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 Post subject: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:28 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 12
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I am looking to replace the cheapest vinyl windows I have ever seen installed. They are drafty and poorly insulated and the sliders leak water at the overlap point of the fixed and sliding parts. The first person I had out suggested a Simonton 5500 series window. I am also interested in something like what Intus has to offer. I know Simonton isn't going to offer the same specifications as Intus but is there something in between the two price wise that I should consider if it turns out Intus is too expensive? We have a total of 13 picture windows, 14 single hung/slider windows, and 1 garden window that we will be replacing. I see lots of brands suggested on here and softlite, gorrell, great lakes, etc... seem to be mentioned a lot. As long as I can afford it, the better the insulating factor the more likely I am to consider the window. I have one wall with 11 windows and two french sliding doors on it that feels cold all winter long so anything I can do to help will be a huge improvement in the comfort level of our house.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:42 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 411
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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Your situation is very common ; home owners purchase cheap windows and then they want to tear them out in a year and install something of a much higher quality.
You are on the right track by doing your research.
Depending on where you are located will determine which brands are available in your area. Most higher end brands are sold through dealer networks which mean the comoany also takes care of the installation as well. This prevents your " run of the mill" hack contractor from being able to purchase higher end brands and doing a chop job install.
The higher quality brands that most pro's on this board consistently recommend are the following:

( in no particular order )

Soft Lite
Okna
HiMark
Gorell
Sunrise


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:53 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 12
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masterext wrote:
Your situation is very common ; home owners purchase cheap windows and then they want to tear them out in a year and install something of a much higher quality.
You are on the right track by doing your research.
Depending on where you are located will determine which brands are available in your area. Most higher end brands are sold through dealer networks which mean the comoany also takes care of the installation as well. This prevents your " run of the mill" hack contractor from being able to purchase higher end brands and doing a chop job install.
The higher quality brands that most pro's on this board consistently recommend are the following:

( in no particular order )

Soft Lite
Okna
HiMark
Gorell
Sunrise


Thanks for the reply. I am located in West Michigan. Where would you rate a company like Intus on that list? It appears they would be superior spec wise, but I haven't seen much on their reliability and warranty/customer service.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 7:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3726
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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Intus is a very solid window but not produced domestically. The issue with that can be getting service parts and warranty parts.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 7:30 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1407
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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HiMark = .01 AI, .26 U, life time warranty, and al of this on a DH.

theWindowNerd...


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:41 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:11 am
Posts: 331
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What windows were installed in your house?
Who installed the windows?
Sounds like you are on the right track.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1893
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I agree with all of the above... Given that you are complaining about the draftiness, I would definitely pay close attention to the air infiltration rating of whatever product you are considering. That Simonton that you saw is a nice piece, but not elite in that regard. As Anthony gave one example of, there are vinyl double hungs getting .01 cfm AI ratings.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:01 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 411
Location: New Jersey Window Pro- Northern NJ and Central NJ
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Since you live in Michigan. you have Sunrise Windows in your state. I would contact them and ask for a dealer. Ask for the vanguard or restorations series.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:09 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 12
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HomeSealed wrote:
I agree with all of the above... Given that you are complaining about the draftiness, I would definitely pay close attention to the air infiltration rating of whatever product you are considering. That Simonton that you saw is a nice piece, but not elite in that regard. As Anthony gave one example of, there are vinyl double hungs getting .01 cfm AI ratings.


We live on a hill and wind gusts into the 30+ range are common. My rooftop mounted anemometer has recorded 60+ on several occasions. Even "calm" days tend to be windy compared to surrounding locations. So that is why I am looking at something with very low CFM ratings.

We currently have was appears to be the lowest end vinyl windows from Simonton circa 1999 installed in our house. Our moveable windows are currently of the single hung variety. Other than cleaning purposes what is the advantage of double hung?

My wife used to live in Germany for 10 years and she is familiar with the European style tilt/turn windows and how well they sealed. I guess casement windows are the closest thing in the US?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3726
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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s2israw wrote:
HomeSealed wrote:
I agree with all of the above... Given that you are complaining about the draftiness, I would definitely pay close attention to the air infiltration rating of whatever product you are considering. That Simonton that you saw is a nice piece, but not elite in that regard. As Anthony gave one example of, there are vinyl double hungs getting .01 cfm AI ratings.


We live on a hill and wind gusts into the 30+ range are common. My rooftop mounted anemometer has recorded 60+ on several occasions. Even "calm" days tend to be windy compared to surrounding locations. So that is why I am looking at something with very low CFM ratings.

We currently have was appears to be the lowest end vinyl windows from Simonton circa 1999 installed in our house. Our moveable windows are currently of the single hung variety. Other than cleaning purposes what is the advantage of double hung?

My wife used to live in Germany for 10 years and she is familiar with the European style tilt/turn windows and how well they sealed. I guess casement windows are the closest thing in the US?


You can get tilt and turns here in the US.

They have them in vinyl, fiberglass, and wood.

Great operator and that is what I would put in my home if it were me.

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
Posts: 1407
Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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Not having lived with t&t windows I wonder do they mostly get used in the tilt mode.
Then threr is the planning of the window treatments as they must clear the windows for operation.
Next would be the cost.
Not a fan.

theWindowNerd...


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:08 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 12
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So I have gotten in several quotes for my first 4 fixed windows to be replaced and can I say wow, what a price spread for just the windows. These numbers do not include installation. There are 3 irregular shaped windows and one rectangle in this mix.

Simonton 5500 - $1800
Intus uPVC - $3800
Sunrise vinyl Ultra U - $3800
Klearwall futureproof - $6300
ViWinco - $2500
PlyGem - $2150

The Simonton will be higher because the price went up on 5/15 and I did not get a new quote yet. Simonton, ViWinco, and PlyGem all come with a nailing fin. I really like the Intus window, but it is expensive. Klearwall is clearly out. The specs on the Simonton, ViWinco, and PlyGem are nearly identical for the fixed panes, the Sunrise and finally Intus is the best. The windows start to see bigger differentiation when you look at movable windows in which case the differences between windows starts to come out. So many choices, all of which will be in improvement over what I have. Any thoughts from the window community?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:14 pm
Posts: 1893
Location: Milwaukee, Madison areas
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I think that the Sunrise is the class of the bunch (although my knowledge of Intus and Klearwall is limited--- I have heard good things however), but for a fixed unit, the Simonton and Plygem options would not be bad at all. You are spot on when you mentioned that the differences become far more pronounced when you get into operable units, particularly double hung.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 12
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HomeSealed wrote:
I think that the Sunrise is the class of the bunch (although my knowledge of Intus and Klearwall is limited--- I have heard good things however), but for a fixed unit, the Simonton and Plygem options would not be bad at all. You are spot on when you mentioned that the differences become far more pronounced when you get into operable units, particularly double hung.


With your limited knowledge of Intus, why would you pick Sunrise over them?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Cheap Vinyl Windows
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:21 pm
Posts: 3726
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC
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s2israw wrote:
HomeSealed wrote:
I think that the Sunrise is the class of the bunch (although my knowledge of Intus and Klearwall is limited--- I have heard good things however), but for a fixed unit, the Simonton and Plygem options would not be bad at all. You are spot on when you mentioned that the differences become far more pronounced when you get into operable units, particularly double hung.


With your limited knowledge of Intus, why would you pick Sunrise over them?


Sunrise is local and uses Cardinal Glass (well regarded). If you ever have an issue with the window or glass, you pathway to a warranty repair should be pretty straight forward.

Other than that, it is probably the fact that the Sunrise window is a more known commodity. I have seen the Intus window and it is really well built. I don't think you would do wrong with either.


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