Choices, choices: Loewen, Marvin, Screens and Cladding

EstimatedEyesAugust 18, 2012

We are choosing VG fir casement windows for the remodel of our 1928 english cottage-style home starting in a week (finally!). (Yes, the existing windows must go due to condition and design changes.) We are leaning towards Loewen, which GC likes, and also considering Marvin, which may be less expensive.

Two sub-issues have come up that I could use some input on: exterior cladding (wood or aluminum) and screens (retractable or removable). Your thoughts and experiences on these issues are appreciated.

All-wood v. Aluminum cladding:

GC strongly urges us to go with all-wood, with no exterior metal cladding. Says cladding never looks better than the day it is installed, is hard to match to exterior paint colors, and the additional maintenance for wood is not a huge issue, and can be handled in connection with other maintenance needs -- i.e., exterior painting -- we have to do anyway. The Loewen rep (and the Marvin guy too) strongly urges us to go with a cladded window due to maintenance, though (to his credit) agrees with GC that wood looks better over the life of the window. Watching the two argue the point was quite entertaining last week. Thoughts?

Retractable v. Removable Screens:

We are going with push out casements for most windows. Thus, screens become an issue since they block the push, not to mention the view. When we looked at the Marvins I liked the utility of their side-mounted retractable screens, and have also looked (on-line) at Phantom's top-mounted prestige series which would also seems to function well for that purpose. GC doesn't like look of retractables and questions their function, and would prefer us to either go with screens mounted in a wood frame that can be swung out or removed when you want to open the window, or just eliminate screens altogether except for those windows where we know we will really use them. Based on utility alone I am going to push for retractables, but first I would like to hear from those who have them re how they look, how they work, and what problems you have encounted with them.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Looks like you and your GC have a couple of items to work out.

While the aluminum clad window is in no way shape or form a bullet proof material, it is considerable more shielded and less prone to deteriorate as compared to bare wood.

Wood windows require considerably more maintenance and upkeep. No comparison.

A properly clad window will live much longer is only maintained slightly.

If you need wood to the interior, have you considered a fiberglass window? Same construction look to the exterior, available with wood on the inside, and usually a bit cheaper.

I would stay with the factory version of the roll away screen and I think your reasoning on the push out casements is completely correct.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:43PM
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I'd vote for wood, but I'd probably still procrastinate when it came time to paint them the 2nd time.
I never met a retractable screen I liked. If you're in an area where the wind blows, I say no.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 3:53PM
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