by now, LOL).

I am not after anything "flashy", don't need the windows to look very expensive in order to show them off. I never look at other people's windows and don't know personally anyone who does.

Is this a clear statement of my priorities or do I need to be more specific? I just don't know what people expect...

As far as vinyl windows are concerned, there are no high-end companies here (i have checked all of them recommended on this site), except for Gorell (bought by SoftLite and with potential quality issues b/c of that) and Simonton.

When it comes to wood or fiberglass, we have Marivn, Kolbe, Andersen, and WeatherShield.

We also have Jeld-Wen, Winsor and several others that I have not seen recommended, plus Lincoln that I don't remember being mentioned.

So, which window should I get?


    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 1:01AM
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Eleen, I can see why you are frustrated!! Sheesh.

First, if installers told you that, they are either idiots or trying to take advantage of you. Vinyl and fiberglass windows are custom made and require no alterations to the size of the existing holes. Standard practice is that each window is made just for it's specific opening.

I'm going to recommend 2 companies for wood interior. Renewal by Andersen is one, and I am not fond of them or the fibrex frames, but they know what they're doing installation-wise as far as I can tell. The other one is Infinity by Marvin. They also will know what they are doing installation-wise. They can let you know whether you need a full frame installation or an insert installation. An insert install will leave your jamb and interior moldings in place. Full frame will tear out everything to the studs and you get new jambs and casings. Since your house is brick, this isn't rocket science, and any competent company will know exactly how to handle it and will have done it hundreds of times before. Make sure they show you pictures of previous installs, and make sure they give you a reference list of people YOU CAN CALL and possibly even SEE the workmanship.
I'm frustrated just listening to your frustration. There is so much smoke being blown - but it is that way with anything you buy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Renewal by Andersen is one, and I am not fond of them or the fibrex frames, but they know what they're doing installation-wise as far as I can tell. The other one is Infinity by Marvin.

Nothing wrong with Andersen windows - but I wouldn't invite an Renewal by Andersen salesmen in my front door!

Does Infinity by Marvin actually install windows?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 12:23PM
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They only sell thru certified dealer/installers. The main issue myself and most people have with Renewal by Andersen are the high pressure sales tactics and the fact that they will "lower the price if you sign now" approach.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 12:35PM
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One more vote to stay away from Renewal. Window is slightly above average but the price and sales tactics are terrible. Marvin Infinity is a decent choice but often runs high as well. What are you looking for here? Looks or performance?... Most wood interior windows are going to suffer in the area of performance. Starmark and Inline are two that are great performers, but most others (including the Infinity and RBA) would not be considered "tight"... Stop listening to all of the salesmen BS and just look at the performance ratings: U Value, SHGC, Air infiltration and Design pressure. I generally don't like a window to be higher than .10 AI, but you may have to if the appearance is that important.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 2:29PM
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I agree on the high pressure by Renewal. Their initial price was twice what I expected to pay for 6 and 9 foot gliders. Then they kept calling back and offering to lower the price. Apparently I'm not alone in disliking those kinds of tactics. I already had a deal by that time.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Very interesting on the Renewal comments. I didn't think Andersen allowed the high pressure games. The one here doesn't do that as far as I know. I don't like the fibrex, though.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 1:12AM
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The point I was trying to make was that the quality of the window is a separate issue from the quality of the installer. Just because one installer/franchisee is OK doesn't tell you much about another one. And the same is true about sales tactics.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:47AM
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Until recently, I worked for one one of the wood window companies mentioned above (will stay unnamed). My territory spanned about 6 states and my focus was on the wood window market. It is interesting to read the various comments on particular manufacturers. Every company has their storyline ... every company has their success stories and every company has their catastrophic abysmal failures. All of these existed in my territory not only for the company where I worked but for every competitor I went up against. Are the catastrophic failures the fault of the window manufacturer? In some cases yes and in many cases no and in some more, maybe yes or maybe no. Think about all the things that have to go right in order for a wood window job to go well. 1) the salesman has to be knowledgeable about the product. 2) the order must be entered correctly. 3) The order has to be manufactured correctly. 4) The order must be loaded onto the truck so that no damage occurs in transit - sometimes for 1000 miles or more depending on where they are manufactured. 5) Many times the order must be off-loaded at the dealer warehouse. This must be done without incurring damage and some of those items are going to be really heavy. 6) The order will be re-loaded onto the dealers box truck and driven out to the job site - must happen without damage. 7) The order is offloaded at the job site where conditions can be downright pitiful. 8) The windows must be installed correctly and last but not least, all the subs must treat the product with respect which means no closing windows or doors on power cords, climbing through windows, etc. If any one or multiple items above go a little sideways, this can upset the applecart in a big way. Who's at fault? Does it really matter?? The job is falling behind schedule and tempers are flaring and fingers are pointing all over the place. These are all of the logistical fail points. What about the knowledge and sloppy salesmanship fail points? What about the human error factor in manufacturing? I could tell stories every day until the end of the year about other crazy whacky, Venus lines with Pluto situations that will likely never happen again!
My best advice is to 1) deal with professionals and people who you think you can trust. Do not let low ball pricing or fast talking affect your judgement in this area. You do not want the price you pay for your windows to end being a down payment. Be wary of those who lead with price! 2) Most importantly, do NOT beat up your salesman too much on price. You can be a tough negotiator but don't cross the line to impossible. Remember that he or she IS going to earn their money. You want to encourage returned phone calls so be reasonable. 3) Be realistic with your budget up front. and again most importantly, deal with the pros! All the points above could be expounded upon and this could go from a small book to war and peace in a hurry. I hope this helps someone and my intention was not to anger anyone. I hope I succeeded.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Excellent post, well said and great advice. With the price of quality wood windows people need to realize they need to be treated like furniture or the handled the same as you would treat fine wood cabinetry.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 6:59PM
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I agree. The only thing I'd say is that price should not be a "dirty secret" either. Most honest pros WILL discuss it prior to hitting you with their spiel, but certainly the lowest price should not be the deciding factor if you are truly concerned with quality... The two extremes in this business are the sales and marketing "machine" companies with their high pressure and pricing, and the bargain basement $200 per window types that sell and install junk. Avoid both like the plague.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:28PM
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No, most pro's will NOT give ball park prices before measuring and discussing the entire project details. Why? Because most people have no idea or perspective on value or product, and price without knowledge will shut them down. However your low end low price bang it up and run with the money companies will low ball their way in with a ball park low price and then mid job you will pay for "unexpected" work. A professional will give you an exact price and they'll stand behind it through completion.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:47PM
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I completely disagree. You are living in the past. This neat little invention called the internet makes it pretty easy for consumers to get a good idea of what a window will cost. Give them some credit, people know that that they are not going to get a great value at a low-ball price, they just want a good product at a fair price. You can price a car, a home, a dog, and pretty much anything else before having to meet with someone, so why not windows? I realize that every home has different circumstances, but a ballpark price is certainly doable. A good company will then provide a thorough and accurate quote during or after the appt based on the details, and stand behind that price. The only reason to keep it secret is so that you can pull out the dog and pony show with all of your high pressure once you get in the home, or so you can try to justify why you sell a vinyl replacement window for $1200. I don't recommend dealing with that type of company.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I completely disagree with you. The only way a dealer can give a ballpark figure is when they only carry one window brand. We carry 5 different brands and within those brands, there are 2-3 different lines. The prices vary greatly depending on what the customer wants. When I get a call asking for a "ballpark price" the best I can do is give a range, which for most consumers is unhelpful. Besides, most companies that give "ballparks" over the phone will usually quote their lowest priced window just to get the consumer to schedule an appointment with them, which is very deceptive IMO. Once they get in the door, they start selling one of their more profitable brands and a highe line than was quoted over the phone. We have also found that generally when a consumer leads with a price question before asking about the brands we carry, is usually not the right consumer for us as we refuse to carry the lower end brands because they are not worth the headaches down the road.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:23AM
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I actually don't disagree with that John. I feel as though a range is acceptable as well, and generally is what I give when someone asks. Either way, the consumer is getting an idea of the type of company that they are working with. In my experience they just want to make sure that they are not dealing with some $1200 per window huckster company that is going to refuse to leave their home at 11pm until the sign a contract... If they are put off by the price range that I give because they saw a $189 ad, then just like you, I'd say that we probably aren't the right choice because we prefer to offer a higher level of product and installation. I also agree that multiple product lines complicate that, but most companies have one main offering, even if they have alternative lines as well.
Ultimately, as I mentioned in the previous post, the information is out there on the internet anyway so I prefer to be upfront about it. If other window dealers don't want to do it that way, that's fine with me. It sets me apart from my competition. ;)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:48PM
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I just want consumers to understand that if you call a dealer and ask for a "ballpark" it could be a range of between $325 per window for one of our entry level windows with a wood tear out up to $850 for one of our higher lines with a metal pan removal. Even a basic wood tear out can be $325-$650 depending on brand and the line selected.

The fact that a dealer can't give a "ballpark" over the phone is not an indication they are not trustworthy. It may be they carry a large selection, which is good for the consumer.

Funny, I just left a house with an order. The customer called and really pinned me down on a "ballpark a few days ago so I gave him a price on a Sunrise window over the phone. You guessed it, when I got there, nearly every window was 36x74, reversed Oriel, vinyl flange into siding and most needed to be factory mulled. In addition 12 windows were 3rd floor of a garaged townhouse so we need a 40' ladder. There goes the "ballpark", foul ball. ; )

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:10PM
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If you just left the house with the order, then obviously your explanation of why the price was higher was adequate. Most consumers are smart and reasonable and understand these things, and your own story confirms that... My point is that there are tell-tale signs of a high pressure company: 1. They won't even broach the subject of price until they are in the home. 2. They won't even come unless both "decision-makers" are present. 3. They tell you that the appt will last 2-3 hrs. Independently, those things are not all terrible, but that is pretty much the script of the high-pressure, high-price companies.
My pricing is very similar to yours, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is very fair, and consumers see that when they get multiple quotes. I'm proud of the fact that we offer one of the best products available for what can be half the price of those other companies, so I don't hesitate to share it. It develops trust with my clients, makes their shopping experience easier, and increases my conversion rate as well... Like I said though, to each their own.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

You get what you pay for at the end of the day.

This holds true for windows as well. If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:09PM
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WOW: I know you are one of the more respected contributors here, and I'm still willing to have you consult for us on purchasing new windows here in Ohio! Please??

The problem is, unless I am careful, it sounds like I *won't* get what I paid for from these less-reputable dealers. But how do I know who is reputable? How do I know I'm dealing with a "Pro" as ExWindowGuy recommends?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Sorry for being MIA but I had to take a "mental health break" from the window business in order to restore my sanity, LOL.

There is something I would like to understand - for my own educational purposes - why so many people here feel like

"I wouldn't put Jeld-Wen windows in my house if you gave them to me for free and paid me to install them."

Is it b/c the windows will be drafty or too "sunny"? Will they fail? Will they look bad? I know it has been said that they are mediocre, but what does it mean exactly?

I have gone to their website to look at the ratings. So, I can see that the numbers don't look good, e.g., U-value too high, etc. However, if they were truly free and you were really paid to install them, what is so bad about them that you wouldn't have them?

The reason I ask, b/c my window replacement process was started by seeing Jeld-Wen windows installed in a friend's house and my friend was pleased with the service and the installation. She told me the price and I thought I could live with it. But then things went south...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:43PM
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"If it is too good to be true, it probably is."

"The point I was trying to make was that the quality of the window is a separate issue from the quality of the installer."

See, I have known this all along. :-) I have not asked anyone for a ball-park estimate as we have many different windows and doors and it would be impossible to give a competent estimate on the spot. Every company sent someone to measure my windows and I only have 3 estimates so far. They are really taking their time. :-)

I have never made it all about the price and I have emphasized that I wanted quality windows. But I am sorry, $1200 for a 32"x62" window is not reasonable IMO, especially given that I don't want it to be mahogany (don't even need it to be wood) and I am going to paint it anyway.

The estimates I have gotten so far are either too low or too high to be "trustworthy", so to speak.

Marvin Infinity was my top choice when I first learned that not "all windows were created equal", thanks to you, *guys*. However, they do not have authorized residential installers in my area. One of the window companies here is talking to the Infinity guys to see if they'd let them do it.

But then there is an issue with all-fiberglass windows having a different jamb and not fitting my openings w/o a major installation headache.

If I understand correctly, it is about the jamb size being smaller than standard 4 9/16", window sills being straight (unlike the sloped ones that my current wood windows have) and the frame being narrower than my window openings.

Does it sound right to you? Could someone please comment on that?


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Eleena, let the pro's worry about the jamb size and the installation method and go over it with them. Standard width on a replacement window with almost every company is 3 1/4". If a 4 9/16ths is needed the window is merely sub-jambed at the factory or on the job. I'm saying, most of the time. And this is actually preferable in most situations. At this point the variables are too many to discuss, but should be a piece of cake for a competent installer/company.

We've been involved in this stuff for decades. You, however, may well drive yourself crazy!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:49AM
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Yes, and you have just driven me even crazier, ha-ha-ha.

The installers didn't say it couldn't be done but they said it wouldn't look right. Why so? HELP!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:02AM
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HomeSealed, you are the one who is old fashioned. The internet is full of misinformation and deception, and most people go crazy trying to research this stuff, including prices. I know you think you're better than everyone, and your methods are superior to everyone elses, but they aren't. The internet is great if used correctly, but it doesn't replace people. Someone still has to show up and install a window product that will satisfy in appearance and performance.

I don't pressure any of my customers. I give them an accurate exact price AFTER discussing the details of the job. This allows me also to build VALUE into their perception of the overall product and process. Without this, they most of the time know nothing, and think that a Home Depot off the shelf window is a real window for $200. The internet is no different than Home Depot to most folks.

If a customer absolutely presses me on a ball park number, I give them a wide range. I also tell all my customers that they could get this project done for half the price, but that in 15 years and many times less, they will be doing it again. And that's a fact with ALL of the midrange builder grade junk that's being pawned off by laboratory "U" values that last about 3 years. As a matter of fact, I just had a prospect go with another company. Accent Windows. Accent is in bankruptcy for the 2nd time in 4 years. They were half the price, and the people will have no warranty or service, regardless of the company's claims. They have already had glass units replaced in their other vinyl windows from fogging. Go figure - it was all about price, so they chose glass failure and bankruptcy, but I was honest with them.

It's obvious you think I'm a high pressure gimmick and smoke and mirrors salesperson. You're very mistaken. I will try to get the business, yes, but not with high pressure, and only after building value.

It is unfair to the customer to discuss price first. There are too many options. Now if you would like to establish an average size window united inches, base model, and throw that at people, you will find that when that's not what they want they will think you bait and switched them. IMHO it is very unprofessional.

We're not in people's homes for 3 hours either. I resent the implications, and chalk it up to you being defensive over vinyl. The future is fiberglass - and I'm not new at the window business, my friend. I've got 35 years under my belt with everything ever made. I'm not saying that vinyl can't be entirely appropriate in many situations. It can. It performs for a while. But you absolutely cannot deny the physics of expansion and contraction, or heat and cold.

I suggest we get along, Mr HomeSealed. I suspect you got me banned from the other forum because I have opinions you don't like. I hope I'm wrong. There's a new pro on the forum, and my opinion differs from yours on some things. That does not make me a snake oil salesperson that lies, overcharges, pressures, irritates, etc.

By the way, I installed for companies that were bargain low end hustlers, I installed for companies that were selling at 1000 bucks a hole back in the early 90's doing Great Lakes and Bristol triple panes. Have you seen the cost of a decent pickup truck? Priced milk? 20 bucks in your pocket back then went further than 100 bucks does now. So maybe your short selling yourself. Maybe it's a cultural thing. I got about 10 - 15 years left in this business, and I'm making them count with an awesome product and company. I'm on fire about windows for the first time in a long long time. And I'm going to upset the apple cart. Vinyl is fine for a lot of people. And a lot of other people deserve better than that.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:42AM
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Window Dog, shoot me an email with your contact info.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Windowdog, my comments were all regarding these practices in general, not directed at you. I don't know who you are, or how you do things, nor do I have the power to get anyone banned from any sites.
I don't think that I'm better than anyone at all. I just choose to recommend companies and sales practices that I feel are ethical and common sense :)
I sell vinyl, fiberglass, wood, and composite options so I can be pretty objective on assessing material choices. Fiberglass is a nice, niche product, nothing more... and for those consumers viewing this: Niche= you pay more, but really don't get more. ;)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Here is a good article regarding the "future" of windows. Performance ratings that lag behind such as those of Infinity are not exactly where things are going... That's not to say that it is a bad window- it is beautiful and well made- but the performance is what it is.

Here is a link that might be useful: future of windows

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:05AM
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You're too late. I read that article this morning. Yeah those Europeans are really on top of their game these days, eh? lol.

You're comments are insulting and you know it, but it's back door. Whatever. You seem to love the government numbers when they work for you, but not the real world facts, which is that those numbers won't exist in those windows in 10 yrs. I resent the "niche" remark, and just using that term has lowered your expertise and knowledge. Fiberglass is no more a niche than vinyl was. If there is a niche window, it is fibrex, but since Andersen seems to have the government in their pocket, no one will tell the truth about it, which is that: fibrex is a vinyl product that has been compromised with wood flour so that they can paint it. It leaks air like a sieve, and it only is warranted for 10 yrs. There's your niche. While there are some great vinyl products, the MATERIAL fiberglass is superior in every way to vinyl, and will last much longer. It's just a fact.

Let's not argue product. Recommend what you think is best. I'll do the same.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:42PM
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You seem to be claiming a bunch of "facts" but supplying none whatsoever. Do you actually have any real information or anything that is not regurgitated from the window brochure? Is your personal observations now part of the official testing after the fact? I guess nobody needs AAMA testing anymore now that you have the "real world" data.

What "government" numbers are you referring to? Do you mean the architectural test data (i.e. DP, air infiltration, structural pressure, and water infiltration)?

Some would argue, probably successfully, that Europe and Canada were well ahead of the US in terms of window performance and standards. Their comparably high cost of energy required them to be more leading edge although that gap has closed considerably.

You won't find anyone here, minus the occasional RBA salesperson, that will argue that the Renewal is a good window option at the price they attempt to charge for it.

Do you have any data to indicate that window performance (vinyl in this case) degrades over time and as a result of what?

Can you tell me what is superior about fiberglass vs. vinyl. Please don't tell me about tensile strength or expansion and contraction because I don't think those are particularly valuable in terms of the end units performance vs. vinyl, wood, etc.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Thank you for that dose of common sense websnooper. Well said.
Windowdog, I don't mean to be insulting at all, so I apologize if that's how it came across. The fact of the matter is that every window choice has pros and cons. When all you do is trumpet one as being the "BEST", and bash another based on nothing more than marketing propaganda, you are doing a disservice to consumers as well as hurting your credibility... and yes, as websnooper alluded to, Europe and Canada are indeed ahead of the US in window technology, although hopefully we are catching up.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:44AM
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I'm talking about energy star numbers. What is the real world difference between .24 and .22? What I'm saying is that all of these numbers are important, yes, but they are often manipulated. I'm saying you could claim .20, but if the windows leaks air, who cares what the numbers in the testing facility were. That's all.

To ask me what proof I have that vinyl degrades over time, well, you must not be around very long. They "can" discolor, warp and bow. We replace them all the time. I've replaced vinyl with more vinyl. I sold and installed vinyl windows for over 30 years. So while HomeSealed wants to make smart ass comments about my recommendations, my experience is in homes and not in laboratories. Try to remember that I AGREE that there are some very good vinyl windows available. I'm just over it.

But you don't want to hear about expansion and contraction, which is the main consistent issue the fenestration industry is always trying to improve and study. Vinyl expands and contracts so much, that the whole system is designed to move and float. The glass isn't sealed to the frame, it floats in the frame so it can move. The corners are welded so they won't shrink apart. The truth about warm edge spacers is that they are designed from foam so they can expand and contract and not break the seals. Now there's nothing wrong with these things, and the system performs well, but that's a lot of movement. And it's not just within the window itself, but between the window and the opening. If you make your living from vinyl, you don't want to hear about other choices. I get that. You guys want to think you are the big experts about everything out there. But I'm not a kid, and vinyl isn't the only material known to man. I've seen every single material and I've seen it 20 years later. You argue with a large segment of the industry like it's insignificant. You're wrong. Vinyl expands and contracts hundreds of percent more than wood and fiberglass. That's why they put that fact in the brochure. Everything is marketing - look at fibrex. Genius marketing, 10 yr warranty. A joke.

I'm amused by the fact that these discussion boards are dominated by certain "experts" who pretend they have a well rounded view of the whole picture, but yet get defensive about vinyl. The other board,, is just a vinyl board they removed me from because I talked about fiberglass. It's a lead generation board. Funny. I'm not trying to sell ANYTHING to anyone. Millwork and Skydawg don't do that, do they. WOW and HS are a little sensitive. :)

The inside scoop is that Andersen is developing a fiberglass window as we speak. They are already using it in their doors. Top of the line door companies are using fiberglass, like Provia. Boats that sit in salt water, airplanes, are made out of fiberglass. Fiberglass is being marketed in hundreds of building applications across the board. You can pretend, Mr "HomeSealed", it's just a "niche" product, but that exposes your agenda to guide consumers to what you sell. All the top companies are developing fiberglass applications.

Expansion and contraction. Touchy issue.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Like I said, there are pros and cons to every material, and I do indeed sell every material,not just one. You are catching flak because your posts are clearly just promoting fiberglass, and because you talk about all vinyl as if the worst quality product product from 20yrs ago is representative of all vinyl. There is so much mis-information in that last post, I give up... and just FYI, Infinity and fiberglass in general has enjoyed a pretty good reputation across the web boards. Only after you so shamelessly started promoting it as the greatest thing since sliced-bread have its short-comings and blemishes been high-lighted. Don't bite your nose off despite your face.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Oh, wow!

I guess there is just as much disagreement among window experts on this board as IRL, LOL.

So, will I ever get my windows?

I have re-posted my questions on the Sash/Insert thread but have not gotten too many replies. Could you "guys" answer my questions there? Please?


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:51PM
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I'm not looking for fans or customers. Just spreading the word :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


First off, lets do away with any personal jabs? Please demonstrate where I did anything of the sort to you. Nothing of what I have posted or will ever post is intended to be personal. If you post some information that is not based in fact, I will post a response to that so that the facts of the matter can be discussed. You have come in and tried to sling some pretty directed arrows at vinyl windows and I am not sure they are based in current facts or product representations.

Make no mistake, if there was a window out today that did everything performance wise that the premium vinyls do today and could be done at a similar price point, I would offer that to our customers ASAP.

I have also stated on a couple of occasions that we sell and install fiberglass (Marvin and Inline) and it is a great option for some clients that want a more organic looking window and some options that are just not available in vinyl. That being said, it has a place and are both great units but selling them as superior to vinyl based on the ruse of decreasing vinyl performance or expansion and contraction is just not based in fact and I will not do that.

Again, if you want to argue facts and leave personal discussions (as I have) out of it, please feel free to do so. Several of your posts indicate a lack of grasp on industry standards and testing protocols so I think you might be well advised to refrain from given out what is factually incorrect information.

I am in no way an expert, but I do know enough to know where to stop talking and ask a question from someone more educated than me on the subject matter.

I think for the purposes of comparing one material to another (ex. fiberglass to vinyl) we should assume that the best of materials in each class is being used for the comparative. It does not allow for a proper discussion or comparison is we are trying to compare very crappy vinyl to good fiberglass or vice versa.

Vinyl does have a higher than average coefficient of expansion and certainly higher than fiberglass (roughly twice the rate of polyester reinforced resins).

This has long been established and has been the tip of the marketing sword for fiberglass manufacturers, however, it well overstated and completely overvalued. If the coefficient of expansion is really the end all be all of window performance, why isn't every window specified to be made out of wood give that fiberglass's rate is nearly 4X that of wood??

Vinyl window corners are welded because it is both easier from a manufacturing standpoint and you also eliminate a moisture entry pathway at the window heads and jambs. Using mechanical fasteners is and extra step and once a fabricator owns a welder, they will never mechanically fasten again.

You are also quite mistaken about space technologies. Spacers were made of structural foams so that they could negate any of the thermal conductivity issues associated with metallic spacers while still maintaining a structural seal.

Window IGUs change pressure with temperature as the inert or atmospheric gases change pressure with temperature. As a result, the glass spacer needs to be able to accommodate flexion so that it can move slightly with the glass and keep its seal.

All window materials, fiberglass included, have differential expansion rates compared to their frame materials. Fiberglass, for example, has and expansion rate that is 3X's that of glass. This is the reason that all windows are attached to the frame of the sash via a glazing material of some type (wet or dry glazed) so that they can allow for movement. Again, wood has the closest rate to glass so if you are going to hinge your argument on that fact alone, you shouldn't be selling anything but wood. To that same end, all the curtain glass walls that you see in high rises are doomed to failure if your logic is correct.

If seeing a material 20 years later is the rationale for your approach to given a material your stamp of approval, how are you yet recommending fiberglass? The Marvin Infinity has not been out even 10 years at this point?

Can you also honestly say that the vinyl of today made by the big premium companies shares anything but the root materials with the vinyl of 20 years ago? The newer windows are light years apart. Would you compare cell phones from 20 years ago to what we have now?

Again, I am not a vinyl spokesperson in this case whether in an official or unofficial capacity. I just prefer to deal in facts. You have talked about all the glass loss with vinyl and I posted up VT numbers and edge of frame measurements to prove otherwise. You did not respond but that is a fairly normal response when someone is shown to be mistaken.

To be honest, you probably should not be posting much about a window that you have demonstrated not much depth of knowledge about. You claim that I am so pro vinyl but did you know that I have actually reviewed drawings on some of the newer fiberglass designs out there? As as matter of fact, I talk to the owner of Inline (the inventors of the fiberglass window) on a weekly basis and had some input into the development (if only opinion and a wish list) of their new window that completely annihilates the Marvin Infinity on every aspect of performance. Even the engineers of the windows in this case will not claim that the "expansion and contraction" is of any real advantage in about 99% of the applications if you are dealing with well designed vinyl.
As soon as fiberglass demonstrates more than a 10% market share of the window business, referring to it as niche is completely fair.

Are some of them great windows, yes.

Should vinyl be taken off the market in lieu of fiberglass, no.

Does the expansion and contraction of vinyl present problems, not in well designed windows.

Does demonstrating that a material is used in plane or boat construction a valid basis for using it in construction, no.

Owens Corning (the world leader in the production of fiberglass) attempted a fiberglass window and gave it up so I would not be expecting to see the market a flood with a bunch of new fiberglass windows.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:41PM
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WOW, I hope I didn't personally dig on you. You're very knowledgeable and informative. I was HS I was reacting to. Regardless... First of all, I'm not talking about Infinity or Pella or Inline or Serious as much as I'm talking purely about fiberglass as a frame material as compared to vinyl. You guys are all vinyl guys. Fine, I don't care. I'm here to give my opinion, having worked for 35 years with vinyl and everything else. I was like you. I'm not like you anymore. I hate vinyl. I think it's junk. I think the designs, the gimmicks, the materials, and the NUMBERS are all bogus. That is just my opinion. All of the information I have about pultruded fiberglass compared to vinyl have not too much in common with the "facts" you are sharing with me. I'm a little troubled that so many "facts" that people in the industry have do not jibe. For instance, fiberglass does not expand 3x more than the glass unit. or 4x more than wood. That's nonsense. Complete nonsense. Fiberglass windows have the same coefficient of expansion as the glass (while vinyl has the greatest disparity of expansion coefficients). This is undeniable.

I'm not here to make fans. I just would like to share my experience with people looking for information. Yeah yeah yeah, I agree, sometimes I would possibly recommend a vinyl product. I have a certain instinct for installation issues, operational issues, longevity issues, and marketing tripe. One of the things that impresses me with fiberglass is the facts of the marketing - where with vinyl marketing I'm always going, yeah right. It's just my opinion. You are vinyl guys, you and HS, tried and true. I was and am no longer - I have jumped ship. And the main reason is services and failures. And I'm not talking about just builder grade junk, either. I'm talking about high quality windows that I loved to put in, that I was proud of. I think fiberglass will over run vinyl. You will disagree. I don't care if you disagree with me. It's my opinion, that's all.

You're much smarter with all the technical stuff, and I compliment you on that as it is impressive. No offense meant to you in any way. I just don't buy it. And now with all this government involvement in our industry, I believe all that even less. A demand for a 30/30 window for a tax credit with the "green" bandwagon hype, and people all over the country are buying windows that will actually cause them to use MORE ENERGY during the cold months than a window with a higher solar heat gain. While I respect the NFRC, my life has been in homes. A window in a lab is not a window in wood and sheetrock with crappy siding or brick under UV heat and winter cold for years. You can disregard my opinion, but I'll still say it.

If it were my own home, which I'm hoping to do all the windows and doors within the next couple years, I would not do Infinity. Or any of the other full fiberglass lines. I'm going to do wood with a fiberglass exterior or aluminum clad exterior. I'll also do a high solar heat gain glass for passive solar. I live at almost 8000 ft facing SE, and with only 3 months of "summer" the heat I get from the sun warms up the whole house every morning for the other 9 months. And by the way, we try to "tune" the glass packages to people's needs, and don't just ride the 366 train. A lot of homes we do are log and wood homes in the mountains and along the front range. We cover 4 states right now, at many different altitudes. We also do other lines, not just Infinity. But we decided we will not do any vinyl lines, even if requested. Why? Because we offer a lifetime installation warranty as long as the customer owns and lives in the home, on top of the factory warranty. There's not one vinyl product we feel we could do that with. Just a different perspective, WOW. Just the way we see it. We've got a combined 200 or so years of experience and we think we know what we're doing. You've got to understand, I've seen Energy Star stickers, U.24 stickers, AAMA stickers, on some of the most unbelievable junk for years. It's just not that impressive.

You guys are looking for customers. I'm just looking to help out with a question here and there. I have no motives or agenda that benefits me. But I do appreciate the time and educational discussion.

I've been reading up on European Passivhaus window companies and haven't seen much about vinyl. Didn't you guys say they were way ahead of the US? And how much is "way". Are they just "niche"? So much of this industry is a dog and pony show.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:15AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Really WindowDog...not a jibe.

"You guys are looking for customers..."

Explain to me how that is not a jab? I have thousands of posts on this site and others in thousands of threads where people have clearly identified where they are from (which is thousands of miles away from me) and I am trying to help them navigate what has been made a very difficult decision process.

Some of that difficulty is from the countless vinyl folks bastardizing the facts and other is from folks not altogether like yourself who are presenting what they think are "facts" and clearly are not.

I am sorry to inform you again but you are clearly mistaken. Do you think that fiberglass windows are only made of fiberglass? What do you think binds those fibers in the pultrusion.....? Resins (most often polyester) are the binders and absolutely do have expansion and contraction rates.

Expansion Rates:

PVC = 28
Polyester (most fiberglass are this) Resins with glass fiber reinforcement = 14
Wood = 2.1 - 3
Glass = 2.3 - 5

Feel free to browse through this list and you will see for yourself.

Congrats on offering a higher SHGC glass. I don't think anyone here was promoting the idea of using the Fed and the NFRC as the benchmark of energy efficiency. As a matter of fact, most of the regular posters on here have been talking about the positive aspects of SHGC for years and the maximization of passive solar energy.

Everyone's opinion holds some value but if a person continues to state items as facts and has demonstrated a lack of understanding on several points that they are opining on, it somewhat devalues their opinion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Engineering Toolbox

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:52AM
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You can't compare polyester rates to wood and glass and vinyl and claim that as representative of fiberglass. The entire fiberglass industry would take issue with that. Also, the numbers on wood are altogether misleading. I'm not putting down wood, but the expansion rate is compounded by swelling and shrinking with humidity, which can be vastly minimized by vigilant maintenance. Maybe. For a while. Exp/contr is not a huge problem with wood, however compounded with swelling and shrinking?... But this is just an example of real life not matching CTE tables. from folks not altogether "like" yourself who are presenting...
Really? Didn't you mean folks not "unlike" myself?

I am sorry to inform you again "but" you are clearly mistaken.
Didn't you mean, you're sorry to inform me again "that" I am clearly mistaken?

Am I to accept your understanding of engineering testing numbers, and analysis of coefficient of thermal expansion as applicable in the field, regardless of illogical uses of English?

I'm sorry, that's a jab/jibe. Kind of like devaluing my opinion with physics formulas.
Here's a good formula:
vinyl = soft X UV / temp = tolerance instability. (yes i made that up) I guess it would help if everything was installed in 65 F temps. Funny how you can install at 95F or 15F and everything was perfect til the seasons changed. Just blame the installer, right?

Like I said, I bow to your engineering and mathematical prowess. Seriously. That's not my strong side. My strong side is experience in the field, intuition, instinct, and the ability to see through manipulations of companies and marketing. There are so many more important things than extreme "zero energy" numbers. Windows have nothing to do with energy. Nothing. Zero. They have EVERYTHING to do with energy LOSS, and minimizing that dynamic while managing SHGC. Many products, including vinyl, do this extremely well. Fantastic, even. You can disregard my opinions all you want - it doesn't hurt my feelings in the least. They are honest and truthful. My position is that I have grown to dislike vinyl for a myriad of reasons, and much of the professional building industry shares some of those views.

No one hates you quite like your ex. I loved vinyl like I loved Ford. How long are you going to hang in there when they don't love you back? Now, you'll hate that analogy because it can't be quantified, but I think it's perfect. :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 2:00PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Are you really challenging my grammar now?

Ad hominem arguments are the clear indication of a person who has no real foundation of argument.

You are correct in that I missed an "un"like vs. a like, however, my usage of the "but you are clearly mistaken" is quite acceptable.

Please read carefully as I type it out....Glass fiber reinforced polyester resins guessed it...fiberglass.

I was not devaluing your opinion with physics formulas (the table that I posted a link to was not for forumulas, they are accepted standards), I was pointing out that your data points are altogether incorrect.

Do you know what that grossly overstated expansion rate of vinyl nets you in terms of total linear expansion in your example (assuming about a 32" wide opening), about 0.04 (or 1/25th) of an inch. By comparison, that same fiberglass window is at about 0.02 of an inch.

Your intuition, experience, and instinct are all great and I have never challenged them. I have challenged the illogical and false statement you have repeatedly made because you are holding them out incorrectly as facts.

I never defended vinyl for the sake of being vinyl. I was merely pointing out the fallacy of your arguments and statements. Please feel free to post links to any of those opinions of the "professional building industry" that now dislike vinyl.

Lastly, lets not get into a discussion about residential energy. I am afraid of the amount of misinformation that may result from your posts on that subject matter.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Yes, at 35 years in the window industry, I am a well spring of misinformation. You've convinced me.

I have to wonder at your tenacity to discredit my opinions. I grow increasingly less impressed with vinyl for many valid reasons, of which I've only pointed out the gross obvious ones. These are positions very well known and increasingly held by industry leaders. What is your motive?

Touche to the ad hominem accusation. Perhaps unfair of me. However I was not entirely argumentum ad hominem fallacious. While my sense of humor often is unrecognized by others, it amuses me. It was funny to think of your grammar in parallel with the engineering numbers. Not a strong point, but there it is.

You point out the physics of various materials in numbers and formulas. (I'm not being disingenuous by saying that that does indeed fascinate me. Your grasp of these issues in admittedly superior to mine.) I point out that those numbers are presented in a way which removes the many variables of real life. They are presented in such a way that promotes your business product. Other than pro-vinyl people, I see numbers represented entirely differently by everyone else, making considerations for numbers not at a specific point in time, but measured over the passing of time.

Wow, you win the argument. I'm not interested in bogging down in numbers. There are too many other factors. Operation, appearance, longevity, stability, tolerances, materials, functionality, effectiveness, all contribute to a consumer's satisfaction. Then there are innumerable, incalculable character traits of companies and organisations that contribute to product and service and quality of workmanship, etc ad nauseam. You have me beat, my friend. May I now go back to sharing my experience and opinion on window products?

Here's a good opinion for you. A company can use the best glass units and fiberglass frame materials and still make a poor mediocre window. That's true information, right there :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Again, I welcome a healthy debate. Please feel free to provide me any links, data, or articles that demonstrate the positions of these industry leaders and I will be happy to read them.

I would rather miss a couple of grammatical errors but have a grasp on the facts at hand than the opposite. By the way, you might want to re-read some of your other postings for correctness before you continue to hurl grammar stones.

How do industry accepted standards of expansion "remove(s) the many variables of real life"? You are the one that actually brought the expansion and contraction issue to the forefront. I was simply pointing out that your numbers were way off base.

You used the idea of expansion and contraction to found completely incorrect conclusions about spacers, glazing beads and frame welding. Sorry to be the "internet Police", but your answers were so off base, I didn't want future readers taken your word as gospel.

For the record, I could care less if vinyl windows ceased to exist today and fiberglass, wood, composite, and metal were all that was left. I cannot, however, attempt to discredit a materiel based on half truths and misinformation.

Vinyl is not my business product. Energy efficiency and deep retrofits (windows being a part of that) are my business.

I welcome all opinions and I have learned a great many things from fenestration folks that are far smarted than me on the subject matter. Lets try to stick to verifiable facts when talking materials in the future.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:53PM
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WindowDog, I have no interest in continuing this debate, but WoW is one of the most knowledge, impartial, and ethical people that I've ever met in this industry. As he has said, he sells ALL window materials (as do I) and his posts are based on facts, experience, along with a genuine desire to help people- with zero ulterior motive. He is far too modest to list his qualifications, but let's just say that they are beyond reproach in the areas of window technology and overall home performance. His years of posting on this board and others speak loudly and clearly to that point.
As I've said before, each and every material has its own pros and cons, so let's leave it at that. You are in a minority of one if you continue to refuse to acknowledge that fact.
My message to consumers viewing this debate: The window industry is one of overwhelming misinformation and questionable (or worse) sales practices. I highly recommend looking to objective, third party sources ( such as NFRC and AAMA) to discern what is fact vs fiction. Everything thing else is based on "opinion" at best, (deceitful lies at worst), and we all know the old saying about "opinions". ;)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Oh brother. Youre not kidding, either. AAMA? Really? They'll put their sticker on anything. Please.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:47PM
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I own an old house and bought 30 JeldWen windows from HomeDepot and installed them around 2004-06. Mostly they are double hung aluminum clad wood windows. About 10 windows are casement. During winter, my attic casement windows all condense moisture, which drips down and has started to blacken the wood where it collects most. I installed all my windows myself so I have keenly observed this happening from day one. A large part of the problem is how the windows are made. I have two panes of glass(thermopanes) for insulation, but around the edges is a metal band that conducts cold really well. So the coldest part of the glass is near the edges, which is where the most water condenses. There should be a thermal break...and there isn't. Also, I had to seal the bottom of the sash, where it meets the glass with silicon, so this moisture build up would not blacken and ROT the bottom sash and mitered wood trim moulding abutting the glass. The casement sash locks are another design flaw. Interior air easily escapes through them and condenses on the sash where it contacts the window stop. The other design flaw is the cavity at the bottom of the casement where the crank mechanism is located. There are lots of wooden nooks and crannies here for water to collect as it drips down the interior of the sashes. There is insufficient caulking of the bottom exterior corners. Water becomes trapped here and cannot escape; hence there is blackening of the wood, even though it is completely painted with poly. Three remedies: reduce indoor humidity to as low as possible....cover the entire window with temporary shrink wrap that blocks ALL interior air from contacting the window and caulk/silicon all vulnerable areas where moisture is clearly penetrating or collecting.....Also use an exterior it won't crack and trap moisture which will quickly blacken the wood.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:22PM
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Is your attic conditioned space? How cold is it in there?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:55PM
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I've been reading the fascinating debate above. Can someone in the business help or guide me? i work for a small Italian company that has been designing and building quality wooden windows for over 40 years. i think our prices are good and certainly competitive with what has been quoted above. The $1000000 question for us is whether there would be a market for us in the US. Looking for what the "Made in Italy" can offer, I could suggest our ecological leather lined windows, available in a wide range of colours. Our priority remains the quality of our product, including the question of heat and noise transmission. Any opinions are welcome, thanks

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:21AM
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I've been reading the fascinating debate above. Can someone in the business help or guide me? i work for a small Italian company that has been designing and building quality wooden windows for over 40 years. i think our prices are good and certainly competitive with what has been quoted above. The $1000000 question for us is whether there would be a market for us in the US. Looking for what the "Made in Italy" can offer, I could suggest our ecological leather lined windows, available in a wide range of colours. Our priority remains the quality of our product, including the question of heat and noise transmission. Any opinions are welcome, thanks

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

+1 to ventilation questions as listed above by Oberon.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:27PM
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Thanks. Seemed like a good thought at the time. I guess the poster didn't think it was worth a reply.


I would suggest that if you are real and are truly looking for an honest and open discussion about window performance and your product - leaving aside any suggestion of spamming or free advertising - then it could be fun and informative to continue.

I would also suggest that you open a new thread and see what happens rather than dropping your question at the end of an older one.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:58AM
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