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Old 09-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #31
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Comparing Replacement Windows


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Originally Posted by Amycat View Post
I've made the decision to pay for an installation because of lack of tools and time. My house has over 30 windows in it, so even though I'm not looking to replace all of them at the same time, it would still take me many weekends to get a significant part of the house completed.

Is capping that critical? Isn't it an extra layer over the exterior edge of the window to help prevent wind/rain penetration? I live in southern New England, so there's a winter, but I'm not on the ocean so no constant wind.

Since all the windows I'm looking at qualify for federal tax credit, I'm trying to figure out why two windows with the same energy efficiency (for example, the Champion at $525 vs. the Alside 3-glazed at $350) are priced differently.

The price on the Stergis Belmont includes capping. The Alside installer (estimate #1) charges $40 per window for capping. So it appears that when comparing apples to apples, the Alside 2-glazed is $365 and the Stergis Belmont is $300. Again a significant price difference.
My opinion only, stay away from Champion. My parents and a friend both used Champion after a good sales pitch and dog and pony show, both regret with all the issues they have had. Besides the over-priced windows and false claims (block 150% of UV rays and lower your heating bills by 400% etc *exaggerating a bit* ), it will require your congressman to get them to honor a warranty.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #32
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Now I"m totally confused. I spoke with a colleague who does a lot of architectural preservation work, and he sent me the following:

"I'd never use a vinyl replacement window, not because I'm a snob (although I am) but because I've yet to meet a manufacturer who'll guarantee me more than 10-15 years (AT MOST) on the product. As you no doubt know, the product consists of two layers of glass with something like argon pumped between them. As the window goes up and down and up and down, the gasket sealing the glass begins to fail. This results in almost certain clouding (and a gradual tailing off of the e-value.) So you're stuck with windows that are clouded and of dubious weather-tightness.

I think you get more bang for the buck by having the original windows (which of course, look nicer) reglazed. Then spend the money on a high-end storm system, properly caulked.

If you do go with a replacement window, then go with a clad unit (a Marvin, maybe) or a wood one with the sill. Even the most expensive windows you list here are frankly sh!t and they will eventually ding and look cheap."
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:58 PM   #33
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Comparing Replacement Windows


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Originally Posted by Amycat View Post
Now I"m totally confused. I spoke with a colleague who does a lot of architectural preservation work, and he sent me the following:

"I'd never use a vinyl replacement window, not because I'm a snob (although I am) but because I've yet to meet a manufacturer who'll guarantee me more than 10-15 years (AT MOST) on the product. As you no doubt know, the product consists of two layers of glass with something like argon pumped between them. As the window goes up and down and up and down, the gasket sealing the glass begins to fail. This results in almost certain clouding (and a gradual tailing off of the e-value.) So you're stuck with windows that are clouded and of dubious weather-tightness.

I think you get more bang for the buck by having the original windows (which of course, look nicer) reglazed. Then spend the money on a high-end storm system, properly caulked.

If you do go with a replacement window, then go with a clad unit (a Marvin, maybe) or a wood one with the sill. Even the most expensive windows you list here are frankly sh!t and they will eventually ding and look cheap."
Well,he admitted to being a snob and his remarks didn't prove him wrong!

Amycat,
If you add up the costs of reglazing and painting all your windows,and install storm units you'll have spent about as much as replacing the units,and have twice as much glass to clean.
Wood replacements,although more historically correct will set you back almost twice the cost of most vinyl replacements.
If your concerned about resale value on your home,think about what you would want to find if you were looking to buy another house.
Most people want maintainence free.

For whatever reason,Mr." Architectural preservation work" is not stating facts:
These windows do not ding.
Warranty is for 20 years.
All windows will have wear,(going up and down)
especially old wood windows that will eventually need reglazing ,recaulking,and paint,which is an added expense.

Is your home in a Historical District?If not,bang for the buck is mute point.

Inre;
Given that this is a 90 year old house without insulation in the walls, I don't think it's cost effective to pay for anything more efficient than what's required for the federal tax credit. Does this sound logical?

This is a good question if you don't have any insulation in the walls.
If there's a way to have it installed,it should be a consideration.
What about insulation in the ceiling?

Sequence should be:
Ceilings first/R40
Walls next/fill with blown in.
Windows and doors last.
If your windows have a signifigant breeze coming through,they may be done for comfort,but heat loss will not be greatly reduced because of the uninsulated areas.
The tax credit also applies to insulation if that is a consideration.

Another good point that all my clients add is that outside noise is signifigantly reduced with the replacement windows,even over old windows that had storms.

It's great to get opinions,especially when making a sizable purchase,but this guy's nose seems to be so far up in the air ,that he can't see what's going on around him.

Last edited by oldfrt; 09-10-2009 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:40 PM   #34
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Thank you for your comments. I've seen the prices of the wood replacement windows and they are just not financially feasible. I don't have that kind of money.

What you say about the cost/maintenance of the reglazing and new storm units option sounds very logical. There's also the time aspect -- as I indicated before, I'm not willing to spend every weekend for the next several months doing nothing but reglazing windows. Besides, my wife would kill me.

My home is not in a historic district.

While better energy efficiency is important to me (I have steam heat - expensive), cosmetics are also a consideration. My windows are not the worst I've ever seen, but they have layers of (flaking) paint, rattle, some get stuck when moved 6 inches up, and the glazing is breaking off. Though I would like to stay in this house for 20 years or more, I think replacement windows would combine lower utility bills starting now with higher resale value if I'm forced to sell in the future.

Also -- do you think a vinyl replacement window has a lifetime of more than 20 years? Do they typically have seal failure right after the warranty expires?
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:08 PM   #35
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Amycat,

I hope you don't mind,but what your colleague told you hit a nerve,so I posted his remarks in the Contractors Forum to get some opinions from other people that sell and install windows.
Here's the link so you can see what they say:
http://www.contractortalk.com/f33/bi...on-fact-64621/

I gotta warn you,there are some jokers over there.
You'll see what I mean!

Last edited by oldfrt; 09-10-2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #36
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Sometimes people repeat what they overhear in a conversation (right or wrong). Pretty soon, it becomes fact to them and anyone else they tell it to. Most people don't do their own research... You are like me Amy, I overanalyze to the point that I practically get an ulcer. Investigate, but don't kill yourself trying to make a window purchase!
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:11 AM   #37
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Doing some further investigation, it looks like Alside Excalibur and UltraMaxx models have a snap-on sill. Bad?

Also there is metal reinforcement in the rail where the sashes meet. I would expect a vinyl window to be constructed so that it will stay true without metal innards. Am I wrong here?

I'm going to look for a local Simonton installer.

I managed to answer some of my own questions by going to the showroom of the company that gave me estimate #2. The Alliance/Stergis Belmont is not a low profile window -- it looks very boxy. The sizable vinyl means there's no need for metal reinforcement.

This company sells an Associated Materials Inc (AMI) window that is the equivalent of the AMI Alside Excalibur. It's not boxy ooking like the Stergis Belmont or the Alside Centurion, and the company sells it for $50 less than #1 is selling the Excalibur.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #38
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amycat View Post
Now I"m totally confused. I spoke with a colleague who does a lot of architectural preservation work, and he sent me the following:

"I'd never use a vinyl replacement window, not because I'm a snob (although I am) but because I've yet to meet a manufacturer who'll guarantee me more than 10-15 years (AT MOST) on the product. As you no doubt know, the product consists of two layers of glass with something like argon pumped between them. As the window goes up and down and up and down, the gasket sealing the glass begins to fail. This results in almost certain clouding (and a gradual tailing off of the e-value.) So you're stuck with windows that are clouded and of dubious weather-tightness.

I think you get more bang for the buck by having the original windows (which of course, look nicer) reglazed. Then spend the money on a high-end storm system, properly caulked.

If you do go with a replacement window, then go with a clad unit (a Marvin, maybe) or a wood one with the sill. Even the most expensive windows you list here are frankly sh!t and they will eventually ding and look cheap."

Amycat,

Although like a few other folks here, I suggested in an earlier post that you consider renovation of the existing windws as a cost effective alternative to replacement, I did not do it because I have the same opinion as your colleague.

Meaning no disrespect to him, but based on his comments, he appears to know very little about windows or window performance.

Last edited by oberon; 09-12-2009 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:12 PM   #39
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Comparing Replacement Windows


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Originally Posted by Amycat View Post

What you say about the cost/maintenance of the reglazing and new storm units option sounds very logical. There's also the time aspect -- as I indicated before, I'm not willing to spend every weekend for the next several months doing nothing but reglazing windows. Besides, my wife would kill me.

----

While better energy efficiency is important to me (I have steam heat - expensive), cosmetics are also a consideration. My windows are not the worst I've ever seen, but they have layers of (flaking) paint, rattle, some get stuck when moved 6 inches up, and the glazing is breaking off. Though I would like to stay in this house for 20 years or more, I think replacement windows would combine lower utility bills starting now with higher resale value if I'm forced to sell in the future.
Oberon -- do you think I'm off base with my last sentence above? I definitely don't have the time to take apart some windows for the scrape/strip, repaint and reglaze process. Would hiring someone to do this for me save me money? I have no idea how much someone who does this kind of work or how much a "super storm window system" costs.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:26 PM   #40
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Installed,a storm window may cost close to $150/ea,then add labor to remove,reglaze,prime,paint,and reinstall old sash,probably close to cost of Vinyl replacements.
You won't qualify for tax credit,you'll have twice as much glass to clean,it will be harder to clean glass,and you won't get the performance of qualifying windows,and you still have to maintain glazing and paint.
In dollars vs.sense,I'd replace for maintainence reasons alone.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #41
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Thanks. I do want to point out, in case anyone missed it in my original posts, that the existing windows DO have storm windows, but they are the usual regular glass, aluminum-framed kind on the exterior. Same as the house I grew up in 35 years ago. Yes, they minimize air transfer between the inside and outside. But they are not airtight nor do they or the original windows have lowE glass, etc.

I found a company called Innerglass that makes an "interior storm window" that pops in and out of the window opening from the inside. For the size of windows in my house, these things would run $170-$220 per window.

I'm editing this post to add the following: the previous owner said she'd burn 6 cords of wood each winter in the woodstove insert in the living room to avoid using the gas boiler/steam heat. She said that if she kept the doors to the upstairs rooms open, the upstairs was livable. Close a door though and the room would get too cold.

Last edited by Amycat; 09-13-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:10 PM   #42
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Comparing Replacement Windows


I keep going back to the claim in your OP;

I will be getting windows that qualify for the tax credit no matter what. I live in southern New England.

And wonder why you keep searching for alternatives for your windows that will not fit this statement.
Storms of any kind will not qualify for tax credit.The windows have to meet min Federal guidelines to be eligible.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:53 PM   #43
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Sorry, the reference to the tax credit was for vinyl replacement windows. Some of the companies/contractors I've spoken with offer a variety of windows, with low end models that don't meet the tax credit requirements.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #44
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I'd insulate the walls before I worried about the windows too much
Do you have updated wiring or older - any knob & tube?

I went with new Anderson windows since I am residing the whole house
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:16 PM   #45
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Comparing Replacement Windows


Okay, so anyone else ever have the problem of logging in and writing a reply only to be told when you are posting that you aren't logged in and your reply ends up lost somewhere in the aether?

One day I am going to remember to do a copy before I hit the "submit reply" button just in case.

Amycat,

I can fully appreciate that you don't want to refurbish your windows yourself. It can be one heck-of-a-lot of work and it can take a lot longer than a few weekends. There are stories on some of the restoration sites of people taking years to finish refurbishing a housefull of windows. I don't think that you are off base in the least.

It is possible to be able to find someone to refurbish the windows for you, but it could be difficult and it is entirely possible that the cost could exceed the cost of replacements without the advantage of the rebate, and with less of an improvemet in performance.

What your colleague said about replacement windows is pretty much the mantra in the restoration world. Many (most? all?) restoration folks will tell you that no matter what you do new windows can never equal the energy performance of refurbished single pane original windows with storms. The fact that they are wrong doesn't seems to matter.

However, while replacement windows may have better performance numbers, the cost of the replacement windows versus the improvement in energy performance (depending on quality, options, etc), may not be justified if your primary consideration is cost savings.

Thus my comments that restoring your original windows and either restoring or adding new (good) storms may be a cost effective alternative to replacement. And there are also the potential architectural considerations when replacing windows in an older home like yours.

And as several folks have mentioned, replacing windows without addressing several other energy performance issues may result in very little overall energy savings if the windows aren't the primary energy drain. You may end up disappointed when you calculate the actual cost savings.

Are you looking at full frame replacements or inserts?

Last edited by oberon; 09-13-2009 at 08:20 PM.
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