Replacement Window Help
Ok, I know that there have been several threads already on replacement windows but I wanted to give the specifics of my situation.
We live in a 16 year old home in the Nashville, TN area so a relatively mild climate, although we can get a bit of snow in the winter and it gets HOT in the summer. The sun rises on the front of our house and so those windows in particular take a lot of abuse as there is basically no shade. We have lived here for 10.5 years now and for at least the last 8.5 years have constantly been in a state of upkeep in regards to our windows. For the most part, they are the original builder grade, all wood windows. I admit that we are not do it yourselfers so we have been paying a painter/carpenter to caulk, paint and repair our windows as needed over the years. Our carpenter has replaced, piece-meal, a lot of our window sills and has even wrapped some of the glass in vinyl frames where warranted. We have done all of this as opposed to just replacing them with all new vinyl windows, as some of our neighbors have been doing. But, some of the seals have recently gone bad in our windows now and moisture is getting between the two panes of glass. And, we have a newly discovered dry rot situation where the glass has separated from the frame. We really have tried to keep our windows well maintained but I just feel like ultimately this is a losing battle.
So, I had our trusty painter/carpenter out today and he really feels like we are at the point of replacement for several of our windows and he really does not want to get into that. I am obviously frustrated as we have probably spent $6,000 to $7,000 over the last 8 + years to keep our existing windows maintained. Hindsight being 20/20 maybe we should have just replaced them all years ago when they first started into this vicious cycle of peeling paint and rotting wood.
So, now we are in the situation of needing to look at replacing our windows to stop the financial bleeding of the constant maintenance and repair of these wood windows. I am pretty much adamant about wanting wood on the inside as I feel it could lower the property value/appearance to have all vinyl windows. Our house is probably worth about $400,000 ish in the current depressed real estate market and we do live in one of the more affluent suburbs of Nashville so I am trying to have my updates in keeping with what potential buyers will expect in the future for a home in this area. However, I am interested in low maintenance and so I would like the windows to be vinyl or aluminum clad on the exterior. I gather that this exterior vinyl can be painted to match the house trim as we have tan gutters, garage doors, etc?? I am not at all opposed to replacing a few windows at a time to spread out the cost but would want them to all match, color wise so that it would not be obvious that we had some old and some new.
From what I have read on here, Marvin has the best reputation but they can be costly and do they even make vinyl clad wood or is it only Andersen? I DO NOT want wood on the exterior as that is what got me into this mess in the first place and I do not feel that exterior vinyl is an issue in terms of looks and home resale value. Also aware that fiberglass is an option and we have a fiberglass front door that looks just like wood. But, I am hearing that fiberglass is very pricey and that vinyl is really as good.
I do not so much care about how energy efficient they are because I figure no matter what we get they will be an improvement over what we currently have. Our house is approx. 3500 sq. feet but fortunately has no windows on either end of the house. On the front, we have 6 standard sized windows which open and two large windows with sidelights and transom(one in foyer and one in bonus room) that do not open. These are all on the front of the house. On the back of the house we have three small fixed windows in bathrooms and laundry room, one of which has already been replaced with all vinyl, which again I would not want anywhere else for aesthetic reasons. In addition, there is 1 standard size window which opens, 2 large opening double windows in the den and a fairly large bay window in our kitchen, which contains one fixed window in the middle and two smaller functional windows on the sides. The windows on the front of the house are in the worst shape and would need to be replaced first.
I do not want to spend an arm and a leg but do not want to ever have to replace these windows again. We look to be in this house another 5 years but that could be longer, you never know, and I don't want to leave the next person with a bad situation so I really do want good windows which will last long term. I want to also put windows in which are appropriate to the value of our home. We are not in a million dollar property but we are also in an area which contains lots of pricey homes which we will be competing with in the real estate market at some point.
So, please give me your opinions. No sales pitch or spam - just honest advice about what you would do considering all the facts I've provided. If I have left something out then please let me know and I'll answer as best I can.
Thanks in advance and sorry for the lengthiness!