best replacement windows

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by nickyg, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. nickyg

    nickyg New Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I am looking into buying replacement windows for my 60's built home. We currently have double hung, wood framed, single pane windows. They are very hard to operate and very inefficient.... There are a number of replacement window companies in our area (cleveland, oh), but it is very hard to find information or consumer reports on who is the best? Can anyone help? Is there a good website with reviews? Has anyone had similar experiences. I am probably interested in middle of the road vinyl replacement windows.
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    First, be aware that the first price that the guy from the TV ad company gives you is at least twice what it will cost if you bargain hard and get competitive quotes.

    They are a lot like politicians.

    Question: How do you know they are lying?

    Answer: Their lips are moving!

    Also, the #1 rule for dealing with people who come to your house to sell you something is, "NEVER sign anything during that first visit, and never sign anything that they haven't left with you so you can read it at your leisure". That special first-visit "only today" bargain is ALWAYS available at a better price.

    I had a NewPro outfit in my house a year ago, and the first price was $23,000 (more than my house cost when I built it). They NEVER showed me the "guarantee" that it would reduce heating costs by 50% or some such thing. A guarantee that they won't let you review with your lawyer is useless, if it exists at all.

    After I let them stew a few days, the manager came out and told me they had a factory that was moving and I could get the windows "Now" for about $11,000.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    I've been looking into this as well. There are some good technical reasons to consider something other than vinal. I'll probably end up with some from here They're not the most expensive, but definately not the low end. The thing I like about them is you can get them either with a white interior, or a wood-grain that can be stained with a gell-stain to match woodwork. Because they are a lot stronger than vinal, as a replacement window you don't lose as much glass area since the frame is much thinner. In fact, you might actually gain a little.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    I've seen them in a showroom, but no, I've not bit the bullet. I really like the idea that you can stain the insides, and it does look like wood. If you like the white, I think it is less. Vinal usually doesn't like to be painted.
  6. We just replaced all our 1930's windows with Andersen's 400 series. These are a solid wood core, vinyl clad exterior, with a pine interior. We're pretty happy with them. The local Andersen rep came to inspect them, found a factory flaw, and ordered a new sash for our biggest window - no charge.
  7. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Anderson's are good, and their support is great... Now that said, their vinyl finish doesn't hold up to the Arizona sun, the Territone exterior color is wearing thru after 10 years, and that's with no cleaning of the surface.

  8. Big Eyes

    Big Eyes New Member

    Sep 25, 2009
    Cincinnati OH
    Alside has some good replacement windows. visit their website for all the different styles they carry.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    I recommend dealing with a major manufacturer, and a very good lumber yard and contractor, so you have a lot of people to go after on the warranty issue. Sooner or later, averages are that one of your double pane seals will fail, and you will need a new sash. You want good warranty backup on that.

    I had windows put in a year ago, and had an issue with a leak around one. The contractor was recommended by the major lumber yard where I bought the windows, and he wants to stay in there good graces, so he was very coopertive in taking care of the issue.
  10. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Jul 24, 2007
    Robber, with some DIY on the side.
    This is a useful, but slow posting site which is good, particularly on suggesting the better brands.

    I did my own windows after getting some quotes from some hard-sale cowboys, who refused to leave even after I called the police. I didn't think people like that existed. Take care who you invite into your home. Windows salespeople are in a league of their own.

    I have Alside windows and they are OK, but only mid-range. They are definitely not the best windows out there.

    But your choice for windows is limited when DIY'in.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  11. Agu

    Agu New Member

    May 21, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I picked up a side business as an independent sales rep for a local window firm and learned a lot about windows/ sliding glass doors.

    First of all Anderson is the Gold standard for windows, and very few customers are willing to pay up for the best, and most don't need the best.

    Second, there are a lot of quality products in the second tier that fulfill your customers needs at a substantial savings. If quality control and product support are there the windows/doors are a good investment in your home.

    Third, the product is no better than your worst installer. I connected with a top notch installer and never had a call back, except to order more windows or for a referral.

    And BTW Ian, nobody called the police on me because I didn't care if they bought from me. Quit the job after I bought and installed the same windows/sliding glass doors as replacements in my own home (at cost) ;). The company was happy, I was happy, and my customers were happy, triple WIN.
  12. TWEAK

    TWEAK New Member

    May 17, 2009
    Bay Area CA
    I just put in a Milgard vinyl window last year and am very pleased. I know Anderson makes a good product but unless I was in an architectural situation that demanded a wood window, there is no way I would put myself through that kind of pain. Pella has a good vinyl window too, but my dealer said that they felt Milgard was the best operating and best sealed window. I can't comment on the relative performance of Pella v. Milgard, but I can say that the Milgard works beautifully. Vinyl windows are so smooth and easy in all seasons, that they're the way to go IMO.

    Of course, the operation is highly dependant on the installation. Any window that is distorted - either racked or out of plane - on installation won't operate well. It has nothing to do with the window.

    The other thing to consider regarding the installation is the flashing. Some installers just use silicone and call it good. IMO proper flashing is an absolute necessity. I installed my own and the flashing, while not hard, takes up most of the installation time. Caulking - even something good like the P&L polyurethane, may eventually separate. The leak will go unnoticed and you could end up with major structural water damage. Proper flashing (I think aluminum is best if possible) is more reliable. Also, a drip edge installed above the window if possible is well worth it.

    Finally, when you say replacement windows.... some of these leave some of the old window in place. The inside of the window is removed, the frame is left in and the new window fits into the old frame. This is a common approach when replacing aluminum windows, but I don't know if it's done with wood windows. The problem with this is that the actual glass area get a little smaller. Personally, I don't like this kind of "replacement" window although the installation costs should be very low.
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