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Question DetailsAsked on 5/15/2013

what replacement windows (high end vynil or fiberglas) are the best in terms of looks, durability/warranty and reasonable price

window is 6 ft by 6 ft, stationary with panes

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4 Answers

0
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Angie's List itself doesn't carry review or rating information for products (only services and service providers like window installers), but this is question that frequently pops up on this Q&A community, so I'm sure you'll hear from quite a few voices on this.

Answered 6 years ago by JP

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Votes

With a window that large you will want strength. You will need to compare the windows structural integrity test results. For performance you want to compare the windows nfrc ratings and get a low U-value product. When it comes to quality price, performance, strenth and beauty, There is only one window manufacture that comes to mind. ( at least for me, and I have been selling and installing windows in New York for over twenty two years now.) I recomend that you take a look at OKNA windows. They are made in Pa. OKNA means window in the POLISH language. At my company, Tri-Pane Installations, Inc. OKNA means happy customers.

Answered 6 years ago by the new window man

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Votes

You need to consider your aesthetic factors first - different manufacturers offer different options and appearances (paintable versus non-paintable, colored, wood texture, etc). Read through their brochures on the web, and go to a couple of window dealers and box stores and actully look at what they look like.

A couple of decision factors that might apply - these are generalities, and the extent varies amongst manufacturers - you can browse more commentary on this by googling this search phrase - "vinyl versus fibreglass window factors". From my professional experience and seeing some nightmare vinyl and fibreglass products, I still prefer wood frames, but that presumes you do not mind touching up caulk and trim painting every few years.

Vinyl cannot, in many cases, hold paint unless factory prepped and primed specifically to be painted, so you might be stuck with factory colors (or commonly only white), and even then it peels more than paint on fibreglass.

Vinyl gets brittle in the cold, so if you live in a very cold climate that can be a negative factor, particularly if you will be opening windows in sub-freezing weather.

Vinyl, even with UV stabilizers in the plastic, is a plastic so it will degrade in daylight, and start cracking and weakening sooner than fibreglass.

Vinyl is more energy efficient by a factor of 3 or 4 (with regard to heat flow through the frame).

Vinyl expands and contracts FAR more than fibreglass, so it has a tendency to loosen up and loose its air-tightness.

I have been told vinyl supports growth of mold more than fibreglass, though I have seen it on both where condensation runs down the window onto the sill.

Fibreglass has a tendency to peel and form surface "angel hair" roughness upon sun exposure, so needs to be kept well painted in sunny exposures. However, it does last longer.

Fibreglass is much stronger and less flexible than vinyl, so it tends to keep its shape and air-tightness better.

Vinyl is generally cheaper.

Do your homework, read blogs and the answers here, and look at samples - but all in all, your best choice is good energy rating for the entire unit (especially if in a very hot or cold zone), and above all buy quality construction from a well-known manufacturer, and use a good contractor approved by the manufacturer for installation. Easily half the window problem I have seen were due to poor installation, and if you do not use an authorized installer, your manufacturer warranty is worth just about the value of the sheet of used paper it is printed on.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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Votes

Your reasonable price need =s vinyl, You can not have it all, for energy efficiency I would settle for a double pane low e window. You can get a pretty nifty beige in vinyl with an approx 10% upcharge and in my opinion it is worth it. Installer is critical as previous contractor stated. Every part of the country has its local window gurus. Good Luck.

Jim Casper old window salesman now gutter cover contractor.


Source: www.heartlandmastershield.com

Answered 6 years ago by jccasper




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