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 Post subject: Topic for Debate: Whats the worst vinyl window made?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:26 am
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Since there seems like there are hundres of vinyl window manufacturers, what is the worst vinyl window out there?

Home Depot has one for $99. Looks like the corners are fusion welded and I believe it has LowE glass. So why is it so bad?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1327
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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The worst window is any window that is not properly installed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:26 am
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Windows4u,

My father in law thinks that I should have done this job of installing the 24 windows myself. I think I could have gotten them in and caluked and reasonabily level but couldn't have done the capping and it would have taken me a year to do it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:28 pm
Posts: 243
Location: WISCONSIN
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Putting windows in yourself is ok if you don't care if there accurately measured, leak air excessively, maybe a little water coming through now and then and having to choose from the cheaper varieties available to you. Because the better windows are sold through a dealer network only. And then of course having to deal with warranty work with a seventeen year old who works part time on the weekend who really doesn't understand what your talking about when you tell him you have a cracked weld and when it rains your living room gets flooded and he sends you home with a sodering iron.
About your question who makes the worst window-somewhere in the top ten well be the 1200 series sold at Home Depot (American Craftsman) I've sold and installed some of them (may God forgive me) I think the only solution to improving the openings I've put them in is to brick them shut on both sides.


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 Post subject: What to look for in a vinyl window
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:24 pm
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What's the worst? What's the best? My question is: what features should I want in a vinyl window? I live in MD and experience mild to harsh winters and moderate summers. Rarely is it below 20 degrees F during the winter or above 95 degrees F in the summer.

I've read other posts rating Andersen and Pella at the top of the "best" list. Why? What do these manufactures do to their windows that others are lacking? What about Alside UltraMaxx or Simonton Prism? Are they any good?

So, help me out here, what should I look for in a vinyl window from a features, manufacture and customer service/warranty perspective?

Thanks for your help.

Mark


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:24 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 222
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Asking that question is like going to a car show and asking "what's the best car made"? No disrespect to you at all, but you'll get so many different objectives it will boggle your mind. Personally I'll take my 68 Shelby Cobra with the 428. Sorry I lost my head for a moment. Most of us can say we feel that Schuco stands out above the others when it comes to vinyl. Gilkey, Gorrell, Simonton and Milgard all have great lines of windows for the everyday user. The other end of the spectrum brings us the low end units like Phillips - Marquess, Silverlines - American Craftsman (Home Depot) and even Pella's - Thermastar (Lowes) is hit and miss when it comes to quality. I hate ripping Pella because I install them daily but I'm just being honest. These bottom end windows are where the quality installer pays off. In order to deal with the poor products it takes a skilled installer to get the window to perform to it's best. The standard DIY person will have no clue what they are looking for when it comes to these situations. Even the high end windows come with issues we deal with in the field daily. A good installer can usually remedy this with out incident.
Clad windows are a debate in different area's of our Nation. I like the Pella products along with Marvin. Eagle and Vetter also have great products here. Fiberglass windows I'm extremely prejudice on with Pella's Impervia line. Marvins Infinity fiberglass is also very well made.

When shopping for windows glass is a good starter. The spacer used in the glass is important. I'm not going to open that can of worms so just check some of the past posts on "Spacers" and read away. Otherwise it's all preference and appearance for most others. Since we install windows we deal with those we have less problems with. If we can sell a window with little or no defects. We can then sell a product we feel comfortable with to our end customer. When it comes to vinyl I use a local manufacturer that offers me a great window at a great price. I'll put it up against any other vinyl window out there. All my orders are here in two weeks and I rarely have problems. If I do they have a Service Man who can deal with issues most the time same day or with in 24 hours. Best thing to do is see what's available in your area. Good Luck I hope this helped you out in some way!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:28 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:26 am
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Guy,
Fair enough, but how about a little twist to the question.

What vinyl window company is associated with the outrageous claims and sleeziest practices?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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I'm going to stay away from that one. No lawsuits for me thank you.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:46 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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It would be a much shorter list of you wanted the companies that don't use outrageous claims and sleazy practices. The two biggest problems in the window industry is that most of the people in upper management positions push the outdated sales techniques that were popular when they were younger and selling. The second is simply a lack of education and proper training of the salesreps. As I tour plants and talk to reps, I am amazed at the false information being given out from the district managers, and even CEO's of some of these companies. I often wonder if they know it's false or if they really just don't know any better. I usually just blend into the crowd touring while taking notes and shaking my head. On a few occasions, I just couldn't hold back and I wind up spoiling their little party. I especially like the parts when I ask them a technical question in a room full of people that a manufacturer should know and they respond with, "Great question... Next question?"

Just yesterday a rep from Comfortline came into my office. After exchanging names of others we both know in the industry, he gave me his presentation. Part of it included how great the PPG intercept spacer was. I just listened, looked at him with a grin and said, "Are you sure about that?" Within about a minute, he said OK, OK.. the truth is that Comfortline has decided to change to Cardinal Glass XLedge and are going to discontinue the PPG. Now why wasn't I told that in the first place? Before he came out, I asked him to tell me what the combined frame and sash width was on their double hungs to the edge of glass. I was told 2-5/16". I put a tape on it when he was here and it was 3-1/8". Again, did he lie, not know or just think I wouldn't check?


Last edited by FenEx on Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:23 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:26 am
Posts: 41
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The vinyl industry seems to have some basic attributes that lends itself to what we are seeing:

1. Low barrier to entry for new manufacturers. It seems to be pretty easy to become a vinyl window manufacturer. What are the ingredients of the window: Vinyl, glass and the material for the spacers, whether stripping and gaskets? Locks are pretty much the same. You don't see 400 car manufacturers because the barriers to entry are very high. Vinyl windows on the other hand seems like an industry that you can setup shop, create a web page and some advertising and go into production quickly.

2. Vinyl windows are lucrative with high profit margins, especially if you both manufacturer and sell the product. That was prety evident in the Applyby 34K that I recently got.


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