New Construction Windows - NC

newhousehelp123September 2, 2012

My contractor is getting quotes on new construction vinyl windows from Atrium and Ply-Gem. From reading reviews, I do not think I would be happy with either product. I was also planning on getting a quote for clad windows, but my builder says he did the rough openings for vinyl because that is what we had discussed. At the time I did not realize they had 2 different rough openings. I am building the house in central North Carolina, and I would like good quality windows. I have read good things about Marvin's integrity line and wonder if it would fit in the "vinyl" rough opening. I have also heard of Weathershield being offered in the area, but know very little about them.

I would appreciate any advice on Atrium vs. Ply-Gem and any other vinyl manufacturers as well as what my options may be for a quality window at this point. I would rather pay up front for quality versus going cheap and having to replace sooner down the road and it seems the general consensus is that both Atrium and Ply-Gem are bottom of the barrel builder grade windows.

Of course, I guess the other questions is how much will windows have changed in 10 years and would it be worth purchasing builder grade now and replacing in 10 years again with builder grade (i.e Will your better windows now still make the cut 10 years from now)?

Thanks and I appreciate all advice and opinions.

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We will be building in the next couple of years south of Charlotte. I was interested in quality vinyl windows and saw that Carolina Construction Products in Cornelius, NC (Lake Norman area) carries Monarch, MGM and Hurd's H3 windows. (Hurd H3 is a combination of vinyl and wood.) This showroom had all three windows on display and they were quite impressive. Nothing at all like flimsy vinyl windows that many people think of.

Carolina Construction Products seems to sell to lots of high end builders and these vinyl windows were not the brands they pushed. My guess is most of their clientele buy Kolbe from them.

MGM has a great website and their line for new construction is called Southern Rose. You can also google Monarch Windows to find their website.

Here is a link that might be useful: MGM Southern Rose line

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:38PM
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With those as their only choices I would certainly hope ALL their clientele buy Kolbe!!!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


The Kolbe & Kolbe would be the best of the bunch.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Dear New House......boy, that's a shame that you didn't have more input before the house was framed as to the windows you were going to use. I see that a lot though. I am a self-professed window snob and really don't like vinyl windows. I am leary of the H3 although they are used in million dollar homes around here. I think they have not been in the marketplace long enough to know if this hybrid will stand the test of time due to the heating and cooling expansion coefficiency differences between the vinyl and the aluminum extrusion on the exterior. If you are going to use the doublehung, then IMHO, definitely look elsewhere. The casement, because of the price point, may be worth the gamble but I probably wouldn't do it. I recently sold my house that had Windsor windows (mfg in Iowa and in Monroe NC right outside of Charlotte) and I had no problems with them and purchased them because of the big difference in price between it's competitors. This is the aluminum clad product. I do not like their composite window called Legend. Now I live in a house with vinyl doublehung windows. It is in a neighborhood with Windsor Autrey track built homes. The vinyl windows are Stanley (?!?). I had never even heard of them and I have been selling windows for 25 years. But-cha know.....they ain't half bad. I have been rather surprised. They have grills in the airspace, which I never really cared for, but the builder applied jamb extensions and some really nice trim and a good deep window sill and they look really nice from the inside (who knew?)From the outside they are white with black faux shutters. The house was built in 2004. They keep me warm and dry in the winter, and cool and dry in the summer. Yes, I can feel a little coolness near the glass in the winter, and in the summer I close the blinds on the side of the house that gets the most sun in the afternoon. To get the same Aluminum clad windows in this house from a premium window company (Marvin, Kolbe, Semco, even Windsor) would have been 4 to 8 times more money I would estimate. Vinyl is not what I would prefer to do and if you do go to vinyl, don't do Plygem. Windsor owns Atrium but I have never sold nor used their vinyl window. In the end you probably need to look at the whole picture (cost, utility, resale value of your home, energy efficiency, aesthetics, etc). I wish you luck.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Stanley Windows are Silverline private labeled and are about at the low end of builder grade foodchain. I personally agree as I am not a great fan of vinyl nor anything by Hurd for that matter. Integrity by Marvin can and will be available in made to order sizes so you could go that route.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:06AM
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I am meeting with the lumber yard who is supplying my contractor. Fortunately they sell the Marvin Integrity windows along with the previously mentioned vinyl. Therefore, I should be able to get some hands on experience. I am strongly leaning toward the integrity window pending pricing, but my contractor said the lumber yard told him the rough opening would be slightly shorter and slightly wider. He acted like he could changed the rough openings if needed. I'm thinking it would probably be cheaper to have him change the rough opening to accomadate the Integrity "standard sizes" then it would be to order custom sized windows to fit the current rough-in. Any opinions?

Also, it seems the integrity glass does not hit the same performance measures in u-factor or solar heat gain when compared to the vinyl? Is that true and any idea why Marvin would choose to do that?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 6:11PM
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If the Marvin integrity window does not have the same U factor and SHGC, then it most likely has to do with not comparing the same glass types (i.e., Lo e II versus Lo E 366). It could also have something to do with posting center of glass values, versus edge of glass values (tsk, tsk, tsk) Marvin Integrity is a great product, no doubt about it. I think, however, you might get a little sticker shock when comparing it to a vinyl window. And yes, I suspect that in your case, that you might be better off changing the rough opening as opposed to paying custom sizing pricing.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Marvin may not be out of your league. Just got my quote back, windows only, installed by my carpenters.
All Ultrex 3040 Casement Low-e w/Argon. $345 each South TX install.

Marvin will build any size to 1/64"

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:01PM
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