Pricing on Marvin Ultimates seems high

SEATACJune 18, 2012

We are looking to replace several windows in our 1912 home. Marvin Ultimates seem the best quality and best fit the style of the home however, we have been surprised by the price estimates we have received from 2 Marvin dealers.

The windows are double hung and roughly 35"X56", dual pane low E with Argon. The window frames seem to be in good condition so we are looking at inserts instead of full frame replacement. We have been quoted about $1,400 a window installed, which seems high to me as we were expecting around $1,000 installed. Does the $1,400 price seem reasonable?

Since Marvin prices seem so high we are now also considering the Andersen Woodright insert windows. Are these likely to be signifcantly less expensive than the Marvins? Any other recommnedations for quality replacement windows suitable for an old house?

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Did that pricing include lead paint containment as required by EPA?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 4:51PM
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That does seem high - unless the are some extra installation needs - or you specified options you didn't mention - things like different hardware, fancy screens, and SDLs can add up!

But wben I replaced my windows I ended up going with the Andersen Woodright inserts because I couldn't justify the higher cost of the Ultimates - even though I preferred the latter.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Thanks for the replies! The price excluded lead abatement which is an additional charge. The only upgrades we selected were bronze fixtures.

Looks like we will have to look at alternatives starting with the Woodrights.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 6:06PM
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+1. Sounds high unless there are some major install considerations, or high option content. It is a great window and not cheap, but $1400 per hole for an insert is up there in most cases.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:54PM
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It's likely lead paint containment (RRP) as opposed to abatement. I agree that for a simple, basic insert installation, that price seems kind of high. Especially if the lead paint is extra.

How much more is it for the RRP?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:47PM
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The Marvin Ultimate is not a cheap window and depending on the installation details, that is right in the range that we have seen.

The Andersen may be a bit cheaper but the Ultimate is one of the best wood windows out there.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 8:31AM
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that price seems within range for a basic install for the marvin ultimate.. the ultimate is a very expensive 1400 per opening including install seems reasonable.
as far as lead, it is NOT an abatement, it is only containment. window contractors have a habit of confusing customers sometimes,,lol
we only contain the lead, we do not remove. abatement is very involved and very expensive and has absolutely nothing to do with a window installation. there are procedures we follow in order to keep lead dust and paint chips contained but thats it. we do not remove nor are we supposed too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 10:50AM
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Yes it is for lead containment not abatement. The charge for lead containment comes out to around $34 per opening. The window price included wrapping the exterior sill with aluminum coil.

Thanks for all the feedback. We have another 7 openings we were planning to get replaced over next year or two so not sure we wan to to sign up for a cost of $1,400 per opening - that's a lot of sushi. We will need to look at alternatives.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:21PM
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I'd take a look at some composites and perhaps fiberglass. Interstate, Inline and Okna would be a good place to begin. Might want to look at Marvin fiberglass also.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Here's the deal with windows, and it's quite simple. If you will be owning your home for more than 7 years, you need to spend the money. Vinyl windows don't last, clad windows don't last, Andersen windows might last for 10-15 years.

Marvin Infinity is a true lifetime window. I have never had one fail, and I have installed maybe a hundred of them throughout projects over the years. Either new construction or replacement. When I have used Milgaard, or Andersen, or Pella--which is to say, if I still own the building--I have had to replace them after 7-10 years. It stinks.

So if you are on a budget, and see yourself selling the home within 5-7 years, certainly, do not spend the money on Marvin.

But if this is your home, and you are in it for the long run, the cost is cheaper to buy Marvins, because you'll never have to mess with your windows ever again in your lifetime.

Marvins cost twice as much. The installation costs the same. But if you are spending, say, $15,000 to replace your windows every 10 years, not to mention living through the headaches of maintenance and seeing problems, and dealing with customer service people, where is the savings in that?

If you would just spend $30,000, you'll never have to think about it ever again. And living with gorgeous functionally perfect windows that look and feel like real windows--not the plastic junk--is really very nice. If you do sell, come resale time, buyers react subconsciously to nice windows. They do. If they are well informed enough to be conscious of what brand window you used, they might say, "Gee, if these people spent the money on Marvins, they probably really maintained the rest of the house." True that.

So it's your call. There are great reasons to buy lower end Andersen and Milgaard windows. If you're selling your house and won't have to deal with them, who cares, go ahead and save your money. But if it's your home, and you see yourself there for a while, do the right thing.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:12PM
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If you are having that many problems with vinyl windows, you are either selling a really cheap grade or there is something lacking in your skills, or both. i have been selling qualit vinyl windows for over 20 years and have never experienced failures after 7 years.

I can also assure you that very few home buyers are window savvy enough to make their decision based on Marvin windows. That's just pure sales puffery and you know it.

Fact is, windows come in all kinds of materials and there is no window that is the right window for everyone. I would favor a good composite window like Interstate or Okna Starmark, over a Marvin Fiberglass in many situations. Interstate and Okna run circles around Marvin in terms of overall energy efficiencey, exterior and interior color options, more architectural shapes, better hardware attachment integrity, much lower air infiltration volume etc.

Inline Fiberglass also runs circles around Marvin in regards to energy efficiency and air leakage volume

A good quality vinyl window will also way out perform Marvin in terms of U-factor, and air leakage. Additionally, better vinyl window manufacturers will stand behing their products as long as a homeowner lives in the house and will also allow the warranty to transfer to the next purchaser.

Don't misunderstand, I like Marvin. It's a fine company and they make a very nice product. But don't come on here and suggest that there aren't other options that a purchaser wouldn't be completely satisfied with for a very long time. And in any cases, for considerably less money than Marvin would cost. I have yet to see the headlines that there is an epidemic of vinyl window failures sweeping the country. If there were, it would be in all the consumer magazines, online home improvement forums etc.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:09PM
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Spot on Eco.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:21AM
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+1... Sounds like girlbird's first day on the job as an Infinity sales rep ;)
... As the others have said, both the Infinity and the Ultimate are very nice windows, but every window and every material has its pros and cons.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Yep, that was my initial thought. Felt like I was listening to a RBA sales pitch. Straight out of the sales training manual. I know it's not always the easiest task in the world to convince a homeowner to purchase your premium quality and premium priced product. OTOH, I think it says a lot about a salesperson when they feel they have to bash and misrepresent their competition in order to sell their product. It usually more productive to work on your sales skills. Become more persuasive.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 8:25AM
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