Chicago Remodel: Slider and hinged doors

RChicagoMay 22, 2014

Hi,

I'm about to embark on a first floor remodel in Chicago. I'm remodeling the family room and am considering replacing the eight foot sliding door. It's 40+ years old and functions, but as it's an old aluminum door, I can't imagine it's very energy efficient. It faces SW.

I also need a new hinged door that connects the kitchen to the sun porch -- so while I want a good door, it doesn't have to be the best quality because the sun porch is entirely enclosed

I love the idea of aluminum for both doors, but understand that at least the slider needs to be thermally separated. I've looked at Fleetwood, but can't justify the cost. I can spend up to about $2500 for the slider plus installation. I just can't justify $5000+.

Are there aluminum options that are good quality, affordable, and appropriate for weather extremes? If not, what would you recommend that may be available in the Chicago area? I'd like doors with as much glass as possible, something that will go well in a late 60's contemporary home and should last 20+ years.

Thanks so much in advance for all input.

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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Aluminum, even thermally broken, will always have the Achilles of its material make up.

Why are you thinking aluminum by the way?

You can get a very modern and narrow profile in fiberglass and vinyl can be painted to match if you want that bronze look.

I would challenge the idea that the swing door doesn't need to be that good because the porch is covered. You are correct that the lack of moisture mess lessen the material requirements, however, the operation of the door is what creates most service issues down the road.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:03AM
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RChicago

Thanks so much for the feedback and apologies for disappearing (was sick and had to step away from the project for a bit).

I was thinking aluminum because I love the look of anodized aluminum and the plentiful glass. It goes with my late 60's house. But I think it's out of my price range.

Plus, while the existing sliders (one of which will be replaced by a smaller, hinged door) are alumininum, the windows in the house are white-painted wood with an unpainted wood sill. So, we can go with white trim. What I really don't prefer is a very traditional look (such as what I saw at Pella, which after reading this board I don't want for other reasons).

I'm going to a Marvin showroom tomorrow and will check out their offerings, including the Integrity line.

Thanks for your feedback about door operation for the swing door. You're correct -- we definitely need a door with quality hardware as we will be using this door a lot - for trash and recyclying, to hang out in the sun porch, and to access the grill.

Any other ideas/concerns would be greatly appreciated. I'll try not to disappear again!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:52AM
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HomeSealed_WI

As WoW alluded to, aluminum is not an ideal choice in a cold climate. Higher end vinyl options like Okna or Sunrise are very good for sliding models. For hinged operation, I prefer fiberglass, and I generally gravitate toward manufacturers that specialize in entry doors such as HomeGuard and Provia.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:17AM
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RChicago

Thanks so much. I've found one dealer that sells Provia, Marvin, and Sunrise, so that sounds like a good place to start. And may be a good way to combine products from different manufacturers.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:50AM
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HomeSealed_WI

Being just up the highway, I'd recommend reaching out to Strong windows in Chicagoland... Dave over there has taken great care of family and friends of my clients that I have referred. Sells the top products...
Your other choice sounds like a solid start as well. It is good to meet with a couple of dealers to compare.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 1:03PM
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RChicago

Thanks - I'll touch base with Dave. I'd read good things about him on this board (and am interested in Okna), but as his location is nowhere near me, I wanted to go into a few showrooms first.

Here's a question - I like the look of the existing aluminum sliding door and it works. Should I replace it? Will it take 20 years (or more?) to recoup the costs via energy savings from a better sliding door? I'm concerned about energy savings, and also with the fact that anything in front of the sliders fades (as we don't get a ton of light, I don't prefer window coverings). I'd hope that a new door would have some kind of UV protection. We don't currently use the door much and could put plastic over it in the winter. We are mostly gutting the room that it's in, though, so now would be the time to replace it. What's the way to go? THANKS.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:26PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Low-e equip glass will block a significant amount of radiant energy as well as UV spectrum as compared to clear glass (double pane) doors and windows.

It will block at least 2-3X as much heat and more than that in terms of UV reduction.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 7:44AM
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janitor53

Long time lurker, first time poster here. How is the customer service reputation with Strong windows? I've been trying to get ahold of Dave for almost 2 weeks but haven't had any luck at either the main office or mobile number...been desperate to get a quote from him based on all the referrals here. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 10:28AM
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StrongWindows

Sorry about that. Our secretary is at our office from 7am to 2pm answering phones. I have been ill most of the last two weeks and am back at work today trying to catch back up on setting estimates. Hopefully I'll catch you this afternoon.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 2:45PM
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janitor53

I feel like a horses patoot. Thanks Dave.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 3:43PM
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RChicago

Tried to have Dave come out, but I must be out of his geographic range, as they gave my number to another company. The other company also sells Okna, and will be coming by this weekend.

Met with a different company yesterday, pushing Marvin, big time. Wood-Ultrex Integrity for a set of 3 narrow casement windows and the hinged door (36x80) to the patio. And Marvin for the 8-foot slider. I understand from them that Integrity doesn't make an 8-foot slider. No upgrades on anything. He's asking close to $11,000 installed, which seems like quite a bit for a slider, a single french door and three casements. And this is with all the openings already prepared for installation by my GC.

Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:36PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Tough to say for certain without an options idea on the units as well. Sounds like it might be a bit steep if the openings are prepped for them.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:56PM
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