Replacement windows - Castle vs Home Depot

larry518April 20, 2011

I am looking to replace 12 double hung windows in Western Massachusetts (Berkshire County) and there are not a lot of choices around that I can see. So I have reps coming from Home Depot and Castle Windows to give me an estimate, and wonder what others think of these companies in terms of quality of product and installation competence.

The house was built in 1920 and the windows are still in decent shape, but the aluminum storms from decades ago are kaput. I live in a rural city that does not have expensive homes, so I don't want to put diamond class windows in a purely functional home. But I also want the windows to last the rest of my life. I am retired so it may not be more than a 2-3 decades.

If you have any recommendations they would be much appreciated.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Get more quotes.

There are quite a few good brands in the MA area.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:58PM
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Find a full service lumberyard, large roof and siding specialty house or a window specialist. You will get better results and product from one of these than HD,Lowe's or a local manufacturer.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 3:40PM
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Also keep in mind that yuor house will need to be tested for lead paint and very likely will test positive. The only window HD carries worth considering is their 6500 series which is made by Simonton. If you like it, I would get an estimate from a local window specialist. Ask the specialist to quote you on either the Simonton Reflections 5500 or the Prism Platinum for comparison purposes.

I would also look at windows made by Sunrise, Okna, Softlite and Gorell if you want a good quality vinyl window.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:52PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will widen my search. One local installer has recommended Ellison as a happy midpoint between cheap and expensive. Their 1600 line looks - on the surface - like it is worth checking out. It has the dark wood color option which the house interior would like, while the white is fine for exterior.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 12:19AM
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Have you tried finding anyone to restore the old windows?

You cannot replace them with anything that will last as long as they already have.

You can remove and replace the storms without replacing the windows.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:18AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

An insulated storm window with Low-e might be the best fit if the window is otherwise okay.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:41AM
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The Low E Storms are not easy to source, they seem to be a very new thing. But for me it would be an ideal solution. Anyone know where to go (in person or on line) for Low E? Do they make double paned storms with low e?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 12:54AM
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Here's some good information regarding storm windows. I agree that if your old windows are in reasonably good condition, it may be more cost effective to spend the money to repair them and then add a storm window with loE glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: LoE Storm Windows Study

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:52AM
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The storm windows used in this study are made by Pinklington. You can call or email them to find a dealer.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

I have used this storm window on several occasions with success.

Solid product and company.

Here is a link that might be useful: Quanta Panel Storms

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:46AM
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Looks like I am going with the Simonton 6500 since it has the qualities and all the optional specs I desire.

Thanks all for your help.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Why don't you get that same Simonton window (Reflections 5500) quoted from a local Simonton installer?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 10:24PM
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I would have liked to work with a local installer, but the only one I found was vague, wanted to substitute Ellison windows without specifying which version (they have four) and was generally unprofessional.

I did my due diligence, I have almost always hired locally, but it was more than a matter of price or loyalty. Long term satisfaction was the main motivation.

I had talked with a well known windows company in Pittsfield, they advertise a lot, and they have a showroom, but the number of unresolved complaints deterred me.

So Home Depot got my order. Clarity and specificity counts. I will report back on my experience with them later.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 12:50PM
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Any update Larry on your home depot experience?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 11:52AM
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The windows went in during June 21010 and it is now December and I am noticing quite a few things. First the heat is not kicking on as often as it used to and second, the windows look absolutely wonderful. I got the Home Depot equivalent of Simonton 5500 and they also had a special on the covering for the outside frames. The vinyl windows have both the Argon gas and the special coating, plus two of the ones I bought were in a cherry finish which matches the woodwork in the older part of the house.

The Home Depot people took care of all the licenses, and because of the lead paint in older houses, also complied with the abatement rules. They showed up exactly when scheduled, and even came back six weeks later for a couple of minor fixes. The whole process could not have been easier. The only snag was two windows came with half screens instead of the full screens I ordered, but they were replaced within a few weeks, and they left the half screens behind which is great for summer when I stick an ac into two of the windows.

I admit the costs were higher than some other contractors offered, but I had the advantage of being able to look at their windows next to cheaper ones my neighbor had installed. Mine are of thicker material, and the installation was far more detail oriented. The team that did the work stuffed the ballast pockets with fiberglas insulation, and best of all did the most thorough job of silicone sealing both inside and outside that I could have asked for.

And did I say it looks great? The sound level has dropped a lot, and while I don't mind paying for quality, they also financed the whole deal, and since I will pay the whole job off before a year is up, I pay no interest.

So on a scale of 1 to 10 you could call this a 9.9.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Thanks for the update!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Couple of distinctions that, for the purpose of accuracy, should be pointed out.

1. RRP is not abatement. Abatement is removal of all the lead containing materials in the abatement location. RRP is simply minimizing the risk of exposure to lead, albeit grossly overblown.

2. There is absolutely nothing formatively different about the Home Depot Simonton window and what you would get from a local Simonton Dealer.

I am glad that Larry had a good experience and Home Depot/Lowes certainly serve a purpose in the market. That being said, they do not offer the oversite and management that many window specific companies would provide.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 6:10PM
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