Window brands

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  #1  
Old 02-08-10, 08:17 AM
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Window brands

I am looking into getting some work done to our house this spring and I am trying to figure out what I should do on my own and what I should hire out. I have replace most of the windows in my 1960 ranch house and I have 2 more to go. 1 is a kitchen casement and we are switching it to a double hung window (not a problem) and the other is a big bow window (~10'w x ~6'h). I am going to hire this one out!

So heres the question, the company I got the estimate from gave me a quote for a Simonton window. I have never heard of them and the quote was for $3700+ to take away old and install the new. I know the price is going to be high for such a big window but how dose the Simonton brand rate with like Pella (what the other windows in the house are now), Anderson, ect... I had asked for a price of both the simonton and a Pella so I could compare the 2. If the Simonton was cheaper I had no problem gonig with them but wanted to make sure I was not going to pay a whole lot more for that brand I have never heard of.

Any way, going to get another estimate from atleast 1 more contractor and other window brands, I just wanted to here what you had to say!

Thanks!!!
 
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Old 02-08-10, 10:45 AM
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Simonton is one of the major players in the window market, along with Pella. A few other companies to look into are Champion and Window World. Both are large national companies, have good products and generally lower prices.

I would absolutely price out your bow window to several companies. $3,700 seems pretty pricey to me, although I haven't priced out a bow window in a while.

Good call on having someone else do that one... those things are tricky to install!

There is a pretty good window blog you can go to look for info on replacement windows. I don't know if they have anything to say specifically about bow windows but it is worth a shot. ********NO ADS ALLOWED!
 

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  #3  
Old 02-08-10, 11:25 AM
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Well...Simonton used to be a quality window....but several Pro's here have told me that the quality has gone down since they were acquired. I can't confirm that.

I think some Pella windows (assuming you are talking all vinyl) may be OK...but not the ones from a Big Box store...and I'd never use any of their clad/wood products. I've heard and seen too many horror stories.

When you mention Andersen...what ones are you talking about? They recently started advertising the 100 series all vinyl, but I have yet to see one. If you mean the 200 or 400 series..thats 2 different animals. Andersen purchased a vinyl window company a while back.....2004? 2005? Anyway, they wanted to get into the lucrative replacement and all vinyl window market, so they bought Silverline. Pretty much a low end product if you ask me, at least all the ones sold through HD were...and I used to sell them!! lol.

Ok...so... Of the brands you have mentioned.....Andersen 400 over any Pella clad window.

Simonton over Pella or Andersen all vinyl window.

We have a couple of Pro's up near you I think...there may be a couple of quality regional brands they can suggest as well.
 
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Old 02-08-10, 04:48 PM
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NEVER Pella!!!!!!!! Can't say about Simonton either way. For wood windows(new construction type), Andersen 400 series is my best pick, not available in replacement units. Marvin makes their "TiltPac" replacement sash unit, pricey but quality, Weahtershield makes a similar unit, not so pricey. If you want value in a vinyl replacement window, look for Viwinco(www.vinwinco.com). I think they are in your area.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 04:15 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies! I have another company coming to the house later this week to give another estimate for some work and it will include a new bow window. Not sure what brand they use but will find out.

Thanks again!
Mike
 
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Old 02-09-10, 09:09 AM
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What's the problem with Pella windows? Or specifically the clad wood models? I'm looking at replacing 14 windows in my 1977 vintage house this year, and I was leaning toward either Pella or Andersen. I refuse to have vinyl windows, as I want real wood on the inside that can be stained to match the existing woodwork. But I want no-maintenance on the outside portion, so I was leaning towards a clad wooden window.

I was avoiding vinyl for two reasons....I don't want the "white" appearance either inside or outside (my windows are painted to match the exterior of the house outside and stained inside) and I'm very leery of vinyl lasting through the years. My experiences with plastics outdoors is that they eventually start to get chalky and burn brittle after long exposure to sunlight.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 09:23 AM
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Beachboy...I've twice seen properly installed and flashed Pella windows that had rotted out interiors after 3-4 yrs. People who worked in that trade in VA told me of many more. I also understand their customer service is not that hot.

I agree with JB for best bang for the buck, Andersen 400's. Great family owned company..always had excellent customer service in my experience. You can spend more money..but for most people its just not necessary. Now..when you start looking for triple pane and such..no they don't do those AFAIK.

As far as the vinyl..yes over time they can chalk a bit...but so will painted aluminum. They have really improved the UV resistance over the years. Any window will require SOME maintenance. Checking flashing and weepholes, checking caulking, cleaning, rescreening, etc.. I always suggested to people that when they wash their windows they just wipe on a little Armour All type product on the vinyl. Really helps keep them looking good.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the info, gunguy45. I'll talk to the Andersen folks and see what they have to offer.

Yeah I realize the vinyl used in window assemblies is probably a much better grade than the plastics used in outdoor yard furniture and such. And I'm not looking for something that will last 100 years, as I don't plan to stay in my house over another 10 years.

One question: what is this "window washing" you refer to? Must be a local custom???
 
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Old 02-10-10, 09:09 AM
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Check out Marvin windows. I put them in last spring after looking at Pella and Andersen. The Marvins were about 2/3's the price, and I find them to be a much nicer window as well. They are extruded aluminum instead of rolled and the double hung windows have a narrow track instead of a wide plastic one like the Pella and Andersen.
 
  #10  
Old 02-10-10, 03:01 PM
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Not a fan of Pella.
I replaced a single pane w/storm wdo with a 400Series Pella double hung in a bedroom. What a nightmare. The sound comes right thru. Sounds like a freeway outside my house. I've been told there could be several reasons for noise:
First, because of the size (38X48) it resonates with street noise.
Second, Pella uses a aluminum spacer between the glass panes (which, duh, conducts noise). Other mfgrs use vinyl or rubber.
Third, the most probable cause of noise, is that Pella is only 1/2" (might be 5/8"-threw away my literature) spacing between panes. Most other mfgrs are 3/4" or 7/8". The spacing between the panes of glass is supposedly HUGE when it come to STC (sound transmittal coefficient).
I complained. A Pella rep visited. I have this new Pella and an older same size single pane on the same side of the house. Comparing the two, he agreed the new Pella was noticeably noiser.
I will never buy another Pella or any window that isn't at least 3/4 or 7/8". This also eliminates Anderson windows.
If you live anywhere near a street don't get a Pella. If in the neighborhood, I'll be happy (well, not happy) to give a noise demonstration.

The last window I installed was a vinyl window made by American Craftsman from HD. (A subsidiary of Anderson as I understand. It could have another name in other parts of the country). Very well made, 7/8" glass, QUIET, and it's quiet.
If you live where noise may be a problem I'd advise going with a 3/4 or 7/8" window.
 
 

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