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Replacement Windows


Jeremy S's Avatar
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10-30-17, 01:21 PM   #1  
Replacement Windows

I am going to help a friend replace some of the 40+ year old windows in her home. The original windows were not very high quality to begin with, single pane and flimsy aluminum frames that don't latch and will no longer open.

She does not have a large budget so paying someone to install them is not going to happen. I have quite a bit of experience with home repair and carpentry so this will be a DIY installation.

have been looking at what I can find locally and am seeing the usual big box store brands like Pella, Silverline (Anderson), and Jeld-Wen. All of these have TERRIBLE reviews online. Most of the window places will not sell to you unless you pay them for the installation.

She will probably be moving out of this house within the next 10 years but I only want to do this window job once. Can anyone recommend any good brands/models? Your experiences?

 
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Norm201's Avatar
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10-30-17, 01:43 PM   #2  
Pella and Anderson...bad reviews??? Maybe that's why they want qualified installers to put them in. I had my whole house done by Andersen Renewal. When I checked they have very good reviews as did Pella. Yes I paid a premium price, but I have had no problems and many of my friends who had other install them or did it themselves are having all kinds of problems. And they have no warranty to fall back on. My premium price was worth every penny and I would do it again .

I'm not saying you can't install them yourself. And it's not necessarily hard but be sure of the quality and be sure you know what you're doing. No manufacturer will warrant the window if you install it (very difficult to prove manufacturing defect when installation is very easy to target as poorly done). And remember nowadays most windows are custom made to order. So measurements are of the utmost importance. I'm assuming you're going for inserts.

 
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10-30-17, 01:48 PM   #3  
The knock I hear against Andersen is cost, not quality. Personally, I like Marvin windows but I know people happy with Pella as well.

 
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10-30-17, 04:30 PM   #4  
The windows you are looking at likely have terrible reviews because you are likely looking at the cheapest bottom of the barrel window. Any window company will have good, better, best. So you get what you pay for. You can't get champagne on a beer budget.

That being said, there are hundreds of windows out there... it's hard to recommend just one.

 
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10-30-17, 06:39 PM   #5  
Theres a difference between Renewal by Anderson and Silverline (an Anderson company). A huge difference. Silverline used to be sold under a different name (American Craftsman) at HD, while Silverline was through lumberyards and building supply houses. HD was losing business because Lowes had a vinyl replacement with the Pella name on the package, though they weren't really made by Pella either. So HD went toe Anderson and said you need to give us something economical for the DIY'r in vinyl. Well, homey don't do vinyl, so they went and bought Silverline. Good deal all around. Name recognition, major distribution system, largest home improvement store chain in the world. So now the top of the line AC windows are sold as Silverline and the bottom 2 tiers are still sold as American Craftsman, though they're all made in the same plant most likely. Here endeth the history lesson.

Personally, I never like the top of the line, they looked way too modern for the style of houses we had back in VA. Sold more of the mid-grade with certain upgrades (double locks, LoE, etc) than anything else and they were a pretty decent window. The low end was for rentals only.

Most terrible reviews are by people who have been suckered in by advertising and DIY shows, where they can install a window in 15min. They never show the rot repair, the warped frames, the 19 layers of paint holding things together, the improper install of the original windows, etc, etc.

All this said...are these aluminum "framed" windows? If so, the installation is way different than for wood windows.


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Jeremy S's Avatar
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11-01-17, 08:17 AM   #6  
A local supplier has the Silverline 1200 series windows, which are bottom of the barrel from what I have read. I also have in my area Home Depot (American Craftsman), Lowes (Thermastar by Pella), and Menards (Jeld-Wen), and they all carry the lower quality windows from those manufacturers. I'd prefer to find something mid-range in quality.

I have sent in requests to a few building supply companies, requesting a quote to supply replacement windows. None of them seen very eager to do business with you unless you are a contractor or plan on paying them to do the installation. Perhaps they deal with too many DIYers that screw up the install...

The windows I will be replacing are aluminum framed, installed in 1976. They look like your typical single hung window except metal frame instead of wood. Based on some of the shoddy workmanship I have found in this house I expect that these windows were never properly installed to begin with (very drafty, most will not open right if at all).

 
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11-01-17, 09:30 AM   #7  
FWIW, we got JeldWen from Home Depot. We got the wood interior with Vinyl clad on the outside. They were mid range and we bought them during their annual sale. Don't remember when they have this, but once a year they have a big sale for two weeks.
Haven't had any problems with them.


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Norm201's Avatar
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11-01-17, 09:32 AM   #8  
None of them seen very eager to do business with you unless you are a contractor or plan on paying them to do the installation.
Unfortunately that is true. I know you mentioned that the budget is tight and that the possibility of moving in the not too distant future is there. But consider the resale value if new windows are properly installed by a manufactures qualified rep.

 
Jeremy S's Avatar
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11-01-17, 10:44 AM   #9  
Does anyone have any experience with Reliabilt 3201 series windows?

 
Jeremy S's Avatar
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11-05-17, 05:54 PM   #10  
I ended up going with Silverline 3900 new construction windows for my project, purchased from a local door/window store. I received a quote for some Anderson 100 series vinyl windows but they felt VERY cheap and had crappy latches. I also got a quote for some nice Marvin windows that were nearly $600 a piece! They seemed like very nice windows but way out of the budget. The Silverlines were around $200 each for the size that I needed.

Most of the nearby building supply stores would not even give me the time of day when I asked about receiving a quote for windows. I won't bother doing business with them in the future

Unfortunately this window job turned into a nightmare because when I started removing flashing I was seeing a lot of rotted lumber. Turns out when the idiots built the deck above these windows they never used deck flashing, so for decades water had been running down behind the siding and rotted out the frames around the windows, parts of the sheathing, and several studs in the wall. I ended up demoing most of the wall and starting from scratch. The previous owner of the house had been emptying tubes of caulk down the walls in a sad attempt to stop the water leaks.

 
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