Help - Heart set on Marvin - Architect says Plygem Mira

suzprinceOctober 31, 2011

Please help me! I have had my heart set on Marvin Ultimate windows (current quote $$24,000) but know that I may have to settle on Marvin Integrity (Quote ($15,000) for budget issues.

Now our Architect keeps on and on that we can save so much by going with Plygem Mira windows - and that they will give us the same performance as the Marvin's. He also says they are aluminium clad which is better than the fiberglass in the Integrity (at a lower price).

I really need your expert help here .. is he as wrong as I think he is?? Or am I??

Secondly I wanted all casements and awnings - now he is saying that we need to have double hungs in some places to meet the code requirements - of egress. He says Casements don't meet them - can that really be correct??? It would seem to me that if they were big enough that would be OK.

I am amazed that this is where we have conflict - I thought the window decision was an easy one for us :(

Thanks for any help/advice!


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From what I know the PlyGem's Mira line of windows is the old MW Brand windows and in no way shape or form would I consider them to be anywhere near as good as Marvin Ultimate's or Integrity by Marvin. I would stick to your guns and go with the Marvin product that you feel you can afford. My personal opinion but I do not care for anything from the PlyGem's company.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:00PM
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Would you be able to share a little more about why you don't care for Plygem???

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Casements are more likely to meet egress requirements than double hungs. He may have a point if you are mulling casements over awnings but other than that he's wrong, unless I'm not understanding correctly

Here's a summary the code:

Windows Below Ground Level:
Sill height of window above ï¬Âoor: Not to exceed 44"
Minimum opening area: 5.7 sq. ft.
Minimum opening height 24"
Minimum opening width: 20"
Window Wells/Area Wells:

Required where window opening sill height is below ground elevation.
Horizontal dimensions: 9 sq.ft. (width x projection)
Horizontal projection: 36"

Required on window wells deeper than 44" and must be permanently attached.
Ladder may encroach into well up to 6".
Step distance between rungs: 18"
Rungs:12" wide or greater and must project a minimum of 3" away from wall but maximum of 6".
Grates: Shall be removable without special tools.

So I really can't see how he figures that a double hung would meet the requirements when a casement wouldn't.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:08PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

This would not be the first time that an architect was speaking from a point of authority while not knowing the facts.

The Integrity is a great window and there is no factual data (actually if there is any data it would indicate just the opposite of what he is saying pertaining longevity) to indicate that the fiberglass will break down faster. If there is slight against either style of window, there is more bad press about aluminum clad windows.

+1 on the casement argument being completely incorrect as well. Casements (in or outswing) are usually much more likely to be egress compliant.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:22PM
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I have been in the building material industry for 25 plus. Ply Gems used to be a distributor of mediocre building products, some where along the way they purchased several manufacturers, not unlike Jeldwen. The companies they purchased were known throughout the industry as being mediocre products. They feel by relabeling the same product that it will miraculously get better. MW was and always will be no matter what label you put on it a middle of the road product and in no way shape or for anywhere near the quality and or performance value of a Marvin Ultimate or Integrity by Marvin window.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Thanks, Millworkman. I was so thrown when our architect came up with them. I had selected Marvin based on the inputs from this group, and so he confused me. Based on this I am sticking to my guns!!

Another question - is the Integrity line also a good window??

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:07PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Integrity is a good window as well and if you want the wood look, order it with the wood interior.

I think millworkman is being kind when he says that MW is middle of the road. That is putting it mildly to say the least.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 10:29PM
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You could be correct on that windows as MW was never available in my area I could go by what had read and been told. So bases on that I would not completely disregard or slam a product. Being as your from the Washington area I know MW had a fairly strong presence in that region and further south. I have personally only seen MW installed in some track or spec housing on golf courses in SC and they really did not impress me with their quality.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 7:59AM
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I love MW windows. We replace them quite often due to issues with rotting, glass seal failures and high air infiltration rates. I cannot believe an Architect would recommend them over Marvin. I would really question this Architects integrity at this point.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Ha, Ha!!

In all honesty, MW is probably the most deteriorated window that we replace on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:38AM
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