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 Post subject: Where to buy windows?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:14 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1
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Where can I find the best price on vinyl replacement windows?

I've found two sites online where I can price windows -- I'm sure there are others for comparison. Any suggestions?

What about Lowe's and Home Depot? Are their prices competitive?

I'm in Texas if that makes a difference.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:04 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 52
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I don't know, but if you buy the lowest priced window you can find you can't go wrong. Best of luck to you!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1328
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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I agree. He'll save enough money to be able to buy them again next year. :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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:lol: :lol:

Exactly!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 29
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the reason the experts were not helpful but instead somewhat rude, is you made a major mistake. you brought up cost. if you think that is important, many on this board will see you as ignorant and cheap. and they dont want low numbers getting out. here is what ive learned. if you stay awhile the experts will educate you. do that. it is really helpful. but window prices are out there. how much you pay is different from place to place and does not necessarily relate to quality. you must shop around. a lot. dont make any deals til you are ready. dont be ready for at least 30 days. no matter what they say about discounts. the big store prices will be overpriced. especially the labor. that is why the price is so broad. all think its fair to get that high. many of course will do it much cheaper. and maybe just as well or better.

first find window you like, and know its performance. then find a dealer that you trust. what i did was found 2 local distributors. went there to look at different brands at 1 place. wouldnt sell to me. wouldnt even tell me the window costs. they would tell me the difference in cost from window to window. 3rd time i visited, they told me prices as well. probably not really what installer pays, but i at least found out if i should just go home and pull the blinds. they also told me different dealers and independents who would do local install. it was great because i could take time, look, ask questions, and he wasnt going to make a dime on me. he was also good enough to make recomendations of models within a brand. hope this helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 5:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:52 pm
Posts: 29
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realized you are maybe doing this yourself. i thought this way early on. i went to several window/door places that i know have been around some time. i asked if they would procure for me. 2 said yes. even went to the trouble to list brands and their cost. one even listed all upgrade costs. these couldnt have been too inflated. in a ps i was told he would do the labor for a $100 a window. even if i could have saved money by buying from the distrib, it wouldnt have been much. this guy told me if i did it myself he would give me an install procedure. if you search, there is an internet co that sells windows made to order, and they are inexpensive. someone posted this just recently.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1328
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Homeowner, you don't realize just how cheap these low end windows really are, do you?.
I have one available straight from the factory....welded frame/welded sash, double strength glass, screen, lifetime warranty ....and all for less than $75 up to 101 ui....and it's better than excaliber. *If you are looking for cheap....somebody will always be cheaper.
I could pass these off as decent midgrade windows and make a fortune...but I don't and I won't.
I believe in the best quality products for my customers. I don't need the hassles and service that come with these low end "commodity" windows. That's why I sell only premium brands, and I sleep well at night because of it.

You can sell cheap or buy cheap all you want. It's a free country. I just wish you'd stop pushing the garbage on people here. Many of us have spent hundreds or even thousands of hours on these sites trying to protect homeowners from the low end garbage that will not last.
Many of us here such as myself, Guy and others have been doing this for 30+ years and have a real clear understanding of what constitutes quality and longevity ....what works long term, and what doesn't because of the extensive in-field experience we have. You ought to listen a bit more...maybe you'd start to realize you are not the window expert you think you are, and that you may be pushing people in a direction that will come back to haunt them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:34 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Detroit, MI
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Hi Window4U,

In your example, you say you could pass off that window as a decent midgrade. That is why I am having such insecure doubts when looking at windows.

Assuming that window also has decent NFRC numbers and other “positiveâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:01 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:57 am
Posts: 6
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I too would like to know what to look for.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: What to look for in a quality vinyl window
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 7:32 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:48 am
Posts: 3
Location: 520 Miller's Run Road, Morgan, PA 15064
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OK, this is what I explain to people at the Pittsburgh Home Show, when they visit our booth:
1. Who is the manufacture (find a company that has been in business awhile, is registered as an Energy Star partner, this is the bare min. req.)
2. What vinyl extrusion is used? You can find out who are the top ten vinyl extruders with a simple google search. Vinyl has a "memory" to it once it is extruded. Some companies use tricky wording to frighten people in their direction by saying they use only "virgin" vinyl. The only vinyl that is not virgin is usually the stops and balance covers on double hungs. It takes time and energy to regrind and reshape old vinyl, so companies only use the scraps for minor parts such as head expanders.
3. How are the vinyl lineals cut and put together? (Your choices are, Mechanically fastened (screwed together, but joint on lineals- avoid this choice), Mechanical-Welded (the frame is screwed together, and the sashes are welded- a little better but still not too good), All Welded (welded master frame, welded sash, lineals cut on a miter- the best) Chemically Welded (the lilneals cut on miters and are glued to hold together- avoid).
Aluminum reinforced vinyl is a statement that the lineals are not strong enough on their own. Some will argue this point, and our company does sell some manufacturers, such as Alside that reinforce at the meeting rail on double hungs with aluminum. Personally, I prefer just a good strong extrusion such as Gorell's 5300 series.
4. The Glass: What is the spacer made of, (which is the material between the two pieces of glass)? Most companies have moved to the intercept spacer which is U shaped and flexes with expansion and contraction. Is the thermopane no more than 7/8" interior space, (otherwise convection occurs and energy efficiency is diminished). Is the glass set on setting blocks within the sash frame, ( keeping the butyl sealant away from moisture that will seep in)?
5. The parts, such as balance, casement hardware, etc.???
Metal or plastic, most balance are steel tape now, not Caldwell spiral or string balances which snap in time.
6. Remember, you can choose the best window made, but if it is not installed properly, you will cause it to fail in performance, and ulitmately defeat the quality of your investment. It is better to buy one or two windows at a time, have them professionally installed, than to buy 4 and compromise the quality. Also, once professionally installed, you are relieve of the concern of service, because the company will do it for you. At least ours does.
Good luck!
Jan


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 Post subject: Fenex
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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Windowworksinc

You shared some good points but also some questionable ones.


"reinforced vinyl is a statement that the lineals are not strong enough on their own"
Reinforcing vinyl extrusions can double and even triple the design pressure ratings... not a bad move at all.

"Most companies have moved to the intercept spacer which is U shaped and flexes with expansion and contraction."
Way off on this one, most companies including those that have used the PPG Intercept are moving away from it to much better performing spacers such as Edgetech's Super-Spacer and TPS. The Intercept is primarily used on the lower end as it is very economical for the manufacturer but it is not considered one of the better performers.

"Is the glass set on setting blocks within the sash frame, ( keeping the butyl sealant away from moisture that will seep in)?"
Butyl is impermiable to moisture and most gases. Setting blocks are used to avoid shear stress due to different expansion rates of frame, glass and spacers when certain material combinations are used.

"Who is the manufacture (find a company that has been in business awhile, is registered as an Energy Star partner, this is the bare min. req.)"
I saved the first for last. "I" am a registered Energy Star Partner and I am not a manufacturer. Becoming a partner simply means that you promote the Energy Star label and meet simple requirements for category eligibility... much like Energy Star products. I work with government groups to "Raise the Bar for Energy Star" that include the tested/varified performance of installed products in actual homes. Then it has teeth and means something again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:57 am
Posts: 6
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is there any thread where the "experts" agree? ;)

i never thought this process would be so involved

thanks to all for the continuing information... and the corrections!


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
Offline
Bostonlou

It's all good... sources like these reduce much of the worthless info and save alot of time. Then, you are only faced with a much smaller amount of research to "fine-tune" the facts. I guess it's still, and will always be a matter of facts verses fiction and finding credible resources that make you feel convinced. They are just windows afterall.


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 Post subject: Re: Reply
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 3:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:57 am
Posts: 6
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FenEx wrote:
Bostonlou

It's all good... sources like these reduce much of the worthless info and save alot of time. Then, you are only faced with a much smaller amount of research to "fine-tune" the facts. I guess it's still, and will always be a matter of facts verses fiction and finding credible resources that make you feel convinced. They are just windows afterall.


You're right... it's all good.

Better to have this info then to have someone come in for an estimate and to attempt to tell me untruths or sell me a $1000 single pane :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:19 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:48 am
Posts: 3
Location: 520 Miller's Run Road, Morgan, PA 15064
Offline
Sorry, but 20 years of experience with research, speaking and trouble shooting with manufacturers, and actual in field installation and service, of a wide variety of window, has supported the statements made. FenEx, you seem to have missed some key statements, such as..."bare minimum requirement", and "it is my personal preference". The metal reinforcement undoubtably adds strength, it also adds weight which causes the balances to fail much sooner, not to mention making it more difficult for women to operate, or lift out the sash. Even adding tempered glass, with it's benefits, can cause these problems as well. We have done the repairs. We have seen butyl fail prematurely due to moisture exposure, having to change the glass for people. It is extremely important to have weep holes in the sash frame rails for drainage, and the glass on setting blocks.
Now perhaps we are behind the times in Pittsburgh, PA, but the majority of the replacement windows sold here use the intercept spacer. Sure you can purchase products with all the bells and whistles, but a good solid window, with decent technology behind it, and a solid company to stand behind the warranty is still available at a very reasonable price. We sell windows up to 101 UI for about $375 installed, including exterior aluminum coverage, clean up and haul away. And that is for several different manufacturers of the customer's choice. Every salesperson will tell you their window is the best. I believe there are many very good windows on the market, and even more bad ones. The customer just needs to look for basic features to understand which category the window they are seeing is in. It's that simple. It doesn't have to be so complicated that it confuses people into choosing a product based on cost, thinking that the more they pay, the better the window must be. Often a company's overhead is reflected in that cost.


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