Pocket v Full Replacement

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gingerysmith
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Pocket v Full Replacement

#1 Post by gingerysmith » Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:29 pm

My husband and I bought a house a few years ago and are finally ready to replace the non-functional, aggravating original windows. The house was built in 1988 and although the windows may have been nice at one time, the wood interior is flaking and worn, the seals are broken in almost all of them, and the mechanical bits are not typically in great shape, either. We live in a wet area, so not sure if the windows were ever nice or the house settled more than most. Our house is brick front facade and stucco with cedar trim around all the windows.

We are replacing 18 total windows, 9 double hung, 7 casement, and 2 picture in a total of 13 openings. We want vinyl for the low maintenance.

I, personally, would prefer to have full replacement windows. My reasoning is that I think the frames are not air-tight (you can put your hand near the interior trim and feel airflow) and i want to keep as much glass area as I can. I'm not sure how much the extra labor is worth - i'm not all that knowledgeable about the installation itself, so i feel like i'm floundering when i talk to the window people trying to explain what i want.

My husband thinks it isn't worth the extra labor and installation, so he is fine with the pocket or insert replacements.

What would be the best route here?

We are looking at Soft-Lite and Okna (and i am getting a pella and RBA quote just to compare). A relative who is a GC also recommended simonton to us, but i've read that they have thicker vinyl than some others.

masterext
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#2 Post by masterext » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:41 pm

Soft lite and okna are great options. Simonton is very bulky, outdated, and not very efficient.
Pella is also dismissed by many pro's here.
Depending on what state you are in, both okna and soft lite should be available.
A properly installed replacement usually works very well opposed to new construction install which is what you called full replacement. New construction is at least $250 extra per window and could be much more.

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:43 am

I would agree with MasterExt that the initial additional cost is ~ $250 per window.
In most cases I like the full frame project for the reasons that you mention: the window frame to RO interface can be foamed with low expansion window and door foam, you maintain more visible glass. Almost always you have a VG loss with a pocket insert, that can be calculated based on the new model you pick. The difference between X as an pocket/insert as compared to a full frame replacement is 1.5" in the width and 3 " in the height.
Insert/pocket replacement does a great job too. If your windows are larger, 36" x 60", then the VG loss or difference is not as noticable. With the install the old frame should be sealed and that will reduce the air infiltration, or you can caulk the interior trim to the wall.

Lastly the ~$250 is not the only additional cost typically for a full frame replacement. The norm is that the new interior trim and window sills will have to be painted.

theWindowNerd.

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Delaware Mike
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#4 Post by Delaware Mike » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:36 am

$250 would be a very minimal up charge for full frame replacement. I do like this for a home at your age. The tie in of the exterior can play a part in the equation as well. Messing with the trim boards and stucco could hurt the pricing.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:43 am

In my observations, the truth is probably on your husband's side (Yay!!!...the husbands win one...not many...but one) of the logic stream.

The fact is there there is plenty of air moving in the wall that probably will not be addressed via a full tear out. If you wanted to drill some small holes in the wood jamb of the original wood window, you could inject some small amounts of foam in there to seal the old jamb to the stud, but even then the air seal is questionable at best.

The reality is that air is moving all around in that wall from a great many locations and it is just coming out where there are gaps in the wall.

The full tear out will not impact that air inside the wall any more than an insert and you would be better suited to spend that differential in investment is some full house air sealing and insulation that would have some real impact in total air loss.

gingerysmith
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#6 Post by gingerysmith » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:28 pm

Thanks for all your input! One of the window installers also mentioned that we should consider insulating the walls as opposed to it being an issue with the window frame allowing air flow.

As far as full replacement goes, i'm not overly concerned with the interior trim, because we plan on painting all the walls and trim in the house (currently stained and not in very good shape). I do worry that if they remove the exterior trim they may ding up the stucco, but I was under the impression that they had to remove that trim for some of the inserts replacements, too? I could be wrong on that.

Just for information, we have gotten 3 estimates thus far for 18 windows (with 13 openings), but not for soft-lite or Okna until next week.

--Pella 250 series double hung, encompass casement, all full frame replacements: $12,000 (Can't figure out how this has been the cheapest)

--RBA fibrex: only casement would be full frame replacements, which is 4 of the 13 frames: $20,000 (but if we bought the day of the estimate, it was only $18,000, if we do all full frame replacement it is $26,000. . . and this was after the initial price before discounts was $40,000. Hate this sales tactic of convincing you you're getting a good deal.)

--Simonton 5500: full frame replacements: $13,000 (but i really wasn't happy with the quality of the window - the seams were not clean, there was vinyl dingle berries all over, the joints didn't seem to fit together perfectly)

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:35 pm

what town and state is your project in?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#8 Post by Windows on Washington » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:58 am

Not really a fan of any of those 3 options.

The fact that you will be painting the trim definitely makes a slight difference, but you will still need to figure on the cost of replacing all of that interior trim (i.e. differential expense) as part of a full tear out vs. insert.

gingerysmith
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#9 Post by gingerysmith » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:14 am

We are in Columbus, OH.

We are getting quotes for soft-lite and okna, the companies that install them just couldn't come out as quickly. We've pretty much eliminated pella, RBA, and simonton - so here's hoping we like one of our other 2 options and they are within the budget.

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#10 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:27 am

Your two upcoming options are much better than what you have seen, and will likely come in somewhere above the cheap stuff, but lower than the RBA.

Other guys covered the installation details pretty well. If you don't have rotted frames and aren't particularly worried about a little glass loss, you are a good candidate for replacements. Air leakage around the original frames is not a common issue, however when it is it can be addressed by pulling the casing and foaming. This is an extra cost of course, however it would be much less than a full tear out or can be done DIY.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:07 am

+1

I think your last two should hopefully be your best two.

Keep us posted how the other visits go.

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:49 am

Any more thoughts on full frame vs insert?
Full frame would be my preferred option though it is not always easy to justify the cost difference. I like to present both sets of cost so that the homeowner can make an informed choice.

theWindowNerd.

gingerysmith
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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#13 Post by gingerysmith » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:06 pm

So, after a few weeks of waiting for the contractor to get me estimates, I have Soft-lite and Okna numbers. Yay!


Soft-Lite Imperial LS w/super spacers (and full screens): $10,500 for full replacements - i'm a little wary that this is full replacement on the double hungs, although they have told me it is when i asked for assurance. From my understanding they use a subcontractor (so that may explain the lower cost??), but they've used the same sub-contractor for 20+ years and i am waiting on the insurance for the installer specifically. They have been really responsive to questions.

Okna 800 series: $14,300 for full replacement on the 4 casements ONLY - it would be $300 per frame on the other 9 double hungs if we wanted to do that. They seemed to think that the cost-benefit there wouldn't be worth it. I have not actually been able to lay eyes on an okna since they didn't bring one with them when they came for the estimate. They took almost 2 weeks to give me the cost estimate after the visit.

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:56 pm

Both good windows.

Assuming that installation details and quality are similar in nature and the performance data/glass packages are analogous, there is no justification for the additional expense if you ask me.

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Re: Pocket v Full Replacement

#15 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:18 am

I agree with WOW. Both are excellent windows that I would use in my own home.
The price difference is extremely wide. $ 10,500 compared to $17,000(compared with all full frame). It sends a red flag to me. Make sure the SL bid is correct.
Usually when we see a price difference like that, where in general the product cost should be similar, there is either a difference in spec or scope of work or one company is a heavy hitter.

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