marvin windows quote sound reasonable?

amberleyMarch 3, 2008

I just received our (hopefully) finalized quote from our Marvin dealer. We are doing full tear outs (brick 1942 rowhouse) with 13 6 over 6 double hung SDL with spacers, low-E with argon, pre-primed interiors, and clad exteriors. We have 7 of these windows as custom sizes, and all of them require the deep jambs. In addition, our triple bay (which will be 3 separate new windows), requires all-wood exteriors, custom sizes and an additional sill. We are also getting 2 casements (about 21x26). The quote includes all new interior casing. We chose standard hardware and screens. I do not have all of the exact sizes, but they are approximately all about 32x54. The total was $17666. Doesw this sound right?

Also, I am still not 100% convinced that the low E coating on Marvin is "invisible". Does anyone have the Marvin Ultimates with low-E and notice the tint?


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Hi! We have the Marvin Ultimate Clad bare wood interior for staining. Got them four years ago and we are in the SF Bay Area of CA. With appropriate extrapolation, you can likely figure out the current pricing range.

We have no custom sizing, no SDL+spacer, all standard sizing and standard options, Argon, Low-E II. A mix of Casements with Dbl. Hung. and many are mulled into larger window "walls". Average cost per window was $570.

In your case, it sounds like there are 18 windows total? 10 of these are custom. If we do this really roughly, using our figures, 18 x $570 = $10260 standard costs. 10 are custom, so we double them at 10 x $570 = $5700. Total then is about $15960 using our four-year-old average estimated price. Yours have SDL+spacers, casing, deep jamb, pre-primed, additional sill, so it will run somewhat higher. So you can see if $15960 is reasonable for your region.

"Invisible" is actually true. The "tint" is not a tint but a reduction in sunlight due to the low-E coating reflecting the sunlight away. In our area where the sun can be bright and glare is a problem, the low-E cuts out all the glare making our views out the windows crisp and clear.

Low-E also comes in Low-Solar-Heat-Gain or High-Solar-Heat-Gain versions. The former cuts out more sunlight, perfect for the desert or mild-winter, hot summer area. The latter lets in more sun, nice for areas higher north with mild summer and cold winter. These selections can impact how much visible light can pass through the windows into the house. You will need to pick the right coating for your locale.
The following is a link that can better explain the technology and provides more info about windows. It is a starting point.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Thanks for all the specific info! It sounds like we are looking at a reasonable quote for all of the "extras" we are getting. I had no idea that there were 2 different types of low-E. I will look into which one he has on the specs. I know I am being very picky, but do you not notice any tint on the glass even from the outside? We live in a red brick rowhouse community, and it is noticeably different on some other homes (not using the Marvin product, however). I don't want to order it and regret it later.

Also, are you happy with your windows?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:29PM
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From the outside, the low-E windows in general look darker. This darker look is true of all low-E windows in our area, even Milgard vinyl that they put on newly built homes. They do not look like tint though, at least not to me.

Low-E reflects both ways. It reflects the solar radiation away from the interior but also reflects interior radiation from the exterior. This is actually how it keeps warmth inside during Winter months and heat outside during Summer. This reflective property generally makes the window less reflective so it looks darker from the outside.

As to whether that will block your views from inside, we have not noticed any blockage. From the inside, there is definitely no hint of tinting. If anything, it cuts out the glare and makes everything outside clear and crisp. In the Winter, in shaded area of our house, it does let in less natural light but we can live with that if it means a cooler Summer and warmer Winter nights.

To satisfy yourself, may be you can look at homes with low-E and those with tinted windows or have the shop do a comparison with a tinted window? In the end, you have to be satisfied else it will not work anyway.

We do like our windows and doors, no problems so far. Low-E works as advertised, warm in the winter and cool in the summer, good views too. The stained wood interior adds a sense of warmth to our farm house. It has worked out really well. The cladding is strong, while it will scratch if scrapped by a sharp object, it has also withstood frisbee, football, soft ball and accidental encounters with kids' bike tires; no dents, no scratches so far.

Good installation is critical. It is best to find the best contractor and just pay them. It is the difference between joy upon completion versus pain for years to come. We had a really good professional crew, they did a top notch job.

Hope it all works out well for you!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 12:09AM
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I meant to say that because low-E reflects interior light back into the house, the interior will be less visible to the outside on a bright day. The windows then will look darker from the outside in daylight. My wife caught this one :-).

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Thanks for the clarification. I think I wil ask my Marvin guy to give me some addresses in the area that have the Low-E so I can see them in actually installed. Even thought the properties that the Low-E provides is great, I think I might not be happy if it is at all noticeable on the outside.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 7:17PM
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Hi calbay03 and amberley, I'm also in sf bay area.
what company did you use to install the windows?
if this is not appropriate in the forum please let me know via email. thanks!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 5:28PM
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