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Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Posted by lmiskowicz (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 19:15

Just found this site in my research on windows. Wow what a wealth of knowledge and experience! My family and I just took three bids on our home. (15 windows and a sliding door) Here are our options. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. I am learning as much as I can but there is so much out there that it can be a bit intimidating! Here are the three products we were presented:

Renewal by Anderson Fibrex:
-SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive.
-.30 u-factor
-Sturdier than vinyl?
-Double Pane

Soft-lite Elements Ultra-S Glass
-Triple pane
-0.19 u-factor
-vinyl

Alside Mezzo
-Double Pane
-0.27 u-factor
-vinyl

I don't mind paying for quality if that is what I am getting. So I am not ruling Anderson out completely but the difference in price is significant.

We will not be doing inserts. This is an old house so we want to make sure there is a great fit.

How significant is the difference in u-factor?
Is the expansion/contraction of vinyl still a major deal if you get a good quality window? (I live in Minnesota so it will get cold!)
Is there anything else that I should be asking?

Thank you for ANY advice you can provide.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

This is about the easiest multiple choice test I have seen.

Without question, the Soft-Lite is the best choice of that bunch. Its not a really fair contest for the other two.

If you wanted to give the Soft-Lite some fair competition, throw and Okna 500 in the comparison along with an Sunrise Restoration and now we have a horse race.

The U-Factor is a big difference despite it being downplayed by folks. It raises the entire average of your wall assembly a good bit. In this comparison (assuming 75% wall and 25% window), the better window will raise the entire (the whole wall) wall assembly R-Value by over 20%.

Nothing about expansion and contraction poses a risk for a well engineered window.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Thank you very much for your fast response. I will look into those other brands and see if anyone in my area sells them. I want a few competent bids to choose from if I can help it.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

+1 to WoW's response.

I am personally not a fan of intercept spacers (Softlite) I would opt for Okna 500 or 800 or Sunrise Vanguard or Restorations.

There are dealers for both Sunrise and Okna in your area.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

You may have a hard time finding Okna, but may want to add Polaris to the list. Soft-Lite is available with a Superspacer.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

The Soft-Lite installer did stress the super spacer that they use in this model of window. Supposedly this help decrease the thermal conductivity between the panes of glass. I did have trouble finding Okna dealers near me but I did find a Sunrise Restorations dealer right down the road. I will check out Polaris as well. Thanks!


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

The Soft-Lite installer did stress the super spacer that they use in this model of window. Supposedly this help decrease the thermal conductivity between the panes of glass. I did have trouble finding Okna dealers near me but I did find a Sunrise Restorations dealer right down the road. I will check out Polaris as well. Thanks!


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Just a followup on this. We have chosen to go with the Soft-Lite Elements Triple Pane (Ultra S) model and received a quote for 24k. This quote includes a full frame install of 16 double hung windows (including one octagon that is being squared off and turned into another double hung. This also includes a full fram install of a new Patio Door (Soft-Lite Kingsroyal Glide) that is custom (Wisconsin size?)

We were also quoted 5.8k for a new front Double Door by Albany.

How do these prices sound? Am I in a fair ballpark? What is the quality of the entry door? We were quoted on a provia from another company which I read in another thread was a very good door. But that was about 12k which pushed us over our budget. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Hard to say on the price without knowing all of the details. Make sure all the details are fully understood by both parties, especially with a full frame install. Does the price include new trim on the interior? If so is it going to match, is their a custom stain involved? Are they going to patch any holes in the wall? On the exterior are they going to Cap the windows, install new wood and paint or maybe a pvc trim. Is the profiles going to match existing? Is the house stucco, brick, vinyl or wood? Are they going to cut back the siding, How are they going to flash the openings? Are there windows on the 3rd floor, is lead based paint present, if so are RRP procedures included in the price? And the list goes on and on. It's about the details especially so with full framed windows.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Thank you for the list of detailed questions! I know for a fact they are going to handle all the trim and staining as we talked about which stains we want etc. He did talk about how they will work in behind the vinyl siding and make sure everything is tied in with the existing work. Pretty sure lead paint isn't an issue as this house is a late 70's build.

Would you say those you mentioned here are the big ones to get the answers for?


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

With full frames, casing, staining, etc, that sounds like a good deal. That is a LOT of work.
I have not done too many Albany doors, but I thought they were fine. Not bad, not great.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

+1

That is a bunch of work. That definitely drives the price way up.


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RE: Big purchase and I want to do it right!

Congrats.
I like the look and results from a full frame/full tear installation.

theWindowNerd...


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