New construction windows?

Colorado_AlDecember 10, 2012

We are having an addition built on to our home in Boulder, CO. We have replaced all of the existing windows (about 12 years ago) with Alpen Glass (local Boulder company) vinyl dual pane with suspended film. We are super happy with them. The high quality construction has been great and they are very efficient. The company Alpen have since been bought and then spun off again to the original owner. They now only make fiberglass windows with the same glazing tech. We had the 9 windows bid out by them and they are about $6500 (way higher than their vinyl windows were by about double). More than we have budget for.
Our builder recommended Marvin Integrity All Ultrex fiberglass. We checked them out and like them $4150. We also got bids on Milgard Ultra Fiberglass $4120 and Milgard Tuscany vinyl (just for comparison) $2850.
I'm not opposed to vinyl, as long as they are high quality.
We had Soft-Lite Imperial replacements installed in our house in St. Louis, and liked them a lot too, but not sure if they are made for new construction or just replacement.

Anyhow, we are looking for the best value that we can get in either fiberglass or vinyl and I have read many posts on this forum and I'm just having trouble finding a good direction to go. If anyone can chime in and give us some recommendations, I would appreciate it!
Thanks!
Al

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HomeSealed

The Alpen fiberglass window was sold by Serious for a while, and now they bought it back as Serious seems to be going down. I don't believe there was any connection with the vinyl lines, so I'm not sure on that end.
The Marvin Integrity is a well-built unit, although the feedback that I hear most on the all-ultrex model is that it is not the prettiest girl at the dance. It is not going to offer elite level performance either, so you might at least check out some other options. I really like the looks/price/quality package of the wood/ultrex Intergrity, but the all ultrex just doesn't do much for me. Premium vinyl will probably offer you the best bang for the buck. That Softlite unit that you had previously is very good, and another product that you should have in CO is Sunrise. The Sunrise in particular will offer slim lines like a fiberglass product, but offer better performance, arguably better looks, a lifetime warranty, and quite possibly come in less. All of the windows mentioned will be available with a nailing fin for new construction.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Colorado_Al

Thanks for the heads up on Sunrise. They are available in CO. I'll check them out.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Colorado_Al

Got a bid on Sunrise "Select" whatever that means. $3600. Spoke with the Marvin Dealer and he came down to $3980. Still waiting on the Softlite bid.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:46PM
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windowsonwashington

Can't really go wrong with any of those choices.

Sunrise and Soft-Lite make two of the best vinyl windows on the market today.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:40PM
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Colorado_Al

The Sunrise Select looks to be an upgraded version of the Sunrise with fiberglass reinforcement and a more efficient glass package. Leaning that direction. Still waiting to hear from Softlite

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Colorado_Al

Second page

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Colorado_Al

I just reviewed the Marvin Integrity fiberglass quote and they have been quoted with a non Energy Star glass package. LOE2 air fill. U.35 SHGC.33.
The Sunrise that we were quoted for $400 less scores U.26 SHGC.19. I'm going to go check them out later this week.
Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:00AM
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HomeSealed

Looks like a winner to me. I had not heard of the "Select" moniker before, but it looks like they put together a nice package for that company similar to the Restorations and/or Vanguard which are more commonly used model names.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Colorado_Al

Thanks. Looks good to me too. We are having the Vanguard priced out as well. It looks to me like the Sunrise Select is almost the same as the Vanguard and I'm guessing that it is called the "Sunrise Select" in order to get around some sort of dealer exclusivity agreement or something.

This post was edited by Colorado_Al on Wed, Dec 12, 12 at 15:10

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 2:51PM
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HomeSealed

I think you are right on track with that assessment ;)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Colorado_Al

I asked the dealer of Sunrise Select and he said that they used to sell Vanguard and that another company in the area did too and asked for an exclusive agreement on it. He said the Sunrise Select is a "V-class" window and is essentially identical to the Vanguard with fewer add on options. Set up with the most common options that people in the area select. He is just not allowed to call it Vanguard. Hence the Sunrise "Select".

This post was edited by Colorado_Al on Wed, Dec 12, 12 at 19:22

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:07PM
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HomeSealed

I like his honesty. Many window sales guys would try to convince you that the product is completely different and way better even though it is essentially the same. So far, so good with that guy.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:52PM
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Colorado_Al

Agreed.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Colorado_Al

Just heard back from the Marvin Integrity dealer and they have upgraded the window to LoE3-366 with Argon fill for the same price as previously quoted. Puts them at U-.30 SHGC-.20. This gives us a more "apples to apples" comparison. Marvin cannot come down on price, but there is only about 10% cost difference. We may be swayed to go with the Integrity fiberglass, but we'll see.
Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 3:21PM
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HomeSealed

This is my opinion, but if you want a wood interior then the Integrity is a good option. If you are going with the all-ultrex, I still think the Sunrise is a better option. Major difference in air leakage ratings.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 4:15PM
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Colorado_Al

Thanks for your opinion. That's why I'm asking!
I can't seem to find any info on the Marvin Integrity air infiltration. It isn't in their literature, nor can I find it on their website. I guess that if it is not so good, they don't want to advertise it. Does anybody know what it is and where to find it?
Thanks!

Edit: I received some literature from the Marvin Integrity dealer and it lists it as <.3 but does not give anything more specific. i have to guess that means it is near .3. otherwise would think they use as a selling point bury and report actual numbers.>

This post was edited by Colorado_Al on Thu, Dec 13, 12 at 18:34

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Colorado_Al

Also, we received the bid from the Vanguard dealer. $5500. Ouch! $7100 if they do the install. Not going with them.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 6:36PM
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HomeSealed

Your line of thinking is correct on the ratings.
On the Sunrise, looks it's down to one dealer choice.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:02PM
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projectcat

Hi Al,
We are also in Boulder and have been researching replacement windows for quite some time. Right now we still have the original steel-framed clear glass casements with integral storm panes and are looking for windows that will easily last more than 10 years. We almost went with Marvin fiberglass (Integrity), but held off. I'm glad I saw the info re the Sunrise Select and the air infiltration!

I also looked into Sunrise, but I'm not sure if it was the "Sunrise Select" or "Sunrise". There was apparently only one salesman for the whole of Colorado and I found him very pushy and not very informative, so I gave up on Sunrise.

Do you think the Sunrise Select will easily last more than 10 years? Did you already decide on them and have them installed? Feedback? Please will you give me the contact info for the Sunrise Select rep you've talked to?

(Same opinion as you on Alpen windows - they sound great but are slightly more than Marvin.)

Cathy

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:10PM
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Colorado_Al

Hi Cathy. We have decided to go with the Sunrise Select. We have not had them installed yet as our construction project is just starting.
We are working with Chris from Coloradowindowsource.com.
He has been really easy to work with.
Chris@Coloradowindowsource.com
I'm not sure if that is who you talked to, or if you spoke with another company. Anyhow, the Sunrise Select is a step up from the Sunrise and it looks like a great window at a good price.
Hope that helps!
Al

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:16PM
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windowsonwashington

Keep us updated and let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:02AM
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projectcat

Thank you, Al!
Chris was very helpful on the phone and is coming out on Monday. Sounds like it'll be a little while before yours are installed. I'm sure your addition will turn out great.
Btw, if I end up getting them, I'll let you know and maybe they'll give you a surprise "referral gift" :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:36PM
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projectcat

Thank you, Al!
Chris was very helpful on the phone and is coming out on Monday. Sounds like it'll be a little while before yours are installed. I'm sure your addition will turn out great.
Btw, if I end up getting them, I'll let you know and maybe they'll give you a surprise "referral gift" :-)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:37PM
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eleena

HomeSealed,

Could you elaborate RE:

"The Marvin Integrity is a well-built unit, although the feedback that I hear most on the all-ultrex model is that it is not the prettiest girl at the dance. It is not going to offer elite level performance either, so you might at least check out some other options. I really like the looks/price/quality package of the wood/ultrex Intergrity, but the all ultrex just doesn't do much for me."

Our dealer had no samples of All-Ultrex to look at.

Also, what's wrong with its performance?

Thanks you!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:02PM
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toddinmn

They typically have higher air infiltration and U-factors than most mid to high end vinyl products. They are also very limited on glass and spacer packages as well.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:00PM
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eleena

Yes, I had to find it the hard way. I wish I had known earlier, before spending close to $10K plus installation.

I am actually pretty disappointed with my overall Marvin experience. I am telling my friends who are looking for windows to wait till a good vinyl company comes to town (which is supposed to be "soon").

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:27AM
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HomeSealed

Todd answered well for me :) ... The Marvin units are well built, and very nice as wood windows go. As Todd mentioned, thier efficiency numbers leave something to be desired, but most people that have the beauty of real wood windows on top of their priority list are fine with "good enough" performance. A great wood window like Marvin is the right choice for one person, while a high-performance premium vinyl will be right for another. It all depends on priorities and goals... Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect window, at least not yet ;)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:04PM
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millworkman

While there performance numbers are not the best in a wood window they are dam good in compassion. And the numbers people are talking about are not like comparing a solid wall versus a sieve, the numbers are still good just not as good as the aforementioned.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:32PM
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HomeSealed

Agreed, the Marvin and Integrity numbers are good in comparison to other wood products :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:10PM
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eleena

But mine are not wood, they are All Ultrex.

I really expected a better performance rating but could never get the numbers out of my "window guy". The only one with decent number is the one that has LoE 366....

Oh, well... We live we learn, right?

This post was edited by eleena on Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 20:49

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:14PM
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millworkman

I doubt in any way shape or form that the performance differences would be an obvious or noticeable difference with the exception being the glass and that would be dependent upon what of Low E coating was used.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:21PM
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HomeSealed

The u values should all be pretty competitive Eleena. Just a point or 2 higher than the more efficient lines. The air infiltration ratings have a pretty fair discrepancy though. That said, as MWM alluded to, you really should not feel drafts or anything like that.
... That is why while I am a big Marvin fan for clients that desire wood, I never sell the all ultrex. That being said, you certainly could have done MUCH worse. That product should serve you well for a long time.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:33PM
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millworkman

That was the point I was attempting to make as well.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:03PM
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