Patio door and basement windows questions

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Briant73
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Patio door and basement windows questions

#1 Post by Briant73 » Sat May 09, 2020 9:10 pm

Hello to everyone. I’m looking to replace my patio door (finally) and also decided to get quotes for replacing (3) windows in my finished basement and one in the garage. The installer has good reviews and pricing appears good he usually deals in Polaris and Kennisgnton. The current windows are 45+ year old paella crank units that appear pella just turned the casement windows on their side.

For patio door he recommends a Polaris ultraweld which my research says is a decent unit if a bit bulky in the frame, is this still the case with this unit?

For the basement/garage windows he recommends ultraweld awning windows. I would like to state these windows would be primarily for ventilation and letting light in and are on the side and back of the house only, where performance and function I value over looks. I have some questions
1) From what I see it appears most Replacement awning windows only open so far and have a control arm hooked into them, is that the case? Also how hard is it to open the window quickly for egress if someone in the basement needed to use it as an emergency escape? Should I think about a different type of window like a slider and what are the pros/cons?

2) As I said above I’m more concerned with having a decent performing/functional window - should I inquire about kennignston or thermaweld plus to see if there is a cost savings? Any products from kennignston to avoid?

Thanks.
Last edited by Briant73 on Sun May 17, 2020 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#2 Post by Windows on Washington » Sun May 10, 2020 7:27 am

Both are solid products indeed. If its me, I just stick with the Ultra.

Briant73
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#3 Post by Briant73 » Mon May 11, 2020 8:31 am

Thanks for the reply, for the patio door I am going with the ultraweld. As for the basement/garage windows I have read good things about thermaweld plus and Kennignston and figure since they are less used/needed I'd like to see if I could save a bit of cash and still get decent performance.

Still curious on quick egress for awning windows vs slider type?

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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#4 Post by masterext » Mon May 11, 2020 8:44 am

Thermal weld is a decent window and kensington is very good, especially the quantum.

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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#5 Post by toddinmn » Mon May 11, 2020 11:30 pm

I d go with your installers recommendations. The bulk unless of the UltraWeld is mostly aimed at there double hungs as compared to other vinyl brands but I don’t know how they compare to the Kensington’s.
I would say the slider would be better but you may have to remove both sashes, and yes the awning would Have the control arm in the way. If you are comparing these types to an old hopper style window they both may be to small for egress, especially if they are an insert.

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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed May 13, 2020 4:36 am

If the windows can be done as awning. The function and size will not meet egress.
The size issue may preclude any of your choices from meeting legal requirements for egress. So I am not sure if it is a relevant thought. If your opening RO is 32" x 18" nothing is going to make that egress except to change the RO.

wayne theWindowNerd.com

Briant73
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#7 Post by Briant73 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:46 pm

Spoke to the window installer today, decided to go with the Polaris Ultraweld Patio Door, 3 UW awning style windows for the finished part of the basement, and one slider window for the garage.

Thanks to everyone for their help and comments.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Fri May 15, 2020 2:00 pm

Good choice. I'd opt for the Polaris products here as well. Proven performers and a stable company.

Briant73
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#9 Post by Briant73 » Sun May 17, 2020 2:56 pm

I wanted to take a few minutes to offer some thoughts and say I appreciate that there are forums for windows and doors where professionals and consumers can gather. Not all of us live in areas with a lot of window installer choices much less showrooms where we can compared products so a forum like this is great resource to learn. Thanks again to everyone here who takes time to comment and help out us consumers.

Now some thoughts:
1) I think a lot of window/door manufacturers could do a better job with their web presence, the good ones have a ton of information and pictures, sometimes even a virtual showroom on their sites, the worst barely mention anything much. I understand a lot of them trust the installers will do this but that leads to my second thought.

2) I appreciated this site because it helps find information and make decisions without going thru tons of long sales presentations. Over aggressive even questionable sales tactics some installation companies do - I'm all for someone who is proud of their product and service and wants to make a sale but when they resort to disparaging competitors, pricing that is only good that moment, and becoming borderline rude when you request sometime to think about things - that's a deal breaker for me. I have had some awful experiences with some that are bad enough to where I just want to give up on the process altogether.

3) Research says that a competent installation is key to making a window perform best, a good window product is only as good as the install. A good installer may not be able to make an inferior product perform any better but a poor installation can make even the best performing product subpar.

4) Any chance of more articles and/or videos showing and comparing products? I find it's not always easy looking at small pics on the web to see things like detail of the product, operation, and size of the sashes and such.

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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon May 18, 2020 5:16 am

"4) Any chance of more articles and/or videos showing and comparing products? I find it's not always easy looking at small pics on the web to see things like detail of the product, operation, and size of the sashes and such."

If only we had the time.

theWindowNerd

Briant73
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#11 Post by Briant73 » Mon May 18, 2020 8:24 pm

TheWindowNerd wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 5:16 am
"4) Any chance of more articles and/or videos showing and comparing products? I find it's not always easy looking at small pics on the web to see things like detail of the product, operation, and size of the sashes and such."

If only we had the time.

theWindowNerd
I hear you about finding time, I'm just thankful that the pros here can take a few minutes out of their day to share their thoughts with people like me even if we are outside their sales area.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#12 Post by HomeSealed » Tue May 19, 2020 2:15 pm

Can't disagree with any of that Brian. There are many dealers that take things far past professionalism such as those tactics that you've mentioned, there's no doubt about that. As we get further and further into a day and age of online research and informed customers, these tactics are used somewhat less frequently. Unfortunately the only thing that will truly expedite that process (or eliminate them entirely some day) will be consumers such as yourself not falling for them. As soon as these tactics stop working, they will go away. Those of us that are honest and ethical hope that day comes sooner than later.

That said, there is something to be said from the flip-side. The reason that even honest and ethical guys have to be more "sales-oriented" than perhaps they would like, is once again consumer behavior. Low prices are awfully attractive. Window replacement and home improvement in general is an industry with almost ZERO barrier to entry. If you have tools and a pickup truck you can get licensed in most states as a contractor with no actual qualifications, and certainly no business acumen or education is needed. This results in many, many, many "contractors" that come and go, do terrible work, mismanage money and screw over homeowners after charging less than their costs, then go out of business quickly, etc. Recent data from the BBB shows 10.7 million complaints in this industry (home improvements), and the SBA says that 90%+ of these companies fail within 5 years. While there are certainly BBB complaints about sleazy sales tactics, most are about the low price, pickup truck contractor variety. As for the sleazy guys, for the most part these companies will at least do a decent job and be around in 10 years to service you. Yes, there are price gougers out there and dealing with them is not recommended. That said, you may actually spend less doing so than hiring your cousin's neighbor who is a firefighter and does windows on weekends, and then have to have that work redone by a reputable firm. I won't quote the exact number because I don't have it handy, however I have seen data suggesting that re-work of poorly completed home improvement projects is responsible for well over a quarter of all spending in the sector. As the saying goes, " only rich folks can afford to pay twice".

It sounds like you have done your due diligence Brian, kudos to you for that. Most of the info stated above won't apply to you for that reason, however just in digging deeper as to how and why there are these shady characters out there, most of the reason comes down to consumer behavior at the core. The best thing that you can do is avoid both the cheapo guys working out of a pickup, as well as the wingtip wearing tin-men. In nearly every town you should be able to find a reputable installer that has been in business for a while, has great reviews and ratings, and carries a good product because he cares about what he's doing.

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Re: Patio door and basement windows questions

#13 Post by masterext » Tue May 19, 2020 2:59 pm

HomeSealed
You explained that perfectly. You are right about high pressure sales guys that offer good products and charge high prices. Although they sometimes charge outrageous prices, they still usually do good work and in the end their prices usually wind up less than the family friend who uses an inferior product and a sub par install. However, I certainly dont endorse the high pressure time share pitch though.
Your best point is using salesmanship. You need to utilize that when going against these low ball “ jack of all trades” contractors. There is nothing wrong with being a good salesman and delivering everything promised.

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