New Construction Windows: Help Me Pick!

ElectraTooJuly 15, 2012

I am building a home in Northwest Arkansas. I had aluminum windows on my last home and they lasted forever and looked great but were horribly inefficient. I am leaning toward vinyl windows this time for budget reasons, but would probably prefer a premium vinyl. The problem is that manufacturers such as Soft-Lite and Sunrise which are so highly recommended in this and other forums are not available locally; it would require a trek of a couple of hours or more to go look at them and of course nothing is open on weekends!

Therefore, I'm hoping for some suggestions on other premium vinyl options. We do have Simonton available nearby so that is on my list. My contractor is pushing for General Aluminum vinyl but I'm not really impressed with what I've read online, or with their size and shape options. Other possibilities: Maritech, Ply-Gem, MI Windows, Windsor, Anderson 100.

If it helps at all, my window schedule calls for 20 casement windows of varying size. Some of these (especially those on the sides and back of the house) could probably be double-hung instead. We will also swap out two sets of French doors for two eyebrow arch windows about 6-7 feet tall, and they needn't be operational.

I really like the look of wood and wood-clad windows (of course!) so to the extent I can find that same look and feel in premium vinyl, that would be awesome. I prefer the SDLs, or at least beveled grills over flat ones. White vinyl bores me and I would love the option of more colors (sad that Sunrise and Kolbe are not available because I love their color options), but I will live with white if I have to.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer!

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Have you looked at the interior options available with the Simonton? It's not real wood,it's a laminate but it's pretty nice and comes available in Maple, Cherry, Amber Oak, honeybOak and Contemporary Oak. Simonton would be a good choice.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 4:36AM
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I somewhat think you need to narrow your search a bit as to what you want.

SDLs are a pricey option and unless you really, really, want them...not worth the money in most cases.

Contoured vs. flat grids are standard and in most cases do not cost a cent more than flat and at worst, are only a few bucks more.

If you don't like the white interior, +1 to Eco's recommendation of looking at a laminate interior or other interior.

If you really want the look of wood (the interior laminates on vinyl are going to look good but not quite wood) look at something like a Marvin Integrity with a wood interior or Inline Fiberglass with a real wood interior.

What is the exterior cladding of the home going to be? There are some nice options with some of the manufacturers to have an integrated J-Channel or brickmold return for a seamless look.

At the end of the day, they should be a one-time investment so spend the money wisely (i.e. get the performance and solid product for durability) and get the look that you will be happy with for the life of the windows.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:24AM
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See the link below. I really like our marvin integrity windows

Here is a link that might be useful: Marvin integrity new construction

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:15AM
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From what I've seen in the market, Integrity won't be around the same ballpark price as any high end vinyl or composite. Consider the option of doing the job in phases, the most important areas or floors first.
Simonton, for your situation, is not a bad option. It's not the best. But it's certainly not close to being the worst. I understand the white vinyl thing. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 1:23PM
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I meant to say it WOULD be about the same.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I do have a Soft-Lite dealer about an hour and a half away providing me with a quote along with the others I mentioned.

@windowsonwashington, The exterior of the home is all brick masonry.

@WindowDog, we do have a Marvin dealer in the area and I haven't even considered asking for quotes because I was sure they would not be in the budget. But if you are saying they might be in the same range as a higher-end vinyl window, maybe I'll give them a look.

Another thing I've considered is doing higher end windows on the front of the house and more economical ones on the sides and back. Would that be crazy?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:16PM
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Many manufacturers make a clip in brick molding so be sure to inquire about that.

People have mixed window schedules before so you would not be the first.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:31AM
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