Replacement windows in SE CT

nrl06385April 28, 2013

I have been reading through the forum trying to gather information on replacement windows. After 'extensive' research here, I was leaning towards OKNA vinyl windows.
However, when I asked my brother-in-law, whose opinion I value, what he thought of OKNA, he wrote:

They sell vinyl windows and my preference is to pay just a little more and get fiberglass as the construction quality is so much better. If you had a hurricane the fiberglass has so much of a higher wind speed rating. The vinyl OKNA windows have no structure except foam inside the plastic....There is an association called the NFRC which rates the whole window not just the glass and is the best comparison for heat loss. If it were my project I would stick to Andersen, Pella and Harvey.

I am so confused now. I would appreciate your expert experience. Our home is almost 30 years old, has 23 windows and I wish I could say money is no object...but I can't:-(

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Take your brothers advice and look up the data on each for wind speed(DP or PG) and for thermal performancer ( U-value) and lettuce know what you find.Just to spice it up maybe check out there air infiltration numbers to. Keep in mind the U-values for each will vary with what options are chosen. The PG/DP rating can vary as well with options.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Windows on Washington


At the core, your brother-in-law is correct that you should look up DP and PG (Design Pressure and Performance Grade) and use that as one of your evaluation tools.

He is also correct that comparing lineal inch to lineal inch, the fiberglass should have more structure than vinyl.

That all being said, if I were going to survey the top 100 windows for DP and PG, I would bet that over 85% of them are made of vinyl so that is where his logic starts to be at odds with factual data.

Most of the brands he references have great brand recognition both nationally and locally (in the case of the Harvey) but do not equate that to being the right choice or the best window. Andersen and Pella both make some nice units but you need to make sure your evaluation extends beyond the namesake.

The items that Todd mentioned are exactly those items to look for.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:24AM
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+2. Your brother is right on looking at the ratings, however he is incorrect in his assessment of which units will be superior in that regard. The Okna will rate higher in every thermal and structural test rating than any of the other products mentioned.
The material that the product is made of is really irrelevant. What is important is how the product is designed and constructed, IE: the reinforced chambers inside a vinyl extrusion, composite reinforcement in the meeting rail of the Okna 800 series, etc.
Don't take our word for it though, we are all in agreement here that the numbers are unbiased and will be a great way to compare. Dont stop at the NFRC however as they only do thermal testing, the structural ratings (design pressure, air infiltration, etc) are tested to AAMA standards and are independently done as well.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Thank you all for your help; I continued to do more research and have scheduled a few estimates over the next week. I will keep you aware of our choices and why.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 8:56PM
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