Show me THE best vinyl window
We are obtaining quotes to replace anywhere from 4 to 15 DH windows in our 23 yo NY home. Both my wife and I are leaning toward wood windows. Currently in the lead are Andersen Woodwrights and Marvin Ultimates. However, I don't want my bias against vinyl windows to get in the way. I'm a mechanical engineer and very numbers driven.
The vinyl windows currently being pitched to me by local companies are Great Lakes, Thermal Industries and Restorations. Any vinyl window I've seen so far feels like a plastic window to me. The fake wood trim option on the inside just feels like a window trying to be what it is not.
That being said, the insulating ability of a vinyl frame and the overall low air infiltration specs of the vinyl windows make me wonder if I am unfairly discounting vinyl windows. Reading about claims of 40% savings on energy bills makes one wonder.
So some questions:
1) Vinyl will yellow in time, right? As I understand it, it is just a question of when - something every manufacturer seems to assure me off-handedly won't happen. Heck, I read on this forum some manufacturers tint the vinyl to slow to discoloration process.
2) There are SO many vinyl window manufacturers, it is impossible to compare and know who the "premium" manufacturers are. Can someone please list major premium companies available in the Northeastern US?
3) Even worse, everone and his brother sells and installs vinyl windows around here. For every company I booked to quote me wood double hungs I found at least 3 who only sell and install vinyl. I don't get a fuzzy feeling that these vinyl guys have the skill to install a window properly.
So am I discounting vinyl windows too easily? I think I still want that wood window feel even if it costs me in performance - which is completely against my thinking as an engineer.