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In need of home window experts
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:41 PM
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Default In need of home window experts

Unfortunately I'm shopping for windows for my home and I've never heard so much "their stuff is shit because of this" sales pitch in my life! Does anyone here install or manufacture windows. All my information on windows before I started this came from looking on the internet. However most of what the salesmen tell me is different than what I've read. I need to know if their is window brands I should avoid, triple vs double glaze etc.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

Normally I'd say forget windows and use Linux but I don't think that will serve you well here... Sysadmin humor, it's not for everyone. :-)

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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

I'm not an expert but I have installed quite a few windows in new houses and as replacements over the years
I'd say just about any decent/reputable window manufacturers double hung, double pane windows would be fine (vinyl or wood is up to you, I personally like Vinyl windows).
The gas filled (argon, etc) double panes offer a Slight increase in the R value but usually cost a lot more and I personally don't believe they ever really pay for themselves in energy savings.
Read this:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/n...-gas/index.htm
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

We are winding up a remodel of our so. FL home, which included new windows, doors, and garage doors. The rear of the house has a NanaWall http://www.nanawall.com/ref=Adwords&...d-eb14e3a52628
which is a folding wall of single-light doors which gives us a ~17 ft. clear open space. Apart from the garage doors and the Nanawall, the other windows ran about $800 apiece, installed. South Florida has one of the toughest building codes in the country, which is a direct result of Hurricane Andrew in Aug. 1992. All these openings must be filled w/wind load-resistant devices capable of withstanding the + and - pressures from a hurricane which may take hours to pass. There is also a penetration requirement, they use a gas-powered cannon firing a 2 x 4 at the window from a couple feet away, and the window must not allow breaching of the opening, this is referred to as 'impact windows.' If you don't have them, you need to install hurricane shutters on new or retro-fit construction. As a plans examiner, life safety inspector, and ff/paramedic, I was involved in everything from vetting drawings and plans to site inspections for construction practices.

Buy the best quality windows you can afford. The inert-gas windows will probably leak over time, the triple-glazed windows are for -30* C areas. Vinyl is probably cheapest. Vinyl covered wood frames like Andersen are very good, and should last a long time. Marvin is another good brand. Pella is too. In FL two brands which pass the impact tests are PGT and CGI. We bought CGI after I examined the shop drawings for the method of construction.

In the frozen north and where it's below freezing for weeks at a time, the method of installation is probably as important as the window itself. I suggest you go to your local building dept. and ask the structural plans examiner what he or she considers the best, the best for the buck, and what to stay-away from. You might have a tough time getting an answer on that last one.

Be prepared to pay, it's worth it to have the better product if you're gonna be there for years. Pay attention to the thermal break design, these should conduct far-less cold to the inside, not 'sweat,' and are probably more-expensive.

My two garage doors, impact resistant and the highest rated insulation I could get, cost more than my VMax I bought from the dealer in Ft. Lauderdale in 1993.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

I put Andersen vinyl clad wood windows (400 series tilt wash double hung low E double pane glass) on my house and am satisfied with the performance. I may look at adding Andersen storm windows to add a layer cold protection. They work pretty well in the summer if I cool the house by leaving windows open during the night or at least a couple hours before the sun hits then close it up, pull the curtains/ shades during the day. It is still cool in the house on all but the hottest/ humid days. Last summer I only ran the window a/c about 7 days total.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

+1 on what Firemedic said, I worked in the building supply business both wholesale and retail for more than a few years, the best window to buy is the one you can afford, if your existing windows are 10 years old or older just about any decent window you buy is going to be light years better don't kill yourself over brands just get the best one you can afford and spend your time finding a GOOD installer that will save you the most money in the long run their are a lot of sketchy installers out their make sure your guy is at least licensed and insured and ask for references IMO, good luck
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

Get them from a good reputable dealer. I put Pella's from Lowes in my house and they are junk. I have other Pella's that are commercial grade and they are fantastic. Point is, I think the Lowes/home depot are a lower grade than what the good installers put in. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's what I seem to have found.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

I haven't been to the Pella website, but usually the manufacturers have multiple lines priced accordingly. In our home in NY by Lake Ontario we had Pellas which were spec'ed for the house by the architect. They were awesome in service and looked great. Now because that was a long time ago, their current lines are probably a far cry from then, but Pella is one of the brands that I have seen in homes in south FL where the budget is definitely, 'upscale.' Again, there are different lines within each manufacturer's range, buy the best you can afford.

I dunno if you were planning to install them yourself, but if you are going to hire someone, you better ensure they have a current commercial license for their scope of work, that they ar approved to work in your area, and are insured. Don't be afraid to call their agent listed on their insurance binder. The local authority having jurisdiction will require the binder before approving them to work in their village, town, or city.

There is also a 'notice of commencement,' which protects you from paying twice for work done by a subcontractor if the contractor subs-out the installation. Without it, the sub-contractor can sue you in court and they will win a judgement against you if the contractor takes your $$$ and then doesn't pay the sub-contractor for installation. Filing the 'notice of commencement' is usually required by your local government, at the clerk's office, and it's there to protect you from unethical businesses. Yes, doing the work w/permits costs more, requires inspections, but it protects you from creeps like that. At-least, it should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 06VMAXIMUS View Post
Get them from a good reputable dealer. I put Pella's from Lowes in my house and they are junk. I have other Pella's that are commercial grade and they are fantastic. Point is, I think the Lowes/home depot are a lower grade than what the good installers put in. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's what I seem to have found.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

I installed four Northstar casement windows in my place two years ago, very happy with them. "Made in Cape Breton, for Canadian winters", they said. They were purchased at Home Depot. I believe they have a 25 yr. warranty against seal leakage, 30yr. on everything else.
The casement design is the only way to go, i.m.o. Closes like a door, seals well, and the locking mechanism is adjustable when the seals start to wear. For ventilation, they can be oriented to open to catch the prevailing wind direction. One downside would be that they are not suitable for window-mount air conditioners.
Expect to pay at least 2-3 times the cost of the window for "professional" installation, if you choose to go this way. The window and door business is one of the most lucrative cash cows for the home reno industry. If you are handy with your hands and enjoy basic framing and trim work, you could save megabucks by doing the work yourself, OR getting a pro to do one window, watching the process carefully, and asking questions (and of course doing the internet thing - hundreds of videos available on the subject) One important thing is the rough opening size. Many make the mistake of making it too small. Ample room must be left on all four sides for proper shimming and insulation. Tuct tape should be used (exterior and interior) prior to trim or cladding, to eliminate drafts.
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Re: In need of home window experts
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: In need of home window experts

I been installing windows and doors professionally for over 20 years. I can tell you you get what you pay for cheap windows are not good ..good windows are not cheep.
I don't endorse Andersen's I have had problems with them and think they are junk. here are a couple of manufacturers I recommend.

http://www.weathershield.com/Home

http://www.pella.com/home/default.aspx

Weathershield is by far the best I have used but like all companies they have a cheap line and a good line. Pella is a good company but lacks in some areas.
If you want to know more PM me and I explain in more detail any questions you may have.
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