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Aluminum replacement window for condo

Posted by nosoccermom (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 12:18

I need to replace a 3-lite aluminum sliding window, appr. 90"x60", in a condo. Am looking for recommendations on a decent quality window and suggestions on where to buy it. My primary concern is that the window is durable.
I found Crystal Windows (for about 500.00) online. Any feedback on the quality of the window?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Where are you located?

What color does the window have to be?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Outside of DC. The outside has to be dark brown/bronze.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Does the condo specify that the window has to be aluminum or just the bronze exterior?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

both


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Any suggestions anybody? Milgard is not available here.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Gerkins are available out here but they aren't cheap.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Possibly look into Kawneer/Traco windows


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Thanks. I'll look into those. Any feedback on Thermal Industry windows? Or Crystal Windows?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Not clue on Thermal and Crystal is about the middle of the food chain.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

I wasn't aware that thermal industries made an aluminum unit... It is pretty uncommon for a condo board to mandate the use of aluminum in my experience, they typically just require the exterior appearance/color to match. There are some nice vinyl and fiberglass options that have a slim appearance not too far off from aluminum, and will provide performance that would be more desirable for your climate. I would do whatever I could to avoid aluminum if I were you. It has its place, but that is in HOT climates. That said, I'll defer to Windows on Washington. I'm sure that he knows the best options for your area.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Hm, maybe I can get a vinyl window as long as it looks like the narrow frame that's in now, although the building manager told me aluminum. The contractor quoted Thermal Industries, so maybe they are not on the same page.
What are the drawbacks of aluminum, other than less energy efficient?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Less efficiency is pretty much the Achilles heel.

I would get the clarification from them. Does Thermal even make an aluminum window?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

+1...and by less efficient, he means A LOT less efficient. Thermally broken aluminum is not necessarily a terrible choice in areas like TX, FL, AZ, etc, but not any place that sees regular temps below 32* in winter, and run the furnace more than the AC... Two more points:
- I would not rely on a building manager for what is/is not allowed
-I do not believe that TI makes an aluminum unit, so they probably quoted you on vinyl anyway


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

The Gerkin has a 0.03 air infiltration number and a U-value of 0.36 on there single-hungs. These numbers are not far off compared to some of the fiberglass units.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

@todd, i wasn't necessarily referring to the performance ratings, but that the "thermally-broken" aspect does not perform as well as the concept might suggest. I'm sure that you can relate to this being in MN, but the vast majority of aluminum frames that I see get frosted up on the interior during the winter months. At best they are very cold to the touch. The Gerkin units are nice indeed, I just would not install them in a colder climate over another material unless it was absolutely mandatory.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

It's a highrise, and I was told that it should be aluminum. Here are some specs (used in a Marriott):
Crystal-Series 2200
Thermal-Break Aluminum Sliding Windows

Frame Depth = 3-1/4"
Jamb depth = 3-1/4"
Full 7/8" double insulated glass
Metal roller / track assembly
Built-in thermal barrier
Full fin-sealed double weather stripping
AAMA HS-C35
Heavy-duty meeting rail
Baked acrylic enamel finishes


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Well then that solves it. If it is a high rise than aluminum is needed.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Are you SURE the window is your responsibility?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Well, it's a high rise but on a lower floor (so I guess I could get away with vinyl as long as nobody notices :)
But seriously, assuming it needs to be aluminum, what do I need to keep in mind? It's a rental and utilities are included in the HOA fee, so my main concern is durability and low maintenance.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Aluminum windows have duability and low maintenance in spades.That is why they still spec them in commercial buildings even here in MM.Vinyl windows are often reinforced with aluminum for strength. I don't think Gerkin offers a 3/14" jamb.You'll probally will be very limited on brands,and can expect long lead times for 1 window. Most here don't work with aluminum windows much and often they are spec'd out in commercial applications.I would make sure to use expanding foam on the install and to get a non-metallic spacer if possible. Is this window being installed by you?You may want to look into what type of low-E coatings are available as well.
Homesealed, I aware of the drawbacks with aluminum, I just thought I would highlight the fact that Gerkin has some good data on there performance numbers, especially the low AI number which may lead to a themally superior window.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

The Gerkin is a solid unit but you will not find it for the price that you have listed above. I priced it out and my cost on it was well above the number you listed.

Do not go outside the bounds of what is deemed permissible by the condo. If you are talking about one (1) window, stay within in the rules and invest in the best unit you are allowed to get.

If you have any noise concerns, upgrade to laminated glass.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

What would be a reasonable price for installation? If the bulk of the overall cost is the labor, then I may well spend more on the actual window.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Pricing for a single unit is going to be a premium.

Any pictures of the interior and exterior.

What is access like?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Can be accessed from inside and outside.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Make sure you check VERY carefully about who is responsible for the exterior shell and weatherproofing of the building.

This is often NOT a unit responsibility, but the unit owners association's responsibility.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

brickeyee, what do you mean by this? I know that I am responsible for replacing windows.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

nosoccermom,

brickeyee is pointing out the fact that if you have a contractor install a window in your unit, it could create leaks to units below and damage the building in general.

This is why the building as a group typically coordinates the exterior repairs and renovations.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

This is a good thread since my sliding door in my kitchen in my townhouse lets in a lot of cold air. It is over 21 years old and the seals around the door are no long that great and you can feel the cold coming through. I should have put a sliding door honeycomb blind on the window but due to my little dogs, I installed Hunter Douglas PVC curved blinds which is no good for keeping the cold out which I did not realize when I chose the blinds.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Other unit owners have replaced windows on an individual basis. I will contact the HOA once more and find out about codes and whatever else I need to keep in mind.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Now I'm being told it can be a vinyl window, too. Ugh!!!


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

"I know that I am responsible for replacing windows."

How do you know this?

It actually comes down to how your deed is worded.

Exactly what do you OWN.

More than one condo association has tried to stick individual owners with repair items that are actually their responsibility.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

It seems a little odd to me that you are responsible for exterior repairs to a condo building, as some other people have stated.

That being said, we have used a company based in Northern VA that has a nice window by Gorell (I believe the fancy name they use is 'extreme windows' but they are a Gorell product). They are called Homefix, and I will say they are a little pricier than some, but worth looking into. They did some of our windows and our front door about 2 years ago. They were a little pushy I remember... but we were happy with them in the end.

Edit: I forgot my point! Our windows are vinyl. I am not sure if they do aluminum, but if it turns out you can use vinyl, I know we were able to pick from alot of color options to match our house.

This post was edited by arlh81 on Tue, Dec 4, 12 at 15:35


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Might be worth double-checking, but every condo association that I've worked with puts the windows on the homeowners.... You would be paying for it either way though, whether you write out the check to the window company, or get hit with a "special assessment" for condo dues.
I'm not commenting on anyone specifically, but I generally recommend that you RUN away from the pushy sales companies. If you haven't thought about contacting Windows on Washington, it would be well worth your while ;)... that is of course if he serves your area.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Still trying to find an aluminum window for the condo--- which is hard to come by as it's only one window.
Any recommendations of a good installer/window company in the DC area? (Windows on Washington doesn't deal in aluminum windows).
Also, what's a reasonable price for installing a 5x8 slider?


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Sorry we don't have any real good options for you.

Gerkin and Traco are the two best that are widely available in this area.

They are usually sold through distributors.

Call/email me if I can be of any assistance in getting something tracked down for you.

Be prepared to spend for good aluminum.

This post was edited by windowsonwashington on Tue, Apr 30, 13 at 17:22


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Since the condo association appears to have failed to specify an exact window model the building is going to look like junk as slightly different windows get used by various owners.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

They use Thermal Windows. Is 1K for installation an ok price?

However, at this point, I'm getting close to just repairing the old window rather than replacing it. It's, of course, no incentive to replace windows as long as all utilities are included in the HOA fee.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Not sure about that logic. I'm sure that the HOA fee would go down, or at least have the funds be used productively in other areas if the utilities go down.
As I mentioned above, when it comes to condo dues, you are paying one way or the way.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Huh, and I don't get your logic. My personal HOA is not going down if I install a new window.
And one single new window in a complex with hundreds of units isn't going to reduce the cost of overall heating/cooling utilities by more than pennies.
Let's say my heating/cooling costs are about 120.00/month. A new window may cut this by 30.00, so that's a savings of 360.00/year. With over 400 units, that's less than 1.00/unit that is saved if I spend 2K on my new window.
Even if the overall HOA would go down, which it won't, I'd basically spend 2K to save 1.00, personally or 360.00 for the common good. Either way, not a great incentive.


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RE: Aluminum replacement window for condo

Not trying to start an argument, I'm just saying that with condo fees you are ultimately going to pay one way or the other. If everyone else in your complex uses the same logic as you, of course nothing will change and fees will only go up as energy costs increase. Alternatively, if you and others decide to make improvements in that area including windows, the costs will go down. Whether or not that means that the fees are actually going to go down (you are right, they never do) or if it frees up funds that can be better spent in other areas, it is still saving money nonetheless.
Please let me reiterate that I meant no offense, but saying that you don't care because the HOA or condo fees pay for it is short sighted and ultimately incorrect.... I can definitely see WHY you would feel that way however, as you are depending upon your neighbors to spend money as you are so that you may all benefit. Around here it is few and far between to find condo complexes with shared utilities, and I would imagine that this a big reason why...
I apologize also if I'm missing something here, I didn't go back and reread all 40+ posts.


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