Vinyl replacement options

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windowrookie
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Vinyl replacement options

#1 Post by windowrookie » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:33 pm

Hi,
We are looking to replace 7 of our single pane windows. Hvae got quotes from about 4 different companies for vinly replacement windows as follows:
1. MI - $2100
2. Alside - $2100
3. Simonton generations - $ 5000
4. Atrium windows - $2000

Can anyone please point out pros and cons? Why are the Simontons so expensive? Has anyone heard of the MI windows? We live in MA.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:50 pm

Which models of the 1,2, and 4 choices?

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#3 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:09 am

The Simontons may be on the high side, but that depends on the type of installation and option content. It is the best window on that list, so the price should reflect that.
On the other options, as WoW said, it will depend largely on which model is being quoted, although none of them are generally thought of as top choices based on performance ratings. What I can say, is that given the price (approx $300 per window?), you are probably looking at some entry level products. You just can't get a high quality product and installation for that kind of price.
My suggestion would be to get another quote or two, as you should be able to find a very good to great window from a reputable company somewhere between those price ranges. $3500-$4000 (give or take) should be doable, but again, the option content will play a large part in that.
In MA, you should have access to a bevy of quality choices. To name a few: Sunrise, Okna/HiMark, Softlite, Polaris, HomeGuard, Gorell, and Affinity. That list ranges from very good to great in no particular order.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#4 Post by windowrookie » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:40 am

Thanks WoW and Homesealed.

The models for the options other than Simonton are:

Atrium 3000 series
MI 1450 series
Excalibur Alside (dont know more than that)

The windows I am looking for have following features:
1. U factor of 0.30 or less (0.3 is state code)
2. double hung with half screen
3. double pane with argon gas
4. grids (the grids for Simonton are the most expensive at $500 for 7 windows (6 double hung and 1 picture window). So, I am debating if I should not get gids to save some money.

I am not sure if I should add insulation in the hollow chambers in the frame or no? Do you think it makes a difference and is the price worth it?

Thanks for your help

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:18 pm

The Simonton is the best of that bunch but probably not worth that premium.

Of that group, the Atrium is probably the best value.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#6 Post by masterext » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:40 pm

Both the MI and Excalibur are total garbage and the atrium is not far behind.
2100 for 7 windows is a red flag. The simonton is the superior window. I'd rather see you pay more opposed to cutting corners , skimping on quality ,and doing the project twice. On top of that, cheap windows will make your home look cheap.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#7 Post by windowrookie » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:49 pm

I am trying to find a HiMark window dealer in MA but having a tough time. I have called and left messages at HiMark to see if they can let me know any dealer/distributor in MA but no response yet. Does anyone know any HIMark dealer in MA? OR does any one know a good window installer who I can trust to install for me if I buy the windows?

How does the Harvey Classic compare with Simonton Generstions and HiMark (lets say 800 series)?

Thanks,

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#8 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:31 pm

Where in MA are you located?

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#9 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:44 pm

windowrookie wrote:I am trying to find a HiMark window dealer in MA but having a tough time. I have called and left messages at HiMark to see if they can let me know any dealer/distributor in MA but no response yet. Does anyone know any HIMark dealer in MA? OR does any one know a good window installer who I can trust to install for me if I buy the windows?

How does the Harvey Classic compare with Simonton Generstions and HiMark (lets say 800 series)?

Thanks,
No comparison among those products. The HiMark is on another level as far as all measurable areas are concerned. I'd put it ahead in the more subjective areas as well.
The Simonton is solid, but the HiMark is on another level IMO.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:27 am

The industry has not used R value for many years. If you do make sure you use total unit R value, not just a selected section that is filled with foam.
U value is todays total unit test/calculation to compare thermal performance.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#11 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:39 am

R-value and center of glass (COG) U-value are two of the most common ways that unscrupulous sales people will mislead you into thinking that a product performs better than it actually does. TOTAL UNIT U-VALUE is the rating that comes on the sticker of every window, and is certified by the NFRC. In conjunction with a few other ratings like air infiltration and a climate-appropriate shgc, it is the proper way to compare the efficiency of one window vs another.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#12 Post by windowrookie » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:24 am

Ok, I got some more quotes based on the forum's suggestions. here they are:

1. Okna 400 series - $3150 (includes, grids for 6 DH and one picture window, remval, some parts+glass and labor warranty, and wrapping the exterior). The guy said the frames are hollow but can be filled with insulating foam for an additional $50 per frame. Is it worth going for the additional foam in the frames? fRANKLY, i did not like the sales guy who had come to show us the windows, he did not know much about his own windows but was ready to trash other windows by just saying that they are garbage. I asked him about okna 800 series and he could not tell us about the benefits of 800 series over 400 but said it would be additional $75 per window to go with the 800 series. Is it worth the additional investment to go with the 800 series?

2. Softlite Imperial - $2950(includes, grids for 6 DH and one picture window, remval, some parts+glass and labor warranty, and wrapping the exterior). They dont sell the Softlite Elements in MA but the sales guy said that it is just different name for selling it in different parts of the country. The Imperial and Eseential are exactly the same windows.

3. Harvey Classic - $2850 (includes, grids for 6 DH and one picture window, remval, some parts+glass and labor warranty, and wrapping the exterior)

4. Simonton Gnerations - $5000 (includes grids for 6 DH and one picture window, remval, some parts+glass and labor warranty, DOES NOT INCLUDE WRAPPING on the outside)

Would love to hear perspective from members of this forum on pros and cons of each window. I want to make an informed decision and select the best product and company. The Simonton windows are obviously the most exensive but please let me know if they are the best of the list and worth the extra dollars.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#13 Post by masterext » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:05 am

The Harvey classic is a mid grade at best; not a fan at all. Very thin walls and not very good performance numbers.
Simonton is better but not in the category as Okna/ himark , or soft lite.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:17 am

Option 1 or 2.

The salesman is incorrect in that the Elements is same as the Imperial if he is referring to the Imperial Pro or Classic. The Imperial LS (if that is what you were quoted) is very similar and about on the same level as the Elements.

If you quoted the Imperial LS, that is a better window than the Okna 400. The Okna 400 will give you more visible glass and a bit more minimalist frame but the performance (DP, air, etc) are better on the Imperial LS. If you were quote the Imperial Pro or Classic, the Okna 400 is just as good as those windows if not a bit better.

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Re: Vinyl replacement options

#15 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:24 am

WoW's comments are spot-on. The Okna 500 or 800 would be a better comparison to the Imperial LS, and then it is probably a toss-up with each having their own pros and cons.
If it is not the LS that he quoted, but the Imperial Pro or Classic, it is a step down. Not bad (still better than options 3 and 4), just not on the top level. The sales guy is being truthful (for the most part) if he is saying the the Elements and Imperial LS are the same. There are a few little differences, but they are very close.
It looks as though option 1 and 2 are the best choices, and I'd narrow it to those two. Get a final quote comparing the Okna 500 to the Imperial LS, and then decide based on which installer you prefer, along with price and the minor product differences. They are two different windows from two different manufacturers, but the ratings are very close so the main difference will be aesthetics.
The Simonton is a decent window, but definitely not worth a premium in this case.

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