Originally Posted by WanderALot
1. Home Depot/Lowes seems to have the major manufacturers like Jeld Wen, ThermaTru etc. I realize a mom-and-pop place might be more knowledgeable, but the two guys I've talked to at our local big box stores seem to be pretty good and they have a very good sale now. Is there any reason not to go with HD/Lowes? They (or their subs) wouldn't be doing the install since we have a contractor, so that's not an issue.. I've heard some say that the Jeld Wen @ HD is of a lower-tier than what you would find at a specialized window store, but I would think at least the special-order windows would be the same quality?
Before we hired our contractor, spouse spent hours at HD and a couple specialty window stores.
We learned that aluminum frames were better than vinyl for our decor preferences and our climate, which left behind the local specialty window store. I was concerned about that local store's spare parts support, anyway, so I'm glad we're going with aluminum.
When we sent the contractor out for a better quote, he kept running into little gotchas. We wanted low-E double panes with tint. Doesn't sound very esoteric, but Jeld-Wen apparently uses two different thicknesses of glass in their double panes to reduce the resonance effect of certain acoustic frequencies. Each company and brand was not able to deliver on something like that, or their prices would be 40% higher. Among 10 windows and an eight-foot sliding glass door, there were enough design compromises that we ended up back at HD.
They're supposed to be delivered next week. We'll let you know how it works out.
A decade ago my parents-in-law had hellacious problems with the seals on their double-pane gas-filled vinyl windows in Maryland. After months of bickering with the manufacturer over warranty, it turned out that ammonia-based window cleaners are bad for the rubber/synthetic seals on vinyl windows. Hopefully there aren't any other quirks like that on today's products.