Okna replacement windows questions

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ctviggen1
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Okna replacement windows questions

#1 Post by ctviggen1 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:31 am

We are looking to replace many windows and 5 doors (2 sliding/French) in our home. I have been getting quotes for Andersen 400 Woodwright and Marvin Integrity all ultrex or wood ultrex. However, I stumbled onto Okna windows and it seems they are a valid option, with better sealing and better air infiltration rates. For our windows, we need a full replacement, meaning all exterior trim and interior trim is to be replaced. (The reason we have to replace many windows is because the exterior trim is rotten and one or possibly several windows leak.)

1) Is Okna suitable for full replacement/new construction?

2) People here discuss 500, 600, 800 and other series of Okna windows, but when I go to the Okna windows website, these numbers don't exist. Instead, there are Envirostar, Eco-pro, Insul-tec, and PrecisionWeld (for double hung, anyway). How do these correlate?

3) The manufacturer of our current windows is out of business, therefore I cannot get any weatherstripping. What are the chances Okna will be out of business in the future?

4) Is there a comparison online that compares Okna windows? For instance, why would I choose one window over another? We want white exteriors and white interiors and don't need staining or architectural details, though a nicer looking window would be OK. I'm mainly looking at air tightness and overall function. We don't even need tilt cleaning (have never cleaned our windows since owning the house), but everyone seems to implement that.

5) Can we use any exterior trim? We would like to use Azek or other PVC product.

6) We have one dealer in our town of Okna windows. There are at least 2 other dealers that service this area, although they are well outside the area. Should we get multiple quotes? I know nothing about any of these dealers.

7) We have a contractor who built houses for a living but now is "just" a contractor. He expanded our decks and rebuilt them, and they are so good we've had people ask for his contact information. Could he buy these windows and install them? We would like to use him, as we know his quality of work, but it seems difficult to do this.

8) Is there a way to search this board? When I use the search function on the top of the webpage for "okna", I get nothing.

Thank you.

ctviggen1
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#2 Post by ctviggen1 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:15 am

After further research, for (1), the Okna website states the Envirostar is "Available in Replacement applications", but for the Eco-Pro it states "Available in Replacement and New Construction applications". Does this mean I can't use the Envirostar if I'm replacing all exterior and interior trim?

Also, (9) why do people use double hung instead of single hung windows? We have never pulled down the top part of our double hung windows. I could see maybe using this for young kids on the second floor, so you could get some air in but leave the bottom part of the window down. This could be the same for pets, I guess. But for us, with older kids and no pets, it seems useless. Would it affect resale to have single hung windows?

masterext
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#3 Post by masterext » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:34 am

The enviro star is the 800 series.
Eco Pro is the 600 series.
insultec is 500 series
Prevision weld is 400 series.

Both the 600 and 500 series come in new construction and replacement. The 800 and 400 come in replacement only. However, your contractor can order nail flanges for the 800 and field apply the window and make them new construction.

The Okna 600 series and 800 have very similar engineering features and are built very well. Properly Field applying a nail flange to the 800 series is very secure and will not compromise an installation in any way.

Even if you never open the top sash, it can still be tilted in from the inside and easily cleaned opposed to a single hung which would need to be cleaned from the outside. Double hungs are also better for resale value as well.
Last edited by masterext on Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#4 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:39 am

Here goes.

1. All of the series can be used for new construction and replacement with the exception of the PrecisionWeld.

2. 500 = Insul-Tec, 800 = EnviroStar, 600 = Eco-Pro, 400 = PrecisionWeld, 900 = Starmark

3. Okna does not make the weatherstripping in this case so I am sure you would be able to locate it should you need to.

4. If the Air Tightness and thermal performance are important, Soft-Lite (Elements and Imperial LS) compared well to the Okna window.

5. Yes.

6. I would start with the one dealer and see how do as well as talk to some references.

7. Again, talk to the dealer first, but be aware that most do not do this.

8. You can use all of the windows (except the 400/PrecisionWeld) as both new construction or replacement.

9. Functionality. While you may never clean your windows, the fact that you have that option on taller structures (i.e. can't clean from the ground), is a good thing. Many folks like the ability to vent through the upper sash as well to exhaust some of the heat. For the very small delta in price...go with the Double Hungs. There is virtually no price difference at the end of the day.


Where is the home located?

ctviggen1
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#5 Post by ctviggen1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:20 am

Thank you both. The house is located in Connecticut.

I am going to see the Okna windows on this coming Saturday (went this past Saturday, but they were closed for the Columbus Day holiday). This is at the dealer in my town. I will then drive to a dealer with Andersen 400 Woodwright windows and Integrity (by Marvin) windows, and maybe the Infinity windows.

For #3, I should've also asked about resale "value" or name brand recognition. I was at a dealer of Andersen/Marvin windows, and he said that people buy Andersen or Marvin because of the name-brand recognition. Then, he asked me if I've ever heard of a brand, which of course I had not. I wonder if when I go to sell this house if I have to also "sell" the windows? That is, tell people what their features are?

By the way, buying windows is as bad as or worse than mattress shopping. The lines are incredibly confusing. For instance, Marvin makes Marvin, Integrity, and Infinity; Andersen has two lines in the 400 series, the Tilt-wash and Woodwright; Integrity has an all fiberglass model (ultrex) and a wood-clad fiberglass model (wood-ultrex), and also makes another fiberglass model (only) in Infinity.

You also can't see these side by side. I went to a place that sold Integrity and they had the wood clad model, but we really don't need that. I really wanted to look at the all fiberglass model...which they did not have. Then Infinity is sold by different dealers, and you can't see this at the same location you can see the Integrity (both all fiberglass). It's confusing.

I'll look into the Soft-lite too. I'll report back once I look at all these windows.

ctviggen1
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#6 Post by ctviggen1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:29 am

It doesn't appear the Soft-Lite has a dealer in Connecticut. They do have at least one across the border in New York, but I'm not sure they would come into Connecticut. That's too bad, as they look like a well-engineered window.

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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#7 Post by masterext » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:24 am

If you ever sell your home and your realtor advertises your home as having Okna windows, most people probably never heard of them but you can be sure they will wonder who Okna is and why would a realtor mention that brand. They will most likely research the name and see just how good the window actually is.

ctviggen1
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#8 Post by ctviggen1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:06 am

For me, I'm an engineer, so I research everything, including windows, and prefer function (with some looks) over name brands. I determine what I think is the best product for me (or in this case my family and house) without regard to what most people are looking for. For instance, for cars, I've owned a Jeep Comanche, Saab 9-3 Viggen (hatchback), VW Jetta wagon, Chevy Volt (hatchback), and now a Honda Civic Hatchback. These were the cars that fit the criteria I had at the time. Many people where I live drive Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, etc., but I don't see the need for that; function is more important than form for me.

So, I'm more than willing to look outside the box to find windows that are better at air sealing (for instance) than typical windows. If Okna are those windows and I can get someone I trust to install them (and my wife approves), then that's what we'll do.

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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#9 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:48 am

Good info from the esteemed pros above.

My contribution would be to recommend that you assess your goals for the project, consider window materials (wood vs vinyl vs fiberglass), and narrow that down. Once you have chosen a material based on its fit to your needs, then look at a couple great products made of that material. Based on what you've stated so far, it sounds like vinyl would be an excellent choice for you given your "function over form" preferences. A premium vinyl window like the Okna or Softlite will outperform all wood and fiberglass offerings in every thermal and structural performance metric. The reason to choose wood or fiberglass would be aesthetics, and/or prestige, neither of which seem to be on the top of your list. Given those facts, I'd suggest not wasting anymore time on those materials.

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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:42 pm

I agree with Homesealed that concentrating on what is important to you will help narrow the field.
I offer and install everything you have mentioned plus some. For performance, low upkeep, and function I would choose the Okna 600 ( though the 800 is my fav). The reason for the 600 vs 800 for you would be the integral fin, not sure I want to put anyone through appling the snap on fin, though it works out fine. I just really like the sash handles(800) instead of lift rails(600).
" I wonder if when I go to sell this house if I have to also "sell" the windows? That is, tell people what their features are?" download or get a copy of the brochure for the model that you end up using and save it with your important home papers for sale time.
So yes you can use any type of exterior material for trim, from PVC to fly ash depending on your end design and color.
On the interior you can do a 5/4 OG stool with 3 1/2" Atlanta/Windsor casing, or craftsman, or etc.

theWindowNerd.

ctviggen1
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Re: Okna windows questions + search function

#11 Post by ctviggen1 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:05 pm

I think I'll like the sash handles, too. Good idea about downloading the info. I will look at all of these windows and make a decision on Saturday (or perhaps be more confused!).

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