Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

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monkeylizard
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Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#1 Post by monkeylizard » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:59 pm

I have 3 quotes as follows of various sized vinyl windows:

Pella 20*: $17,200 (Installed through Pella Direct)
Alside Excalibur**: $18,200 (Installed through a local company of 40+ years)
Wincore 7700: $24,382 (Installed through another local company of 40+ years)

Continued web research consistently shows that Pella isn't a good choice. I'm also finding that Alside isn't a bad window, but is overpriced. I liked both of the demo units for Alside and Wincore about the same. My untrained eye can only say "erm...OK...that looks nice." The features semed very similar (Low-E glass, argon filled, double hung, vent latches, double strength glass, full lifetime warranty backed by both local companies, etc.)

My question is: are the Wincore 7700's worth $5,000 over the Alsides? I haven't negotiated prices with either of them yet. I suspect I can get both down a bit, but not sure how much. so, how about it? Worth the difference or not? I plan on staying in the house for at least 15 more years.


*Pella is less because I have a connection with them. They're normally about the same price as the Wincore's or a little more.
**Salesman said it's an unlisted Alside that's made for them that's like an Excalibur "but a little better"

monkeylizard
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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#2 Post by monkeylizard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:51 am

Add:
The Alside guy said I can get the Alside Sheffield (vs.Pinnacle.Excalibur) for $1650 more.

Any opinions on that option?

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#3 Post by Skydawggy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:10 am

As much as I dislike Alside windows, given these choices I'd go with the Excalibur. <puke> :lol:

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#4 Post by monkeylizard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:38 pm

I've been reading a lot of the forum threads and I keep seeing things like "look around here and you'll see why Pella/Alside is not a good choice." I keep looking, and all I'm seeing are more posts that say the same thing. Can anyone tell me why they aren't a good choice? Do they have poor welds? Is the spacer insufficent? Subpar insulating values? Are the sashes not closing tightly? Do the latches not align properly? What is it that you guys don't like about these two?

I see things like "you can get a better window for about the same price" but what makes a Milgard/SoftLite/Sunrise/Okna/Simonton better than a Pella/Alside/Wincore?

After seeing some posts suggesting Simonton over Alside for the price point, I called in company #3 to quote those. They have switched from Simonton to Wincore (the website still said they're Simonton, that's why I called). Another thread on here seems to suggest that a Wincore 7700 is comparable to a Simonton 5500, which seems to be given a decent standing on the forum.

Should I try for yet another brand/quote? I'm in the middle Tennessee area, so Okna and Milgard are out. No reps near here. The house was flooded a month ago and windows are sort of holding up the rebuilding process. I don't want to rush the most expensive part of the project, but I'm getting a little antsy with 3 to 4 week lead times on these windows even after I make a decision.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#5 Post by Skydawggy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:40 pm

One of the reasons Pella isn't a good choice is because the relatively cheap grade of vinyl that is used. You don't have to be a window expert to just squeeze the vinyl and see how flimsy it is. Then ask yourself how well this window is going to perform over the next 10-15 years. Another reason Alside and Pella aren't good choices is because of the high air infiltration rates compared to some of the better windows on the market. There are all some some design flaws with a few of the Alside lines of windows.

My understanding is Wincore is a pretty descent window. However, it is a new company and many of us that have been in the business for a while tend to shy away from new companies becasue of the high incident of failure. When that happens, we get left holding the bag so to speak. Schuco, Force V and Echo Windows being recent examples.

There are other reason, but I hope this answers your questions.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#6 Post by monkeylizard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:47 pm

That's very helpful. Thank you.

What would be some of the "better windows on the market" that I should take a look at? Not just brands, but the individual product line too. I have a total of about 30 windows, give or take a couple depending on how you count. And as shown above, my pricing so far is in the upper teens to low twenties. I'd like to keep it in that same ballpark.

Soft-Lite, Milgard, and Okna are not available here.
Simonton should be available. The guy selling Wincore said he can still get Simonton if that's what I want.
Sunrise dealer is coming out tomorrow.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#7 Post by Skydawggy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:51 pm

Simonton Refelections 5500, Prism Platinum and Impressions 9800 would be what I would look at in the Simonton Lines. All are good overall performers and all meet the tax credit standard.

Sunrise is also recognized as a top performer. Look at the Vanguard and the Verde.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#8 Post by monkeylizard » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:06 pm

As a follow-up....the prices above were slightly off once I sat down and got the quotes all figured out to compare them evenly. Close, but not quite right. Either way:

I'll use my Pella inside good-buddy price as my base line.
Alside Excalibur is 9% more
Wincore 7700 is 34% more
Sunrise Vanguard is basically dead even.

Sunrise Vanguard seems to be the way to go.

What kinds of questions should I be asking about their install process?


I know this is a window forum, but what's your opinion on Pella doors? I'm looking a steel door with full sidelights and a full transom. I like some of what they have, and I hate to have called in a godd-buddy favor and not give them any business.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#9 Post by Skydawggy » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:36 pm

The only steel door we recommend is by Provia. 24 gauge steel for the Pella, 20 gauge for the Provia. Provia is second to none in CS.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#10 Post by monkeylizard » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:21 pm

Correction....It's not Sunrise Vanguard. It's just regular Sunrise.

So my choices are
Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, and regular Sunrise. Each is about the same price, once I get the quotes down apple-to-apples. Or I can spend more on Wincore 7700.

So far, it seems to me like the installation on these is going to be the biggest differentiating factor. One may be a bit better than another, but not if it isn't installed right. What are some key things I should ask the installer to get a comfort level that he knows what he's doing and will do a good job?


We need a :confused: smilie....

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#11 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:41 pm

Sunrise.

Easy choice.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#12 Post by Skydawggy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:47 pm

+1

Sunrise.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#13 Post by monkeylizard » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Thanks guys. I was leaning that way. Two of the neighbors went with the Alside Excalibur, and now I see what you mean about the QC. The screens don't sit straight, so either the frames are bowed, or the screens are. Some of the mitred corner welds are nice and neat, and others have gaps. "Inconsistent" might be a good word.

Now, can you guys help with what I should be looking for with the install? Should the installer be stuffing pink insulation around the windows, spraying a foam around them, nothing at all? Three are going on a brick facade, the majority are on vinyl siding. Should the J-channel around them now be replaced? Should the windows be attached with the nail fin, or should the nail fin be removed since it's exsiting construction? Should the old ones be pryed out, or sawz-alled out (they are aluminum)?

Those questions and more are on my mind..... I'd hate to pick a quality window and have a poor installation.

The salesman wasn't very knowledgable about the install process, but I also got the feeling he's new to the company. That's not a big deal. I'd just like to know what I should be asking the actual installer about. I won't buy until I can speak with him directly.

The company I'm working with has been in business for a while, so I don't think it's fly by night. They're on the BBB, but that doesn't mean that much. They are licensed contractors. They're small, so I couldn't find a lot in the way of reviews online.

Thanks again. You two have been a big help, both on this thread and on the board in general.

-monkeylizard-

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#14 Post by buddy110 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:56 am

Sunrise ftw. Look at HMI doors as well. Better quality, more security features and a bit less money than Provia. The only draw back is a 4 week lead time.

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Re: Pella 20, Alside Excalibur, Wincore 7700

#15 Post by monkeylizard » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:02 pm

The Sunrise windows arrived today. 7 windows for 8 openings...oops. The factory apparently put the wrong grids in one of the windows. A minor inconvenience. It can wait until next week to be changed.

The crew got 5 of the others in today. I'm curious about the size of the gap that should be around the windows. The old aluminum ones have about 1/8" gap on either side. The new ones have 1/2" on average on each side. Is that normal with replacement windows? I know that there needs to be enough room to plumb them up and make them fit, but the gap seems a bit larger than I had expected.

There also may be a problem with one of the windows. The frame is not square. I'll have the installer check it tomorrow as I didn't notice it until he had left for the day, but there appears to be a 5/8" difference in the window frame height from one side to the other. The bottom is level. The sashes are level. But the top of the frame is not.

I'll post back more when they're all done. Hopefully I'll get a good blowing rain storm before I put the drywall back in. Then I can see if I have any leaks.

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