Replacement Window brand recommendation

avarkeyApril 6, 2006

I have been gatheing information about various windows manufacturers and their pricing. The short listed manufacturers are Schuco,Marvin, Alside, Gorell,Simonton,Great Lake & Champion .There are high end and mid range manufacturers in the list and is wondering if it does make any sense to invest in a high end windows which costs almost double that of others and would it pay off over time ? I live in NJ.

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Ultimately avarkey, I would suggest that you have to make that determination. Do you think it is worth the extra money to go with high-end product or would you be satisfied with a window that was adequate for your needs but was something of a mid-grade?

A few things to keep in mind...ALWAYS get the LowE coating. There is no reason in today's world to get a window that isn't coated...the coating is worth every penny...and several companies now offer LowE as standard anyway.

If one window cost is double the next window cost, then ask yourself "why"? What does window A offer that window B does not?

Do you want wood, vinyl, fiberglass, other? All of those options are available with the companies you have mentioned...although not all the companies mentioned offer a choice among all three materials.

A vital part of your window purchase is any of the companies you checked out offer install? How much does it cost and do they guarantee it? Are the installers independent of the company? Are they factory certified? Does the local distributor buy the units from the manufacturer and then install? If so, then the window company might be out-of-the-loop if there is a problem...or it might not. Different companies have different policies in this area.

Check customer service records of the window companies in question - do they stand behind their product? Nothing is perfect - if a window has issues, how responsive is the company to a complaint?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:32AM
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What is the difference between the high-end windows and the mid-range windows? Is the difference important to you? Is it the warranty?

Also, think about how much longer you plan to continue to live in the home. If you might move in a few years, the mid-range windows would probably be the better buy. And they might be fine anyway.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 7:37PM
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I've been researching windows too and have decided to buy in the mid-range even tho I don't know whether I'll keep this house or sell in a couple of years. The expensive windows just aren't that much better.
One of my bidders/installers said he was offered a very good price on windows by Simonton (Simonton windows are kind of expensive in my area although they are not the most expensive) which he installed in his home to test them. He says they are awful and they don't cut the heat and he would not buy them again.
Stay away from Don Young Windows! DON'T use Don Young Windows! They keep changing the design and their people lied to me about the warranty.
Be sure to buy fushion welded corners as they are the strongest.
Did you know that single hung windows are more energy efficient than double hung? I was surprised to find that out. Apparently the top of the double hung makes for another place for a leak and the wind can make noise there.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 12:52AM
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We recently purchased some Pella full replacement windows, mainly because they were the only brand in our area that was available with all the features we wanted. We have a historic house, so it was important that the windows "look" right, and be available in non-standard sizes. We went with the 850 Series (Lowe's), also called the Architect series. They have aluminum clad exteriors (because I don't want to break my neck painting them), which are available in many colors, and wood interiors with removable grills, LoE glass, argon gas between the panes, spoon hardware in oil-rubbed bronze, etc. They look wonderful, and so far we are pleased!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Windows

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 3:04PM
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Be leary of some "mid band" manufacturers. I would limit my choices to well known companies. Most fly-by-night companies won't be around in a couple of years to fix their problems. Read warranties carefully. Lifetime warranties are hardly what they sound like.
You do get what you pay for. And if you do sell in a couple years, a well known window like Andersen or Marvin will carry a better resale value, as well as a better return on your investment over time.
Check out websites, and be informed when you get quotes from multiple sources.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 9:26PM
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I am a replacement window salesman. There are a lot of good windows out there and a lot of poor ones. In replacement windows Anderson Renewal are hard to beat. They are expensive and Anderson usually replaces both the inside and outside trim. This raises the cost more. Marvin is also good and though I'm not familiar with the details they offer a "wood sash only" replacement that looks promising. In vinyl windows I'm impressed with Thermal Industries windows (which I sell). They are very innovative and well made. They even offer a real wood veneer on the vinyl windows that can be stained to match your interior. I've heard a lot of complaints about Pella and Jeld-Wen replacement windows. I do not have any info other than that. I do not like Jeld-Wen doors sold by Menards. You will lose more "glass space" with a vinyl replacement window than with Anderson Renewal or Marvin's sash only replacement. But you will have a very efficient window that is low maintenance and easily installed. This will save you money. Remember that Home Depot, Menards, and Lowes are going for the "Low buck" customer and their prices are cheaper many times because they are selling a cheaper product. Personally I recommend you work with someone who really knows what they are doing when it comes to window replacement.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:41PM
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Stay away from schuco windows. The service SUCKS. i ahve been waiting for almost a year for parts. All i get is lip service. The seals shipped in November. I wonder where too. I paid way too much to be treated like this.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 11:26PM
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The cost/price of the windows in my area for the good vinyl windows differs quite a bit from one company to the next. I use Simonton and Alside in the additions I build and recommend those to clients who want replacement vinyl windows. The larger window marketing companies sell the typical double hung vinyl window (Alside) for $800 - $1,000 per window. We do the same job here in MD for $550 - $625/window. Yes, that includes the lowE, argon, exterior cladding and factory guaranteed installation.

So, shop wisely and try some smaller GC's that don't have to pay those high priced sales folks and don't have the huge advertising/marketing. I've not had any problems with either of these brands.

btw, Alside has received several awards from Consumer Reports.


    Bookmark   December 25, 2007 at 7:42PM
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