S.O.S. - Relacement Window Advice

HerculeOctober 18, 2011

"Measure twice, cut once"... advice I adhear to in anything I do. I realize that some people who post on the internet have a hidden adgenda or motive, maybe an axe or two to grind. That said, with all of the information available in this day and age, I make sure I am as informed as possible, weeding through the postings by the aforementioned, before I make a significant purchase.

I was getting close to pulling the trigger on the purchase of replacement windows. As one who can not afford to outlay $30k all at once, I am doing this 'project' one side at a time, probably taking a couple of years to complete. Because I need a dark color (and as maintenance free as possible) I decided on clad windows to match wrought iron window boxes. The windows I was about to order were the Pella 450 Series through Lowes, ... and then I came across the threads pertaining to lawsuits for these windows. Now I've got the "jitter's" and am thinking of looking elsewhere. Does anyone know if these design issues have been corrected with the series of windows? I can't imagine Pella KNOWINGLY continuing to manufacture defective windows... Needing an Obsidian or Black window, are there any reasonably priced clad alternatives? (Is reasonably priced windows an oximoron?) Marvin vs Andersen? Fiberglass? OMG, information overload... I live on the tip of Lake Michigan and its cold as cold can get in the winter. Please... would appreciate any honest advice from non-axe-grinders.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Do you need a truly "black" window or will a bronze window get you close enough to the color?

What does the interior need to look like and what are you currently replacing?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:30AM
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Thank you for the response. Yes, I need true Black as Black wrought iron window boxes are under each window and lends to the Spanish character of the house. I am replacing original Pella casements with double hungs (anything will be a vast improvement). The house is concrete block with a stucco finish.

Since this posting, and upon further research, I have found a local "Big C Lumber" retailer who reps both Marvin and Simonton windows. Both of these come fairly recommended however, if you look hard enough, you can find disatisfied customers with any brand. I am going to go look at these this afternoon and if I like what I see, get a competitive quote. Any feelings pro or con on these brands would be appreciated.

One last item which I found to be disconcerting. The project manager from Lowes who came to my home yesterday stated that windows have a "replacement life" of 20-25 years?!! I do not plan on being in this home in 25 years but I still find this statement disheartening to say the least. Can this possibly be true??

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Oh, btw, I only need the interior to be primed or finished white. I will trim the interiors myself with case molding etc. and paint an antique white.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:42AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

If you don't choose a well regarded product, 25 years might be pushing it. We see windows from companies that are commonly thought of a premium windows, last far, far less than 25 years.

If you need the black as black, I your choices are going to be limited.

I would get a price on the Marvin Ultimate clad and perhaps inquire about an Inline fiberglass.

Where is the home located?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:13AM
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Location is South Bend (ND Fighting Irish), Indiana.

After I posted, I continued researching and came across Milgard Fiberglass Replacement Windows which come in a "mat black" finish. They have a Lifetime (not limited lifetime) warranty and a transferable 10-year warranty should we sell the house. I found glowing reviews on their products and service so decided to call the 800# to inquire about a dealer in Indiana. Ironically, the women that answered said they do have dealers in Northern Indiana BUT THIS WAS THE LAST DAY THAT THE FACTORY WAS IN PRODUCTION!!! Due to ecconmic conditions they were closing up shop. Figures, I find a good product and they can't stay in business (LOL). Oh well, onward and upward.

You stated "inline fiberglass"? Have not heard that term before and will look into that. I really like the idea of a fiberglass product. The closest that I can come to black, however, is the Marvin Infinity in Bronze. Are there any other "good" fiberglass products? What is your experience with the Marvin clad windows. Appreciate your advice and input.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Inline windows is a Canadian company that manufactures "Fiberglass Windows". Fibertec is another company you may wish to look at as well.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:27PM
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Marvin's all ultrex (fiberglass) window is available with a black exterior and white interior. The full line Marvin (clad exterior and wood interior) also has black available.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:06PM
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