Best window for hot climate and best installation?

vegassunApril 10, 2010

I live outside of Las Vegas. We recently began researching new windows and began getting estimates. I am so confused.

Our local Lowes sells vinyl Pella Windows with Low E glass, but yet both the Pella and Andersen men that came out to do estimates told me vinyl is a bad choice in this climate. Are they right about that? Is a fiberglass window the best way to go?

Pella does a full tear out installation at about $400 a window or a "pocket" retrofit installation for $150. The Pella guy was pushing the full tear out. The Andersen guy said a full tear out is a bad idea that it can cause other problems later on. Which is best?

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts.

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What is the glass package you got? Low E, E2, E3? $400 for a window, including labor, is a very good price if you get Low E3. From what I heard from various sales pitches/quotes during the last month, E3 is very good for hot places due to low SHGC ratio.

I live in a town in CT where most houses are old (1960 and before) and all the sales guys said I don't need to do a full tear out. Unless your house is in a bad shape I don't think a full tear out is doing anything good for you other than letting the installation guys make more money out of you pocket.

For Fiberglass try Marvin Infinity and for vinyl try Simonton it may help for your decision. I got quotes from both Home Depot and Lowe as well. I think the price you got may be for American Craftsman (HD: Andersen) and Thermastar (Lowe: Pella). If that is the case I will suggest you talking to your local contractor carrying Renewal by Andersen and Pella windows. You can go to their websites to get local contractor. Hope this help somehow.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Andersen and Pella vinyl windows are considered close to the bottom of the barrel as far as vinyl windows go. I would avoid both of them in Las Vegas. You are just asking for trouble.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:50PM
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I think all of them were low E3. The $400 was just the installation price for the full tear out. There wasn't one window in the package that was under $1000 in price with installation.

For the all 16 windows plus sliding glass doors and the front door the Pella contractor quoted us $34000 which we obviously could not do all at once.

Hard to believe just for windows and doors.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

do yourself a favor and get any other window quoted.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:57PM
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vegassun - The $400 makes sense then. I am totally with you on the price - I would never imagine how expensive it is to replace windows...

My friend brought an interesting point to me when I asked him about the window replacement project. He said I should consult with a realtor to do some kind of cost/benefit analysis to avoid over or under improvement for my area. Anyway, it is a bit off topic. I am very interested in what company do you finally pick!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 1:17PM
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Here's the guide that appears in REALTOR Magazine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cost Vs Value

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Are your existing windows aluminum sliders? If so a full frame replacement is a much better install than a pocket install. I would not put an entry-level vinyl window on a house in the desert, particularly sliders which usually have a high glass to frame ratio. Vinyl tends to soften when exposed to high temperatures or concentrated sunshine. Fiberglass would be my first choice for a desert application.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:27PM
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