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 Post subject: Fibrex vs Vinyl
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:31 pm
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This probably has been addressed many times but I need help now. I am in the process of purchasing replacement windows. I am torn between vinyl and Fibrex from Renewal by Andersen. Andersen's salesman is stating vinyl is on it's way out and expands/contracts too much and is less attractive due to 'blue-white' look, 'plastic-y' and wouldnt match my colonial house. Vinyl salesmen(and my family) are very leary of this new product Fibrex and indicate it's not as efficient. The cost difference is only $1,500- 2,000 w/ Renewal being higher cost for 10 double hung windows and one large bay window.
Slightly off the subject- what about double pane vs triple pane and argon gas vs krpton gas?
Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:28 pm
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Location: WISCONSIN
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It seems most of the Renewal people that we here about bash vinyl religiously. Might be in their training......the only thing the Renewal person stated that's close to the truth is that some cheaper vinyls do have a blueish hue. I don't reccomend those either. You'll find most of the mid-range vinyls and above to have no color problems. I've been in the business for over 25yrs and I will admit some of the early vinyls were pretty bad but as the european technology became an influence the quality has changed to where the most energy efficient windows in the world are solid vinyl. I've been back to jobs I installed fifteen years ago and except for a little dirt they were fine.
Renewal on the other hand is nothing special....it boast poor air infiltration test and the design pressure rating is around 25 for the double hungs, which is poor for a upper end window. About the only thing positive I can say about the window is they are slowly improving it.
In as far as the u value of a typical mid-performing double glazed window it's usually .32 or .33 the better ones are .28-.31. If you go to triple glaze with argon in most cases you'll get down to .24-.27 and if you substitute krypton instead of argon you can get down to .17-.20. These #s are for double hungs and well vary a little with each mfrg. Renewal has absolutely nothing to justify the prices they ask and Fibrex is just a combo of vinyl and sawdust (to keep it simple) and they have had problems with moisture making the units swell. Since the salesperson was such a "sweetheart" tell him your going to wait for the improved Renewals that well be in the lumber yards this summer.


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 Post subject: vinyl vs. fibrex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 4:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:58 pm
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i have been in contruction for 10 years and i have seen wood and vinyl windows go in new homes. it is a no brainer when it comes to replacement windows. vinyl is the way to go. but you still have to be careful of which type of vinyl you choose.

most vinyl windows are just cheap, plastic, and hollow. most of them don't stand the test of time. they will sag as the years pass because there is no structural integrity. you really want to look for virgin vinyl. sounds funny but virgin vinyl is what i highly recommend.

i have customers that replaced their old vinyl windows with virgin vinyl windows. one of them educated me on the schuco window. you can find them online and the schuco has everything anyone could every ask for in a window. triple glass, krypton gas, state of the art spacers, multi hollow chambers and steel reenforced. it is amazing.

that fibrex is just not the answer. do you really want recycled material in your window frame? well that is what you will get with fibrex: saw dust and milk bottles. and the price of the fibrex is nothing to jump through hoops about. it is probably the most overprice window out there and it doesn't even come with a lifetime warrenty. chech out schuco. i think that you will be more than satisfied with that product.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:31 pm
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WOW !! thanks everyone- I was really torn between the 2 products but was leaning toward vinyl (even though the Andersen rep stated no one will buy a house w/ vinyl windows- I thought some of you would get very heated at that comment). Anyway- "Preservation" windows is the company I was considering for vinyl as my father-in-law(and his neighbors) swear by the honest, nice contractor who uses this product and so far have not had any problems (only about 3 yrs into having the product). I met with this gentleman who was very informative and seemed honest. The Info that was given boosts those windows w/ triple glaze and krypton will yield a .16 rating and it's only $50-$60/ window more than regular low E, double glazed. Even with this 'specialized glazing' package, it's cheaper then Andersens.
What do you all think about triple panes vs double panes?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:28 pm
Posts: 243
Location: WISCONSIN
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If it's the Alside Preservation the u on their double hungs is .17-.19 with triple glaze. If you lived in central wisconsin the difference between triple glaze with krypton and double glazed with argon in a home with 15-17% window to floor area you would save approx $55.00-85.00 per year on your heating and cooling cost at the current therm rate of about $1.49 per. I haven't been a proponent of triple glaze in the past because the pay back wasn't there and the problems in the past with triple units. I hope these mfrg's know what their doing because the largest mfrg of IG units in the world "Cardinal Glass" isn't very fond of them, but I'm guessing that with the advent of better spacers and sealants we may be over that hump. I've begun to sell triple glaze myself,because we know what the cost of energy is going to be........very high. So if your not paying too much for tri-lites it's beginning to look like a viable investment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:58 pm
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triple all the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:28 pm
Posts: 243
Location: WISCONSIN
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Sounds like you have their pitch book with you. It isn't hard to spend a few million in this business. Now for your laugh. Back in 1984 I met a gentleman by the name of Tim Musch. Tim wrote the manual for siding and window dealers to suceed using his marketing program which was available on cd's for their pc. Tim sold the rights to it and I believe he's now a well to do consultant. Tim was also very tight with a lot of the top dogs in this business and the most knowledgeable window man I've ever met. Anyway he used to tell me about conversations with Andersen people and how they were chomping at the bit for a chunk of the replacement business and they tossed around quite a few idea's b'4 it became Renewal. They didn't want to be just another vinyl and their big concern was how to effectively market it. That's where a lot of the $$ went. And so today we have Renewal. They did a great job of marketing and still do. Along the way they P O a lot of their disb's but all in all with the $$$ they have behind them they made the program a success.
But you know it is only a slightly better than average window, with the price tag of something from the top shelf. I have visited with three people who purchased Renewals, and did so because I wanted to verify their complaints. One thought the air infiltration was excessive to which Renewal replied it meets the maximum allowable air test. Well that's nothing to brag about, the worst vinyl made does better than that. The second was a former Renewal salesperson who put the windows around a hot tub area, where they were assured it would'nt be a problem....guess what, they took on moisture and swelled. The third had problems with the paint coming off. Maybe these were three isolated rare cases but it was at that point we bought one just to take a good look at the window....nothing special.
Last week I saw what I'll call Renewal generation two. It's real name is the woodwright. Golly I said to myself it's a Renewal. It's basically the same window with a decent air test for a wood replacement .14 and designed to be sold in lumber yards like Menards this summer. What I find cool about that is if someone wants that window they can bypass all the crap that comes forth from the Renewal people, and buy it for less and have Joe the handyman install it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:11 am
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You also said something about paint coming off, well the windows I have do not have paint on them so I don't know exactly what you mean. I did here that there double-hung did have a problem with air infiltration but that has been resolved.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:10 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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With vinyl windows having an estimated (DWM) 50%+ market share in new construction and an 80% share of the replacement market, I don't see them on their way out. They are actually expected to gain larger shares in both categories.

With Fibrex, Ultrex and other fiberglass & composite material holding less than a 2% market share combined... they have a long way to go.

It's my understanding that Fibrex came to be as they were looking for ways to recycle the wood and vinyl bi-products left over from the manufacturing of other windows. I believe that part of this decision was to capitalize on the popularity of Green building products. I actually applaud the approach.

I see some of the benefits of Fibrex and fiberglass products being that they can use thinner sash frames allowing for more glass. On the down side of this, the thinner frames attached with mechanical corners (can't be fusion welded), give them much lower Design Pressure and Structural ratings than high-performance vinyls. Since the longevity of U-PVC was questioned, I'll simply point out that is has an expected half-life of about 300 years. I still get a kick out of Fibrex and fiberglass window manufacturers using the old crumbling garden hose (as seen on Marvin's website) as an example of vinyl. Plasticized vinyl and unplasticized have completely different characteristics. I do not see the paintabilty of any of these products being a plus either. Anthing that is painted, is no longer maintenance free, and in my opinion, a negative to most homeowners.

I see plenty of room for options and choices in the industry. As for vinyl products going away, not in my lifetime.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:23 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:31 pm
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Once again- I thank all of you for your information. To be honeest, as a woman - I havent paid much attention to windows in the remodeling process. I know as a consumer I need to try to grasp all of this info and make an informed decision and it helps to hear and read other's opinions.
I live in Southeastern Wisconsin so winters (except this one) can be brutal. It sounds like for a total of $800 more, I should get the triple pane/glazed windows and hopefully this will not increase my chances of seal breakage/leakage. The Preservation rep has increased the company's warranty by stating that ALL repairs/replacements (no matter if a window broke due to kids, thiefs etc) is 100% covered (NO COST) for a lifetime.
Thanks again :D


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:52 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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For what it's worth, as I am in NorthEastern Illinois and have numerous clients in Southeast Wisconsin, I have never heard a single regret from a homeowner that opted for triple panes in these areas. The first thing they all notice is how quiet the home becomes. The second is how the temperatures from room to room are more consistant and comfortable. And last but not least, they see the drops in their utility bills. They should serve you well.. good luck with your project.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:28 pm
Posts: 243
Location: WISCONSIN
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I read a post on the other board about welding being more of a choice for speed and effectiveness, but not necessarily for strength as I have seen some mechanical corners that have the strength of weld. I guess this makes me wonder why fiberglass as strong as it is with a good corner gusset does not out perform vinyls or as a matter of fact everything but maybe aluminum or steel. Anyone understand this? I also thought because of the strength they could use thinner frames allowing for more glass.
Ok we need oberon and Fenex to straighten this out.


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