HELP - Quality vs Price

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dmc7028
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HELP - Quality vs Price

#1 Post by dmc7028 »

Looking for some guidance. We moved into our “forever home” in Rochester NY which is 30 yrs old. Replacing windows due to function and drafts. Doing half now and half in another year or two. Have done plenty of research and have narrowed it down to either OKNA 500 or SL Pro from different large window companies in the area (~$7500 for 12 DH). Or, VWD windows from a wholesaler and installed by a family friend. The VWD are less than half the cost (~$3500). There’s no question the OKNA and SL are way better windows but I'm struggling with why I should spend more than double. The VWD have the same lifetime warranty. In my mind I was thinking worse case scenario the VWD all fail say 10 years from now. I have to replace every window for some reason I'd still be less money than the OKNA and SL. On top of that, in 10-15 years, maybe there are new window technologies which I would want to switch to. I'll cut to the point - if the specs are similar from an entry level window and a top of the line window, why would you buy the more expensive one?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#2 Post by Windows on Washington »

What is VWD?

How many windows are you talking about in this first batch.

While it could be the deal of a lifetime, I have also seen plenty of situations where a family friend became a family
"unfriend" because stuff went off the rails.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#3 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Welcome. Great questions.
Two really:
Installation
Product selection
Can a home owner or their friend do as good a job as a pro. Maybe, but more than likely not. Besides if you like your friend and they have something else to do let them do that. Do they have a trim brake, do they know how to do a good job capping? Do they have W&D foam and progun, and have experience using it.
Lots of windows have lifetime warranties, big deal, till you have to replace parts or other issues. But it sounds as though you may have enough money to do it twice. But you live in the cold, do you get any wind? AL is the simplest way to know if the window will keep you snug and warm. The AL test limit should be .05 or less. The units I use are .02 or .01, no drafts.
Those are the short answers.
wayne theWindowNerd.com

dmc7028
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#4 Post by dmc7028 »

VWD = Vinyl Window Designs out of Canada
12 DH’s

AI - OKNA and SL are definitely better. Believe VWD is 0.10 or 0.11. Clearly not as good but does that justify more than double the price?

Agree on the installation and that is one of my concerns. I don't think capping is a specialty of the family friend. Can he do it? Probably. The larger companies definitely do it and I've seen some real customer examples.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

That $3,500 number is installed? How is that possible? What does the workscope look like?

dmc7028
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#6 Post by dmc7028 »

Just looked at the numbers again. Windows with tax through wholesaler are $2800. Installer would do it for nothing as he's a family friend but I figured give him $100/window. Comes to $4K. Pocket replacement. Insulating around the frame. He can do aluminum wrapping but isn't easy for him as he doesn't have the equipment. He has access to it though. I definitely want them capped so need to address that. I was trying to attach a page of the quote but it won't let me. The VWD brochure can be found https://www.vinylwindowdesigns.com/site ... 4APR16.pdf. Definitely not the quality of OKNA or SL but with a lifetime warranty (no labor of course) for half the price, having a hard time discussing with the wife why would we go the higher/better quality route?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#7 Post by Windows on Washington »

I wouldn't want someone doing the capping that doesn't have the equipment (i.e. the regular experience) for doing it.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#8 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Does it get cold or drafty where you live?
I would not suggest a window with an AL above .05 .
Since you can not get past the lower cost of the other way go for it. Hope it works out for you. I am confident you will be happy. I have had some budget customers that were simple to deal with, for them the bottom line was the bottom line.

wayne theWindowNerd

masterext
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#9 Post by masterext »

ive been doing this a long time and never saw a decent window priced anywhere near $230 per window, not even close.
if u want, just go for it. worse case u just do the windows again in 5 years. i would also see if your friend can find a cheaper window. i know a fireman who helps a friend flip houses and he buys his windows from a hardware store for 210 per window. its recycled vinyl with a spiral balance system. the frame is hollow.
of course these are very low quality but its a price point window that does the job for rentals and flips.

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HomeSealed
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#10 Post by HomeSealed »

dmc, you are setting up a situation for just about the highest likelihood of failure. The only thing worse would be if you found the installer on craigslist. Very cheap window, side job install, what could go wrong? lol... The window failing in less than 10 years is probably the least of your worries-- and incidentally, I just read an article today in Remodeling magazine which stated that about 30% of the replacement windows installed today are replacing units "only about 7 years old". This quoted Chris Mathis, former director of the NFRC.

Secondly, .11 and .02 are not similar AI numbers.

Next, all warranties are not created equal. Lifetime from one company can be VERY different from the next. More importantly, the majority of window warranty claims in the first few years are installation issues. Picture this, your window leaks. Installer friend says, "dang, you should call the manufacturer, those were some cheap windows". Manufacturer says,"based on your description, photos, and inspection, its an install issue". Fingers pointed, friendship broken... oh, and often substantial damage to your home over and above the cost of replacing those windows.

Bottom line: The two quality windows that you are considering are priced as a great deal in the $600's per unit. That's below average for a reputable company, so if they are indeed that (reputable companies), take your pick there and count yourself blessed. The fact that you are here asking this question says two things: 1) you care about not spending thousands of dollars on a total disaster, and 2) you probably already know that one option here already has you lined up behind the 8 ball in that regard. Stick to your gut. Nobody here, nor any professional in the know is going to recommend the cheapo window installed by a buddy.

toddinmn
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Re: HELP - Quality vs Price

#11 Post by toddinmn »

As your accountant the cheap window may make sense depending on how long you live at your home. As a professional I concur with the others. As Clint Eastwood I would have to say “ are you feeling lucky?”

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