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 Post subject: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Hi,
We recently entered into a contract for 25 Ultimate windows manufactured by AMI and a sliding Glass Door manufactured by Alside model Promenade. We are still a few weeks away from having windows installed and would like to get feedback on both the windows and the installation. The windows and slider are triple pane with Argon Gas.

We went with this brand after 3 estimates from Sunrise triple pane & preservation triple pane by paramount windows. We live in northern VA. When we reviewed the ultimate 2000 online we did not see any bad reviews on them even though they are manufuctured by Alside (AMI) but upon looking at your posting for Alside windows they are not getting good review. Is there a difference between difference in performance for different designs of Alside windows eg: excalliber, window 6000, ect? As people say they leak. Ours are Ultimate 6000 Triple Pane. We hate to think that after we did our due dilegence for windows we will be getting lemons for windows and their performance.
Our priority was not just in cost but for good quality and energy savings for years to come and we felt we were going to have this with the ones we chose, but now we are concerned we may have made a mistake. We still have time to change brands and want your opinion.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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Buca,
Since you have doubts, the best thing that you can do at this point would be to put your contract on hold. Even if you ultimately decide that the product that you've referenced is best to fit your needs, it would still be wise to take some time and do additional research prior to making such a significant investment.
I'd highly recommend that you research this site for additional info both on that product, as well as the products and installers available in your area.
If in fact you do solicit additional bids, one of the most highly respected and prolific contributors here serves NoVa, and he posts as Windows on Washington. You would be well-served to contact him. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Thank you for responding. We will reach out to windows on Washington as well.

Would you be able to tell us what the appropriate ranges would be for triple pane when they refer to U-Factor, SHGC, and VT for NoVa area? It's becoming confusion to understand. Not sure which one is the more important one and if these numbers make a difference when looking at sliders, casement or double hung windows. We don't want the house to look or feel dark/depressing if triple pane as some people may have mentioned to us. Also does it make a Huge difference b/w Argon or Krypton Gas as the filler?

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:32 am 
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buca wrote:
Thank you for responding. We will reach out to windows on Washington as well.

Would you be able to tell us what the appropriate ranges would be for triple pane when they refer to U-Factor, SHGC, and VT for NoVa area? It's becoming confusion to understand. Not sure which one is the more important one and if these numbers make a difference when looking at sliders, casement or double hung windows. We don't want the house to look or feel dark/depressing if triple pane as some people may have mentioned to us. Also does it make a Huge difference b/w Argon or Krypton Gas as the filler?

Thanks again

You want the U-factor to be as low as possible. Quality products generally produce a .28 or better from a double hung packages, with triple pane getting down into the .20 range.
SHGC is a bit trickier as there are several factors that go into it, however the simple way to go about it would be to look at your climate and how much of your energy $$$ are spent heating the home vs cooling. Your region is certainly warmer than mine, however you should still look for a moderate to high shgc of .25 or higher, unless you are getting a phenomenal u-value and are willing to sacrifice the accompanying loss of light .
Krypton vs Argon is debatable, and it almost depends on which product you are looking at. For instance there are products that can get a .19 u value with TP and Argon, while other can't even touch that with Krypton. Technically, the molecular makeup of krypton is better suited to the smaller air space found in TP windows than argon is, however its cost can be prohibitive in many cases. Ultimately, my recommendation would be to focus more on the actual u-value being achieved and the price, rather than which gas is being used. You can find argon/krypton blends, different percentages of gas fill, etc, etc, but in the end, the u value tells you what those details actually mean to you in terms of performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Thank you so much for educating us and for all the valuable information you have given us. We are going to recheck all our quotes again so we can make a better decision.

Thank you
Buca


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Please feel free to post up any questions that arise when comparing the quotes... The most important thing that you can do is to be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Thank you for allowing us to pick your brain and for all your feedback. This is a huge investment for us, as we have 27 windows total we are replacing (6 of them are casements, 1 big picture window above our entry way, 20 are double hung, and we are also getting a new French-Style Sliding Patio Door with 5" top rail, 7" bottom rail, and 3" side rails ).
After getting 3 different quotes and getting advise/guidance from you, we're deciding on going with Alside windows Glass package the Climatech-TG2 Triple Pane with Argon Gas. The brand we're getting is the Ultimate 2000 TP which is in the 6,000 series of Alside and is comprable to their Ultramaxx Brand. We feel that these windows & slider door fall within our budget and the glass package compares as close as possible to the U-Factor, SHGC, and VT Specs we're looking for. We are trying to keep within our budget and not sacrifice quality. We hope we have made a good decision, as we feel we've done our due diligence. Any thoughts??

Thanks again


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:42 pm 
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buca, I do apologize if this was not fully touched on in earlier posts, but that choice would not top my list based on thermal and structural ratings, reputation for quality, design features, and my own professional experience:
-regarding reputation: a thorough web search will be a good indicator, both positive and negative.
-on ratings: the thermal ratings of a product like Sunrise or Okna (and other premium products) will be slightly to significantly better with "apples to apples" glass packages. In addition, the structural ratings should be considered, specifically the air infiltration and design pressure ratings which will be better as well.
-on design: A pocket sill, (even when disguised as a snap-in sloped sill) should be avoided at all costs, IMO, and can artificially(IMO) inflate structural ratings. A pocket sill drains water though the frame which is undesirable for several reasons. It also reduces the amount of glass area on a given product.
-on patio doors: My recommendation is a fully welded frame as opposed to mechanically fastened.


Last edited by HomeSealed on Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:11 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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I would agree with all that Homesealed has shared with you.
Did you get in contact with WOW?
The structural rating that I suggest for AL/AI(air leakage, air infiltration) is that the units(both winodw and door) be less than .09(again the lower the better), I really like for the products to be .05 or less.
I am not sure that TP is the most cost effienct for your area, i service the Philly area and offer but do not recommend triple pane. If I was in Homesealeds area or even northern jersy it makes more cents.
On the install side of things one telltale would be what type of insulation do they use.
It is not the only way put low expansion window and door foam is the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Thanks for your responses. No, we have not contacted WOW. I know that there are a lot of mixed reviews for Alside windows, but most of the ones we came across were due to poor installation. Is it safe to say that the windows are as good as the installer you have? We definitely want windows that will give you the most savings in our utilities but also quality as well. Below are the specs of alside we are considering:

For windows:
Energy Star labeled Climatech TG2(Triple Pane) glass with Low-E/Argon. Has PPG intercept Warm-Edge Spacer System, Full Capture Sill, Quad 4 Weatherstripping at the header & sill, Foam Filled Sash & Mainframe, PVC frames & sashes, sash meeting rails interlock, triple lift rail, fusion-welded sash & mainframe, additional features triple-barrier weather striping, dual ventilator locks, constant force balance system, half fiberglass screen.

Patio Door Slider:
vinyl mainframe & sash extrusions, dual internal/external weatherstripping, Triple Pane glass with PPG Intercept Warm-Edge Spacer System, mainframe joints incorporate closed-cell foam gaskets, tandem roller system, additional features where the interlock anti-theft feature and Heavy- duty extruded aluminum screen.
Energy Star Labeled Glass is Climatech TG2 (TP) with Low-E/Argon. U-Factor 0.21, SHGC 0.23, VT 0.37

Ok I think I covered it all. Is there a significant difference between PPG-Warm Edge Spacer System and a SST-Warm Edge Spacer System? I see that a lot in different literatures and I'm thinking their interchangeable terminology.

Oh we are also looking into a Provia Signet Fiberglass Wood Door for our main entryway.

Not sure if the above specs still make a difference on how you view the windows we are considering, and not sure what else I may be missing when looking for good windows. It seems to me that with my limited expertise on windows, everything we read or look up
sound the same to us, hence we turn to you for sound advise.

Thanks again for your guidance and advise,
Buca
U-Factor 0.21, SHGC 0.29, VT 0.37


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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oops!! the specs at the bottom of this post correspond to the windows:

U-Factor 0.21, SHGC 0.29, VT 0.37

Thx


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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also upon looking up their specs we didn't see a mention of "Pocket Sills" or "Snap-In Sloped Sills" anywhere in their literature.
Thanks for pointing that out.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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1) I would ask for the CPD number on that window so that you can verify the ratings on NFRC.org. That SHGC number (.29) does not sound right given the low u-value and VERY dark VT. The .23 sounds more realistic and is on the low side for your climate IMO. As mentioned earlier, you'll also want to check out the structural ratings ( AI and DP). These ratings are not given out freely, particularly from manufacturers that do not perform well in those areas.
2) The "full capture sill" is a pocket sill design.
3) The Provia Signet is a sensational door. It is truly a Mercedes-Benz as far as doors go.
4) Regarding installation, you are absolutely correct that a window can only be as good as the installation, however even the best installation will not make a poor product perform like a champ. When choosing product, it is best to take installation out of the equation. Not because it is not crucial, but it should really be evaluated independently.
5) Regarding the spacer, Intercept is the entry level option in any product these days. The step up from that would be the stainless steel variety, although I generally prefer a non-metallic spacer.


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:46 pm
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Ok Thanks. Sorry can please just tell me what CPD, IMO, DP abbreviations mean. I'm learning as I go since I'm not as versed on window jargon. So just to make sure I understand it's better to get the SST spacer? Still not quite clear on this one. Also what would be the best way of asking for this information from a company without getting hesitation from them?
If the sills are truly welded slopes would that be better than pocket sills? And should I ask for or invest in drip caps/ head flashing along the trims of the windows? Reading a lot about this too?
So I'm wondering if we should go with a double pane as oppose to triple pane now since the VT appears dark? Is a higher VT something we can ask for if going with Double pane or triple pane or is it something like "we can't have it all and somehting has to give" if so which one of these is more important? UF, SHGC, or VT?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Ultimate 2000 triple pane windows model TG2
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:01 am 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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CPD: Certified products directory. It is much easier to find the specific glass package in question on the NFRC website when you have the CPD number. Some manufacturers have pages upon pages of options listed and it can be very daunting to find the correct listing without it.

IMO: In my opinion :wink:

DP: Design pressure. Sometimes referred to as AAMA rating or just "structural" rating.




On the SST spacer, I don't remember the exact nomenclature that is used by Alside, but I'd assume that refers to the stainless option which is superior to the standard Intercept.

Fully welded, sloped sills are a better option IMO. The newer "premium" designs coming out these days are almost exclusively this design. When they get gunked up and dirty, you just wipe them clean. This is as opposed to a pocket sill where the chambers can be difficult to impossible to clean when they get full of dirt, debris, bugs, etc which can slow or stop the flow of water. This becomes especially troublesome when we get into freeze/thaw cycles. That water could freeze and crack the vinyl frame.

A drip cap/head flashing is a very important part of the installation, but the question of whether or not one needs to be installed (or if there is one in place already) will vary by home and should be discussed with your installer. The biggest and most common mistake that I see is installers that wrap their new trim OVER the existing drip cap (because it looks nicer), which will essentially direct any moisture that gets behind the siding right into the window opening instead of shedding it away.

On the U-value vs SHGC and VT, it depends on your goals for the project and circumstances of your home. U-value is the rating that tells you how well the unit will insulate, so if that is your main objective, a small sacrifice on shgc and vt would not be out of line. If you are very concerned about losing light and or some passive solar heat, then you would probably want a more balanced package. There are products for instance that will deliver a .25 u-value, with a .30 shgc and a vt of 54. That is a very well balanced package that will deliver excellent performance in almost any climate, except for those that are on the extremely hot end of the spectrum.

Lastly, if you want to get this information from a dealer without hesitation, it won't matter how you ask, but WHO you ask. You need someone that is knowledgeable, and someone that sells a premium product (those two typically go hand in hand).
You are only going to get the "run-around" when asking someone whose product does not perform extremely well in all of these areas.


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