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 Post subject: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:28 pm
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I have a pretty big job of 45 windows replacing standard contractor grade junk with something more efficient and better looking. I'm in the St. Louis area. I think I have narrowed the choices down to Champion Windows or the Home Depot In-Home Services window (not sure who makes it). I also priced out Pella, but that didnt seem that good and dropped it. Happened to be shopping at Lowe's and let the guy talk me into a pricing out ReliaBilt - made by Atrium I think. They priced the 3301 with "Tax Credit" glass and is dramatic savings over the other two and appears to be about same look/feel - but then again, I wouldnt know what I am looking at anyway any more! Lowe's sent their installer over and I liked him - think he would do good. I'm confused by all the sales pitches though. All seem good products, all have lifetime warranties, all meet energy savings criteria for tax credits. Anyone have any advice? Thanks!

Sorry -wrong board, meant to post this on the Questions board, but happy for any advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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I think you need to expand your search quite a bit. This is a big investment and I am not comfortable recommending any of your choices right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:09 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:28 pm
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I also looked at Andersen but didnt see the value in the added costs. I found a ton of other lower-end vendors. Are there others that I should look at?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Great Lakes/PlyGem, Sunrise, Softlite to name a few. I'm assuming that you are looking for more of a "mid-priced" window than high-end, and all of those companies have nice, budget-friendly offerings that are still good quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:28 pm
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I thought I was actually on the higher-end with Simonton (HD) and the Champion. We looked at Renewel by Andersen too, but I just didnt see how its was 25% more. The Atrium from Lowes appears to maybe be a small step down, but I'm having a hard time judging. Pricing has been $22K -$30K fully installed. Andersen was at $41K. The pricing spread is confusing - they appear to be similar windows but there is a huge spread between Lowe's (Atrium 3301) and Home Depot (Simonton) on the high-end. We have about 35 standard double-hung window 35 x 71 60/40 split windows and then about 10 mix arches and larger picture windows.

Our main goal is to improve our efficiency. Not necessarily for energy savings, but more for comfort. Energy savings are good too, but not main driver. House is drafty and you can feel the cold air coming in. Ice forms when you take a shower, I expect some moisture, but not ice! Reverse in the summer. Want it to look good, but not over the top. Dont want to price ourselves out of the real-estate market by going too far to the high-end and dont want/need colors and wood finishes.

Going to look at Marvin and Softlite tomorrow. Welcome other suggestions for St. Louis area. THANKS ALL.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1329
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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I'd contact Okna for a dealer. They have a dealer in central Illinois that does a lot of work in St. Louis.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:37 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:43 pm
Posts: 938
Location: Lower Hudson Valley NY
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+1 to what Dave said. Keep looking. Sunrise and Softlight are out that way too.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1788
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Atrium just filed for Ch 11 so that's a little scary... Simonton is a decent product, although I'm not familiar with which lines HD sells of theirs. I can say that if you are the $22-$30k, you can find a better deal on a better window than what HD is offering(plus their installation pay is subpar= subpar installers/installation)... Champion is NOT a high-end product even though it is priced as such. Check out some medium size local companies in your area that carry the brands we've cited in above posts. Most of the time you will get better service, better product, and a better price going that route.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:28 pm
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Thanks all - I found a Soft-Lite dealer in St. Louis and the windows looked great. Received two prices for the Bainbridge and the Imperial LS. The Imperial is $3,500 more than the Bainbridge over the 45 windows project after some supposed Factory-Direct discounts due to size of project. Seemed the difference was looks and foam-filled vs. slide-in insallation. Anything else I should be watching for?

I assume either Soft-Lite is a better product over the Simonton 6500 and the Champion window. I also liked the dealer employs all the installers directly rather than just sub to lowest.

Thanks for your comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing 45 windows - which one to choose?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:12 pm
Posts: 62
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Simonton 5500 from an independent contractor
OKNA Anything
Sunrise

In my opinion, you can't go wrong with any of these choices. Right now, you're shopping in the overpriced end of the swimming pool.


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