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Question DetailsAsked on 5/17/2012

What is the best option for replacement windows & doors? I've been researching for over a year and cannot get clear/honest information.

We've owned for our house for 2 years and the original windows desperately need replacing.The house was built in 1977. We live in Austin TX. We don't want to overpay for bad quality and all the research we've done seems to be contradictory and confusing. We also want to flip flop a door to a window and window to French Doors. Expert advice and recommendations would be greatly welcomed and appreciated.

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25 Answers

Voted Best Answer
38
Votes

Hello - I hope my answer will help point you in the right direction.


The reason you're having a hard time getting clear information is because there are hundreds of companies saying their window is the best. There are probably millions of different features you can choose to have for your windows and in price ranges from $169-$1200 (per double-hung window).


I've been in the business for 15 years and have seen many different window products from many different dealers and manufacturers. This all comes down to: "what's important for you and your home?" If you want a strong warranty from a company who has a full-time service department to give you piece of mind and service your windows should needs be, or are you looking at only those companies who offer true wood interior windows that you can paint or stain to match the home decor? Whatever is your hot-button, then that's where you want to start.


I would recommend you first choose how you want your new windows to look. Wood-interior with vinyl clad is only offered by certain companies, while there is a vinyl woodgrain finish to give you similar results without the maintenance. If you're only looking for a white interior and don't want the maintenance, a fiberglass or vinyl window would be the best choice from what is offered in the market today (vinyl will be less expensive - not necessarily cheaper quality). If you are going to change out a window to a french door and a door to a window, then you WILL NEED to find a contractor with some carpentry experience. Some companies will tell you upfront that they do not handle those sorts of remodeling projects due to the complexity and time it would take to get it complete.


Unfortunately, we won't be able to personally help you with your project as we work in the New England Area. However, if you wish to talk further, please feel free to email me at: sven@ritewindow.com and I'll be happy to let you know our prices for what we offer so you can compare and hopefully find a similar company to do the work for you near the Austin area.


Cheers!

Source: http://www.ritewindow.com

Answered 5 years ago by RiteWindow

1
Vote

The best is claimed by all companys. I feel that insulation and energy efficiency is the most important reason to change windows. Looking for the best performance then requires that you look at the NFRC ratings called u-value. The lower the u-value the better the perfomance.we are in New York so I can not work with you personally, but I found a company that has the best performance windows with many and feature options for you. Check our web site and folow the links to request a free estimate and some one in your area will contact you for a free estimate. www.tri-pane.com

Answered 5 years ago by the new window man

13
Votes

Part of the problem with researching windows and doors to find the "best" is that there are so many poor quality, low priced windows that the "good" companies had to create low end models just to stay competitive with the "Lowes", "$189 replacement" and "Home Depot" bulk windows.

So where it used to be safe to just go grab an Anderson window and know the quality would be there, they now have several different of windows with their low end being pretty poor stuff. (not to pick on Anderson; Pella, Kolbe & Kolbe, etc. all did this).

As the other posts state, it really comes down to what you want. The type of materials, their ratings and the efficency of the window all come into play. If you have an older house, putting the best of the best window in doesn't make much sense; where in a new home, the most efficent window is a better option. Finding a good material at a good price is the way.

The manufacturers will not typically tell you "Oh, that is our low-end model", so you will have to compare the ratings, materials and options (and of course price) yourself to figure out which is the higher quality models.

Answered 5 years ago by Kenny Johnson

2
Votes

I get this question surprisingly often for the same reasons stated in the other answers. I service San Antonio, Austin, and the Hill Country and each area has different preferences for their basis of what is "good." The bottom line is what are you looking for? Has the rest of the house been updated and remodeled with insulation added? If not, will it be? Don't spend a fortune on high end windows if the walls leak like a 100 year old battleship. They won't do you much good in terms of energy conservation and the cheaper models will keep the water out just the same if installed properly. That's not to say get the bargain basment windows unless you want windows that are hard to open within a couple of months of installation.

It really depends on where you are placing your priority: aesthetics, price or energy efficiency. Feel free to give me a call with any questions. I'll be happy to talk with you over the phone to help guide your decision where I can as well as recommend a few specialty window companies I've used or have experience with. We aren't supposed to solicit on here, and I'm not, but I may be able to point you in the right direction. It'll give me a ton of spam mail again but I'll post my website below.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
www.thomeservices.com

Answered 5 years ago by Todd's Home Services

13
Votes

As an old energy conservation auditor (20 years ago) let me chime in with the following, You will not pay for your new window with your eneryg savings regardless of how much it cost you. You take a $189 special and see that the real return is in the $10 an opening (ballpark) per year. Add any interest for the money and return is forever.

Every window sales rep in the world just groaned, no not the truth, yep the payback is in comfort, no thermal drafts off cold glass,pride of ownership, and just simple maintence free replacement windows. That being said buy what you like and can afford. Wood inside is nifty, but not necessary. Fiberglass frames are top notch but not required,
A glass warrantty (breakage, window losing thermal seal etc) are nice but you gonna be alive 50 years from now? Most of us do not open our windows much, and the price of heating your home with natural gas just took a dive off the cliff to 1/2 of previous cost,, Yes to fracking. Triple panes are an Alaska option. Almost all window installs reuse old frame and many will wrap the exposed wood in a painted aluminum coil for maintence free exterior. Yours being a pre January 1978 home has to be checked by a Lead Paint Renovator for you guessed it,, Lead Paint. Fyi your home is worth less than the one next door that was built one year later. They dont have to have LCR every time they hire a contractor that touches 6 sq feet inside or 20 square feet outside,, Neat huh. Keep the current EPA in there and see what new rule comes down the pike. Enjoy

Source: http://heartlandmastershield.com

Answered 5 years ago by jccasper

28
Votes

It is so true that every window sales person will say their window is the best. This really makes it very difficult for a home owner to figure out who really does have a great window for a fair price. I myself have been in in home sales for over 20 years and it has always been important to me to be selling what I would buy myself with the expertise and knowlege I have. If I find a better value at a different company I have a history of leaving and going to work at the company with the better value. I switched to this industry almost 4 years ago and at that point I was like anyone else trying to figure out what the best value was. I honestly couldn't believe how much people should really know and understand in order to ensure they make a wise purchase. Windows are a lot like cars. There are different levels of quality. It's just that with cars everybody knows which cars are high end, mid grade and lower end. When it comes to windows most people dont know anything! And they all look pretty much the same!

So here is my advice from an insiders view. This is what I would want to know if I were you. Look at 4 things:

#1. The warranty!!!! You can tell a lot about a window based on the actual warranty that backs it up. If a manufacturer has a made a high quality window that rarely has seal failure they would likely be willing to warranty seal failure for life. If they are not confident in their window they wont. Don't forget about the installation. You could have the best window in the world but if it is not installed properly you will have problems. There are a lot of different installers out there with very different levels of skill and experience. The highest skilled professionals demand higher pay. Especially in this economy it's one of the 1st places a company will cut costs. Most companies will only warranty installation/labor for 1 year for this reason. Look for a company that warranties the installation for life. Only a company that has invested in their crews and therefore has confidence in them will be willing to do this. Last peice of advice on the warranty. You MUST get a copy of the actual warranty before you decide to make a purchase. EVERYONE "says" they have a great warranty but the norm in this industry is you dont get an actual copy till after the job is completed and paid for in full. When do you think the best time to get the warranty is? Before you make the purchase or after it's all paid for and installed? Talk is cheap. Get it in writing!!!!!

#2. The price! Dont think your going to get a great window for the lowest price. This obviously is not possible although I find some people still try. Be careful though because I end up seeing these people a few years later after they bought on price somewhere else and they are replacing some or all of their windows again. Your not going to get Dom PĂ©rignon for the price of Kool Aid! Price is an indicator of quality. It is only 1 indicator though. You can not just assume because you paid 1000/ea window that it's a quality window
with a quality installation.

#3. Avoid buying a window from a dealer if possible. When you buy a window from a dealer the window has been marked up at least 3 times before it gets to you. The Manufacturer/Factory sells the window to a distributor who sells it to a dealer who then sells it to you. If you can find a company that makes it's own window and you can buy factory direct that's the best way to get more for less! Very few factory direct companies exist in the window industry though.

#4. Reputation! What do the companies own customers have to say? Angies List is the best place to find this out! My particular office with the company I work with has been involved with Angie's list for a few years and has won Angie's List Super Service Award 5 straight years in a row. My company is a nationwide company though and most offices are just now starting to participate with Angie's list but are just as good.


I will not claim to have the best window or even the best value in my industry. That's absurd to do so in my opinion. I haven't seen them all. But what I will say is I am working at a company with the absolute best value I've personally found in almost 4 years of looking and it passes all my tests listed above. I work at Champion Windows and Patio Rooms in Gaithersburg MD. If you have any questions you can call and ask for me or email me directly at LLight@ChampionFactoryDirect.com and I would be more than happy to answer any questions for you.

Source: http://www.championfactorydirect.com

Answered 5 years ago by ScottHalle

5
Votes

Check the National Trust for Historical Preservation (and other related sites) to possibly fixing the existing windows - they are guaranteed appropriate for your house, unlike many new ones, and can be fixed for half the price or less. They can be made very close to as energy effecient as new double pane windows (much research has supported this, just Google "historical window energy effeciency", or similar). As another comment mentioned, you are not going to make back the price of the window from energy savings even with new windows.

Don't lose a historic component of your building - more important the older your house is.

Source: http://www.preservationnation.org/

Answered 5 years ago by tpeter5686

4
Votes

You live in Austin. Buy local. You get better service that what you would get at a big chain store. Big window replacement companies always use the cheapest installer they have. All of their installers are subcontractors. Small window companies use in house workers. Which mean they work for the company and not 12 other companies and contractors in town. You can go back to them if you har a problem and they can actually talk to the persons that installed that window and not have to wait a couple of days for an answer. I read a great review about Austin Windowerks. I'm having my windows done in my house shortly. You will also have to pull a permit. Required by the city. Don't use someone who will work around that. If you are ETJ (extra territorial jurisdiction) this has to be done. Don't get caught without one. Big fine. Do it the legal way so when a city inspector comes out he can look over the work and make sure it was done professionally.

Answered 5 years ago by 94bronco

1
Vote

Are you really sure you need to replace thewindows? I'm a fellow homeowner with a 30 year old house. I have double panesin double hung windows. I had a broken pane and it could not be replacedwithout removing and taking apart the whole sash and then reconstructing it,But I bit the bullet and paid about as much for this as for a singlereplacement in order to keep all the windows the same. I had the rest of thewindows refurbished by a very skilled painting contractor. For a couple ofother leaking panes, i simply drilled a couple of holes in each corner of theinside pane to let them breath. If the upper sash was tending to fall, I simplypinned it in the closed position as I never never open the upper sashes, Noweverything looks good. and I have not had to redecorate the entire interior dueto new windows. Plus I have at least $5-!0k to use for other "new"home improvements. Think carefully about why you think you need new windows.

Answered 5 years ago by JohnnyHeck

3
Votes

If your windows don't have air leaks or wood rot, you would likely be better to consider a solar control window film on your existing windows to enhance your comfort level and for energy control. New films will keep out summer heat, retain winter heat and keep out nearly all UV year round. With the right film selection, you can achieve a higher level of performance and protection than with window replacement, without the cost of window replacement. The best window film manufacturers offer lifetime residential warranties and are rated by the NFRC.

Answered 5 years ago by Sun Control

5
Votes

I have been replacing the windows in my home for three years, a few at a time. I started with an unbranded local window company and then switched to Pella because I thought it would give me better windows. This was a total disaster. The Pella windows do not seal and they really are not intended to be replacement windows.


I discovered Renewal by Anderson. What a difference. They cost a little more but they fit beautifully. These guys are pros! They know how to cut into the frame and adjust the opening for their windows. Most importantly, they make great windows. I heartily recommend the Sun Glass. It keeps out the heat in the summer and keeps it in in the winter.


You will not go wrong with Renewal@!

Source: Personal experience...

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9722237

34
Votes

I feel your pain. I too was in this situation a couple years ago. So I set out on a journey to visit where windows are made and talk to the engineers and people that build them. You have the obvious things to think about: Warranty, installer reputation, color, architectural fit, single hung, double hung, etc.


However, no one here is talking technically how to look at a window to tell if it is well made. So here it goes on what you should look for in a window. I will break this down into the following xx components: 1) glass 2) Fill 3) frame 4) lock 5) Counter Balance 6) energy efficiency factors.


1) The glass is typically made by two manufacturers in the US--Guardian Industries and PPG. The key technical factors are clarity in how well it lets in light, number of layers, coloration, type of glass and the coatings on the glass.


Depending on the climate you live in will determine how many layers of coatings and what side of the glass. The upper half of the US may want to have a coating on the inside of the outside pane and on the outside of the inside pane--this is so heat is reflected out in winter and reflected back in during the winter. Southern climates like Texas will just want the outside and may want two coats for extra reflectivity--especially on west windows. Coating technology is all about reflecting the heat and I have not had anyone convince me one is better than the other since I look for at the u-factor rating.


Today you can choose between double or triple pane windows. Triple typically gives you more insulating power. However, if it is a large window you open a lot it will be heavy. On large windows, 6'x6', you may not be able to get triple pane. Triple pane typically costs more. One advantage is the larger air gap between the windows.


Coloration is important because as a window that is coated allows light in, it can be tinted and cause the color to change in how you perceive it in your home. Some give more green to purple tints. I liked the Guardian glass and their coating process since it is more neutral and can enhance the colors in the room.


Clarity of glass is important and is called Visible Transmittance (VT). The more clarity the purer the glass and more likely more expensive. This may be important on a picture window but not on a bathroom window.


For those interested in sound insulation and security, look at having the outside pane be laminated glass--glass, plastic, glass. You can go crazy here in terms of bullet proof to enough to slow down someone with a baseball bat until the cops get there. For sound, look for a STC rating. Only if you live near a airport, crime ridden area or hurrican prone would I look to upgrade to this on a window because the costs go up multiple times.


Remember if you have windows near a door or drain, they have to be tempered glass. Check you local building codes for the distance. Doors are typically about 2 feet and drain about 5 feet. This can double the price of a window.


You can also choose sand blasted or acid etched windows of effect or privacy. More of a preference thing.


2) Fill. Most windows are filled with Argon and/or Krypton, but it is important how they fill it as well. Krypton is the better fill and at close to 100% as possible. Don't bother with a window not filled with either of these two gasses. The fill process is impossible for you to judge unless you see it produced. However, if the seller knows about their window it is important how they dry out and fill the gas in the window and then seal it. You typically have a spacer between the panes of glass. The best ones act as a descidant to abosorb moisture. Half inch is the min. space, but the higer end energy efficient windows are 1 to 1.5inches.


3) Frame. The frame materials can vary from vinyl, wood, fiberglass, aluminum and composites. Vinyl gives the best cost benefit but if you are coming from cheap builder grade aluminum windows just realize the vinyl frame is wider and means less light and glass to view though. The composites and fiberglass are nice but more up in price but give you more texture and color options. The key things to look for on a frame are how well are the seems welded together, and the seals around the frame. Look for a pocket for the window to go down into with three seals--one on each side to block air. For Vinyl, use of virgin vinyl is best and thickness is key--if you can bend the frame then it is not good--unless you are hercules. Look for multiple air channels in the frame so you have insulating pockets of air in the frame. For winter climates look for windows filled with insulation in the gaps. Southern climates do not need it--several studies on why this is true, those with PhDs in science can google them up.


Look for a metal bar in the vinyl across the center of the window where the lock is. This will provide more integrity and security to the lock on the window.


4)Lock. There are several out there. I like the ones that you can flick up with one finger and then when the window closes is auto latches shut. Remember the best lock is useless on a window since if someon wants in they just break the window.


5) Counterbalance. Your since and double pane windows have hidden in the side a spring that helps lift the weight of the window when opening and keeping it from slamming shut. I like the german made ones. The key here is quality if this is a window going up or down a lot. For bedrooms, this could mean life or death in the event of a fire. A good window will allow you to open and close it with your pinky finger with ease. Amazing that a 100lb window can move up and down with ease if balanced and installed right.


6) Energy Efficiency. Best for me to refer you to the agency that measure this for explanation.


http://www.nfrc.org/WindowRatings/index.html


Notice I did not mention price, but the reality is it is a factor for everyone but the wealthiest. You have to find the right balance for you among all the factors above. There are a lot of commission sales people selling bad products at high prices so beware. I ended up buying my windows from a local manufacturer, met the owner and he gve me a tour and explained why his product was better. Also, I was able to negotiate a better deal with him over his sales person because I was a serious buyer who took the time to see why he had a better product. So I got great triple pane windows for a price lower than the double pane at competitors and a perfect install job--installers knew I had a relationship with the owner who sent his best men to do the work.

Answered 4 years ago by KnowItAll

5
Votes

I had new windows installed in the mid and late 90's. I used two companies. The first company did half my house because that was what my budget could handle at the time. By the time I had the second half budget secured only a few years later, the first company was out of business. Fortunately, they were only contractors and not the makers of the windows. They came with a lifetime transferrable warranty. I called another contractor, come to find out the windows I previously installed were no longer available. The manufacture was out of business. So was my great warranty. Any way, I installed a different branded window on the other side of my house. We're in a new century now, and yes that window company is no longer in business. There goes my warranty. I have 12 windows and no warranty, but it was a selling point and in the worthless contract. I have to wonder how much I paid for that warranty? Unfortunately, the warranties are not underwritten by any rock solid company and tend to be useless under many circumstances. Next time you buy a window ask, who under writes you warranty. The answer will be, no one. Ask them, how do I get my windows repaired or replaced if you are out of business. The answer will be, we're not going out of business, we've been in business for xx years, but they could to out of business as you pay them. Don't let someone sell you a warranty. How many window companies have there been in the last 100 years? How many are still in business? If the owner of that business has been in business for 30 to 40 years, he may be close to retirement. Once the doors are closed, you have nothing. Of course, your windows should not fail. Not according to the hype at least. My window contractor drove his car over a sample.

Source: A home owners experience

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_97963624

-2
Votes

I have used Window World in 3 houses-very very satified with them! They come out and measure each window, custom fit them and clean up all their mess. I have no qualms reccommending them.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9164585

2
Votes

What are your current windows made of and condition?


The right window depends largely on what you want the finished look to be like?


The idea that you are going to save thousands on energy with new windows but so is the idea that you will not save anything. The poster above that mentioned less than $10 per year is closer to being right than the person saying 30% on your utility bills but without knowing more about the current glazing and window condition, both answers impossible to vet.


There are good and bad in every material category and we usually start by asking folks what sort of look them want and more aptly, what is the basis for the replacement.


Provide some more feedback if your can and that will steer the answers and focus the product searches.

Source: http://www.windowsonwashington.net/bl...

Answered 3 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions

0
Votes

I'd been needing new windows for my home for a while. The house had the original aluminum framed windows with storm windows bolted on top of them, making cleaning them nearly impossible. And they were cold, and leaked drafts.


I shopped around a bit- but the prices were wildly variable- as were the reputations of the various companies who installed them. One notorious one kept going out of business, voiding the 'lifetime warranties' on their stock.


My neighbor was a huge fan of Pella windows, but they were both expensive, and not suited for replacement in my home without a huge effort, so I knocked them off the list. I also knocked off the $189 specials- they just get you in the door, and aren't really that good.


I'd just purchased a new bed from Sears, and they offered to have one of their home improvement people come by for an evaluation. I picked the window guy, because, hey- windows, right?


I ended up purchasing their top-of-the line vinyl windows- with sealed argon-filled double panes, UV tinting, Guardian glass and insulated frames. The price was about 2/3 of what I would have paid for Pellas, and I got a veteran discount on top of that. They can tilt out and are easily cleaned. The panes are also easily replaceable. They are made for Sears by Wincore, have Sears warranties and service to back them up, and were professionally installed in a day. I am very satisfied with them, and can't wait for warmer weather so I can actually open them- something I could not do with the older windows at all.


I was really surprised to discover that Sears has an entire home-improvement section, and actually does warranty work for other companies. Why they don't advertise this more is beyond me- I have a list as long as my arm of things I am going to be doing to my home in the coming months and years.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_91790481

0
Votes

This reads like an ad for Sears. What did you wind up paying seeing as you use the 2/3 fraction. If you don't want to say, just tell us what the Pella quote was. What is the U-factor and air infiltration rate on that Wincore window? No offense, but saying they are better than your previous aluminum windows doesn't exactly separate them from the pack.

Answered 3 years ago by Searsspammer

1
Vote

Our home was built in 1968. When we bought our house in 1990, our electric bill averaged $90-$100 a month. Each time the electric bill average went up, we did something to the house. Vinyl siding, attic insulation twice, a ridge vent, etc. The last time that our electric bill grew to average almost $200 a month was in 2005. Then we had a local company called "Window World" replace our windows with TRIPLE pane windows. We have 8 windows and they cost $4,500.00 to be replaced. The saleman said since we live in TX that triple panes were not necessary, but we decided that the small difference in price would be worth it. Immediately our electric bill dropped to an average of $125.00 a month. We paid a small down payment and put the balance on our credit card. The $75.00 a month difference in our electric bill made the payment on our credit card. And our gas bill was cut in half, also. Window World charged one price for any size window. They tilt out for cleaning. We live on a busy street and one of the best surprises is that our home is almost sound-proof. After nine years, the windows look new. We are sorry that we didn't do it much sooner. Window World has a showroom just off 360 north of I-30. They have all shapes and sizes. Everyone was very easy to work with. We have recommended them to everyone.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9585800

0
Votes

My wife and I purchased windows in 2011 we did tons of research and the company we purchased the windows from still went out of business. Lucky for us we chose the company because they used Simonton windows. They offer a life time warranty and they stand behind there product we purchased 14 windows for our duplex home we had a problem with one window we called Simonton and a represenative from there company was at our home the following morning he repaired the defective window and then inspected the other 13. They have won several awards for there windows.

Source: http://www.simonton.com/Articles/Inde...

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_91657872

-5
Votes

well the best thing to do is go to home depot or lowes they will send out a technichian to come out and measure all the windows you need replaced...they will also give you an estimate on the cost of the work.....also by using one of these big box chain stores you get a better warrantee with the work than you would get by just hiring a contractor to do the work. and if you order all your windows and door replaced at the same time you will get a discount for volume that regular contractors don't readily offer. I used to install doors and windows for lowes and trust me that is the best way to go finacially and simply get a better job done because the contractor they have working for them are well vetted and have performed the work you describe dozens of times which will ensure a better quality job when all is said and done!!!! plus like i said by doing all the work at the same time you will save money...anywhere from 5 to 11% is the average.

Good luck, Brian Rolison

Source: Personal Experiance

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_9871528

1
Vote

Go ahead and Google some Lowes and Home Depot experiences. You will need rethink your recommendation.


Are there some good installers, yes. Does contracting with Home Depot or Lowes give you any real guarantee of better work...absolutely not.

Answered 3 years ago by Guest123

2
Votes

We needed windows and used a national company, which happened to have a factory in the town where we were living. Jeldwyn sold us fiberglass windows and ended up replacing several of them, because the frames would bend out of shape, causing gaps. As it turned out, we had to replace those windows with ones that were steel reinforced to withstand the harsh Ohio winds. So, I suggest that if you live on a hill, or anywhere else that is a very windy location, you might want to upgrade to either a hardwood frame or a steel-reinforced fiberglass.


In our next home, we visited a number of window showrooms to make our decision. There is a great dispartity in the amount of frame insulation and in the choice of materials. We found that actually seeing how the windows were made helped us to decide very easily. It's hard to research windows on the Internet, in my opinion.


As for TX not requiring side insulation or thermopane glass, I have to disagree. I'm sure you'll find your air conditioning bills will be much lower with the better insulated windows, and it won't feel drafty if temperatures drop below 40 at any time too.


We decided to replace the patio doors in our home with the Pella Atrium wood-framed doors and were very satisfied. It wasn't cheap though. With installation charges, it ended up costing a little over $5,000 - - just for the patio doors. However, water no longer came in during rainstorms. The doors didn't fog at all in winter, as our other windows did, and they had pleated shades between the panes. So, all of that made it well worth the cost for our family. Even when PA temperatures dropped below 20 degrees, we couldn't feel the cold air inside by the doors.


Good luck with your decision!

Source: personal experience

Answered 2 years ago by Candygrammy

0
Votes

The best thing you can do is hire a contractor that doesn't sell a particular brand.


At Climate Right Construction we're going to give you the true pros and cons of quality and cost. There's absolutly nothing to gain by pushing a particular brand. If you talk to five different window companies you'll have no idea what apples and oranges are, let alone how to compare them. They will all tell you that their windows are the best and have seemingly good proof to back up the claim but you know it can't all be true.


A contractor that profits from the installation and not the product will be your only hope of getting answers that you won't have doubts about.

Answered 2 years ago by climateright14

0
Votes

In california, it is a big problem as well. Simply too many vendors who have practiced a sales pitch. There are basically two makers of glass. So all the glass is very similar. The framing is the issue, as is the installation. If the frames are well built and the installers well trained - replacement is simple. After much looking, I decided to go with a brand of framing called Milgard. They will probably not go out of business, as many of the small ones do. They generally only work with reputable installers. It is not worth saving a little bit for a very important long term purchase. Dont bellieve them when they say changing a window to a slider or increasing size is a big engineering and permit issue. Not true. Replacement window guys just dont want to do NEW windows - a much bigger and riskier job.

Source: LL

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_9192059

8
Votes

Well I’ve been in the window and door industry for 33 years. I started out working for a custom window and door manufacturer. Cutting glass, making screens, cutting frames, assembly, to installation, then sales, then manager and eventually I bought the company. We manufactured aluminum and vinyl windows. I have personally serviced and installed windows of every type and many brands like Simonton, Millguard, Renewal by Anderson, CertainTeed, Quantum, Don Young, Anderson, Jeld-Wen, Herd, Kolbe, Better built, Best Built, American Craftsman, Home Craftsman, Allsides, Owens Cornig, and Diamond just to name a few. So I do have some experience. And the answer voted the best by Rite Window is the best in my opinion as well. I might add a couple of other things. Using a company that uses installation contractors is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. These companies don’t always use the cheapest installers they can find. I did installs for 13 different companies in a large city and I was higher than anyone. Most of my work came from only one or two companies though. They kept me busy enough that I didn’t need much more work and being that I was higher many of the other companies only hired me for the really difficult jobs. The problem is going to be “How do you know” because everyone Sais they have the best. Also with a large company you will pay for their overhead and salesman’s commissions very quite a bit. Some get paid salary plus, some are paid guarantee with commissions as much as 20 percent of the gross, some are paid a percentage of the profit and some have to sell at a certain price and anything over they get all or split 60/40 or whatever. Another thing is there are many, many more window companies than there are manufacturers. So what you have are a lot of companies selling the same product and if the homeowner knew that then the bottom line would almost always be price. They’re going to hate me for telling you this but it’s the truth. What they will tell you is they have a manufacturer build windows to their specifications. For most companies that is a half truth. Their specifications are the measurements. With that said, a company can have a window built to their specifications right down to the extrusion (frame) but it costs upwards of $100,000.00 and very few are willing to pay that and why would they. There are plenty of good windows on the market already. If you want vinyl you do want virgin vinyl and how you tell is the color. Virgin vinyl is pure white recycled vinyl has a slight blue tint. Also you want the actual thickness of the vinyl to be at least 1/16”. You can have a 3-1/4 frame depth with different thickness of vinyl. As one person said if it’s too cheap be careful but a high price doesn’t dictate quality either. It’s tough for a homeowner to figure out what to buy it really is. And after you’ve looked at three or more vinyl windows they all look the same. One reason for that is the last time I checked there were only three vinyl extruders in America. And each one has a few extrusions they make. The rest is glass, locks, balancers and weather-stripping. Seal failure is a big problem with insulated glass and very few last 50 years as one person said in fact I have seen hundreds that have failed within the first five years so get a lifetime seal failure warranty through a manufacturer that has been in business for at least fifteen years or more. Even if they aren’t around when you need them the warranty says a lot. If you can find a warranty that includes the labor and materials is good but few do. In some cases buying one insulated glass panel will cost more than the original window did so go with warranty. Now a little bit about other types of windows. Stay away from wood/vinyl clad and wood/ aluminum clad. What this means is wood on the interior for staining or painting and vinyl or aluminum on the exterior. This is sold as a maintenance free exterior. Vinyl cladding is thin it warps blisters cracks, chips and fades. Aluminum clad leaks water under the cladding and it doesn’t dry out. The wood underneath rots and the clad will fall off. Your window will just disintegrate. I’ve seen this happen on very expensive windows within the first 5 years. The warranty may cover the materials as long as they are in business but tell me, do you really want to be having this problem. If possible find a manufacturer that will cover materials and labor. If you want a maintenance free wood window look at wood/ fiberglass clad. The ones I have seen are married to the wood in such a way that water infiltration shouldn’t be a problem. Also fiberglass interior and exterior is good. Aluminum frames are fine if you get a good heavy one but you want to find one that has a thermally broken main frame and sash. What that means is you actually have a separate frame for the interior and exterior that are fused together with a urethane barrier. This barrier will stop the heat and cold transfer on the frame interior which can cause sweat in the winter that deteriorates sheetrock and wood surround. In the summer without the thermal break the frame interior will be hot. This also greatly reduces the efficiency of the window. Anything you are interested in operate it check the weather-strip and the hardware. In a balance you want a continua’s balance. The balance is what holds the window open. The best way to describe a continua’s balance is it works like a metal tape measure. The other two types are block and tackle and spiral. Of those two block and tackle is the preferred.

Installation, if you can find an installation company or a quality installer as one person suggested would be a good way to go it can save you a ton of money. But you want to check references very thoroughly and make sure he is qualified for your particular project. Most window installers are not qualified to enlarge or cut openings where they don’t exist. If this is what you need then get some references where has done this type of work. AND CALL THEM. Ask for before and after photos. If he doesn’t have any doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not qualified but if he does have many to look through it shows he is proud of his work and not afraid to show it off. Look at the details like how does the caulking look, if trim was installed how it measures up, is it straight, are the joints tight etc. The details are extremely important. This will show you how meticulous he is. Go look at five jobs in person. You can see a lot more in person. And look over the entire job inside and out. The photographs are only going to show the best angles etc. If possible look at the two most recent jobs and look for debris left behind in the flower beds. That was always a pet peeve with me. I wanted my jobs to look like we had never been there except for the completed project. I know this sound like a lot of work and it is but windows are a large investment and so is your home. This should be something you do one time. If done correctly you can recoup much of it when you sell your home and it will sell much faster as well. So don’t make the mistake of buying from a salesman with a trusting face. It’s hard not too I know. Especially after you have been working on it for some time it can be exhausting. Those baby faced salesman always make the most sales but many are your worst enemy. It’s too hard to look them in the eyes and say no more than a couple of times lol. If you have any questions email them to dunritewindow@hotmail.com

And no I am not affiliated with Rite window that gave the number one answer.

Source: 33 years in the industry.

Answered 2 years ago by Kellrod

0
Votes

We built our home in 1975 and it is now time for new sliding patio door and screen. I have always been pleased dealing with Home Depot. I've had many improvements and replacements performed by them.


At one time I purchased a new washing machine and after 9 days I called them and told them it was absiolutely not satisfactory. The manager said not to worry that they would be happy to pick up the machine and if I was interested in another model there would be no problem. I live well over 60 miles from the nearest Home Depot. The came, took the old and brought a new machine to my liking. They credited the unsatisfactory machine and installed the new one and the only charge was for the new machine; no fees for traveling or restocking.


I am purchasing the new double patio door which inludes a sliding screen, plus I can also lock the door with a key. The cost is $2000 with an 18 month payment plan and no interest (that interested me greatly). The doors have a life-time guarantee


I heartly recommend Home Depot.

Answered 1 year ago by Peanut




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