Replacement Windows Question

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seba
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Replacement Windows Question

#1 Post by seba » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:28 pm

Hello,

First of all thank you, I have read many posts here and this forum is an excellent source of information. I am currently working on replacing windows in my home. So far I have gotten quotes from OKNA and awaiting one from Tri-State.

OKNA – 15 casement windows and one picture I was quoted $12,500, this is for their deluxe model. I am definitely more interested in super deluxe with argon, I was quoted 14200 for that. It is nearly $1000 per window. Is this a good price? This is for series 700.

Waiting for Tri-State to get back to me, interested in their 5400 series. Also OKNA said that 36 inch casement is fine, while Tristate said it is too big so I have to pay for two windows in my 36 inch openings for the Tri-State product.

Both models are triple pane, have gas in between. Tri-State U factor is 0.17, okna 0.19. Both contractors look knowledgeable, and all they do are windows.

Another question – what is a difference between Tri-State and OKNA, and how it materializes in practice? I read here, however old posts from 2008-2012, that Tri-State uses not such a good quality vinyl. My questions is, how is then possible that both manufacturers score the same in terms of U factor and other characteristics, but here people still strongly suggested to go with OKNA. Would Tri-State deteriorate over time and OKNA remain perfect? Both vendors offer lifetime warranty.

Also, I am debating between replacing 15 windows on my first floor, or about 25 on my first and second floor. I would prefer to go in stages. Question – by adding 4 hopper, 4 casement and sliding door to the deal, do you think I would get a significantly higher bargaining power? If so, approximately how much less per window in case of the bigger order in comparison to the original 15 windows?

What other brands\vendors are worth pricing? I am in Westchester County, NY state.

I appreciate help and thank you in advance.

toddinmn
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#2 Post by toddinmn » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:53 pm

Not familiar with Tri-state, but seems odd they can't make a 36" casement, can't think of anyone who can't . Prices are hard to say, best thing is to get comparable bids. You can ask the companies how much of a discount for adding the rest of the Windows, I would expect some but it's hard to say. If you can't get 36" windows , 18" is getting small,you may want eliminate Tri-state just on that.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#3 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:06 am

+1 to Todd's feedback. Pricing questions are nearly impossible to given an answer to based on the myriad of factors beyond our control and market forces in that area.

I wouldn't recommend doing the windows in stages as it pertains to floors and instead focus on it by building surfaces (i.e. North, South, East, and West) if you need to break it up.

A 36" window being out side the maximum is a bit of a red flag if that is true.

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#4 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:29 pm

+1 to the comments above ...

I'd add regarding the ratings, that you want to look at how those ratings are achieved as well to compare apples to apples. IE: argon vs krypton, low e profiles, etc. You want to make sure that you are comparing equally to get an accurate view of which product may be better.

seba
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#5 Post by seba » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:04 am

Thank you for all your comments. Too bad it is hard to speak about prices, but it is what it is.

Seems like I am comparing apples to apples:

From Tri-State I am getting Model 5400, triple pane, krypton gas, foam and aluminum reinforced with double low e glass, u-factor 0.17, $13,900.00

From OKNA I get the same as above, but argon, not krypton, u factor 0.19.and the price is $14,200.

As discussed Tri-State claims they cannot do 36” casement window, so this a red flag, perhaps too many frames, so I am leaning towards OKNA, even though their U-factor is supposedly lower. Is there any other brand I should try? I see there is no soft-lite dealer in my area. Is there anyone else I should consider?

Thank you!

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#6 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:01 pm

While its nearly impossible to comment with accuracy on an exact price/value proposition, I can say that your options are within the normal range. They don't scream going out of business sale, nor do they sound like a ripoff, assuming that these are quoted by reputable companies.

On the product, the Okna is an excellent window and highly regarded almost unanimously by pros. On the Tri-state, I'm not familiar with it, I assume it must be only regionally available. The u value is ok given that it's krypton filled. By comparison, the Okna would be at .15 with krypton. In looking it up on NFRC.org, it looks as though the VT is pretty dark on the Tri State window as well at a .32 without grids as opposed to a .39 on the Okna. That is the amount of visible light allowed, which could darken the home a little bit. Seven points is not totally insignificant on that aspect. Lastly, the aluminum reinforcement is not a common feature either, and along with the previously mentioned factor of not being able to go 36" wide, I wonder about the strength of that product. That is only educated speculation on my part though, again my familiarity with that product is limited to only looking up specifications.
Ultimately, for what is basically the same price, I'd go with the Okna which is an A+. The Tri State window may or may not be a good or bad choice, but based on the numbers, the Okna is superior.

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#7 Post by masterext » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:31 pm

So Tri state is offering 16 total windows with triple pane krypton for 13900??
Fwiw, the okna is made better. Also, okna is getting a .19 u factor with argon whereas tri state is using krypton. Okna gets a .15 with krypton if im not mistaken..

seba
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#8 Post by seba » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:47 pm

Again, great comments.

Yes, Tri state with krypton is 0.17, but I think the salesman said something about the fact that it should 0.15, Actually, I will double check with him now.

OKNA offers version with krypton as well, but it would cost $19,300, too much i believe.

I am also leaning towards OKNA, even though U factor seems to be higher (worse in this case).

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#9 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm

seba wrote:Again, great comments.

Yes, Tri state with krypton is 0.17, but I think the salesman said something about the fact that it should 0.15, Actually, I will double check with him now.

OKNA offers version with krypton as well, but it would cost $19,300, too much i believe.

I am also leaning towards OKNA, even though U factor seems to be higher (worse in this case).
Ask him for a CPD number to verify on nfrc.org if that is the case. They do not have a glass package listed that gets a number as good as .15, so that is not likely to be true. The Okna can get that, I'm sure that your dealer would upgrade if you would like, but the argon package is pretty solid on its own.

seba
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#10 Post by seba » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:20 pm

You were right, with krypton Tri-state gets to 0.17, they just confirmed.

Most likely, will stick to OKNA. Maybe I can negotiate price down 10%-15%. Time will tell.

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#11 Post by seba » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:28 am

All,

One more question – here is what local companies are telling me against OKNA, and I was wondering what your opinion is?

Local guys like Tri-State and Thermo Seal claim that it is better to go with them as they manufacture their windows, and install them, hence if there is any claim regarding a product itself or labor, their lifetime warranty always covers it. On the contrary, OKNA uses dealers, who in a few years may no longer install OKNA, but another brand. In fact, I can find posts on Angie’st list where customers say they are going back and forth with an OKNA dealer, a few years after installation, and the dealer claims that the problem is with the product, and that they contacted OKNA who is not responding, and the labor itself was guaranteed for one year, and they have come twice already to correct\improve the installation and there is nothing else they can do, as the product itself is faulty. As a result, customer is stuck and left with no help with both companies claiming this is not their problem. I have to say number of this type of reviews is MINIMAL, compared to positive reviews. What do you think?

Lastly, I have three quotes so far. One thing I want to ask, in terms of OKNA, triple pane, to upgrade to Krypton from Argon costs $3500 (15 casements, one picture), exactly the same window, just different gas. Two other guys cost much less to the same type of upgrade. Does the upgrade price from OKNA sound justified?

Thank you All!

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#12 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:50 am

Don't really buy into the service argument to be honest.

I would rather have a better product, not made locally, than a lesser one that is made down the street. We have had no fewer than a half dozen of local manufacturers go out of business that used the whole "local" argument.

Krypton is EXPENSIVO to be certain. Not sure it is worth that upgrade to be honest if you are comparing to triple pane with argon.

I would rather you spend that $3,500 toward some full air sealing and insulation.

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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:38 pm

On the last question, I'd probably stick with the argon personally. Okna's argon performance is very close to others' krypton, it is hard to justify that premium.

As far as the more complicated topic, that is mostly bluster from the other companies. The vast majority of window installation companies purchase from a manufacturer and do not make their own windows. This is because manufacturers design and make windows best, and installation companies install them best. Specialization.
Making windows and installing them are two very different industries. Some companies can be successful in doing it, but you are typically sacrificing quality on both sides. I don't know of any such company that has a product considered top level, and most of them (in my experience) don't have excellent records on the install side either.

As far as accountability, that is a very fair and valid question. That said, window installation companies take on the future service of those installs regardless of whether they may move on to another line or not. If you have an install company pointing fingers at the manufacturer, that's generally a deficiency in the install company regardless, as they are your liaison for the service life of the product. Long story short, that's bad service by the installer and really has nothing to do with how the windows are sourced.... The nice thing about Okna and other high end windows, is that these products typically have a list of contractors in each market that would love the opportunity to sell the product. They are in high demand, which means that you don't find companies moving on from them often.

seba
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#14 Post by seba » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:45 am

Gents,

I have a quick question about installation process - how would install windows in the brick house? Would you frame them first with wood, screw the wood to brick and then window to the wood? If so, how about moisture? Brick accumulates and releases lots of moisture which can affect the wood.

Secondly, I spoke to one contractor and he said that he levels window using shims, then he sprays spray foam around it, waits for the foam to harden, removes the shims, and sprays the foam in place of shims. As a result, the window is installed without any screws, just the foam around it... He says it does not bend frames etc. Does it make sense? Is this common practice?

Your help is appreciated.

toddinmn
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Re: Replacement Windows Question

#15 Post by toddinmn » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:02 am

A wood buck with treated wood is common approach. A window installed with foam as a sole fastening and support system is not advised or recommended. removing the only solid support (shims) is a little baffling.

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