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Old 03-12-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
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help figuring out windows


Hello, I am currently looking at getting new windows for our house and am new to this. We had one company come to our house for a quote and seemed a little high just trying to figure out what windows really cost. The windows are uniframe windows, which I had never heard of, they are "special" pvc type windows according to the saleman they dont fade, chalk etc like typical pvc windows, they have insulated frames and nonprorated lifetime warranty. We have our choice between double pane (r value around 5) and triple pane (r value around 7) with a $150 per window upgrade fee. They will also be replacing the 6 foot sliding patio door. In our living room there will be 2 double hung then a 5 foot picture window around 57 inches tall for those three windows. The rest of the windows average around 45x45 in. So total windows 9 double hung, 1 picture window and one sliding door for around $13000 installed. A few questions I have, living in Iowa where temps in winter can be well below zero with windchill, to 90-100 degrees in summer, is it worth the cost of getting triple panes? Does this number seem resonable for price? Any input would be greatly appreciated

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Old 03-12-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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In vinyl, Soft-Lite and Sunrise would be my two recommendations that are likely available in your area.

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Old 03-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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It sounds like you are averaging around $1k per window which is too high unless there are some major installation complexities and a ton of options. The Uniframe is a decent product, B grade, imo. The Sunrise and Softlite suggested by WoW would be better, as would Okna and HiMark, although I dont believe that they have a presence in your market.... btw, all of those fantastic sales gimmicks like the type of vinyl etc, are standard stuff for any good quality product. To compare, look closely at the thermal and structural ratings.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:21 PM   #4
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Inserts or new construction including new trim, jambs and insulation inside and taped outside? How old is the house? How high off the ground are the windows? What kind of siding is on the house? Are the windows easily accessible (you are not a hoarder, right?) Does the salesman know the installers personally? This person is selling you a product that a company makes and selling you the labor also. He should know both sides of it very well, along with profit and overhead for his company.

I've seen those prices for many different outfits, but not every window or install is the same.

The R value of the center of the glass will mean nothing if you have a bad install.

IMO, if it's inserts and a wrap job the price is probably too high (not even using any numbers). Not every company is like that, but a lot of the very large ones are. The labor paid for putting in a single window is well under $100, usually lower than $50.

BTW, I am not a DIY'er. Just seen too many people overcharged for cheap windows and siding.......and even cheaper installers.

Our small company does only a few entire houses of windows a year, but I've only put in one, just one insert window over the past 15 years. Took about 30 minutes to change it out, re-wrap the wood and caulk. I've seen companies charge $1000 an opening for that work. Sometimes not even any coil wrap. Others charge $159 and you get a crappy window and they are done in 10 minutes.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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I sat down last night and tried to figure out what these windows will actually cost with there discounts and figures they wrote down and this is what I cam up with
all double hung, triple pane installed
1- 21 7/8 x 33 $860
5- 45 x 45 $984
1- 45 x 33 $1054
2- 29 x 57 $1113

then picture window, triple paned, installed
60 x 57 $1370

standard 6 foot sliding patio door double paned
$2930

to answer some of the other questions posted. I live in southern Iowa, my house is a brick house built in the mid 1970's. They are going to take out the entire old window and put in the new windows. When they install them they insulate around the window and do all of the outside trimming etc. I will have to trim the inside of the windows. The company sells these windows and installs them, been in business for 50+ years, saleman made a huge ordeal about this. The people installing them are suppose to be trained by the window company on how to install them the correct way. The windows are probably 4 foot off the ground.

I have another company coming and I believe they sell simonton windows, are these comparable, decent windows? Am I better off to go with a wood window versus the vinyl windows? The uniframe was the only window that this company sold so that is what I looked at.

Thanks again for all the information
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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The Simonton is a comparable line as long as you go with their higher end offerings. The price seems more reasonable considering that they are full tear-outs, but I can't say for sure with out seeing all of the details. The best course of action would be to get a few quotes as you are doing so that you can compare. I'd recommend staying away from the high-pressure sales types that do the 3 hr presentation with a dog and pony show. Find a solid local company or two.... and btw, factory training is another one of those gimmicks. It means nothing. In fact, most manufacturers will bestow that "certification" sight-unseen.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information. I looked at the simonton website and which one would be the "top of the line" I found the reflections 5500 series and the impressions 9800 series. I just want to try to compare apples to apples. Also are triple panes with double low e coating and argon gas overkill when compared to the double panes low e coating argon filled windows. Again I live in southern Iowa with weather extremes depending on winter or summer. Thanks again for the info
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #8
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Those two options from Simonton would be equivalent. On the DP vs TP, obviously TP is better, however it really depends on the cost difference as to whether or not it is a wise choice.

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