Clad wood casement suggestions, how about Eagles?

ilze1937October 8, 2009

I need to replace 4 rotting wood Caradco casement windows in my 22 year old Ohio home. Want to have the new windows blend in with the existing windows, and eventually will end up doing the rest of the windows, a few at a time. I want a quality window, preferably wood, with good durability, excellent efficiency (meet the tax credit parameters), minimal maintenance, but affordable. I need full frame replacements due to the amount of rot, and of course, I need "custom sized" for all of my openings.

I've been looking at the clad woods. JeldWen, Anderson 400 and Eagle have all come back with almost equivalent prices. All qualify for the tax rebate, and meet my needs. The Eagles seem to be the best value (aluminum instead of vinyl clad) with the options I like. But I hesitate, because...

1. Are Eagles going to stand up to the elements? I've read a lot in this forum and up until 6 months ago, Eagles seemed for the most part well reviewed. Then there was an extensive post about the possible defective design of Eagles that allowed water to infiltrate the wall in blowing rain. Does this problem affect the Axiom Casements that I am considering? Has anyone had any positive experiences with Eagles? Or are there better alternatives out there?

2. Should I be looking at anything besides wood (such as composites like Fibrex or Ultrex) with wood interiors? I had the Marvin people come out to get an idea on what Marvin alum clads would run. The first thing out of the salesman's mouth was that he would not recommend wood clad for my house. Says all wood WILL rot, including his window, and it would be a disservice to me not to warn me of this. Then proceeded to pitch me the Integrity line. Said something about the lack of overhangs on my house not being good for wood, even if they were clad. Is this some warped sales technique, or is there something to the lack of durability of wood clad products on windows without significant overhangs?

Would appreciate any input on the alum v vinyl clad debate, the Eagle reputation, and any other viable options.

Thank you in advance!

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Your comments suggest a problem with other design features of your house. Without knowing what they are no one can answer your question. The first question to answer is why the original windows rotted.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 7:18PM
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Probably a combination of problems. The lack of overhang above these specific windows might have sped things up a bit, but then again maybe not. I would also blame lack of maintenance by previous owners and misaligned sprinkler heads for some of it too. Most of the neighborhood has the "contemporary/ tudor" look, and many in the neighborhood have had some problems with deteriorating windows. It is a large suburban neighborhood, many large trees, that went up in a few years by a handful of local builders, maintaining similar features for all the houses.

The "anti-wood" comments by the Marvin person really surprised me partly because it didn't make much sense, the fact that no one else (other sales people) had ever expressed such a thought, and that it felt like a great start to his sales pitch for the Infinity line of windows instead. But if there is actually something to it, I'd appreciate the feedback. I'll try to describe the windows in question.

The windows that sit either under the porch or under an overhang directly above that story are fine, just worn. Will need replacing in the next 5-10 years. The ones in question are: a dormer type window protruding out past the normal roofline, with just a decorative "sloping roof trim" above it (it has a mate that is fine). Another one is on the first floor with the roofline being above the second story (kind of a two story bay-type bump out). One is right below where the roof comes to a peak. The worst one was unfortunately placed directly in the line of fire of a sprinkler head (we've remedied that). All the rotted wood is in the bottom leg of the window and part of the sill.

I'd appreciate input on replacing these wood window with a clad one of good quality. I like the Eagles, but love the Marvin clads, but is $1000 more for the Marvins (4 of them) worth while? Or is Infinity the "new wave" or windows?

Thanks in advance for the help!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 9:54PM
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The biggest issue is window instalation. Use yvek on the house and vicor (or similar) to seal around window. Follow directions exactly. If water gets behind siding and wall, it will find its way to your window and rot just like Caradcos.

Since the Carads are alum clad, you probably want to stay with a similar look. The Eagle will work but if you have extreme wind and water, there are instances where aluminum to window sash or frame allowed water to penetrate.

If you live by a lake or wind driven water situation, the only real option is vinyl, but most will not give you a look to match existing windows. Most vinyl windows, regardless of what salesman says (or anybody on this board) will look cheap. They will start out with better insulation ratings than wood/clad but after time in weather / sun they will loose performance. That doesn't mean Obama will take back tax credit, but you have to live there.

Color is another issue. Most vinyls come in white or some kind of bulder-beige. Only company I know making a vinyl with tons of color is called Solaris, made in Quebec. It is also a superb window and doesn't look cheap.

That's because it is not cheap. If you get the color, it will cost as much as Eagle. With falling value of dollar agains Canadian money, expect the price to rise.

Solaris is the only product I know of that will meet a DP 70 rating and pass Dade County Fl building code. (this is for a casement). It is not sold in all states.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:13PM
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