Are there quality mid-level vinyl windows?
I have read and read on this forum and feel like I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on windows, yet I am still undecided in what direction I need to head for my windows. Thanks in advance for any insight, advice, or knowledge you share with me.
Location: North Louisiana (hot & humid summers, our winter consists of it hovering around freezing for a few weeks and that is about it)
House: New Construction. Country Cottage. 2300hsf. Single Story. Located in a pasture with a wooded view in rear. Very rural on family land (translation: this will be my house forever). The rear woods view is a priority.
Estimated # of Windows (still can be changed b/c the blueprints are not final... but I'm trying to make the decision of windows before they are final). These counts are for individual windows even though several will be installed double or triple. Sizes are approximate. I may knock the 72" windows down to 60" depending on price difference:
9 - 30x60
8 - 30x72
4 - 35x60
1 - 4x4 picture
1 - 4x4 casement (so really 2 - 2x4)
1 - 24x48
1 - 30x54
1 - 24x60
3 Transoms to go over Triple Windows
1 Transom to go over Double Windows
I am mainly considering a nice quality vinyl window that comes at a reasonable price. I'm just trying to figure out what that window is. I momentarily considered the Marvin Integrity (based on reading posts from this forum) but the vinyl window seems to be more efficient and with LA heat, this is more of a priority.
Most of the threads seem to throw around the same "premium high end" vinyl national brands. What would I be looking at ballpark price (materials only and/ or materials and install) for some of the windows described above?
Are there any mid-range vinyl brands that still have efficient quality products? If so, what would be these brands? What is the price difference (generally) between the mid-range and high-end vinyl?
It really boils down to that I'm looking for a high efficient all vinyl white quality window at the lowest price? I want to pay for the quality of the window not the name brand. That being said, I'm not looking for the cheapest window on the market. More so, what is the lowest priced quality window that you would recommend. As I stated earlier, energy efficiency, longevity, and price point are probably my top priorities. I have more than the standard number of windows in my size house due to the views that I am trying to capture, but I don't have lots of extra money in the budget.
The local lumberyard which probably 80% of the houses in the parish (translate county for all other states) use supplies Croft Windows, but I am pretty sure they can order others. Of course, there is almost no information for this window on the web. I have asked a couple people who have them installed and they are happy. Once again, we are not a mansion community, much more rural. Anyone heard of the company? How would they compare to mid-level and high-end windows on the market in terms of price and quality?
Edit: Local lumberyard supplies the following window brands: Croft, krestmark, plygem, Window Mart, Weathershield, & Quaker. Also possibly Kraftman or Craftman??? Anyone know anything about any of these especially Kraftman/Craftman?
I'm sure there are some more "window shops" in nearby cities, but I don't want to waste my time chasing quotes that are way out of my pricepoint. I'm very much hoping that someone can shed some light on narrowing my scope of potential candidates.
The Efficient Window Collaborative highest recommended 2 pane window for my area has the following criteria:
U factor: 0.23 - 0.30
SHGC: less than 0.25
VT: 0.41 - 0.50
These seem impossible to find and I'm willing to lose some of the efficiency if the pricepoint jumps tremendously. The trees do provide good shade and there will be porches to block a good bit of the direct sunlight. So efficient but with a reasonable price tag.
Again, thanks in advance!!
This post was edited by LASouthernBelle on Fri, Jun 7, 13 at 23:38