Milgard fiberglass or Essence?

lori_inthenw_gwApril 28, 2012

I will be glad when the window selection is done! I started out planning to have black Marvin fiberglass, but it turned out I could not get a black interior and the wood option was pine. Our interior will have some other doug fir and I like the color of it, so that seems to make more sense if we go with a wood interior.

Our house will be sort of a "modern farmhouse" style, if anything-- a somewhat traditional shape, but with corrugated metal siding, concrete floors, and definitely windows that are black on the outside. So we started looking at Milgards because I read Cwirick's thread on a similar topic and found they had a black on black option. Do you think I could find that in a showroom? Well, not so far, except at Milgard itself and of course, they are not open on weekends.

Today I looked at the Milgard black fiberglass (this one had a white interior, and I couldn't tell if I liked them or not. The "showroom" had no natural light and colors were hard to determine, plus it was just plain dim in there. I did notice that one of the 3 mitered corners was what I thought to be "off" by which I mean there was sort of a lip where the 2 pieces met. And you would think you'd want to show off your best stuff in a showroom, right? So what would that mean for what you'd get as a regular customer?

Plus I couldn't really tell because of the lighting, or lack of it, but it seemed that although the outside was a nice matte black, that the inside was shinier and looked a little too much like vinyl. Of course, it would be different with black, so I'm not sure what to think.

So we looked at the Essence with the clear VG fir and the salesman told us the price would be about the same, which I found surprising, but then he said something like "I think these are pine now, I don't think they come in fir any more" which made me feel like he really didn't know the product line very well.

I guess after seeing what we saw today, we are leaning more toward the fir interior-- I can't imagine ordering a houseful of windows I had never actually seen. I scoured the internet and did not come up with any photos of the black on black version or even one of two dark colors.

So if anyone has either of these, I would love to hear what you think of the quality, esp. of the joints on the interior, and if you have any photos of fiberglass with a dark interior, I'd love to see them!

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Sounds to me like your picking windows based on colors. Milguard is so-so. Black heat absorption and so-so window do not a happy window combo make. 2 cents is all I got :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 1:28AM
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Essence is brand new to the market and just rolling out. That is why you are getting sketchy information on it.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Well, yes, I admit the color is important. But I live where we are lucky to get 2 weeks of hot weather if that, so heat is not much of a concern. Low maintenance led us toward fiberglass.

I thought that Essence was new, but I wasn't sure how new. That's why I thought it was odd that he said the fir "wasn't available any more."

We could look into the thermal break aluminum and get an ever sleeker look, but I'm assuming that would cost even more and we'd have to re-do the energy (heat loss) calculations for the house.

I guess I was trying to make sure we stayed middle of the road on window costs. We never considered vinyl, never wanted white windows, but also don't want to end up painting wood. We've done the "old house" thing for the last 25 years, and would like to leave that behind!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Lori, I will try to take some pics of our windows tomorrow. Our new house sounds like a twin of yours. Red siding, corrugated steel, steel beams, wood and concrete floors...

I love the black on black windows. Like you I wasn't able to find any locally to look at, so I took a chance and just ordered them. Now that they're in I wouldn't have it any other way. Beautiful windows inside and out.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Once you decide on windows, have you considered ordering just one window to make sure they're what you want before ordering the whole houseful? That way, if you aren't pleased, you won't be out nearly as much $$$. Maybe you could get a bathroom window which might be small and isolated from the other windows. If you changed your mind and ordered different windows for the rest of the house, perhaps it wouldn't be a big deal if the bathroom window didn't match.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Kendog, that is an interesting suggestion. We could do that and just store a small window til we needed it. I'll consider that!

CWirick, saw your pix on the other thread, thanks so much. I'm 99% convinced on the black interior after seeing them in the showroom. the Essence had nice fir, but too many pieces of it, looked a little chunkier than was I was envisioning.

The windows in the showroom (this was adjacent to the factory) had perfectly flat mitered corners, with none of the issues of the one I saw last week. Sales person did point out that the one I saw was a sample that travels to home shows, etc. and assured me that I should expect the miters to be perfectly flat. So I hope that is the case. Our contractor is pretty picky, I think, so they'll have to pass inspection before getting installed.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:36PM
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