Replacement Windows - Casement or DH, Wood or Vinyl or other

amyf5November 18, 2013

Looking for advice regarding window replacement:
--Two second story bedroom windows each 60"x30"
--Located over garage on side of house (inconspicuous location)
--Currently have Peachtree casements
--Installed when house was built, 2005, Michigan
--Wood on inside, wood clad on outside?
--Painted white on inside, match beige siding on outside.
--Windows face southwest (and seem to catch a lot of wind)
--Replacement needed because one leaks (there is water damage)

I was planning to replace with double-hungs (house is a combo DH and casement) since on even mildly windy days the casements seem like they are going to blow off the house and we often have a lot of trouble retracting them. However, I read a lot about how casements are generally preferred and form a tighter seal so I am still considering them.

Since water and wood seem like a bad combination, I was thinking I should go with fiberglass or vinyl. But I read that wood is considered standard in higher-end homes and I don't want to do anything to detract from the home's value.

I am looking at Marvin, Andersen, and Sunrise right now because they seem to get good reviews here and are easily available to me.

I would appreciate any advice on manufacturer, material, and casement vs. double hung. I'll also take recommendations for installers in southeast Michigan.

Thank you!

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I think you have answered all of your questions to be honest.

Casements will have a higher DP and lower air infiltration rating. It all depends on if you have them open when the wind is blowing.

The Sunrise casement is the best of that group in terms of performance if you are okay with the look of it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 7:13AM
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Make sure that whatever window type you decide to go with you investigate where your water damage is coming from and that it gets fixed as well. The water damage may be caused by other issues that just changing windows may not fix and you will end up worse that now.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Gotta make sure that you aren't fixing something that isn't the issue.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Thank you. I had a contractor come out to look. Couldn't find anything wrong "around" the window and felt replacing window would do the trick. To me, it looks like the window is the problem, but I do realize it might not be. I have some installers coming out this week for window estimates so that might help clarify the problem as well.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 12:25PM
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Thanks again for the help. I'm here to update and ask for some more advice.

I had two companies come out to look at my windows. Company #1 is a local lumber company specializing in doors and windows in business for 80 years with a good reputation and they sell Andersen and Marvin. Company #2 has two locations in the state, in business for 74 years, operates a 6000 sf 'Marvin Design Gallery', and was recommended by someone on this site.

Both places 100% agree on the source/cause of my water and it is my window. My existing window has some kind of wool or fuzz as the weather stripping, among other problems. After they each showed me what was going on, it is pretty obvious that it is the window itself that is leaking.

In order to meet code, I must stick with casements so that decision has been made.

Now I'm down to which window. Leaning toward Marvin, but I'm a little confused between the Integrity and Ultimate. The Ultimate is more expensive, but I can't see what I'm getting for the extra money. It's only two windows so the price difference of about 20% doesn't really add up to very much. My #1 requirement for my new windows is that they not leak. If they're energy efficient, that's great too, and if they're not ugly, that's a nice bonus.

The whole idea of the Ultimate being "wood" and "clad" makes me think of water penetrating the cladding and wood rotting. So fiberglass seems better in this regard, but obviously there must be some advantage to the Ultimates - please help!

Lastly, I am hesitant to pursue the Sunrise brand simply because I don't know how to verify that the local dealer/installer is reputable, will do the install well, and will be around in a few years if I have problems.

Thanks again for the help.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:37PM
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You can't go wrong with either Marvin product. the Ultimate is indeed a higher end more traditional in appearance window. The wood exterior would require periodic painting while the clad would not. It is possible that water can infiltrate the clading and cause wood rot. I say possible because it has happened but in experience a quality product like Marvin the chances of that happening for 20 plus years in my opinion are minimal. The Integrity line was introduced to compete more with the vinyl window companies at a lower price point and is a fine window in my opinion. For two windows I would use the Integrity with the wood interior in a heart beat.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Agreed with millworkman. The Marvin Ultimate has more options and is marketed as a higher end window. But if you are going with some basic options and colors the Integrity product is great. the Casements still look very traditional and in my experience have had very little if any issues with them. If you do go with Marvin I wouldn't be as concerned about the wood rot issue. With some of the older style cladding and other brands it can be an issue, but Marvin uses an extruded sash and frame on the exterior.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 2:46PM
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Good advice in the 2 posts above. The Integrity is a solid choice, and any Marvin product is as good as you'll find with a real wood interior. Wood is what it is, so there will always be the question of WHEN, not IF it will ultimately degrade, but with proper maintenance the two Marvin options should have a good lifespan. As WoW alluded to earlier, the Sunrise (or any premium vinyl) will generally offer superior performance (better u-values and air leakage), a lower price, better warranty, and less maintenance, but the appearance factor is more important for some, and wood can't be beat in that area. Regarding the installation company, you would vet them just as you would another window company, look at things like review sites, history, do they have a physical location, references, view their work, BBB, trade affiliations, etc, etc.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Thanks everyone so much for the help. I just realized that I should have been more specific. The Marvin Integrity comes in two versions: all-fiberglass vs. fiberglass exterior with wood interior. The responses here assume I'm interested in the wood interior, but I'm not sure I am. Can you guys help me figure out which version of the Integrity is best?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 12:52PM
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I would not be afraid to use either. Most pros think the wood version looks nice. The all Ultrex seems to be a little ugly, but they are both solid choices just your preferences in my book.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 1:04PM
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No performance advantage to either but the wood interior is certainly a whole lot nicer to look at.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:10PM
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+1. My biggest issue with the situation is that the Integrity (and most wood and domestic fiberglass products) fall a bit short in the area of performance (u-factor, air leakage), so the trade off of course is the beauty and richness of a real wood interior. The all ultrex looks no better than a good vinyl product, performs worse, and typically costs more. The Sunrise that you were considering would be an excellent example of that. There are a few things that are valid reasons to pick the ultrex Integrity such as the paintability of the interior and exterior, and of course the Marvin name, but for the buyer that is looking for more performance and value, it does not offer a killer package.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 4:45PM
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What are some good alternatives to the Marvin ultrex wood-clad windows using the same materials (i.e. fiberglass on exterior and wood on interior)?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 5:16PM
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There are other fiberglass windows. Anderson make a similar hybrid window and there are also composite vinyl units with wood veneer interiors.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 7:44AM
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For performance purposes, there are some excellent fg/wood options from Canada, but their availability is somewhat limited down here. Other than that, the aforementioned composites are a great choice, like the Starmark by Okna. Andersen makes a solid window, but much like Marvin, nothing that is on the high end of the performance spectrum in terms of U factors, air leakage, etc.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 10:20AM
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