wood vs vinyl
Afer posting another request and reading some others, I felt this was worth bringing to the top. Looking at windows over the last month has given me some insight.
There was a post regarding wood and vinyl and although I will not be using vinyl, I felt this product was worth a referal.
After a lot of deliberation, I am using wood windows, primarilly because my interiors will be stained. I agree with several posters that say vinyl windows look cheap. However, there is one vinyl product I checked out which was outstanding. It is called Solaris and made in Canada. In addition, the color I want (black) exterior is available, plus 1000 other colors.
These windows are not thin, cheap looking types normally associated with vinyl. The sashes are as thick (or thicker) than many wood products such as Pella or Anderson. The interior has colonial sticking, making it look great. Structural strength from thickness of the sash and material and far more interior extrusions that allow a window to resist sagging and bowing over time. The glass itself is thicker than most other products, plus the glass is double strength, which is a requirement in Canada.
As for fading color, these windows are painted with a special, exterior UV resistant coating. I put my hand on a black window which had been in the sun and it was not at all hot. Heat destroys vinyl. That is the resaon the majority of viny products in colors (solid) are not available in dark colors. Dark colors absorb heat, causing warping and fading. If you find an Anderson in the territon color more than a few years old, it probably will have faded appreciably.
All Solaris products meet the new energy tax credit and due to construction will meet it for years to come. Many other vinyl products meet the rating too, even most are the cheap looking, thin products. Several wood window manufacturers have complained the new tax credit should go further to stipulate longevity because of the sagging and bowing that can occurr with a construction using thin vinyl extrusions.
A sagging or bowed window throws the 30/30 rating "out the window" because wind coming in around the window isn't too great for energy.
Again, I have choosen wood. However, if I wanted white interior and especially if building in an area where high wind and rain existed like a lakeshore area, Solaris would be my hands down first choice. Speaking of wind, their casement has a DP factor that meets the ratings required for Dade County, Florida.
A plust for Solaris casements, most window companies charge higher for casements than double hungs. Solaris is just the opposite. It is less money because they make more of them in Canada.
With all of the positives about Solaris, there is a catch. When you add color exteriors, they are as expensive or more than the top brand wood products. White are slightly less, but more than any other vinyl window I found.
Although I have decided upon wood windows, I felt this product was worth a recommendation.