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Window Reviews from Consumer Reports - are Fiberglass windows really that bad?

Window Reviews from Consumer Reports - are Fiberglass windows really that bad?

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  #1  
Old 09-16-15, 08:47 AM
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Window Reviews from Consumer Reports - are Fiberglass windows really that bad?

Building a new house in the next few months and trying to narrow down my window choices. This won't be a DIY project, but hoping some of you experts can steer me in the right direction.

I have read Consumer Reports reviews but they have a limited number of reviews. Only a few windows get good reviews and a lot get poor reviews. They rated two fiberglass models (Integrity and Pella Impervia) and they both get pretty sorry reviews (looks like they don't do well on "Rain resistance"). I had been considering fiberglass since wood is so hard to maintain and vinyl tends to look cheap. Is fiberglass really that bad?

If I don't go fiberglass, has anyone heard of Viwinco? There is a local window supplier in town that I have confidence in, but I don't see any reviews for Viwinco and wonder how they compare to others.

Thanks,
 
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  #2  
Old 09-16-15, 10:11 AM
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I have Marvin Intregrity windows in my house and would have them again. That said, I don't think they're fiberglass.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-15, 12:55 PM
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Thanks Stickshift. I thought all integrity windows were either fiberglass or fiberglass clad.
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-15, 12:59 PM
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Maybe - now I'll have to look.

That said, mine are 14 years old so things like that may have changed.
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-15, 03:51 PM
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Any window has to have a core of some sort. Usually wood or wood composite. That wood is then clad in aluminum, vinyl or some other type of outside cover. The problem is the temperature change and the rate of expansion/contraction of the two different media. With enough thermal change between the two types of material de-lamination will occur. Thus destroying the window.

Two brands, Marvin and Renewal by Andersen are the industry leaders (or most popular) in terms of technology that reduces this phenomenon to a minimum.

I'll quote a reply I made in another thread...."since temp changes may be significant. Vinyl will not expand and contract at the same rate as the wood or aluminum and will eventually delaminate. Look for a window that has Fibrex (Renewal by Anderson) or Ultrex (Marvin Windows)."

Neither of these two companies use fiberglass.
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-15, 06:20 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Norm201. According to Marvin's website, Ultrex is a pultruded fiberglass. It looks like you are correct about the Renewal.

Regardless, I guess I was just surprised at the terrible ratings that Consumer Reports were handing out and was looking for a second opinion.
 
  #7  
Old 09-17-15, 06:37 AM
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I stand corrected about the fiberglass. I must have read it wrong.

IMHO...I never cared for Consumer's Report. It's OK if you have no other source of info and one does not know anything about a product. But I find CR to choose points that do not necessarily point to product quality or items that are important to me as a consumer. Some of their test procedures are questionable and products tested are not always the most popular type or style. Besides, one test specimen from a product line is not a sufficient test sample to be able to call a product good or bad. And using consumer feedback is subjective at best. You will only hear from those people who have had problems with a product and never heard from those who don't. And in most cases bad product review from consumers reflect a small number of bad product vs total number sold or used, but a large complaint based on a small number of product.
 
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