Help me decide

clueless_home_ownerNovember 14, 2009

We're looking to replace our old wood frame single pain windows. We got two quotes, both more expensive than we thought going into it.

Estimates were from Bristol Windows and from a regional home improvement company who has a similar product that is private label, Atrium is their manufacturer.

Here's what it comes down to, really the only difference I can see is that Bristol has an aluminum frame with vinal on the outside and the Atrium product was foam filled vinal, no aluminum. Both were triple pain, had high quality foam spacers to prevent leakage of the krypton and they had the soacting to reflect the cold and heat. Both had welded frames as well. So to me, very similar products. Both have 50 yr warranties.

The pitch from bristol was basically that it will hold up over time and that even if anyone could match their efficiency, 10 yrs down the road they couldn't because of the aluminum frame structure along with all the other bells and whistles.

1. How much does that frame impact the longevity of the energy efficiency?

2. Does it matter about the longevity if I'm going to get a 50 year warranty on either product anyway?

3. I'm a bit confused as to how this compares to Anderson and Marvin and some of the other products I'm seeing on the forum. As some of these other options appear to be more affordable.

At the end of the day, we were looking at $13000-$15000 for 14 windows installed with either company.

Am I wasting my money, is that too much? I always hear about Marvin and Anderson which I think both are more affordable and are suppose to be high quality, but are they truly top of the line or just "good" windows with good reputations?

Any thoughts on any of this is appreciated.

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Aluminum frame support is just that, support which makes the window frames less prone to sagging and bowing. Foam filling is a lot of hype and very little substance. It does little for the overall thermal efficiency of a window. Over time bowing frames and sash members will casue air to leak decreasing the efficency of the window. With that said ALL vinyl windows will decrease efficency from day one because vinyl expands and contracts exponentially more than say a fiberglass or wood window.

Now as to price; You can get a Marvin or andersen window for those prices. I'd give the nod to Marvin if your thinking about them. Get an estimate, you have nothing to lose.

Good luck

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Definitely get multiple estimates. Even for the same exact product, our job has returned estimates from $2300 to $5500.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 7:44PM
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