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 Post subject: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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Hello, I have spent many hours doing research on the web and think I have a good idea of what we want. Our home here in southeast Michigan is about 2500 sq and I count 16 windows and 1 standard size slider and one main entry with dual sidelights that we will replace in our home. We are not considering wood clad, as vinyl or fiberglass frames is what we are looking at. Our current windows are original Anderson wood clad and we have been working on the seals for the last several years and putting up plastic for the last 3 or 4 years.
We also live on a corner so we have concerns about noise as well as decreasing our heating bills. Our home faces west and our attached 2 1/2 car is on the south side.
I see Wallside and Hanson advertised daily on tv and don't want to pay for all the advertisement, and neither has a clean record if you read different forums. I believe that looking at Infinity by Marvin, Sunrise windows or Simonton windows are the way to go. The trouble is how do I find a good installer? Do I contact the company directly for estimates and request a list of recommended contractors from them? I would imagine most installer are contracted and not direct employees of these companies.
I will also invite comments on my choices and would like to add that I am not looking to spend 30 or 40 thousand on replacements. I am not paying for overrated windows... I would never recoup that kind of investment.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
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Sunrise is probably pretty near you. They are in Temperance fairly near Toledo. You could call them and ask for a reference or you could try a Google search for a Sunrise dealer in your area.

Windows are not an investment in the sense that they should "pay for themselves in XX number of years". Windows should be purchased for the same reason you put a new roof or siding on your house or remodel your kitchen. I would recommend a good Mutual Fund if you are looking for an investment.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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I should explain what I mean by investment: I mean for x amount of dollars that we spend I hope to get back, 1 savings on energy bills, 2 comfort, 3 ease of use as tilt in for cleaning, 4 maximum benefit for dollars spent.
I am not going to say I want the windows to pay for themselves in energy savings alone, but I would like to maximize my investment in the windows for the above reasons.
If I just want replacement windows I could call Wallside or Hansons...
I have seen some posting where people say that received an estimate for $40,000 to replace their windows. I won't be around long enough to recoup that type of investment, but if I lay out $7,000 for an entry level windows, how much good will it be in the 4 areas I stated above?


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:05 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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I'd say you are on the right track in both your expectations for the project, as well as the products that you are considering. You could google the window brand that you like as well as the city (or metro area) that you live to find dealers, otherwise contact the manufacturers directly to see who they recommend in your area. High end products like Sunrise and Infinity will have very few dealers that buy direct (infinity will probably only be one), so you won't have a laundry list of contractors to sort through.
It is hard to comment on price without a bunch more detail, but I'd say that both numbers that you quoted are out of the realm of reason. $40k being way too high, $7k way to low.
What you should really do at this point is determine the priorities in what you want from a new window. Sunrise is a top tier vinyl window, and will offer the best performance of the three. Infinity is a beautiful, high quality product, but you will likely pay a premium because fiberglass is a bit more of a niche product. Either one will serve you well. The one thing that I'd warn you against ahead of time is the anti-vinyl "exaggerations" that you may get from anyone selling fiberglass or composite. Most of it is baseless. Search out some threads here on the board for greater detail on the subject.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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Thank you for info HomeSealed about the possible high pitch for the fiberglass windows. I have found a Sunrise Dealer that I have actually done business with in the past for garage doors so I am going to start with them. I know from experiance that they have employees that do the garage door install so they may also do the replacement window also.
As for cost I would hope to stay under $15,000 but we shall so find out...


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:35 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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Well thats about the best case scenario. The product that you like and a company that you've already done business with. :D
Hard to say on the pricing due to all of the variables, but that definitely sounds more doable.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:39 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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I have one more question; for us the eventual replacement of all windows and 2 doors is on our minds. I was thinking of doing this in 2 or 3 groupings or work orders, as if saying to the company do it right on these 6 and you will get the rest of the work in a couple of months. Would you advise against this? I don't see that giving them 100% of the work up front is going to save me much money... and I will be stuck if they do a poor install.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
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If you trust them that little, I would find a contractor you do trust.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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I won't say that I don't trust them. I have no experience with any contractor replacing windows in a home... I did install some replacements myself in a duplex back in the eighties and 10 years ago I install a couple in the garage I built.
I have read some horror stories on the web in different forums or postings and I just want to try and protect "what I call investment" in our home. I understand the use of sub contractors and don't want to be caught up in a situation where we have repair needs and we can't get action.
It was just a thought that if I do this in stages that I may get a good installer. I may be wrong...


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:51 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:28 pm
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I think people misunderstand the use of sub-contractors. Some of the best installers are sub-contractors. Often once an individual develops his installation skills, he decides to start his own installation service and is hired by a general contractor to perform installs. This has no effect on your warranty as you would look to the contractor you signed the contract with for warranty service. The main contractor can't just say "sorry, you have to call the sub- contractor, it's not my problem".

Get some references and call them. That's going to be your best protection. Believe it or not, most contractors are honest people who want you to be satisfied and recommend them to friends. You only hear about the bad apples.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
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Thank you for your input. I checked the business with the local BBB, and of course they are spotless. I don't rely on the BBB's references too much any more but it is a good start. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3684
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Ida-Boy wrote:
Thank you for your input. I checked the business with the local BBB, and of course they are spotless. I don't rely on the BBB's references too much any more but it is a good start. Thank you!


You got that right.

BBB used to be the bench mark but that is no longer.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:10 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1384
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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Have you check the existing frames for structural integrity.
The old narrowline DH had some issues with the wood inside the sills rotting.
Hvae you thought about full tear/full frame compared to insert replacement?


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1859
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I agree with Eco's comments above. The critical choice is in trusting the company that you choose to do business with. How they choose to pay their installers is blown way out of proportion by companies who try to use it a sales tool. I've used both (employees and subs), and I've been both. There are pros and cons to each, but again, a good company is going to deliver excellent service now and later, either way.


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 Post subject: Re: SE MI/NW OH looking to replace 25 year old Anderson windows
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:48 pm
Posts: 16
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First answer is about full tear out... No is my answer. We have not considered it because of the extra work that we assumed would come with that. The outside of my home is vinyl and its 25 years old and hard to work with. Brittle I would say... I was not prepared to replace vinyl also. I may be wrong about this...

I did stop today and checked out the Sunrise lines, Verde and Restorations; I like the fibercore construction making them stronger, and ultracore foam filled frames. I see that they offer a larger viewing area than most vinyl windows but disappointed that the coatings in the glass are reduced when "between the glass blinds" are optioned. He stated that the blinds tend to scratch the coatings...
I forgot what he "rough" guessed a 34 by 52 window would be but I will be getting an measurement later this week. For 16 windows I would guess about $12,000 at least.

He did understand what I meant when I said that I am looking for the "best bang for the buck" and said I will probably be happy with the Verde line. I think I would like full screens better and that would be an option with the Verde line.

The Restoration line have full screens with Opti-view screens, nicer locking and tilt controls.


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