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 Post subject: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:46 am 
I have really drafty wood windows and need some replacements... but I have a very limited budget.

I know neither of these is the top of the line but both would be a huge improvement for my house. Can anyone tell me which of these two products is better and why? Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:26 am 
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If those are my options, I go PlyGem.

Just my opinion but I have replaced a bunch of Alside sashes in my day.

Do you have other options?


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:21 am 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I have used both at one point or another, and I'd choose the Plygem as well, based on the fact that I have experienced fewer issues. Keep in mind that both are widely considered to be "entry level" options, and neither performs particularly well in the area of thermal and structural performance ratings in comparison to some of the top choices like Okna/Himark or Softlite... Not trying to get "preachy", but I'd be a rich man if I had a nickel for every time that I heard someone say "anything will be an improvement over what I have", only to later regret spending thousands on a product fraught with service issues and sub par performance just to save those last few bucks.


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:51 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 355
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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when you say "anything would be an improvement", you would be shocked to see how LITTLE of an imprvement you will get after a few years with an entry level window. these particular windows are built to meet only minimum requirements and just dont last.
in fact, no matter how bad your current windows are, you are not going to get that " wow, my house is so much warmer " feeling with these windows. i would either wait until you can afford a decent window or do you project a few windows at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:12 am 
What other options would you people suggest on a tight budget? Thanks.

Ps dont tell me about $500 windows please :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:53 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 355
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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everyone has a tight budget...lol
however, there is a big difference between having a budget and throwing money away on lower end windows. i always tell customers they are paying for higher end windows one way or the other.
1) they can install a low cost window which they invariably want to replace in a few years.
2) they can elect to increase their budget and procure a higher end brand that would give them the results they expect.

option 1 is always the most expensive. you are essentially doing the project twice.
as for pricing, thats difficult because there are many variables involved..for example, a company's overhead ( insurance, payroll), brand of window, scope of install, level of expertise by installer , also region in which you live.


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:59 am 
Well even if you get your Ufactor to 0, then you also get no benefits from the sun naturally heating your home in the winter which is beneficial. None of you window salesman mention that part.

I want to know about a "lower end" window that has structural stability. The alside excaliber looks like the frame is more solid than most, is this the case?

What products to people recommend to someone looking for a lower budget solution to the window game?

To say someone would need to replace a properly installed average window in 2 years is just dishonest. If your current windows are leaking heavily the gain you would get from a new window that doesnt leak vs the double the cost fancier version is minimal when you talk about how long to recoup your investment etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:47 am 
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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bensaccount wrote:
Well even if you get your Ufactor to 0, then you also get no benefits from the sun naturally heating your home in the winter which is beneficial. None of you window salesman mention that part.

I'm afraid that is absolutely incorrect Ben (forgive me if that is not your name). If you spend some time searching through this site, you'll see that passive solar gain is mentioned with regularity. The balance that you are looking for between a low u-value and a good shgc depends entirely on your climate, and the design of your home (ie: side that the windows are located, landscaping, awnings, etc).

bensaccount wrote:
I want to know about a "lower end" window that has structural stability. The alside excaliber looks like the frame is more solid than most, is this the case?

I'm afraid that for the most part, those two things are mutually exclusive. That's like saying I want a cheap car with 400 hp, good gas mileage, and great quality. There are trade-offs in any product that you purchase, and windows are no different. Unfortunately when comparing low vs mid vs high end windows, it is exactly the structural stability and "tightness" that will suffer. Most people think that its the glass, but that is not the case. Most manufacturers from low to high end all purchase their glass from the same handful of suppliers.
On the Excalibur in particular, my experience having sold and installed it is that it is one of the flimsier units that I've used. I've also seen a higher instance of service issues, primarily warped sashes, frowing sills, and air-leakage complaints. This is just my own personal experience, but from what I hear, it is a common complaint among pros.
My choices for entry level offerings would be the Okna 400, along with some of the lower lines from Polaris, Softlite, Homeguard, and Sunrise.

bensaccount wrote:
What products to people recommend to someone looking for a lower budget solution to the window game?

See above. :D

bensaccount wrote:
To say someone would need to replace a properly installed average window in 2 years is just dishonest. If your current windows are leaking heavily the gain you would get from a new window that doesnt leak vs the double the cost fancier version is minimal when you talk about how long to recoup your investment etc.

In terms of recouping your money in energy savings, that really depends on the differences in the u-vales, shgc, air infiltration, etc. In theory you are correct that small differences in these areas will take a long time to recoup. The problem is that the cheaper products are cheaper for a reason, whether it is the materials used, the manufacturing quality, etc. When corners are cut, the product will not maintain that performance over time, and lead to service issues/product failures, and/or overall dissatisfaction with performance.
Please don't take these recommendations as "salesguy bs" because its not. We are the good guys here, and we call them like we see them (some of us a little bit more gently than others ) :wink: The fact of the matter is, you don't need to pay that sleazeball sales guy $1000 per window, but the guys trying to make you think that you'll get quality for $200-$300 are just as dishonest. If you want a decent window that will last at a fair price (and installed properly by a competent company), you are going to be starting out in the $400-$500 per window range. There is just no way around that. It is no skin off our back if you want to go the cheap route, we are just speaking from experience and with the most sincere intentions. Please take that for whatever you feel it is worth. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Ply Gem series 2000 vs Alside excaliber?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:54 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 355
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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the alside excalibur totally lacks structural integrity and also has one of the most flimsy sills ive ever seen. you need to move on.


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