Windows replacement

Spring39May 13, 2013

Can someone please tell me the key questions that I need to ask before getting my windows replaced?

I had a contract with Lowe's to do the work. I get a call back stating that since my windows have more panes on the top than the bottom they are unable to replace them with Pella windows as agreed upon. The salesman said that he didn't notice that when he first checked. Is this the kind of person that I need to do business with? I have my doubts. My question is should that make a difference ,if they are replacing the whole window, not matching it. I would appreciate any input, ASAP.


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What do you want the finished product to look like? Will it look right in your house?

We went with Renewal by Anderson because vinyl windows would not look right on my Brady Bunch 60s raised ranch. We have not had them installed yet, but after doing my research, they final product will look very similar to my existing windows. The cost included demo, installation, and replacement of interior and exterior trim.

We went to a home show where many different products were on display, so we could see the various type of windows "side by side". Saved running around to retailers. Also do you have a building supply showroom in your area like ABC Supply? Go on a weekday and chat up the staff. They will explain in detail the difference between windows and know the local contractors.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:14AM
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I think that the windows that I selected would look fine but my concerns now are what am I getting. Shouldn't a salesman know what the u factor is without having to guess. I feel that he is being very evasive and it's more of a trust factor now.

Did a glass break warranty come with your windows or did you have to buy one?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Thermal stress cracks are typically covered by a manufacturer for at least a couple of years. A baseball or hammer through the glass is not typically covered by base warranties.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:40PM
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I understand that you want an energy efficient window. However, you have to look at it everyday. Would you rather have the most energy efficient window that is ugly or a very good window that looks good and will improve
the investment in your house? We knew that we did not want our house to look like it spent the day at the beach, and then took off its sunglasses (the white insert window around the existing painted trim).

When we were shopping the looks beat out energy efficiency, and I live in Wisconsin.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:15PM
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LoPay, are you aware that the RBA window is composed primarily of vinyl? ... and that there are other composites that offer superior performance along with a warranty better than 10 years?
The Renewal is a nice looking window and generally is a good performer, just not any advantage over any other material IMHO and often comes with some questionable "salesmanship"... That is why performance ratings are so great at demonstrating both performance and quality. That are black and white, independent, and verifiable.
The pic attached is a Renewal that we just replaced. It was nine years old, not covered under warranty(not sure why).... in Wisconsin.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Yes I am aware of what they are made of. Not knocking vinyl, just didn't want that white insert look, or be limited to two or three colors. We are getting full replacements, old windows pulled out to the studs and all new trim, not "inserts".

I also don't have a comfort level finding a competent "Chuck with a Truck" type of installer, so I didn't mind dealing with the RBA people in our area since that is just one part of this company's overall business of doing home improvements. We are having other work done by them, and I wanted one company having accountability for all phases of the project.

Good thing for this forum. Window shopping is overwhelming, and the terminology can be confusing. There are many good choices, but for me, energy efficiency was not my primary concern.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 11:21PM
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My windows were already selected and I was very pleased with the looks of them. They matched up with what I now have. My purpose is to replace the builder grade windows with a better window. Energy efficiency and noise reduction are my primary concerns. My main objective now is to find a company that I can trust to do a quality job. Thanks for the input.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:03AM
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Lopay, there are other vinyls and composites that have stainable interiors as well, and accompanied by a lifetime warranty and superior performance. In addition, most windows regardless of material can be had as either inserts or with nailing fin and jamb extensions for new construction installation. Just pointing that out for the sake of others that my be in the same boat ;).
Your concerns about finding a reputable installer are very valid, as is having one company responsible for all of the work. In those areas, you made a great choice, and you certainly could have done worse on the window selection assuming that you got a fair price... Just be sure to maintain it like you would a wood windows to protect your investment :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 7:13AM
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That window looks beat up HomeSealed.

Was there anything specific that was responsible for that or just an abject failure?

They won't cover that either?

The RBA is a pretty window, but like HomeSealed said (mostly for future readers) there are alternatives with paintable and stainable interiors and a more "wood-like" look to them.

The RBA warranty is just like a wood window, 10 years on the frame (possibly less too).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Renewal is composed of mostly vinyl and some saw dust. Not a bad window, just NOT considered an elite window.
Elite windows are usually high end vinyl which do NOT look like the vinyl windows seen at home depot and lowes. Okna, HiMark, Soft Lite Elements, Sunrise Vanguard and Sunrise Restorations are all high end brands.
HiMark offers a beatuful composite with a stainable/ paintable interior.

This post was edited by mmarse1 on Tue, May 14, 13 at 21:21

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Only thing "elite" about RBA is the price, in my opinion.

Springs, look somewhere besides Lowes for your own best interest. If your looking to replace builders windows, Pella from Lowe's will be the same thing certainly not an upgrade in my book,

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:08AM
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@ Windows on Washington: It appears to me as though moisture is the culprit. You can see the black mildew/mold build up, and the woodgrain actually separated from the base material. This client did not get a reason why they would not warranty them, but they were fed up and eager to get rid of them so they did not seem to care. My speculation is that they werent the owners of the home when it was installed. Not sure if RBA's 10yr warranty is now transferrable or not...
and for the record, and don't think it is a bad window, just not much benefit over wood IMO.

This post was edited by HomeSealed on Tue, May 14, 13 at 16:14

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 3:40PM
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Because Renewal by Andersen does contain wood flower( saw dust), it can absorb moisture and then suffer moisture related issues as HomeSealed illustrated.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Homesealed, thanks for posting that pic. Was the sash itself damaged, or just the wood veneer? Either way, it certainly doesn't look great. I recently purchased a few RBA windows, but we opted for white interior. I wanted a higher end Vinyl, but RBA was more affordable than our quoted price for Sunrise and we'd worked with the RBA dealer before.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 5:19PM
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It was the wood laminate separating from the base material. The laminate was pretty much deteriorated to garbage while the actual sash still appeared solid, however it did appear to have the same black mildew/mold growth/staining. To be fair, I've not seen anything like that on a white model, or anything other than the woodgrain.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:48PM
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I've seen the same thing from that product. Truly a shame in my opinion.
Andersen is a solid company though, so one woulld hope that they would warranty that if it was pursued further than the local franchise owner.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:55PM
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Thanks for the follow up. That is terrible.

Window is probably still serviceable but who would want it at that point.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 2:58AM
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