Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

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jng2000
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Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#1 Post by jng2000 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:13 pm

I am new to the window world and need to know what window is better: vinyl, fiberglass, composite windows? I am hearing the fiberglass windows are the new upcoming style, they are stronger than vinyl do not contract or expand as much. Is that information true, can someone help me out in comparing the three and which one is the best to go with. Thanks.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:45 pm

There are pluses and minuses to each of those three material substrates. As with all things, there is no magic bullet.

What material may be the best fit for you depends largely on the criteria you are trying to satisfy.

buddy110
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#3 Post by buddy110 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:32 pm

Fiberglass is the thinnest and most likely the strongest. It's made from a pultruded process. There are only a few manufacturers of this product as of now.

Vinyl is the cheapest and readily available from hundreds of manufacturers

Composite is a "catch all" phrase used to describe something different.. RBA for instance is like trex, not very strong. Okna on the other hand is a vinyl composite and usually has fatter extrusions. Composites aren't necassarily better than the others, just different.

Integra
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#4 Post by Integra » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:15 pm

I have to say that i was on the fiberglass bandwagon years ago, but they've lost a lot of their luster for me. Owens Corning has had a ton of problems with their original windows in terms of water infiltration because all fiberglass windows must be mechanically fastened.

I am intrigued by the celluca composite extrusions. My understanding is that they don't have the same expansion/contraction issues of conventional vinyl windows, they're stronger, and warmer as well. I'd imagine that their biggest drawback is that they're so large and bulky. I've heard they're more brittle when cold, but realistically - once they're in the wall, how of a factor is that? The only fabricators that I'm aware of that make celluca are OKNA and MI. Does anyone else?

The new glass coatings and spacer systems really intrigue me. It's exciting to see so much innovation in our industry again.

OKNA seems to really be on the cutting edge in terms of glazing, frames, and air infiltration techniques. Is there anyone else out there that is legitimately close to them?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#5 Post by Windows on Washington » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:01 pm

I would not use the Owens Corning experience with fiberglass as a bench mark of what Fiberglass performance is like.

There are stars in every material category listed here as well as duds.

Fiberglass - Marvin
Composite (vinyl) - Okna Starmark
Vinyl - Soft-Lite, Okna, Sunrise, Gorell, Simonton

That is my list.

Integra
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#6 Post by Integra » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:58 am

Thanks WOW. What is your opinion of Milgard's fiberglass unit? I used to sell the Comfortline window and that was a lot of fun to sell. Their website is gone, so I'm wondering if they went under? I didn't find them to have the highest morals, although that is a contradiction in terms in this industry.

I haven't seen Softlite in many years and I've heard they've improved significantly. I agree with you on Sunrise. Simonton is a nice everyday product, but it seems that they've opened every Tom Dick and Harry in the universe and it's harder and harder to make a dollar with them.

Does anyone else make a celluca window anymore besides OKNA?

Owens Corning made a celluca window called Generations right before they sold their window division to Simonton in 1998. That was the coolest window I ever saw. It's a shame that it never really saw the light of day. You could take that into the home and destroy everything else out there.

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Window4U (IL)
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Re: Vinyl, Composite and Fiberglass Windows

#7 Post by Window4U (IL) » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:22 am

Integra wrote:
Does anyone else make a celluca window anymore besides OKNA?
THV (Primax, NuView, ThermoView, Thomas Construction, Leingang, Rolox) makes one in North Dakota. I personally would never recommend this company after their two bankruptcies in 1998 and 2005 and the first hand negative experience I had in dealing with them. I did some installs for them(Thermoview) back about 10 years ago and got taken by them for over $2300 in shorted checks and material reimbursements. Scum IMO.

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