Can any contractor install Okna

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warrenal82
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Can any contractor install Okna

#1 Post by warrenal82 »

I already have a contractor that I want to do my entire home renovation, but he's suggesting windows (Harvey, Anderson) that I don't want because there seems to be better options in market (Okna). Okna seems to be distributed primarily through installers-only. Is that because it takes a special skill set to install them or as long as I trust my current contractor to install windows well, he should also be able to install Okna, Sunrise, etc. well? Any insight would be appreciated!

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HomeSealed
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#2 Post by HomeSealed »

Yes and no.

Most high end window manufacturers sell only through authorized dealers. If your contractor is not an authorized dealer, you (or he) would need to locate one to try and source the windows through them. A few sell through select distributors as well.

That said, there are reasons for this. Some benefit the contractor, some benefit the manufacturer, and some benefit the consumer. Generally speaking, you have pretty good odds of getting an established, financially stable company with a good reputation if the are direct, authorized dealers of a high end product. Manufacturers like to do business with customers that pay their bills. Some would say that this is a tactic that allows dealers to price gouge, and to that I'd say hogwash. A company that is going to price gouge will do so regardless of product, and if they are truly unethical, they'll likely do it with a low priced window. One of the highest priced companies in my area buys the same window as Window World, slaps a different sticker on it, and sells at the highest price in town.

Back to your situation, my recommendation would be to consider a company that specializes in windows and doors. The "jack of all trades, master of none" model often ends with some aspect of the project done poorly. No matter what they want to tell you, nobody can do everything to a high degree of quality. You'll have access to better product options, and have the project completed by guys that do that same thing all day every day. Use your guy for the things that he is great at, and choose others for the rest. Just my $.02.

toddinmn
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#3 Post by toddinmn »

High end vinyl is kinda of niche market. Products can be very regional and typically sold as installed product only. I would say quite often premium prices are normal. It is to bad that there is not more quality options for contractors. If you go this route you will probably need to bring in another contractor on your own or through your contractor and then go through the complications of them working together especially when it comes to the flashing details and warranty work . As a window contractor I avoid these situations and as a general contractor I avoid these situations. If I was the general and forced to use another sub I would put on 25% minimum to deal with headache.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd »

I believe the answer is that you are here asking the question.
+1 to what Brandon shared.
Here is another simple test, does he have W&D foam and a progun?

I will say this though, there are a lot of sub standard installers out there.

theWindowNerd

toddinmn
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#5 Post by toddinmn »

If you can’t trust you’re general contractor to instAll window right what can you trust them to do? At this point of distrust You’re better off becoming the GC yourself

Ricknez
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#6 Post by Ricknez »

A higher end window manufacturer will generally steer clear of “ jack of all trades “ types who arent quality oriented.
Historically these types tend to have a hard time managing their finances and usually survive in large part due to homeowners who just want the cheapest price. These “ jack of all trades “ types are also referred to as the “ family friend” or the guy who comes highly recommended from a friend. Irresgardless of his title, the one constant is that he is almost always the cheapest and thats really what draws certain homeowners. Unfortunately it doesnt seem to draw higher end window manufacturers.

warrenal82
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#7 Post by warrenal82 »

I appreciate the replies. I fully trust the contractor as he has done great work on over 50+ homes in my neighborhood. Also, Okna is willing to sell me the materials through a distributor without that distributor doing the install. The question is if these high-end vinyl windows require a different training or technique than installing a Harvey for example. Nerd Window mentioned having access to a certain type of foam and a Pro gun. I can't tell if that was said in "there's no way a non manufacturer licensed contractor would" or "duh, everyone has access to that".

While using a niche window installer would be great in a vacuum, I have a large project that I'd prefer to have one team manage.

Lastly, if the answer is stick to a more widespread brand. Is Harvey Tribute or Paradigm 8500 okay options?

toddinmn
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#8 Post by toddinmn »

If you can get the Okna wholesaled to you at a fair price that is great, not to many do this.
A window foam gun can be had for $50 dollars, but some still use fiberglass insulation for some crazy reason.
There is no special training from the manufacturer and they all go in basically the same.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#9 Post by HomeSealed »

warrenal82 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:47 am I appreciate the replies. I fully trust the contractor as he has done great work on over 50+ homes in my neighborhood. Also, Okna is willing to sell me the materials through a distributor without that distributor doing the install. The question is if these high-end vinyl windows require a different training or technique than installing a Harvey for example. Nerd Window mentioned having access to a certain type of foam and a Pro gun. I can't tell if that was said in "there's no way a non manufacturer licensed contractor would" or "duh, everyone has access to that".

While using a niche window installer would be great in a vacuum, I have a large project that I'd prefer to have one team manage.

Lastly, if the answer is stick to a more widespread brand. Is Harvey Tribute or Paradigm 8500 okay options?
Has he installed windows in those 50 homes? To a high level of satisfaction? ... and proven over a few years not to have service issues? If so, you should be all good.

As far as installation techniques, assuming that you are looking at the vinyl lines as opposed to composite, no. General window installation methods and best practices apply. In fact, a quality window is easier to install than a cheap one, provided that you know what you are doing.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Where are you located.
What function of window, what model you looking for?

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Delaware Mike
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#11 Post by Delaware Mike »

Those Harvey and Paradigm models would be fine of most folks. Both are strong companies with good reputations. OKNA will have a clear edge in the engineering, energy performance, and appearance of the product. I've installed all of the products that you have mentioned. OKNA, which offers new construction options in regard to a flange on their windows will have only that frame new construction option, while Paradigm has a lot of fancy exterior profile new construction decorative options to choose from. But, these are only for new construction. The Harvey line is a little dated in my opinion, but it's kind of a solid "work horse" level window.

My opinions on GC's doing insert windows is more like the other pros mentioned with their knowledge on modern practices like pro spray foam guns. The biggest however might be would be how good are they with the siding brake and metal work around the window. Most have roofing, fascia/rake, and other more simply bend ability for braking metal trim coil, but windows may need to be capped a little differently as we pros frown up bad miter joints, face nailing the metal, and the ability to cap into a face perimeter vinyl frame utility/accessory groove. If you're getting new siding, you most likely wouldn't need metal work around the windows too.

warrenal82
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#12 Post by warrenal82 »

I'm in the West Chester PA area. I noticed someone said it should be fine assuming we aren't buying a composite window. Of course the Okna sales rep just hyped up the Starmark Evo which is a composite. That requires more specialized skill set / training? Also, has anyone noticed more or less of an off-gas smell with vinyl vs composite? We're sensitive to VOC's / off-gassing so wondering which material would be better.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#13 Post by TheWindowNerd »

We offer the 500/5500Dx and the 800DX. We prefer the 800DX for most applications.

I do not think you will notice any smell or off gassing from the windows. The caulk and foam may be a different story.
We have never had any problems though. If you are hyper sensitive you could consider asking your contractor to provide fresh samples of both to check your reaction.

theWindowNerd

warrenal82
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#14 Post by warrenal82 »

HomeSealed wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 11:33 am
warrenal82 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:47 am I appreciate the replies. I fully trust the contractor as he has done great work on over 50+ homes in my neighborhood. Also, Okna is willing to sell me the materials through a distributor without that distributor doing the install. The question is if these high-end vinyl windows require a different training or technique than installing a Harvey for example. Nerd Window mentioned having access to a certain type of foam and a Pro gun. I can't tell if that was said in "there's no way a non manufacturer licensed contractor would" or "duh, everyone has access to that".

While using a niche window installer would be great in a vacuum, I have a large project that I'd prefer to have one team manage.

Lastly, if the answer is stick to a more widespread brand. Is Harvey Tribute or Paradigm 8500 okay options?
Has he installed windows in those 50 homes? To a high level of satisfaction? ... and proven over a few years not to have service issues? If so, you should be all good.

As far as installation techniques, assuming that you are looking at the vinyl lines as opposed to composite, no. General window installation methods and best practices apply. In fact, a quality window is easier to install than a cheap one, provided that you know what you are doing.
What would make the composite line a different story?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Can any contractor install Okna

#15 Post by HomeSealed »

A lot more intricacies to the installation. Its a PHENOMENAL window, the rep was right to talk it up, but it wouldn't be advisable to expect a guy that's used to slapping in vinyl windows to install them without skipping a beat. The methods that they are fastened, supported, measured, etc are all a little unique... On occasion we'll supply windows to high end builders etc, but that window is not an option in those cases.

Also, as alluded to by WN above, no concern about off-gassing with either material.

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