Replacement Window Choices


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Old 06-30-08, 06:02 AM
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Replacement Window Choices

Hello,
My home was built in 1974 and has all Andersen casements. I want to replace them w/ a quality window but not something overpriced like Pella. I am looking at Kolbe-Kolbe and Andersen's Silverline. The existing windows have brick mould and vinyl siding. Therefore I think I can replace w/ new-build windows (due to the fact that once the brick mould is removed the nailing flange should be revealed). Does anyone know anything about Kolbe-Kolbe or Andersen Silverline?? And how they compare?
 
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Old 06-30-08, 03:50 PM
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I have been installing windows for 24 yrs, have worked on K&K, and Andersen. K&K seems to be an upper line builder window, never heard of Andersen Silverline. Andersen makes a quality product, best for the buck(400 series), IMHO, just not sure of Silverline.

In '74, you probably had the best window available at that time. If you have vinyl siding, replacing any window with a nailing fin is some work, but not impossible. Properly done, you will never know. Not sure I would recommend it for a novice. Proper sealing/weatherstriping is a must.
 
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Old 06-30-08, 04:14 PM
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JustBill...surprised you never heard of Silverline. Andersen bought them bout 3 yrs ago.....does American Craftsman ring a bell?? Think big orange box.

Joe...the higher grade Silverlines used to be just OK...but you had to like the look...I didn't. Depends on your tastes and house style I guess. We sold a lot more replacement insert style than we did new construction, so I didn't see all they had available. I think Simington made a better unit, last I saw of them.

Have you considered new upgraded sashes for your Andersens? Are the frames that bad? I agree with Bill, I like Andersen products and the company as a whole, but Silverline vinyl windows are not Andersens, it was just their way of getting into the all vinyl window business.
 
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Old 07-01-08, 04:07 AM
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I never look at windows in big box. As for American Craftsman, I see little craftsmanship in them.
 
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Old 07-01-08, 06:07 AM
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I would definitely NEVER buy windows from Home Depot/Lowes. I've priced Simonton, Silverline, Pella, and Kolbe & Kolbe. But I guess I'm not sure what to look for. I put windows in my rental property a year ago, but the a whole different ball game, this is MY home now. It seems that for every person that loves a window there's another that thinks their junk. Therefor this is not easy. What exactly should I be looking for?

Thanks, Joe
 
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Old 07-01-08, 06:59 AM
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Joe...I wasn't making a recommendation that you do buy your windows from a box. I was just clarifying that Andersen Silverline is the same brand as American Craftsman...which is sold thru HD. Silverline had a few that they didn't sell thru HD, but they actually weren't the better ones in their line. Better being a relative term. Just because it has the Andersen name on it doesn't mean it's higher qualty than American Craftsman. I have no experience with the K&K's, but I do with Andersen and Silverline.

And JustBill.... I wasn't implying that you bought junk....Was just surprised you didn't know about them...is that Wilmington NC or DE? Maybe thats where I got confused.

Back to Joe..lol
You can tell a lot by looking at a window...not a sample that a saleman has, but an actual production window. If the quality of the manufacture is there, you'll be able to see it (or lack thereof).
What do the seams look like...smooth or rough
How about the sealant on the glass...is it smeared all over or not visible at all.
How about visible flaws in the glass....some brands are more tolerant of them.
Thickness of the vinyl frame and fin.
Metal reinforcements at stress points?
What kind of latch/lock mechanism.
What kind of crank and pivot mechanism (thickness of mat'l and smoothness of operation)
What kind of weatherstrip.

Glass is pretty much glass...a 5/8" spacing is a 5/8" spacing.....LoE2 is LoE2. Most glass is made and distributed by only a few companies to most of the window manufacturers anyway. There are exceptions to that.

And heres a question...do you want an all vinyl window? Or were you looking at a clad exterior and wood interior?

And finally, where are you located...Not all brands are available in all area's. And even when some are available, they may not be the best choice, though they may be a premium product somewhere else. Is there a dealer network, will you have customer support in the future, etc, etc. It would be no help for someone to tell you about a specific brand, only to find it isn't available to you.

Just my $.06 while I'm havin coffee.
 
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Old 07-02-08, 10:04 AM
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Gunguy45, I am replacing casements w/ double hung all vinyl windows (preferrably). I live in Buffalo, NY. I have talked to distributors of Simonton, Kolbe & Kolbe, and know someone who actually has purchased & installed many Silverlines in my area & swears by them. However, it's tough to take only one opinion on them, know what I mean... Now once I start this, I will continue on for another 20 ish windows, thus the hesitation and many questions...


Joe
 
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Old 07-02-08, 10:48 AM
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Obviously, there are as many opinions as there are posters..

I rehab houses, and live in some of them... I always (always) buy from the big orange/blue box... Their windows range from bottom of the line to top of the line - and I've always been satisfied, as have my customers.

Regarding Silverline - I just got quotes for a new lake home that I'm getting ready to build - and the silverlines came in cheapest (does that tell you something?) - though they do have several different lines at varying price points....

Vinyl, double pane, e-glass, yadda yadda.... once they're installed, I can't tell the difference between Pella/Anderson/etc.... Though I do notice a difference in the hardware/locking mechanisms/design to some extent. What I buy depends on the application - builder's grade - my own home - etc...
 
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Old 07-02-08, 11:57 AM
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Joe regarding the Silverlines...

I know they sell ton's of them. Up (or down, to you..lol) in DC they were putting in Silverlines on entire blocks and blocks of urban renewal row house rehab's. They even put them in in the fancy new "Town Center" they were developing in my old location in Hampton, VA. Can you say low bid?

I had many, many contractors and "flippers" who loved 'em. I think mainly because of the price point and the regular sales they had on them. 15-25% off at times. Huge deal to someone looking for max profit.

They aren't complete "junk", as some people would say, but they were not the preferred brand for the craftsmen I knew. Some refused to install them if that's what the homeowner wanted.

Consider this as well, you will be replacing casement windows which seal all around the perimeter of the sash (at least the new ones do) with a bulb type gasket, like a refrigerator. DH windows have to seal around the outside of the sash as well as at the meeting rail of the 2 sashes. I will almost guarantee that you will have a much larger amount of air leakage due to the type of brush or felt seal used on vinyl windows. This is needed because of the much higher expansion and contraction of vinyl windows compared to the type you have now. This can be partially compensated for by the higher efficiency of a glass coating and gas filled separation space, but you may still feel drafts. Especially if you are in a a high wind area, I would think Buffalo qualifies. Even down in VA we had people complain about snow and rain blowing thru the areas where the weatherstrip didn't seal well.

Also, your sight lines will change with a DH window compared to a casement.

Finally, you may want to look at sizes. Its been a while for me, but DH windows were not normally a direct replacement for casements. There are ways to get custom made DH's, but its not normally a simple remove and replace even when they are sized to the opening.

It's a big investment, you are doing right to get as much info as you can. Questions before the job are a good thing, questions after are always a bad thing.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 12:02 AM
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I just ordered today a Vision 3000 awning window for the bedroom. The window is up a little high but the original is a hopper style and I wanted to replace it with the awning so that I could leave it open when it rains a little. From what I was able to find out it seems like they have a good rep and you can buy them to install yourself, which most of the really good ones didn't want to. I've have heard less than great things about Pella and Anderson in the last couple of years though. I do have a American Craftsman slider out in the garage that I built a couple of years ago. All I can say is that it seems to work decent that the blinds don't move when the wind is blowing. It is on the north side with nothing to block the wind.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 06:29 AM
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So, Gunguy45, if you were to choose between Kolbe-Kolbe, Silverline, Simonton and Andersen-(assuming they make all Vinyl DH's), who would you choose?
 
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Old 07-03-08, 06:47 AM
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Well, I have no knowlege of K&K, so I can't put them anywhere.

Andersen windows are a wood or wood composite frame with a vinyl cladding and clear wood or polymer painted wood interior. I know they make them in custom sizes now, but I don't know how much that adds to the cost, so if you can find some to fit...that would be my first choice. 400 series only. The 200 series is a builder grade available in a limited number of sizes and styles

Simonton would be next.

Silverline at the bottom.

Just my preferences in order of quality and from working with the customer support at all 3. Andersen has been around for over 100yrs, they are privately/family owned, they have most parts available for windows and doors 30 yrs or more old. You won't find that very often.
 
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Old 07-03-08, 10:17 AM
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Excellent, thanks for all the info and your time...

Joe
 
 

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