Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

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Gcam4
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Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#1 Post by Gcam4 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:22 pm

We're looking for an installer in the Charlotte, NC area. We have a 21 yr old vinyl sided home that has some swollen window sills on several windows. Two bathroom windows have leaking seals and are very foggy as well. Not really knowing what is going on with the window sills, we feel that a new construction window would be best so the windows can be sealed properly. We have had several companies quote us but the quotes don't seem consistent. We have had both low end (simonton 5050) and higher end (softlite pro) windows quoted at about the same price of $700 per DH window (30"x72"). Waiting on another quote from today and have one other company coming tomorrow. Not sure what to think of all this. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:42 am

Obviously we are talking about wood windows in the home with the "swollen" descriptor.

Not a huge fan of the 5050 so I would probably scrap that one from the line up options if it were me.

I would ask the Soft-Lite Pro installer for a quote on the Soft-Lite Imperial LS as well.

What other models are you getting ready to see?

Gcam4
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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#3 Post by Gcam4 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:00 am

Thanks for the insight so far. The company that came out last night is both an okna and sunrise dealer. They suggested a new construction replacement and redoing the returns on the inside. He noted multiple points of possible water intrusion around the windows and wants to remove most of the vinyl siding to do the install correctly and make sure everything is sealed properly. We haven't seen their quote yet but he is going to quote okna 500's and a lower end sunrise. He also had a higher end sunrise but he didn't think it was warrented. I don't believe we would go with the lower end sunrise as we're going to stay in this house between at least 5-10yrs.

Another softlite dealer is coming out today.

Our windows are vinyl and maybe my terminology is wrong when I say window sill. The bottom sills on the inside of the home are swelling on three windows that are side by side. I'll post a picture later.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:56 am

The swelling you are referring to is to the stool, it is an interior trim component. They are probably made of MDF or flake board and do not do well with water.

The Okna 5500DX ( this is the 500 series with integral nailing flange) is what you should use.

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Windowrican
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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#5 Post by Windowrican » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:35 pm

TheWindowNerd wrote:The swelling you are referring to is to the stool, it is an interior trim component. They are probably made of MDF or flake board and do not do well with water.

The Okna 5500DX ( this is the 500 series with integral nailing flange) is what you should use.

theWindowNerd
I have also experienced swelling of the stool, but its typically when I eat too much dairy :shock: :x :x :x

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#6 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:17 am

That was good for a chuckle this AM.

As to the OPs comments, unless someone can definitively tell you where the leak was coming from, the New Construction approach should address everything. It might be overkill, but until you know where it coming from, you don't know where to start.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#7 Post by Delaware Mike » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:29 am

We addressed a completely rotted interior MDF stool this week in which I didn't even utilize any kind of pry bar as my hands pulled the thing in about 100 pieces right up off of the rough sill. 22-year old home with vinyl siding that had the original flanged builder's grade failing twin unit removed by someone that didn't have a clue how to correctly install and flash windows. They put in a downsized twin (lowest grade window unit ever) as an express method atop the MDF stool and sheetrock returns causing the homeowner to lose most of the window pocket.

They capped the returns and gap to rough opening first over the j-channel and then put like 3 tubes of silicone around the window everywhere. No drip cap, sill cap bend not pitched, thus water sat on caulk like. Needless to say that after removing a flanged window and and performing what we call a slip method for this homeowner caused him to have to purchase windows twice as he only got 5-years out of the last windows purchased. The air and water leaks were so bad that he actually just put packing tape to the window and returns to dam things up. All sheetrock returns were rotted too.

There are all kinds of flashing videos on Youtube from the various premium flashing manufacturers that you can check out. If you're going the flanged new construction route, I'd suggest making sure your window installer, contractor, outfit, kind of goes over their method to make sure this is done correctly. It's not even that hard or time consuming but unfortunately we live in a world in which there are a lot of short cuts taken.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#8 Post by Gcam4 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:57 pm

So far, only the contractor with the okna is really interested in doing a new construction install. The contractor on Friday didn't think it is necessary to do what I was asking about and thought the existing windows had cracked on the interior weld and we're leaking because the weep holes were clogged. They said they would pull back the vinyl to have a look if it was bothering me. They also said that losing glass area with a pocket replacement wouldn't be a big deal. Needless to say I wasn't impressed with them and probably will not give them the job regardless of the quote.

I wish I knew how to work with vinyl siding, I would probably change them myself if I could. With it being 20 year old single lap siding I'm afraid I'll break a piece!

Has anyone had good luck with a certain contractor in the charlotte area?

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#9 Post by toddinmn » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:46 am

Id wait and see on the Okna's.
If you can handle a full frame install you can hand unzipping the siding. I have seen homeowners botch both and have seen them do excellent work.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#10 Post by Gcam4 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:58 am

Yeah, the okna or softlite pro is what we're thinking. It's just deciding on a contractor that is driving me crazy.

I've attached a picture of the "swollen stool" and a picture of how our window is set. As you see, there is quite a bit of leaking coming from somewhere.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#11 Post by Gcam4 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:35 am

I guess I need to resize my pictures to post them?

Still no quotes from the okna or softlite contractors.

I talked with another installer last night who actually offered full replacements or inserts. He is a native of the area and familiar with the builder of our home, Ryland, and said that more than likely the original window wasn't even sealed to the house and an insert would just subside the issues for a period of time. He is coming out tonight to have a look. The downside is he doesn't offer either softlite or okna. He does offer Anderson, Marvin, and Alside. He said he has been quite happy with the mezzo feom alside. I have seen favorable reviews of the mezzo but I know it isn't an okna which were fond of. Is there anyway to get okna's form a supplier and we just buy them?

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:24 pm

You can ask one of the pros here on the board to sale them to you.
Windows on Washington is the closest to you, great outfit.

theWindowNerd.
 

Gcam4
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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#13 Post by Gcam4 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:42 am

TheWindowNerd wrote:You can ask one of the pros here on the board to sale them to you.
Windows on Washington is the closest to you, great outfit.

theWindowNerd.
 
Thanks WindowNerd. I was really impressed with the contractor that came by the other night. He seemed to be very detailed oriented and said that what they are seeing in a lot of track built homes is that the builders are not even sealing the window to the house. He also said that since we have a vinyl sided home, it would not be difficult to do a full replacement and that it doesn't change the price much. He also gave my wife some options if she wanted to change the interior trim since it would be taken down anyway. The only downside was that he has never used OKNA which I believe is what I want to go with (wife just wants a nice window and isn't concerned with ratings etc.). He currently offers Alside, Anderson, and Marvin. The really good news is that he is completely open to other manufactuers like OKNA which he is trying to get pricing on.

I still haven't recieved quotes from the two installers from last week... Pretty frustrated with them honestly and after talking with the most recent guy, I think we have all but made our minds up.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:39 am

Installer selection is critical at the end of the day.

There are a handful of good products and Okna is just one of those. If he can source and upper end Soft-Lite (Imperial LS), that is a great option as well.

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Re: Installer recommendations in Charlotte, NC area

#15 Post by Gcam4 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:11 am

Windows on Washington wrote:Installer selection is critical at the end of the day.

There are a handful of good products and Okna is just one of those. If he can source and upper end Soft-Lite (Imperial LS), that is a great option as well.
Yes, that is what we are seeing. This gentleman basically said there is almost no reason to put inserts in and never pushed us towards putting them in like the other contractors. He said if we had a brick, stucco, or some sort of hardboard siding home, that would change a lot though. He just seemed like a good guy and wants to do what is best. That is what we liked.

I'm not sure if he deals with Soft-lite or not, I'll ask him. If the local OKNA dealer will not even quote me, how could I get OKNA? Would anyone sell them to us?

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