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 Post subject: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:43 pm
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I recently bought a 2 family house in northeastern NJ and as part of the renovation process I am replacing ~30, 32" x 69" inefficient windows. I am planning on going with vinyl replacement windows and I am trying to find a mid range product, but the more vendors that I meet with, and the more I read, the more frustrating and confused I become. The vendors and quotes that have been given to me are the following:
*Hanson Brothers / Ideal Windows of Bayonne, NJ (U factor of .29, lifetime warranty) for $375 per window installed
*Universal Windows Direct of Fairlawn, NJ (triple payned glass, U factor of .27, lifetime warranty) for $375 per window installed
*Castle Windows of Parsippany, NJ (U factor of .29, lifetime warranty) for $350 per window installed
*Tri State Window Factory of Clifton, NJ (U factor of .24, lifetime warranty) for $500 per window installed
*JJ Windows and Door / Pella of Elmwood Park, NJ (fiberglass windw, U factor of .28, lifetime warranty) for $800 per window installed.
Between U factors, warranties, price, reviews, etc. I am truly struggling with what to do. Everyone tells you their windows are the best, but the more I learn the more frustrated I become. Hopefully help is out there for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:23 pm 
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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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Those are very low and suspect installed prices on most of the vinyl quotes. Can I assume that your install is very basic and doesn't require any exterior capping?


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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First of all, let me just say that you have yet to speak with the best Jersey has to offer. Masterext is a board contributor servicing your area, and you can find him here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5350
Just click the get a quote button next to his name.
Secondly, I'll say that any quote you have that is under $400 should be thrown out, as even that price would be suspect. A quality window and install really cannot be had under that, and in many circumstances even more.
Lastly, the way to compare is to look at structural ratings in addition to thermal. In NJ, the general rule is the you want the U value as low as possible(.28 or lower in double pane), the shgc # higher (.25 or higher), Air infiltration lower (below.1) and DP 50 or higher. All of those in addition to a true welded, sloped sill, will put you in a great window.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:43 pm
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The quotes for installation includes capping and insulation in the window pockets.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:51 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:11 am
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Location: New Jersey
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I would not even consider Castle and their expander on all four sides of the window install.
Ideal windows would certainly be mid grade.
I would expect a better ufactor from a triple pane. Did Universal reveal who manufactures the window they offer?
We have a lot of companies in NJ offering windows under $400.00 most are not very good but certainly cheap.
I always thought that I was the best NJ had to offer.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:02 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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:lol:
Universal offers the Polaris Thermalweld (at least in most markets), although the Ultraweld would be my only recommendation from that manufacturer.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:43 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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There are many great products and contractors to choose from in NJ.
In vinyl I would take a look at soft lite, Highmark, sunrise. All those mentioned will meet the high empirical standards that home sealed has mentioned.
Don't give up, you are becoming educated about two very important things, the right product and the right contractor.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:13 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:43 pm
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Location: Lower Hudson Valley NY
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I'll agree with pretty much all the advice you've gotten here so far. Less than $400 is a red flag IMO. Contact masterext if you can. He'll steer you in the right direction.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:18 pm 
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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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windowxpertsplus wrote:
i agree with any window under $400. would probably not serve you well if your looking for quality. i am familiar, as most on this board are, with Castle Windows and find them to be average at best. Universal windows is a relatively new company and is compared to window world often, neither has a great reputation. The Tri-state window seems very interesting with a U-value of .24 at that price, Im assuming its vinyl, JJ windows with a fiberglass(not sure which manufacturer) seems to be priced right, and Hanson with the ideal window, average in # and performance seems to be priced ok as well. Was there any company/window that you liked more than another? Did anyone seem to stand out or give you something different? Maybe that will help with your decision. Hope this helps


That window at the U-Factor of 0.24 is the Hard coat Low-e combo.

While it does give some nice "numbers" type data, I do not recommend it at all because the condensation resistance suffers considerably with the Hard coat low-e. Even an insulated double pane window will sweat like a champ and you will not be happy with that performance.

That glass package is a great numbers grab but many manufacturers got away from it just for those condensation resistance issues.

I would make sure the window that you get is sub 0.30 in a double pane and has a solid air number (under 0.10).


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:00 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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The best advice for you that I have seen to to contact Masterext through this web site.
Find some of his post and click his "get a quote" button.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:48 am 
I have used a U .24 on many occasions and have never experienced any condensation resistance at all. As a matter of fact my customers have told me how much they loved their new windows, i called one last night just to make sure ( i did the job a few years ago) and he said the windows have been great. No air leakage no drafts, i would say that is a success.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:43 pm
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Some good information from everyone, very much appreciated! I am meeting with another vendor on Monday and he is going to show me the Okna line, so we will see how it measures up. I don't know who manufactures the windows from Universal, but the sales rep keeps the pressure up (keeps lowering the price, trying to sweeten the offer, telling me the deal ends in a day or two). If anything, when I finally decide who to go with it will be a more informed decision than it would have been had I chosen a week ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:03 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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travel21 wrote:
Some good information from everyone, very much appreciated! I am meeting with another vendor on Monday and he is going to show me the Okna line, so we will see how it measures up. I don't know who manufactures the windows from Universal, but the sales rep keeps the pressure up (keeps lowering the price, trying to sweeten the offer, telling me the deal ends in a day or two). If anything, when I finally decide who to go with it will be a more informed decision than it would have been had I chosen a week ago.

I am not a fan of those tactics at all. It would probably disqualify that dealer for me, especially since their offering (Polaris Thermalweld ) is not going to fare well against the other premium choices. Even the entry level line from Okna puts it to shame, and the offerings of Softlite and Sunrise do as well.
Everyone will want to talk to you about gimmicks and fluff, but I cannot stress enough that the truth is found in the numbers as I specified above. Condensation resistance is an important concern as well, and that number should be as high as possible. A hard coat Low-e coating is not at all desirable, and is only acceptable in specific circumstances such as blinds between the glass, or special climate considerations.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:43 pm
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The final decision seems to be made and I am pretty sure I am going with a combination of Okna 400 series on one floor (the rental floor), and the 800 series on the other floor (my level). I am comfortable with the windows, the performance numbers on the line, the rep who showed them and the reputation his company has, and the reviews on the window and the installer. Thanks to all for their input and the information this site has provided. I found it all very helpful, and made my navigation of the window minefield a lot easier. Without it, I am fairly sure I would have ended up with a different decision, which I might have regretted.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated and confused:trying to find the right replacement
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:07 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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Excellent choice. I'm sure that you will be very pleased with your decision... Be sure to post back with your thoughts after the install. :D


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