Advice on Wood Replacements

doris42November 2, 2010

I've been reading these boards for about 5 months as I tried to narrow down my selection for 10 wood replacement windows (windows are all 53.5" tall by around 32-36" wide). I've had Home Depot here with their Weathershield Sequel. They didn't leave me with any specs on the window, just a 2 page marketing brochure. Then had Pella come over pricing Architect Precision Hung (Low E Sundefense Dual E Argon with baseline features such as unfinished interior wood and basic screens). Pella said I have non-standard size openings if that means anything. I also asked for Pella to quote the same window in their Proline model and that saved me $100 per window so I eliminated Proline from the posts I've read about them. Since I read so many complaints about Pella overall, I had another installer in for a quote on Marvins Low E 366 Glass with Argon (mostly model CUDH3224 and CUDH2624). They came in at about 18% more, or $2,000, than the Pella Precisions. I also checked Bonneville Bronzeline windows (Insulated Low E Glass with Argon) from the same installer as posters had some good things to say about them though people expressed concern about the company's wherewithal and they were just a few hundred dollars less than Pella. I wanted to check into Jeldwins, but I've run out of time. I'm afraid if I don't sign a contract in the next week or so, I may not get the windows installed before 12/31. I am really concerned about the posts about Pella but they are in my budget. Marvin is above my budget by about $2,000. I can't find enough detail on Bonnevilles, but again they are in my price range. Other window manufacturers such as Milgard don't seem to be in my market (Northwest NJ). Does anyone have any advice on the windows above given the price difference, or are there other wood window manufacturers that would come in around the same price? I have a feeling most people will suggest Marvin. I will just need to dig deep into the pocket since I still need to save for the downstair windows next year. Thanks to the great posts (Skydawggy,etc). You guys are a great source!! Jim

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millworkman

I would say look into Kolbe & Kolbe as I had sold quite a few in the past and never had much in the way of issues but they will not save you substantially maybe 5-8%.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 7:37AM
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doris42

Thanks MWM. I didn't know about Kolbe. I'm checking now for local installers. I also see a wholesaler who carries Windsor. I believe I read some good things about those windows as well. Thanks again!

Jim

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 9:58AM
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millworkman

You would not have seen anything by me written good about Windsor. I have sold windows for years and Windsor is not ever going to be one of them, just don't like the product or the company, but again just my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 11:24AM
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doris42

Thanks for the feedback. I'll cross them off the list. I just got off the phone with the Kolbe supplier (lumberyard that works with installers). He knows Kolbe more for new construction windows not as much for replacements. He's going to show me Kolbe, Andersen Woodwright, and (was going to bring) Windsor. He also sells Marvin so I may ask for a quote on them. The difference with this guy as oppose to the others is he'll set me up with an installer rather than install it himself. I think that means I'll have to pay NJ tax on it- installers don't charge tax as it's a capital improvement.

He did say Kolbe is a higher end window that will most likely cost more than Andersen, Pella, and Windsor. He's coming Friday.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 2:33PM
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Olychick

Two years ago, I replaced all my windows (25+) with Kolbe without doing any research - just liked the way they looked in a friend's home. They are gorgeous, seem to be good quality, but have the most horrendous customer service ever. The screens didn't fit some custom sized windows and I think the factory sent 3 or 4 sets before they finally fit.

My friends have some older ones that needed the failed thermo glass replaced and virtually NO one would replace it. Kolbe was no help; it was a mess that I don't look forward to should any of these fail in my lifetime.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 7:36PM
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millworkman

was it Kolbe or the independent wholesaler distributor that had poor customer service/.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 9:03PM
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Olychick

Well, for my friend it was both - she was so disgusted with the distributor, she called the company and got no satisfaction with them either. For me, the guy who came from the distributor was great, but sorely overworked and disgusted with the manufacturer. He sent for replacement pieces for damaged window parts and screens that would not snap into place at least 3 times before they finally got at least the screens right. If I remember correctly, he gave up on getting the replacement parts in the correct size and just brought a saw and milled them himself. He had a 2 or 3 state region, so it took forever to get him back here after waiting 6 weeks each time for the parts to arrive.

When I ordered the most recent bathroom remodel/addition windows,I wanted them to match so got them from Kolbe again, with much trepidation. This batch arrived with a flaw in a 9 foot long, 3 window casement set. Still haven't seen them to fix it.

Now I need to replace the french doors in my dining room, and would love to have them match the windows, but I just cannot justify the cost and the stress of wondering if they will be okay.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 11:27PM
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millworkman

I never found anything like that to be the case when I sold and dealt with Kolbe and their distributor in my area. Sorry you and your friend are having these issue's, and I guess from that end I can understand your reluctance to use them again.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 7:44AM
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Olychick

I'm in the Pacific NW. Maybe that makes a difference. They are not as well known or popular here and perhaps are stretched too thin; vast geography, smaller populations? Glad to hear you have positive experiences...maybe I'll reconsider the doors, as their stuff is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 12:01PM
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millworkman

I am on Long island and sold to the metro New York area with a distributor for New Jersey, were there issues from time to time, yes, but we always had them handles pretty reasonably.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 12:18PM
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