Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

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kaleb
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Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#1 Post by kaleb » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:29 am

We're considering fiberglass (Marvin Infinity) replacement windows (20-28) and sliding glass door vs. Soft-lite Bainbridge vinyl (I like the slim lines).
The strength of the fiberglass is appealing - but the color unattractive - the white is too grey. Same for another fiberglass brand I've seen. Another downside is the price vs. vinyl (the fiberglass is 40% more). My concerns with the vinyl are centered on longevity.

I'd much appreciate any comments on these lingering concerns/questions:

- Is there a good quality fiberglass window with a nice bright white color (not grey or blue)?
- Are my vinyl longevity concerns unfounded?
- Should my west-facing sliding door be fiberglass or vinyl? And since it's at ground level - should it have a thick (French) bottom frame or is a regular patio sliding door frame OK? Brand/model recommendations welcome.
- I want more light than less through the windows... Is there a good slim line vinyl window option that meets the tax credit qualifications and looks good (no ugly weld seams etc)? (I'm in Northern VA)
- Are the vinyls with metal reinforcement (at the top of the bottom sash) better than those without?
- What other tax-credit-qualified window can you recommend with high Visible light transmission. (I just hate the idea of cutting down on light).
- What price range should I expect for the Soft-Lite or similar vinyl? Is 500ish for a medium dbl hung installed a fair price or should I shop around?

Thanks

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:08 am

I would contact WOW. He covers your area and will be able to offer all the products that you would want.

canuck

Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#3 Post by canuck » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:31 am

fiberglass expands less than vinyl; ok, how does that effcect a window? the IG unit is sealed before it is placed into the sash,its then placed on set blocks while the sash has a weep system. again,how does fiberglass expanding less than vinyl make it better than vinyl?
keep in mind i'm referring to premium vinyl not a low grade.

buddy110
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#4 Post by buddy110 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:03 pm

anthony wrote:I would contact WOW. He covers your area and will be able to offer all the products that you would want.

I'll second that. Wow handles both lines you're considering I believe. He'll give you the straight story.

randy
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#5 Post by randy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:54 pm

- Is there a good quality fiberglass window with a nice bright white color (not grey or blue)?
- Are my vinyl longevity concerns unfounded?
- Should my west-facing sliding door be fiberglass or vinyl? And since it's at ground level - should it have a thick (French) bottom frame or is a regular patio sliding door frame OK? Brand/model recommendations welcome.
- I want more light than less through the windows... Is there a good slim line vinyl window option that meets the tax credit qualifications and looks good (no ugly weld seams etc)? (I'm in Northern VA)
- Are the vinyls with metal reinforcement (at the top of the bottom sash) better than those without?
- What other tax-credit-qualified window can you recommend with high Visible light transmission. (I just hate the idea of cutting down on light).
- What price range should I expect for the Soft-Lite or similar vinyl? Is 500ish for a medium dbl hung installed a fair price or should I shop around?
1. Inline fiberglass offers custom colors, so you could choose the shade of white that you prefer. However, it is not a narrow framed window.

2. Yes they're unfounded if you're considering higher quality products - Soft-lite, Sunrise, Okna. Cheap vinyl windows can have major problems in the heat though, and so you're right to be concerned in that regard.

3. This is all about personal preference. Neuma makes a good fiberglass door, if they're available in your area.

4. Okna makes a narrow framed window that Windows on Washington carries. He is a great resource for you, and I recommend (with the others) that you contact him.

5. Yes. Sash reinforcement is a must, IMO.

6. I'll defer to WoW on this, since I'm in a completely different region of the country.

7. Price varies widely by region and the details of installation, so again Windows on Washington is better equipped to answer this question.

Windows on Washington offers a variety of products, including the Infinity by Marvin. He will work with you to find the right product for your home and your budget. Whichever product you end up with, the installation will be superb and that's absolutely critical.

buddy110
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#6 Post by buddy110 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:47 pm

I've seen the Inline profile. It was larger than most vinyl window frames. Serious windows is using an inline frame and sash which the pump insulation in it. Inline is an ala cart company. If you want HM glazing they'll make it, or an IGU with a certain U/SHGC no problem, they'll make that too

kaleb
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#7 Post by kaleb » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:21 pm

Thank you everyone, esp. Randy for the detailed feedback.
I've contacted WoW and we'll go from there!.
Cheers.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Vinyl vs. Fiberglass

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:52 pm

Good choice. You won't be disappointed!

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