How to approach

bkim84December 2, 2009

We were looking to get new windows in the house because our current ones are not energy efficient, and a bigger problem is we were told that is what is causing leaks.

We want to find someone who can tell us for sure where the leak is coming from, it appears to be from the window but would asking for a guarantee be unreasonable? We already spent $7000 on redoing the cement between the bricks, so it shouldn't be from that.

We had someone come in and offer the windows the Okna 500, they offer no guarantee about leaks and wrote that on the invoice.

The windows in the living room will be changed to a bay window. Their quote is for $12,000


All exteriors capped properly.

17 Double Hung Vinyl Okna 500 Series Insultec Deluxe - foam filled, heatshield glass

2 Bay Windows - 4 Section Open L-L-R-R

Hip Roof on Top of Bay Windows

Windows installed using cable support system.

There will be no painting or staining.


I would have liked New Construction on all the windows, but they do not recommend it and say it's unnecessary. The company received high ratings on Angies List, but thats just a list and am not sure whether it should matter, because I should get what I want, not ignored if I ask a question the salesman doesn't like. Is New Construction generally recommended, I do not want to regret this decision in two years. Do window installers change the wood trim or is that done separately?

What is the price difference between new construction and replacement windows?

Another thing, would anyone recommend getting the windows separately and hiring your own contractors? My uncle was happy with the work someone did for him, it may be cheaper depending on the price of the windows, but not sure if thats a generally recommended route. He's not exactly a window specialist, but window specialists don't appear to be capable of doing too much at least from the ones I spoke with, they just want the sale. They would change the frame, and wood trim and all. Where would I be able to buy just the windows in New York? I would want good quality of course.

It's a bunch of questions, thank you to anyone who read it.

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I don't think it would be fair to ask a window contactor to guarantee an air leak unless it was coming from the windows. For all anyone knows it could be lack of insulation in the walls or a bad siding job. In essence you are requiring him to come back later and start ripping into walls at his expense. You could hire an engineering firm to come out and find the source of the leak but they don't work for free, especially if they start using infrared imaging.

I think that's a really good price you have on the windows.

Whether a new construction installation would be better depends on what your existing construction is. I'd ask my contractor what the price difference would be as it can vary depending on what needs to be done and also how your existing windows are installed.

I wouldn't recommend hiring a "handyman" to install the windows. If you have an issue and the factory determines the windows weren't installed properly, your warranty goes down the drain.

If you haven't found a contractor you are happy with, then keep shopping until you do. It's your money and you should feel comfortable spending it with whomever you want.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:34PM
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The problem is a water leak.

I feel like those people will do good work, but I think I should make sure where the leak is coming from, thanks.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:53PM
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What material is on the exterior of the house? Siding, clapboard, asbestos etc. How long ago was it put on? Have you looked at the flashing above the window? If not I'd apply lots of caulk and see if that clears up the water leakage. If that does it, inform your window contractor and make sure he installs new flashing.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:57PM
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What material is on the exterior of the house? Not sure what you mean, it's a brick house. It's built with the house, all we've done is recently (within the past year), hired someone to redo the concrete between the bricks, which did not help at all.

I'm not sure what the flashing above the windows are, the one guy who looked at it said it's from the bottom of the window, but he's not 100% sure. He's someone who looked at it today to fix a different problem in the house who we were thinking of hiring to install windows, but I think it's best to go with a window company.

Would new flashing be included in a new construction of a window? Or is that completely separate?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:31PM
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You haven't said up till now that it was a brick house so I was throwing out some possibilities. If you are sure the leak isn't coming from the brick or the roof, then it's most likely the windows. Take a hose and wet the window and the area around the window. Do not spray the area with a strong stream, just gently wet the entire area and see it you can duplicate the problem.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:20AM
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Thanks for the great advice!

We couldn't recreate the problem exactly, it's a slow leak, one person thought it was most likely from condensation. But there is some leaking in the windows.

The guy was good, so we ended up getting all of the windows in the house changed. He said that if the windows do not fix the leak, they will tear apart the ceiling and find it, they have a good reputation, and do much more than windows anyway.

24 Double Hung + 1 Picture + 2 Bow windows. How are the quality of Okna Bow windows, I really couldn't find much literature on that.

Only thing I did not like was the first guy was a pushy salesman, and did not seem to care as much as his father about making the customer happy. But I think it's a good deal with a good company. Will find out more after the install.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:01PM
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