New Construction Window Recommendation

amy2202August 22, 2010

I am in the early stages of building a new home at the Jersey shore and would like some info from the experts on this forum.I plan on using double hung for the majority of the house.

Which window mfg. should I look at for all the doors and windows?( I don't want to break the budget on just the windows)

What dealers are there that I should contact fro a quote.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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PRO
Epiarch Designs

Can not go wrong with something from Marvin. I spec a lot of windows for projects, but Marvins are great. However they can be spendy, so something very compareable for a little cheaper would be the Eagle product. The Eagle product is better than the Anderson 400. Sticking with Marvin, but want something cheaper in price without really sacrificing any quality, look at the Integrity wood Ultrex. Also a great window, fiberglass, at a great price.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 10:09PM
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amy2202

Lzerac, Thanks for the reply. We just got the preliminary drawings from our architect and it looks like we will need around 40 windows( counting a side by side as 2 windows etc.)and four patio doors plus front entry door. So we are trying to get an idea on what our window and door budget should be.
I have not heard of Eagle products before.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:39PM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

do look into Eagle. Anderson owns Eagle, and in my opinion, Eagle is their flagship product now. It is an aluminum clad available in 50 STANDARD colors vs vinyl clad anderson 400s. However looking at your windows, I can tell you Marvin will not be cheap, and Eagle may not be either. I know Marvin sliding patio doors go for around $2400, where as the fiberglass Marvin Integrity goes for closer to $1500. However the Marvin slides like nothing else on the market. Integrity is still super smooth. My small single story craftsman style only has about 20 windows (25 if you count square transoms) and the sliding glass door. Our Marvin bid came in around 14000 and Integrity as well as Anderson 400 just under 10,000. Eagle was about 12,500. However if you have radiused or circle top windows, price rises very fast. No circle tops are a fast way to cut costs. Typically the circle top is 2x the price then the window it goes over.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 5:47PM
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amy2202

Lzerarc, where do you live. I would like to get a quote when the time comes from your dealer if he is near N.J.
I do not think we are going to have radius top windows, mainly standard size double hung. Ther may be a couple fixed windows near a cathedral ceiling and a picture window at the entry way.
How does the integrity hold up long term? What maint. will need to be done in the future.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 7:20PM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

I actually live in Iowa...sorry.
Sounds like your windows should not be too bad. 20-30k range is probably what you will be looking at on the higher side with a pure guess from my experience.
Integrity has the same 10/20 yr warranty as most, and since it is fiberglass, actually holds up better then aluminum or wood clad windows. it does not fade, expansion is very very minimal, and if you want change colors it is easily paintable. Also does not caulk like aluminum can, or dent from hail damage. However the ga of aluminum in marvin is very thick compared to others. also fully extruded instead of bent around wood using several pieces.
Integrity are lower priced, but not a cheap window by any means. Still the same high quality glass with 366 and argon options as Marvin Premiums. View Marvins the Acura/Lexus and Integrity as the Honda/toyota.
Also, plese do not think I am linked to Marvin or any brands I have mentioned. I have just done extension research on many companies and simply sharing my findings.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 10:21PM
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rowan_1963

Do not buy Jeld wen. I have replaced every single window in my home (11 years old) due to seal failure. They have provided the windows, but labor is not covered. Now that I am over the ten year mark, I had to pay 20% of the cost and the installation. I spent 4,000 dollars on windows for my 11 year old home. what a joke.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 2:35PM
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justinh1999

Amy2202 - I visit the Jersey Shore during the summers (Ocean City to be exact) and I can tell you to make sure you consider one big thing there: Corrosion & maintenance. Lzerarc made some great observations about Marvin and Eagle, but both of their wood products come with an aluminum clad exterior. I don't care what their warranties say, if you are anywhere near the shore, you will have corrosion with an aluminum clad product. I have stayed in houses there on the water and I have seen it for myself.

Andersen practically owns Ocean City when it comes to windows because they offer a vinyl clad exterior which holds up much better to the elements. I am not a huge Andersen fan myself, but you can't be picky against Mother Nature, she will win in the long run.

Fiberglass is a great option to consider for the shore as well. It will not corrode, and I think will hold up better than vinyl in the long run. It is a newer (last 6 years) material on the market so there are not as many choices and builders on the Shore may not be as familiar with it, but you can't beat it for durability.

I envy you building at the Shore! We fly there from Texas every year and love the time we spend there. Good luck with your project.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Antonio Windows and Doors

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:31AM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

good points on corrosion, however not all aluminum cladding is created equal. this is where marvin would step ahead of eagle or the other aluminum cladded windows. their cladding is heavier than any other, full extruded (vs bent around the wood), and are the only window on the market to achieve a protection rating sealant for corrosion resistance on their aluminum. Infact they created their own class above the others because there was not one that high. However, you are 100% correct...why even "chance it" (I honestly doubt you would have issues). However I also believe they will be too costly for you, so why bother!? Fiberglass products can be had as I mentioned in the Integrity, and also Pella Impervia. The impervias are ok, but you have VERY limited options with colors. PLus you have to get full fiberglass, inside and out, in the same color (if you want brown exteriors, you also have to get brown interiors) No wood option like the Marvin version. It may just be an Iowa thing, but I do not really care who makes the vinyl clad, we do not want it here. The expansion and contraction it does over the course of 1 year is bad for our climate. Of course then again we have to design for -10+ up to 100+. So for your situation the 400s would probably be a good option as well. There are many other brands out there I did not mention, but that is because I am not familiar with them. I am very familiar with all said brands. I do not want to post info I myself have not researched and compared.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:48AM
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amy2202

Justin, thanks for the kind words. We are very excited about the build. We have lived in the old house for close to ten years and it has flooded too many times so it time to rebuild on pilings.
My question on the integrity is will I have to paint the window after so may years?
If I decide to go with all vinyl, which window should I look at?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:30PM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

no, you will not need to paint it. It is an extruded solid color all the way through the product. very strong, stable, and wont fade like aluminum can. THis is typical of all fiberglass. I HIGHLY recommend trying to find a show room for all of the brands suggested. You can ask as many questions online as you like, but until you see and feel them, open them, etc, you will not truely know which you like! Look at the details...the way the wood feels unfinished, grains, joints in the exterior int he aluminum or vinyl, etc. All signs of quality construction.
when you say vinyl, I assume you mean vinyl clad wood, and not full vinyl windows...do not even consider full vinyl windows would be my suggestion. Otherwise Anderson 400s would be the way to go, possibly mixing in some 200s in places like the garage, basement windows, etc to save some money and still have a good window, just not wood clad on the interior.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 8:46AM
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skydawggy

lzerarc

Why shouldn't the poster consider all vinyl windows? She has already mentioned she is on a tight budget. Why are you trying to push her towards the most expensive options?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 10:00AM
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amy2202

Thanks for all the replies.
I am wating for the final drawings to get the exact sizes so we can get our quotes.
Skydawggy, what vinyl window would you consider? I like the idea of totally maint. free of the vinyl but will we be sacrificing durability for price.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 11:04AM
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beware

Chiming in to also ask about all-vinyl (disclosure: posted a bit earlier in a another thread asking about vinyl -- sorry for the duplicate request). Other thread bashed Certainteed vinyl, which is what prospective builder I'm talking with says he likes. Pretty sure clad wood windows are not in the budget. In the Midwest, so temps swing greatly, but precipitation is not an issue here as it is in some areas or at the coasts. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:23PM
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skydawggy

The vinyl brands I would recommend looking at are Okna, Simonton, Softlite, Gorell and Great Lakes. There are other good brands but I'm familiar with these.

Don't listen to the tired out drumbeat about how bad vinyl windows are. It isn't true and is usually coming from those who just don't like vinyl for whatever their reasons. They are never able to back it up with facts.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:48PM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

as an architect, designing and specing good products is what I do. It is my strong belief that the shell of the building should not be sacrificed when it comes to cutting costs. These things you can not easily change. Shell design should be number 1, interior finishes are number 2. Get laminate counters instead of granite. put the savings in a better building, windows, etc.
My experience with vinyl (again, for the midwest) is nothing but negatives. EVERY vinyl window I have seen not only looks cheap, but moves, sounds, and feels cheap. It is cheap! They are cheaper. Sure you may hit the R and U values in the glass. Everyone can do that. But you are sacrificing things that make windows beautiful and strong. I see wood clad windows still alive and kicking in houses while vinyl ones are getting swapped out much sooner.
If the fiberglass option or other wood clad options (either alum or vinyl) "are not in the budget" then your architect needs to reevaluate the budget, or reduce window amounts. Quality over quantity...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 2:54PM
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skydawggy

Right....... now go compare DP ratings on high end vinyl windows vs anything wood. Please post up comparative ratings done by AAMA. (if you even know who that is) and then explain to all of us how a window with a DP50 is flimsy and structurally unsound. Tell us how most windows used today in coastal areas are either aluminum or vinyl, not wood.

Most homes we remove wood windows from are less than 30 years old. The wood is warped and/or rotted.

I also seriously doubt you are an architech or you wouldn't make such uninformed statements. You have offered nothing but opinion. Facts please!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 10:55PM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

sorry, Like I have stated, we design in the midwest. I still have that mindset and often overlook specific locations on these forums. Vinyl is not used here, and if it is, there are a lot of problems. All of the time. We do not spec it, will not approve it for projects. Vinyl, around here, is a "builders class". if you want cheap, go vinyl. It is expands, breaks the caulk and shrinks down in the window causing air leaks. We have to design for 110 degree yearly temperature changes. Vinyl's expansion is too high to be a good lasting product in our area. I have one right now where they wanted to save money and went with vinyl. The house is less then 2 years old, and they have condensation inside the glass and an air infiltration test around the opening indicated unacceptable leaks. They were installed by a certified installer from that company correctly.
Lab tests, in most controlled environments can show what they need it to show to hit ratings by different organizations. If it comes from AIA, DBIA, FEMA, LEED organizations, AAMA etc. We design based off of our own experiences with the products, in our areas not just want the product numbers show. My suggestions were options simply showing there are other things to consider than vinyl. A "high end vinyl" will not be cheaper then the fiberglass option I suggested, or possibly some wood clad options (I am not recommending wood windows, but rather wood clad windows). Again, if prices are that much different then here, I apologize. The Integrity window runs about $350 for about a 34"x56" casement including real wood interior. I have seen the vinyl windows from the places you have mentioned. I am not talking about pure performance. I am talking about feel and look. You do not see the performance, but you do see the welded seams of vinyl, the *cough* "just like wood" vinyl look, etc. Sure they can be opinions, but from the homeowners view, my job is to give them something that meets all of their criteria. I do not know about you but most of our clients want performances and looks. If they can live with the look, then by all means. I personally can not, and have had very few clients who could.
It comes down to location. They would work better with more regulated temps. Here they do not, and that is my experience. However I stand by my opinions. Everyone has them, and I encourage others to consider cosmetics too. You will see them every day. You have like what you buy.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:58AM
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amy2202

guys, thanks so much for all the help so far. We are going out to look at some windows at the local lumber yards.
I have a yard that sells marvins so I hope they will have the Integrity on display.
Skydawggy, what should I be looking for in a good quality vinyl window. ( besides the obvious u factor, shgc, and at numbers).
Do you have experience with coastal home installations?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 12:05PM
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skydawggy

If you are looking for a coastal window, I would look at PGT and Simonton. Both have design pressure ratings up to 70 which is the highest available of any window. There are other good choices but I am very familiar with those 2 companies because I carry both. You definitely can't go wrong with either one. Sorry, I have no direct experience with coastal installations as I am in Northern Virginia.

Right now PGT has a special going on the Spectragaurd window. DP50 with free laminated glass. Laminated glass usually runs about $10. per square foot additional. The OITC rating is 29 and the STC is 34. Quite a bargin if you are looking for security and sound attenuation.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:18PM
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skydawggy

lzerarc

My apologies for coming off a little sharp. I just really get tired of people who are still stuck in the "vinyl windows are cheap and warp" mantra of 20 years ago. Sure, you get what you pay for with anything and windows are no exception. Most better vinyl windows will not warp and crck nor will they experience seal failures at a higher rate than any other window. Seal failures have more to do with the individual factories than the framing material of the window. All one has to do is read through this site and others to see most of the complaints are about wood and clad windows. You really need to update your knowledge of windows.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:26PM
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justinh1999

Ahhh I love a good window discussion! No one but us "window geeks" can get this charged up over something that the rest of the world doesn't give a second thought to until they break, rot, or they want to build a new house.

My background comes in Clad wood windows so I can say I was fed the Kool-Aid regarding wood products. I have been converted to see the benefits of vinyl and I must say there is good product out there very able to withstand whatever weather is thrown at it. Lzerarc's name is on his projects at the end of the day and he must ultimately be comfortable with what he is recommending to his customers. Skydawggy and I share the belief that the current vinyl products on the market are built both to perform and look good and we are comfortable recommending them to our clients as well.

Will a vinyl window ever beat a wood window for the classic look, custom attributes, and warmth that wood provides? Not likely. Will they stand up to the elements, provide similar performance ratings, and energy efficiency? Sure. Ultimately the homeowner must decide the best fit for their needs based on the information professionals provide. Tank you for the discussion guys.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Antonio Windows and Doors

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:09PM
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justinh1999

Amy,

Check with your local building codes regarding performance numbers on the windows. I don't think that the Jersey Shore is exposed to many hurricanes so impact resistant glass would be overkill in your area. Better ratings mean tighter, stronger windows that will withstand higher winds so that can't hurt.

Maintenance and ability to withstand the sea air, blowing sand, and salt should be your checklist for the shore there. While you have colder winters and hotter summers, it is not like the Midwest. You want something that is able to take a beating. OH AND MAKE SURE THERE IS STAINLESS STEEL HARDWARE FOR THE OPERATORS

Here is a link that might be useful: San Antonio Windows and Doors

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:15PM
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amy2202

Guys , thanks again.
The home is not on a barrier island so code does not require impact glass but I want to be sure I am getting a good quality window and door. I am sure I can go out and spend top dollar for windows and doors but we don't have an endless supply of money.
Once we get the final drawings and sizes I will post back with quotes for all of your advice.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 8:40AM
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PRO
Epiarch Designs

@ Just:
I agree with you, it needs to be their choice based off of the info we provide. I was attempting to hit on that as well. We do the research and have the experience do they do not have too. That is what they pay me for. However I have plenty that research on their own, and I always encourage it. A smarter home owner, in my opinion, leads to better design and smarter, lasting decisions.
I pobably should not have said to never consider vinyl, and I did overspeak, given my area. We just see more problems in shorter amounts of times with good vinyl compared to similar clad, and especially fiberglass in our area. JS will be much different. Like I said, by BIGGEST beef with them is the overall look and feel. If the owner wants to consider vinyl for a cost savings, I always supply them physical samples so they can decide on their own. 9 times out of 10 they do not go vinyl.....
Best of luck on your house and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:30AM
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skydawggy

lzerarc

What vinyl brand and model do you show your clients?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:35AM
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millworkman

Amy,

I do believe the impact code is within 3 miles of the coast for then entire east coast now, not just barrier islands

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 11:28AM
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amy2202

millworkman, We are on the main land side of Barnegat Bay which is over the 3 mile limit from the coast.
Skydawwgy, what should we look for in a good vinyl window?
We are planning on going to a dealer that carries Simonton over the next few days.
Does softlite sell new construction windows?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 2:32PM
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