Atlanta Remodel

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stephenson
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Atlanta Remodel

#1 Post by stephenson » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:11 pm

Hi All,

Great board and comments ... have read hundreds of posts while trying to gain broader understanding of options.

Have a mid 1960s remodel in Atlanta ... mixed brick and siding exterior, standard stick built walls with about 30 double hung windows.

The owner (my son) plans to move in 3-5 years, and is doing the remodeling himself - BUT wants professionals to do the windows mainly to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

Prior to my involvement he received 6 bids from reputable installers - all with different windows and most of the bids are less than clear wrt the exact model of window and what upgrades they may or may not have.

After a long discussion and getting confused on the products, we are regrouping and looking for a way to sort the actual products separate from the installation.

Given his circumstances and probability of moving within 3-5 years, I have recommended he consider a lower priced, but good quality window backed by a reputable company. If I had to quickly list my short list of companies they would be Soft-Lite, Simonton, Okna, Ply-Gem, and Sunrise. Don't know if all are available in Atlanta. Interestingly, one company bid Soft-Lite Barrington (a low cost fav on this board) and Okna 500 as a upgrade option.

Would appreciate thoughts on his best course of action. While we recognize how great it would be to buy the highest quality, the financial considerations dictate lower price (and, commensurately lower performance) - anything will be better than the single pane wood windows he has now.

Thanks to All!

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:29 pm

Seems like you got some good feedback on the other board.

stephenson
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#3 Post by stephenson » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:07 pm

WoW,

Thanks for all your professional help thoughout the window buying community ...your openness and helpfulness has probably improved outcomes for consumers, installers and producers.

I've read thousands of posts and am still trying to come up with a lower cost solution ...I would actually like to do the work ourselves, but it would be too disruptive of his life and work life ...mine too.

My sense is that most professionals are professionally involved in their craft and really want to influence the homeowner to use high quality components and installation for long term utility. Makes sense ...but, what if we were to approach the issue as one would flipping a house as a contractor ...would the solution be the same?

What if ...I wanted the absolute least expensive product that is the highest quality within its cost band ...how would you approach the solution? The original windows were so bad compared to any sort of solution now available, that most any solution is going to be better for energy conservation, right?

The Atlanta house window bids range from 12-16k for 33 windows. He didn't get exact apples to apples bids, so there is an uncertainty band of a couple of percent in the range I provided. Installers were all from Angie's List and the Windows included Asure, Mezzo, Bainbridge, Slocumb, Okna, and Soft-Lite.

Thoughts on a "low cost, permissible quality solution?"

Was reviewing PlyGem 2000 ...don't know what price point is ...thoughts?

stephenson
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#4 Post by stephenson » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:26 pm

More reading ... How about ValueSmart from Polaris?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:40 am

Having used that little devil, it is about as good as I think you can do at that lower price point.

It does run a bit thin on the extrusions and can be questionable in the larger openings, but we had good luck with it as a price sensitive option years ago.

Thank you for the kind words by the way. Much appreciated. :D

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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#6 Post by masterext » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:12 pm

Value smart is an ok option for openings that are'nt particularly wide( under 36" ) .
I would seriously consider the other higher end brands you listed ( soft lite, okna, and slocomb). As for slocomb, the upper 2 models they offer are the only ones i would consider. That said, its a bit bizarre that they use fiberglass insulation inside their extrusions but thats a different subject.
It is important to understand the significance of a home improvement project. There is a rather distinct difference between an expense and an investment. A good window is an investment, a cheap window is just an expense and a waste of money in my opinion.
Investing 12k in a solid window makes much more sense than spending 8 or 9k on a lower end window offering, i see no value in that logic. Far too many home owners are under the impression that such and such window is " good enough" when in fact their probelms arent fully solved.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:28 pm

I have to agree with Masterext. I have used the Valuesmart from time to time as well, however it is really a steep drop in quality. On paper it makes a compelling case, but the build quality just isn't there. We recently did a job with 8 Valuesmart DH's, and 4 of them had service issues, ranging from warped sashes, to rhombus shaped screens, to a stress crack. Ultimately, the mid-grade offering from a highly competent manufacturer is as low as I'll go these days... Just not worth all of the headaches.

stephenson
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#8 Post by stephenson » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:05 pm

Been giving this some more thought ... son took some photos of existing windows ... only place I could put them was at http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/58550035 ...

We had already gutted the house and it has been re-drywalled - left the trim off everywhere knowing would be re-windowing.

There is no rot anywhere - so, does this seem like a good DIY project? We have the skills, but not the knowledge :-) Would obviously take longer, but looks like such a simple tear and install ...

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#9 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:06 pm

Looks like a great candidate for an insert window and some exterior capping.

stephenson
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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#10 Post by stephenson » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:30 pm

WoW,

Yeah, zactly what I was thinking after reviewing how simply his windows are built ...given the simplicity of the old windows, II believe he could do this sort of job himself and then farm out the aluminum capping of the sill and trim.

On the other hand, it would take a lot longer than he probably wants to be working on it :-)

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Re: Atlanta Remodel

#11 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:50 pm

I would look at the Okna 400.
He can save a bunch by doing the window install himself then having the capping done.

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