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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:50 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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I agree.

It will make the back appear larger with the additional visibility and size.

Love the steel roof by the way!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:19 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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Thanks on the steel roof, it makes a huge difference in heat penetration as well as insurance. We love it (even more because the previous owner put it on).

Ok, so I have a bunch of quotes in hand. This window journey has been quite eye opening to see the vast differences in pricing, even for very similar or the same thing. Okna is definitely out with no local vendors and the only Soft-lite dealer is Zen, but all signs point to their mid-grade offerings, not the top of the line ones. Here are my contenders:

Ratings are: U/SGHC/VT/AI/DP
Sunrise Essentials - $19.4k .29/.21/.49/.06/25
Sunrise Vanguard - $29k .29/.21/.49/.02/52.5 (company #1)
Sunrise Vanguard - $26.7k .28/.21/.49/.04/52.5 (company #2)
Softlite pro "lotus" triple pane - $28.6k .22/.19/.43/.06/45
Softlite Classic "nirvana" double pane - $23.4k .27/.21/.5/.07/45
AWS - $14k .25/.21/.49/.07/50

AWS is quite a bit cheaper as it is a one man operation. He does come pretty highly recommended, but that may partly be because of the cheaper prices. I know it is a local place, but the numbers for the window are pretty impressive. They have reinforced meeting rails, but not the entire frame. The reason it is still in here is because just subjectively looking at the numbers between it and the Sunrise essentials, it is a better window. It has an insulated frame, which Sunrise won't do, which appears to show in the DP number.

This is all pricing for straight swapping of what we have today. I still think we will swap some of the windows with sliders/picture, as I think it will look good on the back of the house to have a uniform look with all vertical glass. My one concern is for sliders/picture windows, how much less efficient are they? The Sunrise booklets and all literature that I have seen have basically ratings for SH/DH, but not for sliders/pictures.

I should also note, my wife is having a hard time wrapping her head around seeing similar numbers for specs, but twice the price. Not the easiest thing to quantify how much more value you are actually getting for the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:12 am 
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Any link for the AWS window offering.

Throw out the Essentials. It is an absolute worthless unit and does not need to be in the comparison.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:18 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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This is the main page for the window: http://www.americanwindowsystems.com/window_energycore.htm

Here is the product brochure: http://www.americanwindowsystems.com/downloads/Complete-EnergyCore%20Brochure.pdf

Finally, here is single hung brochure with AI and DP numbers: http://www.americanwindowsystems.com/downloads/EnergyCore_Sell%20Sheet_Single%20Hung%20Tilt%20Sash.pdf

That is what I took from reading about the Essentials (especially since you can't reinforce in any way).

I understand the risk that I would be taking if I went with AWS and the installer or company disappeared in 5 years. That obviously needs to weigh in on the decision. I did notice at the bottom of the page, it says: "A Window Inc. dba American Window Systems", not sure that means much, as I can't find all that much on a window inc, as it is pretty generic terms for a search. Then again, IF we used them and they are a quality product with a quality installation, they could last for 20+ years and we might never have to deal with them again. I feel that with the options available, Sunrise is clearly the best product, but it is worth twice the cost of AWS?

EDIT: A couple more quick notes. One of the Sunrise dealers did say that he will use AWS for geometrics sometimes because they cost a lot less than the Sunrise equivalent or if someone wants cheaper, he will use them there, as well. Also, I think at this point, my wife is tired of having sales people come to the house. We have a 6, 2, and 1 yr olds, so life is pretty crazy.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:17 am 
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A pocket sill is a non-starter for me usually.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:38 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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Ok, thanks. This gives me something tangible on top of the warranty concerns that will differentiate over a 10k difference. I am sure we could find some other vendors that have the mid grade windows I have seen mentioned like NT, Simonton, etc but we really don't want to go through more sales preso's. If the difference is going to be a couple grand between a mid grade and Sunrise, I don't see the point in going mid grade. But if these AWS were comparable to a mid grade, it makes more sense at 10k+ difference.

With the reconfig of sliders in the back, it did come in a little cheaper at under 25k. Now that the heat broke here, wondering if it makes sense to wait a little while and see if I can get better off season pricing.

WoW, you want to open a DFW branch and bring me some Okna windows? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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Just because I didn't think I had a true mid grade window after seeing that about AWS, I am having NT Presidential and Energy Master both quoted. If those come in close to Sunrise, my choice is then easy. If they are quite a bit less, my choice should be easy as well.

I assume both of these windows (fully upgraded) are on par with, if not better then, the mid grade soft-lite windows? The company quoting gets very good reviews and obviously SL would be via Zen and I have read enough about them to be a little leery.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:29 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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NT presidential came back at $16.8k for dual pane, foam filled frames. So basically, it is 50% more than this to go with the Sunrise. I think my decision has been made. Not sure what other upgrades there are with the NT's, but even with them and all optional upgrades, it is still going to come in a lot less than Sunrise.

It might even be an option to upgrade to triple pane to really get the UF and SHGC numbers down.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
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Location: Houston, TX
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If the local dealer is pricing the Sunrise windows out of your comfort zone, the NT Presidential loaded up as you’re getting it is a good mid-grade choice. Your analysis is sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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Thanks.

The NT dealer is coming out next week so I can check prices on triple pane and any other optional upgrades there are. Plus I need to check their installation practices as well. I definitely feel good about these, as Sunrise is not necessarily out of my price range, but I have to be able to quantify what would justify paying 150% of the NT price.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
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Location: DFW, TX
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So the dealer came out today, np pressure, but wanted me to see the difference between NT Presidential and Milgard Hermosa (designed for TX market). Very similar windows, liked them both. He said the Milgard would be a little cheaper (minimal difference most likely, less than $1k when comparing apples to apples). It has 1" space between panes, smaller frames and a better warranty. They do have higher DP, so maybe a little more stout than the NT. Can't find much about the Hermosa outside Milgard's own site, any thoughts on them vs the NT? He basically said couldn't go wrong with either window, but wanted me to have a choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
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Location: Houston, TX
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I’ve never heard of the Hermosa line from Milgard, but I’ve never been overly impressed with Milgard vinyl windows in general. They are pushing hard to establish themselves in the Texas market right now, so if they’re designing a window specifically for our environment, that’s a good thing.

Speaking strictly from experience with the vinyl lines that Milgard has offered in the past, I doubt the Hermosa is any stouter, particularly since you mentioned that the frames are narrower. A higher DP rating can be achieved by modifying weep holes, raising sill dams, adding fuzzy pads at the meeting rail, etc.... Therefore, I wouldn’t put much stock in that.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
Posts: 30
Location: DFW, TX
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Ok, thanks. My wife likes the style of the Milgard better than the NT and I agree, they do have a nice look to them. The other selling point he made was full lifetime warranty, parts and labor on them. They did have reinforced frames with aluminum, but don't do foam filled frames. Not sure that is a huge deal, but I would prefer it for a little extra structural rigidity. Attached is a pic of the Milgard.


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IMG_20160823_171501085.jpg [211.04 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 988
Location: Houston, TX
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Sounds like you’ve found your window. Milgard’s lifetime labor warranty is unique, and a nice bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Shopping for windows - American Window Systems?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 am
Posts: 30
Location: DFW, TX
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Well, I do want to get the numbers for them, first. Strangely enough, the literature doesn't have any UF/SGHC/AI numbers. I found AI of .08 for most of the windows on a document online. I will say, with a lifetime warranty, I feel a little better about them, assuming UF and SHGC are good. Being that they are designed for TX, would think at least SHGC should be good. The brochure is literally 4 pages total, so not much info in there.


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