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 Post subject: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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Hello all. My wife and I recently bought a home in Lebanon, Ohio. It was built in 1998 and the windows are original to the home which were installed under Ryan Homes private label but manufactured by Patriot (now PlyGem). They are contractor grade, single hung that are very difficult to operate, lock, and many have failing seals. We are debating on repairs (new balances and such) versus replacing them. To get ideas on cost to replace I have had two companies come out to provide quotes. Money is tight so that is a large factor but we don't want to buy junk. I'm trying focus on value shopping.

So our first quote is for Polaris Thermalweld Plus for 22 windows. The dealer is pushing the Thermalweld Plus versus the Ultraweld as it has apparently been recently updated with new features and is very close in performance ratings to the Ultraweld. Does anyone have any experience with this redesign of the Thermalweld and is it truly comparable to the Ultraweld? Their price came in at about $9700 which includes grids on all windows, one sliding window, and three tempered windows to meet current code. These are the basic double pane, argon gas, low E, etc.

I then had a Simonton rep come out and he quoted for the Reflections 5050 and 5500. The 5050 is $9821 and the 5500 is $12650. The only difference is his quote includes 23 windows because I forgot to mention the window above our garage with the Polaris dealer (I will need to get an update).

Any expert advice out there or opinion on our situation? My opinion so far is leaning towards Polaris should we decide to do anything. Thanks in advance for any information.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
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Location: Houston, TX
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I don’t know the specific answer to your questions regarding Polaris, but they are a well regarded brand, and certainly better than Simonton. Based on the pricing you provided, Polaris would certainly be the better choice.

Since you’re in Ohio, you might check into Soft-lite as another option. Their Elements or Imperial LS lines would be good choices.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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Thanks, Randy. I did look into Soft-lite and spoke to their local dealer. I did the same for Okna and Marvin Integrity (not vinyl I know) as well. Without a visit they all told me over the phone that, on average, they are around $600 per window installed which is beyond our financial means so I didn't pursue it any further.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:05 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
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I prefer the Thermalweld Plus over the Ultraweld myself.
Nice window with nice price


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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The ThermaWeld is probably the prettier of the two to be honest. The UltraWeld, while a world beater, is a bit on the chunky side to some folks eyes.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:19 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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I also found the Thermalweld Plus to be more attractive and had nice features lacking on the Ultraweld. I was just surprised and confused that Polaris decided to update their middle tier window eventhough on their website the Ultraweld is still being advertised as their top product.

But I appreciate the feedback folks. The choice seems to be quite clear between these options.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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You didn't mention anything about the install? Is the house sided with vinyl? At that pricing I would find it hard to believe that they're going to install a flanged new construction window so it sounds like that they will be downsizing your new windows and installing them as an express installation into your jamb pockets.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:08 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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Delaware Mike wrote:
You didn't mention anything about the install? Is the house sided with vinyl? At that pricing I would find it hard to believe that they're going to install a flanged new construction window so it sounds like that they will be downsizing your new windows and installing them as an express installation into your jamb pockets.


This is accurate and the house is vinyl. I have talked to five different dealers (only two have come to the house as mentioned before) but all of them only offer pocket installations. When I asked about "new construction" install when nailing fins, etc. I was told that "no one really does that with pre-exisiting homes." While that would be my preference, and I'm sure if I keep looking or insist on that install style I could get it, I doubt we could afford it anyways.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
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Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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It would be a lot more money as the labor end is much more intensive. However, it's the only way I will do that installation myself. I've seen too many of the local high volume window discounters and box stores do the express method with vinyl flanged tear outs that have really changed the look of the house that are leaking. My homeowners aren't welcoming of loosing most of their window pockets either. We will do this method with aluminum tears out sometimes, but it's rare.

Sounds like you have done some research and have a handle on this.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:02 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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Delaware Mike wrote:
It would be a lot more money as the labor end is much more intensive. However, it's the only way I will do that installation myself. I've seen too many of the local high volume window discounters and box stores do the express method with vinyl flanged tear outs that have really changed the look of the house that are leaking. My homeowners aren't welcoming of loosing most of their window pockets either. We will do this method with aluminum tears out sometimes, but it's rare.

Sounds like you have done some research and have a handle on this.


If I had my druthers a new install method is what I would choose. I could always press the issue with the local Polaris dealer and see what it does to price to do new construction installation but I'm guessing a 100% increase would not be out of the question.

Assuming, however, that I dont care about the minor glass loss and the pocket install is done correctly and is well sealed, would the performance be that drastically different to justify the cost? Maybe I save an extra $5 a month on heating and cooling bills and if the price goes up, let's say, $8k, it would take 1600 months to regain that cost. Or if it's $10 or $20 a month difference, then 800 months or 400 months respectively. With two of those options I'll be dead and the with the last option we will likely be in another house (or possibly dead). Obviously I'm making a lot of assumptions with that illustration and I may be overlooking some additional critical information.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
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Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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With a proper replacement install, your windows will be sealed very well. I only recommend new construction when its obvious there is a lot of wood/ water damage .


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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Thank you. That helps embolden my decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Buckeye, I'd agree with all of the above on product choice. The TW+ is a solid window... If there is one thing that I caught that might be a cause for concern, it would be on the pricing issue. You are obviously doing your due diligence on the product choice, make sure not to sell short the importance of dealing with an established company with an excellent reputation. This industry is bursting with complaints and horror stories, nearly all of which are due to dealing with a poor company as opposed to product choice. With a rough number at under $450 per unit, that throws up a little bit of a red flag for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:41 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:32 pm
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HomeSealed wrote:
Buckeye, I'd agree with all of the above on product choice. The TW+ is a solid window... If there is one thing that I caught that might be a cause for concern, it would be on the pricing issue. You are obviously doing your due diligence on the product choice, make sure not to sell short the importance of dealing with an established company with an excellent reputation. This industry is bursting with complaints and horror stories, nearly all of which are due to dealing with a poor company as opposed to product choice. With a rough number at under $450 per unit, that throws up a little bit of a red flag for me.


Thanks for the input. I agree installation plays a critical role in a window purchase but there's only so much vetting I can do. Social media reviews and BBB all come back very positive. In addition I will request a few references. But they are the only Polaris dealer in my area (or so I'm told from the regional Polaris representative) so I don't have a lot of choice in the matter if I want Polaris (unless I try to install myself which I've toyed with as I am pretty handy but not quite willing to make that leap). Hopefully the pricing reflects a good deal rather than poor installation practices.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 23 Windows in SW Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 2370
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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BuckeyeForester wrote:
Hopefully the pricing reflects a good deal rather than poor installation practices.


... and that's not impossible... look for a "composite" score across the various trade and consumer organizations, as well as some time in the business. Some guys get offended when I suggest that a physical location is something to look for too, but there is some peace of mind that comes with knowing that when a guy isn't answering his phone and there are unresolved issues, there is a place of business that you can go to to demand service. Not a deal breaker to ensure quality by any means, but one of many valid aspects to consider. I'd feel a little better about a company with a 20 yr history that works out of their home than one with 2 yrs in, I'll say that.


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