New Construction Windows: Help Me Pick!
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!