Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 12:09 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 179
Advice on window replacements

Hi Everyone:

Who has had experience with getting new energy efficient windows installed in their home? Did you do a lot of research, how many bids did you get, any complaints or regrets about the quality of windows or quality of the installation job, etc. And total price paid.

I have 18 windows in my home plus an 8 foot sliding patio door. My house was built in the late 1950's and all windows are single pane with aluminum frames. (Very drafty and "sweat" terribly during the winter months; I sometimes have to get a towel and wipe up the moisture that puddles on the sills.) A number of these windows are very large. Total "united inches" (glass area) for all windows and patio door is 2,429.

I have had 5 bids so far, ranging from $11,000 to $38,000. After having each window rep give his 3 to 4 hour high-pressure sales talk, I have learned there are many different windows brands and levels of quality. I think I will go with the "LbL" windows and avoid the lower-end quality windows like Milgard. I will no doubt pay more and have been told that "you get what you pay for". But I don't want to pay more than I have to.

Would appreciate any comments, advice, recommendations, suggestions or personal stories. Thank you!

Toejam
__________________

__________________
Toejam is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 12:48 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Advice on window replacements

It's been a while since I've looked at insulated windows, but I remember hearing that ammonia-based cleaners on vinyl window seals is a very bad thing.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 12:58 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 113
Re: Advice on window replacements

If you are feeling handy you could try to do it yourself. *4 years ago my FIL and I replaced the windows in our current house for ~$3000, midwest prices ,and 6 hours of work day one then another 3 hours reframing the next day. *WIndows included 6 smallish around 3x3, 1 medium around 6 x 3, & 1 large about 7 x 7. *The large and medium windows were made of two smaller windows with a vinyl seal between them. *They are typical double hung, double pane, vinyl. *Certainly a step down from Pella or Anderson, but they are from the local company that mid level builders typically buy from.

This looks like a pretty accurate description of what is involved.

http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/artic...ticle_id=60193

BTW 3x3 and 6x3 were two person jobs and the 7x7 took three of us so you would probably need to con someone into helping you.
__________________
boutros is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Advice on window replacements

I couldn't detect any quality difference among the vinyl windows I looked at. * I went with Milgard from Lowes when we fixed up a fixer-upper. * Lifetime warranty and installation was very reasonable via their contractor. * I think we spent under $5000 for about 15 windows and a sliding door.

In any case, vinyl + double-pane will be about 100x better than your current windows. * Get the low-E glass, and don't worry about the gas-filled windows. * The gas leaks out eventually.

Also, have a contractor on hand other than the window guys. * *With those single pane aluminum windows you had, you're pretty likely to find water damage.
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 01:41 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 273
Re: Advice on window replacements

Our house was built in '84 with Anderson double pane windows but last year prior to installing a new HVAC system I had the local utility perform a blower door test and found out that there was no, none, zilch insulation around the windows. That's where all my drafts were coming from so I pulled the trim and insulated all the windows and doors in the house. My point, make sure everything is properly insulated or double pane windows might not help that much.
__________________
time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
larry is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 02:06 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
thefed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,203
Re: Advice on window replacements

I paid 3300 3 years ago for 7 or 8 double hund 2x3 ft, and one 8x4. Installed. I SAW and FELT the difference immediately. I had the aluminum frames like you do. They charged an extra 50 each to install them because the metal is a pain to get out. It can definately be a DIY.

I dont see the need for 33k in windows, but it's your choice. Did you detect a quality difference between the 33k and 11k? Probably not a 20k difference! You should be happy with whatever you choose, so I say go for the guy who seemed to be the straight shooter.


__________________
thefed is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 03:00 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Advice on window replacements

Consumer reports did a whole thing on windows and window installation a while back.

Here's there list of top rated windows.

Double-Hung Windows
Marvin Clad Ultimate
Andersen Tilt-Wash
Pella ProLine
CertainTeed Bryn Mawr II
Andersen Narroline
Pozzi Clad
Andersen Millennium
Survivor 5500 (Lowe's)
Crestline CrestWood
Caradco Guardian

Casement
Andersen
CertainTeed Bryn Mawr II

I like the pella's just fine and they're pretty widely available.

What you might find is as the installation proceeds, they find problems with dry rot in the sills or surrounding framing. Getting and keeping a good flashing seal around the windows may require quite a bit of work depending on what kind of siding you have. Stucco's a huge pain and a good installer can make it look untouched while a bozo will make it look horrible. Wood siding can be lifted and fit pretty easily. Other materials will be in the middle.

Some guys will just cut the old window out, leaving its original frame, and slide a custom cut replacement window into that opening. It doesnt always look very good and if you have problems with the original windows seal that wont fix it.

If you live in an area thats very hot or very cold, look into low-e windows. They prevent a lot of heat from entering the house through the glass and keep heat inside the house as well. Some of the cheap ones are pretty "green" looking but I've seen a bunch of decent low-e windows that looked great. Cost difference isnt that much.

Quality-wise on windows, the real differences wont show up for 8-10 years, depending on your weather. Frames warp, finishes peel, you lose the seal between panes, etc.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 04:54 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Re: Advice on window replacements

Toejam,
I bought 20 windows a year ago (replaced aluminum frame, single paned windows like your, ours were casement windows installed in 1958, but I replaced them with horiz sliders). I shopped around a lot, and prices were all over the map, and there were differences in quality. I bought Alside brand vinyl windows (double paned, Argon, low-e glass. "Excalibur" line) at the end of the hunt, and had them installed by a local contractor. Total price was a little less than $9K. http://www.alside.com/index.aspx?page=510
You'll really notice the change in your house with the new windows. Less drafty, a lot quieter, and you'll open/close the windows more often (because all the hardware works smoothly).
Quality installation is important. I didn't have any personal recommendations I could use, so I referred to our local BBB site, which was actually pretty useful in helping me avoid the worst crooks. If you've got an Angie's List site that covers your area, that might be useful.

Unless your house is a historic gem or you have special aesthetic requirements, I'd avoid the fashion windows and find something that is built well and is practical.


__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 06:34 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
maddythebeagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,450
Re: Advice on window replacements

Quote:
Here's there list of top rated windows.

Double-Hung Windows
Marvin Clad Ultimate
Andersen Tilt-Wash
Pella ProLine
CertainTeed Bryn Mawr II
Andersen Narroline
Pozzi Clad
Andersen Millennium
Survivor 5500 (Lowe's)
Crestline CrestWood
Caradco Guardian
We went with the Pella ProLine for most and a couple of their higher quality for some others. They are aluminum clad on the outside and wood (that you have to stain and varnish on inside...if you want that. The wood is pine for most but our bay window came in oak and birch was available as recall.). Otherwise it looks like a lot of the other are vinyl on the inside.

I have heard that the all vinyl sag eventually.
__________________
- Hurry! to the cliffs of insanity!
maddythebeagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
Re: Advice on window replacements

I second the comment about having a carpenter and spare 3 by 4s and sill material handy to fix any dry rot.* Also, proper flashing is an absolute MUST.* [Some contractors may low-ball the windows and pick your pocket on the carpentry side.] If nothing else buy a 1/2 hour of a local architect's time and have a detail of the flashing prepared and attached to your contract.* Then, have a local construction mavin 'observe' the work to assure that the job is done correctly.*

We have seen window flashing in my community that makes my spouse (an architect) cringe.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-14-2006, 05:54 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
Re: Advice on window replacements

I'm a DIY fanatic and chose not to do the windows and sliding glass doors when they needed replacement. Time was an important consideration... doing 1 window per day would have kept me very busy for a month or more :P

Most issues have been covered above (brands, labor, installation). For me whats key at the beach is the warrantee! High winds, heat, and driving rain can defeat the seal between the panes. Condensation is very annoying. I remember a clever line from a book in my DIY library, " Window and door installation must be done right the first time. People seldom fix an unbalanced or sticky door. They live with it for decades."

Don't forget to save that warrantee paperwork


__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Advice on window replacements
Old 06-14-2006, 10:26 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
thefed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,203
Re: Advice on window replacements

Re: the comment on Allside windows

They make windows for MANY different companies. That's why I went with the cheaper version one window guy had. All 4 guys I had out said 8/10 of their windows were made by Allside anyhow (their factory is right down the street)


Jason
__________________

__________________
thefed is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
update on parents and need $ advice on several issues WM FIRE and Money 17 06-27-2007 07:55 PM
need advice on trust thing tikitoast FIRE and Money 18 06-20-2006 09:30 AM
I need some advice on the best way to stick my pole... Andre1969 Other topics 10 03-23-2006 02:31 PM
Advice needed on Indiv Med Ins Plans starry night FIRE and Money 4 03-04-2006 05:41 PM
Advice for a Newbe..... Please ShokWaveRider FIRE and Money 53 06-25-2004 09:04 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:27 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.