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 Post subject: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:33 pm
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We have narrowed our choices down to two companies and would really appreciate any of you veterans giving us your thoughts. We need 20 double hung windows. We are in the state of Virginia. Here are the ones we have settled on for now:

Choice 1 Very reputable area window company. Nothing but great reviews on BBB and have lists of previous clients to check with

Window is OKNA 500. (2 will be OKNA 800) Estimate= $10,500 or $8900 if paid cash in full
Lifetime transferable warranty

UV .25 SHGC .30

Choice 2: Very reputable window company as well. Great reviews, rated best window company b area magazine.

Their windows are built at their private manufacturing company. These are their features:

use Cardinal LOE2 270 (out of Roanoke)
Grade 50 performance
Continuous head and sill w integral mullion
all welded, sloped sill for water runoff
exterior glazed sash
long reach interlock
metal reinforcement at keeper and lock rails
dual weatherstripping
double wall frame
Glass LowE 270 and Argon gas Standard
foam in head, jamb and sill chambers
reinforced screen grid
reinforced bar across locking horizontal bar


the two window options are:

A: UV .28 SHGC .30 Estimate= $7300

B. UV .25 SHGC .28 Estimate= $8300

Triple lifetime transferable warranty


I think they both look like nice windows, but the only thing that concerns me is the fact that the second company's windows aren't a national brand. If anything were to happen to that company, I assume the window warranty would be worthless. They have been around since 2002 and are booming it seems, but.....I mean we have had our old windows for 30 years and haven't had to worry about a warranty, so is that something to really be concerned with? What do you all think? Thank you so much for your time and thoughts!!


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 988
Location: Houston, TX
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The nation's best manufacturers focus on doing what they do best; manufacturing. They know that companies who try to do all things, will not do anything exceptionally well. The same is true for just about every other product (shingles, siding, flooring, etc.....) Companies that make their own window, sell their own window, install their own window, and warranty their own window are never great at any one thing. The "jack of all trades, master of none" applies to this situation.

Go with the professional window contractor who has chosen a great window manufacturer and matches it up with top-notch installation. You'll be far happier in the years to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:29 am 
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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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The Okna window is a solid choice.

While several of the enumerated details of the second window sound nice, there is a way to say things in a technical type of speak that make them sound a bit more fantastical than they really are.

Several of those items fit that descriptor in my mind.

Not so say that option 2 is a solid window, I would just want to see some more technical details on the unit in this case.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:44 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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An additional item for product comparison would be air leakage rating.

Beyond that, I'd agree with the pros above. Dealing with a manufacturer that has been around for 20+ years and specializes in doing just that, is preferable IMO to a company that makes and installs their own windows. I'd also caution you that the term "manufacturing" can be used VERY loosely in these situations. Most manufacturers will design and construct their product. Many of these "one stop shops" however simply buy the parts that were designed and made by others, and simply assemble pieces. Is that manufacturing? I suppose so, but definitely to a different degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:30 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
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That is rather large discount for cash. We talking small unmarked bills or check?
Paid in cash, in full : does that mean being paid in full upfront??


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:33 pm
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yes, it is a discount for full payment (cash) at the time of installation. I am also sharing some other information from the last few days. I have the numbers for the air leakage for Company #2. They are .15 cfm/ft2 whereas the OKNAs are .02. That seems like a substantial difference. I am leaning toward the aesthetics of the OKNA. I really like the colonial beveled exterior.

Also, now there is a third horse in the race. I know most of you have not given your applause to Revere Berkshire Elites, but I have been reading some favorable comparisons between it and the OKNAs. One online source says they are virtually identical windows.The NFRC numbers for the UV and SHGE are similar as well. OKNA 500 UV .25 SHGC .30
Berkshire Elites:
BarrierXP ThermD iE 0.27 0.30 0.27 0.30
BarrierXPsc ThermD 0.27 0.21 0.27 0.21

The reason I am adding the Berkshire is bc our neighbor had them installed recently by a contractor we have both used for our homes. Their windows look wonderful and they have been very happy with them. He does very good work and we have been pleased in the past. We haven't gotten a quote yet from him on windows, but he puts in the Revere Berkshire Elites I believe. I'd like to see if those are an option as well, particulary if the product is similar to the OKNA 500 and he gives us a good price since we have a history with him. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:44 pm 
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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So far, it looks like the Okna is still the front runner to me. Not wanting to come off as a homer, but if you like the look, the performance is better, and the price is similar....seems clear to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:26 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:20 pm
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You are trending in the wrong direction here. While ratings as a general rule will tell the stroy of quality, there are always exceptions. There are a few windows on the market that are really low-priced, pretty entry level products that somehow squeeze out a decent rating and baffle everyone as to how, and I'd put that product in that category. I don't think that you could find a professional (other than those that sell it) that will speak highly of that option. It is also known as the Alside Mezzo. It has basically been a disaster since it was released, as detailed in a Plastics News magazine article last year. On top of that, AMI has some serious financial issues. I'd move on.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 666
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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Any good window will not need the assistance of " fuzz pads" glued to the inner corners of the window sash. First off they look ridiculously cheap, second, its a tell tale sign that the window isnt made very well. If it were, why would it need them ?
If you tilt in a cheaply made window, you will invariably see these ugly square pads glued to the corners that are supposed to block air. Some window companies actually get their windows tested with these pads which means by law, they have to sell the window with the pads.
You can take any window and load it up with these pads and get a good air rating. In fact, you can glue the heck out of any door or window and make it more air tight. However, is that what you want to do? How long until those pads fall off ? Take a guess.
Does the alside mezzo have those pads glued to the corners over the weather stripping???
I know soft lite and okna dont use them amd what a coincidence, they are considered upper end windows.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
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Reputable companies don't request full payments in cash upfront for discounts. Better windows out there than option 2. I'd start your search all over


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:32 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadephia Area
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The new ProVia window has some of the largest fuzzy cheater pads that I've ever seen in the corners of the sash meeting rails. Decent window though................

Clearly the extrusion engineers haven't spent their window apprenticeship installing for a decade to see the issue with this.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:51 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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@love2read, could you clarify your comment on cash payment. You said "at time of installation". Does that mean full payment upfront, as in BEFORE installation? ... Or is this just for full cash payment immediately upon completion? ... That is a big difference.

If the former, I'd agree with Todd. Okna is pretty selective about choosing quality companies to represent their product, however paying 100% upfront before you have received and material or labor is not the best idea. If the latter, no worries.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:00 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
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I think it is shady regardless of time. Obviously they are looking to not report income to IRS. Discounts for cash should be in the 3% range over credit cards, nothing on checks unless....
Cash is usually reserved for used items, contractors from Craigslist , drug dealers and hookers.


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 Post subject: Re: Narrowed down to two companies- any advice appreciated
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:17 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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toddinmn wrote:
I think it is shady regardless of time. Obviously they are looking to not report income to IRS. Discounts for cash should be in the 3% range over credit cards, nothing on checks unless....
Cash is usually reserved for used items, contractors from Craigslist , drug dealers and hookers.


Maybe taking it a little too literally Todd... Or maybe not. Around here a "cash" discount means cash or check. I think that we can all agree that the most important aspect is dealing with a reputable company. Asking or full payment upfront or for payment in actual cash are red flags, I'd agree.


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