Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

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LoneStarGuy
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Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#1 Post by LoneStarGuy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:35 pm

So I met my installers when they came to measure at my home just outside Austin, TX. Here are a couple of notes and then questions.

They are a two man team who work for my siding company, but also do jobs for one of the big companies. For my siding company they do the measuring, but for the big company the sales rep measures. They say when the sales rep measures they use inside the sheetrock installs which they hate because of loss of glass and the excess trim on the outside. They also claim the sales rep suck at measuring - sometimes being off by a 1/2 inch or more.

They prefer to cut back the sheet rock and get a tighter fit and maximize the glass when they measure. They prefer to use minimally expansive foam. They install multiple brands of windows and do a lot of Don Young aluminum plus different vinyl manufacturers. They don't do as much DYC vinyl. I seemed impressed with their knowledge and liked how they worked together to measure - plus sharing the same goals I did.

Good news. I removed the MDF inside sills and they measured that my windows in siding increased a bit in size as some of my existing windows have up to a 1/4 inch gap that was uninsulated by the original builder.

However, they measured most of the openings in my brick to be a 1/4 inch smaller in each dimension than what I have now. For example, 35.75x59.75 instead of 36x60. Sadly it means not exceeding 5.7 square feet for one of the bedrooms. My city allows replacements of the same type in brick openings to not meet easement but I still prefer it in case of a future over zealous home inspector. As per my luck, the closet window in the same bedroom came out at a perfect 36x60 (5.71 per DYC) even though it is also in brick on the same wall, but I know I can't use it for egress.

The installers say they target less than a 1/8 of gap around the window - they said they don't want to force the window into an uneven brick opening plus they need space to insulate. They showed me that the brick overlapped most of the current windows a bit and was not evenly laid - that made sense. Never noticed how sloppy the masonry was before....

Next, the old windows have 2.5 inch frames and the new ones will be 3.25 inches deep. They said that they will cut back my sheet rock but not by the 3/4 inch I was expecting as they will set the window so it sticks out over the brick further than the current windows? My the current install has brick going just under and next to the old "new construction" aluminum builders grade window. We have no trim, just brick and window.

As an alternative, I asked if they could just remove all of the sheetrock and then insert a full-size 36x60 window from the inside but they insisted that would be bad as this would direct water to a caulk line that would be inside or lower than than the brick which would send water into the wall and not down the brick sill.

They said placing the window farther out will give a better install and allow for better drainage from the sloped vinyl window sill to the sloped brick? Does this make sense? Any other ways to do this?

Will the screws be able to hit studs if the window sticks out into the brick? I thought vinyl replacement windows have set places to put the screws so they hit the studs? Am I missing anything?
Last edited by LoneStarGuy on Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions.

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:23 pm

Sounds like they are going to be a good crew.

Are the bedrooms on a first floor? If so, they don't require 5.7 sq/ft.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions.

#3 Post by LoneStarGuy » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:27 pm

They are on the second floor.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#4 Post by LoneStarGuy » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:32 pm

Well the saga continues. My contractor is no longer going to install DYC products. So he is going to look for an alternative. I asked it be like or better and at the same cost. I asked him to look into Soft-lite, Sunrise, NT Window, Ringer (local company), Milgard and the Simonton 9800. Any other products to add to the list for Central Texas?

One thing I remembered about NT is the only do double-sliders and not single sliders. Not sure what the benefits of a double slider are considering the costs of air leakage and more complexity.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#5 Post by randy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:53 pm

If you have a name and contact number for the two installers who came out, I’d appreciate it if you’d pass it along to me.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#6 Post by LoneStarGuy » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:31 pm

I didn't get the installers phone number, I just have that of the company and there estimator/sales rep and one of their first names. Are they doing something wrong, or everything right?

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#7 Post by randy » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:26 am

No, nothing wrong. They actually sound sharper than most installers I’ve ran across in the Austin area, and thought they might be some guys I should reach out to is all.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#8 Post by LoneStarGuy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:44 pm

So my contractor called and we spoke about potential options.

He can do Milgard, but it seems their vinyl windows have pocket sills depending on where the window is made and the AL numbers aren't impressive. Milgard is not clear about what spacer they use - it sound an a lot like the Cardinal XL edge. My contractor seemed frustrated by the lack of details about their spacer as well. He said it would be about the same price as DYC $9600 quote for 18 windows. Milgard seems to have a good warranty as it covers labor My contractor asked me to specify the line I want and he will quote it, but I am not seeing a line with a confirmed true-sloped sill. Milgard won't do the LoE-340 I want on the southwest side, but he said he can order those from a different manufacturer. No details on if Milgard uses a reinforced sash or the glass strength. Any thoughts on Milgard and if they have a slopped-sill or what type of spacer they use? What options are good for Texas?

He can do Simonton Asure or 5500 for about the same price as DYC, but the 5500 looks to bulky to me and the Asure looks like an inferior product with cheap elements to it - not impressed with their warranty, but he says their initial service and fulfillment is good.

He can get Sunrise (did not name line) but it would be at least $5000 more over the $9600 DYC install. Not sure I want to spend that much more. He also said the Sunrise folks didn't have info on Duralite or spacers. Do few customer's care? Seems odd to me he had trouble getting details like that from different manufacturers.

He can get and install Ringer windows but at a higher price than is DYC quote - he will send me a quote once I tell him the line. If it is much higher I, may be better letting Ringer install as they offer a lifetime warranty on the install (but don't use the foam). Ringer has their Elite series that has a true slopped sill but also shows "one way drainage ports". Their website has very detailed technical drawings which is a plus. Can a window have both a pocketed sill and sloped sill? Also, all of their sliders have "drainage ports" in the lower frame. Is this normal for all sliders? On the downside, Ringer has not been forthcoming on AL numbers, saying it is buried in their test data and is similar to NT. They only use the stainless steel Cardinal XL which they claim is fine for central Texas. They do offer the LoE-340 glass. Ringer also uses aluminum reinforcements and double strength glass standard. Their frame/sash is a narrow 2.25 inches on the Elite which sounds good.

NT Windows - he is still looking into it, but it sounds like the price would be higher than a very good quote I got from another provider. It was hard to hear him on the phone but it seemed like their local dealer is a competitor so he'd was not be able to get a good price through NT but it is still not final. Maybe I will call back that company again....

Doing my own research, I also see Atrium is available around here, but not seeing too much about them. Any other options to consider. My contractor mentioned Anderson and Pella from the local box stores, but not sure I trust them based on feedback here. Any thoughts?

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:02 am

Why not DYC?

Do not be deterred, your attention to detail will make a difference in your outcome.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#10 Post by randy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:18 am

I’m not a Milgard fan for multiple reasons, (vinyl thickness, pocket sill, standard strength glass, etc...)

Simonton 5500 is a decent window, but it’s an old design and, as you noted, quite bulky. Your assessment of the Asure is correct. Simonton was recently purchased by Ply Gem, a company with a less than stellar reputation in the industry.

The Sunrise model is probably the base Sunrise, and that isn’t reinforced - nor is an option that can be added.

It sounds like Ringer is promoting a sloped sill that isn’t a true sloped sill. A true sloped sill is sealed to prevent water from running through it at all. Some manufacturers manufacture windows that have a sloped will, but allows water to infiltrate at the joints where the sill meets the jambs. While not as bad as pocket sills, it’s still a weakness in the design and manufacturing process. Every manufacturer (that I’m aware of) has weep holes in their sliders as it operates completely differently than a single or double hung.

I would give NT another shot, however, their frames are about as bulky as Simonton 5500.

I would avoid Atrium like the plague and vinyl offerings from Andersen and Pella aren’t far behind.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#11 Post by LoneStarGuy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:58 pm

Long story short, my contractor stopped using DYC because of order entry errors they wouldn't rectify.

Thanks for confirming my fears about Milgard. The lack if info on their specs really bug me. Their lock on the Tuscany looked attractive.

The thing that bugs me most about NT is they only make double-sliders - not sure why they do that. What is the benefit versus cost of air leakage and cost. I will be reengaging them for an new quote.

Simonton is out too I guess. Never really liked their design.

I think I may use Ringer for their single sliders and the two SH covered by the front porch, and casements for the egress upstairs in front.

Who does a good job on casements? I got one window in a closet and could manage with a picture window if it had the same look. I'd love a casement/PW that looked like a SH/DH.

I am thinking if a do my own install on the easier windows- new construction into siding/first floor I could upgrade a bit with my savings - thinking Suntitive instead of the LoE-340. I would still hire pros for the harder to install locations windows in the brick (just 3 of them really) on the second floo) plus the more special order stuff like Suntuitive.

What is bad about Atrium? Is it like MI? Builder grade?
Last edited by LoneStarGuy on Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#12 Post by randy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:58 pm

Atrium is a lot like MI actually. Neither are recommended here.

Sunrise makes one of the nicest casements in the vinyl industry.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#13 Post by LoneStarGuy » Wed May 09, 2018 6:20 pm

So my contractor called back this week. He got me another quote for my local manufacturer higher than what the manufacturer charges with their own installers. He can't find a product at a similar to DYC with a true-sloped sill, double-strength glass, non-metalic spacer, etc at a cost similar to his DYC quote. He is having trouble getting info from Milgard on their glass specs.

I am leaning now on buying sliders and a awning from the local company directly and just installing them myself in siding. I'll then do the brick in round two with the same sliders and single-hungs from elsewhere. I noted with both DYC and the local manufacturer the installer was charging 2.5 times as much for labor as for materials.

The wife got a call for a Home Depot estimate - I will get the fun of hearing their pitch and testing his lack of knowledge on windows.

My siding installer says if I do the windows myself or find another installer for them he can work with me to get the siding install to occur right after the windows are done. Right now I am leaning on buying my own windows and doing my own install. I'll probably rent a boom crane of scaffolding so I am not installing from ladders.

I can't imagine purchasing from HD. Be interesting to see how the HD guy reacts to me showing him like 10 quotes if his price is not the lowest or how he deals we me asking specifics about spacers, glass thickness, AL #'s, etc, etc.
HD was out 5 years ago and gave a ridiculously long presentation on siding and a high price, but if the siding price is negotiable I might bite. I certainly don't find their window products to be anything worthwhile, but if he can meet my criteria by some miracle, I might listen.

I located a lumberyard that should be able to get me Sierra Pacific products and another Milgard. Another's lumberyard website claims to sell NT - I may try them as well to at least see the product if possible.

Questions:
Can the Millard get the double-strength glass as an upgrade? I may do them for my single-hungs and the local company for the sliders. Is it possible for DIYers to purchase the premium brands directly? I'd consider driving to Houston or Dallas to get them. Lastly, anyone hear of All Seasons Windows out of Tyler, TX? They claim to have a single hung, take-out sash with incredibly low air leakage of .02 CFM with a true-slope. They use the Duraseal spacer.

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Re: Met my installers, more questions (and a roadblock)

#14 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu May 10, 2018 6:15 am

I can't imagine a scenario where DS glass isn't at a minimum, an option. Most of the window companies specify it as a standard these days.

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