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Old 09-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Hey all,
We are needing to replace our windows in our 1910 farmhouse. The windows that are currently in place are double hung Andersens. They are very old and drafty. We have metal siding, but are considering installing a new window instead of a replacement because the current windows aren't going to allow us to properly install a replacement/pocket window. I realize this is going to cause us to cut siding, etc.

I am wondering about the brand of window. I have previously installed American Craftsman windows in a previous and didn't have an issue with them. This will likely be a long term investment and I don't want to skimp, but I also don't want to break the bank either. We have 6 total windows to replace all in the area of 30wx56L. Can anyone recommend a product? Benefits of vinyl or fiberglass, etc?

BTW-we will be installing them ourselves to save money.


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Old 09-16-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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Where are you located? That will dictate what quality brands are available. My favorites: Himark/Okna, Softlite, Polaris, Sunrise, Gorell, and Vytex all have very good products in vinyl, Marvin , Kolbe, Andersen are great wood windows. On comparing, the best way is to look at objective information. Thermal and structural ratings are independently tested and will tell you how that product will actually perform, as well as give a good indication of quality. Vinyl, fiberglass and wood all have pros and cons, but quality vinyl is hard to beat in terms of performance and value per dollar.

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Old 09-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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I am located in Iowa. We do know that we want white exterior and white interior as well, so that's why I have always leaned towards vinyl. If there's a great reason why fiberglass is better, I'd look that way, but I'm certainly not someone who needs "the best", just something that will be the best bang for my buck.

Originally, I had planned on spending between 200-250 per window. Not sure if that's what I'll end up spending, but I think (or hope) I can get a quality window for that price since I'll be taking care of the installation.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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You are not too far off for a quality vinyl window in white.
Regarding fiberglass, it has some nice qualities (paintability, very thin frames, etc), but it is not worth the premium IMO in many cases. Fiberglass salesmen will of course tell you otherwise, but most of their points are questionable at best.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
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You are not too far off for a quality vinyl window in white.
Regarding fiberglass, it has some nice qualities (paintability, very thin frames, etc), but it is not worth the premium IMO in many cases. Fiberglass salesmen will of course tell you otherwise, but most of their points are questionable at best.
Thanks. So, what or where would be some good places to look for quality vinyl? I've done the big box store thing, and I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but not sure where else to look or for what specific manufacturer that will sell to a homeowner.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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To get a top product, you'll have to find a local dealer that will sell DIY. You can however find some pretty darn good options at local supply houses like ABC supply, Allied, Richards, etc.
Search for the product you like, and then contact the manufacturer for a referral on where to buy it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #7
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I used a referral from a contractor which led to a dealer that sells Vector. The U values/R-values (.29) and structural numbers are all better than the highest quality at any big box stores (.32,.31). They quoted me $280 for the window(s) I need, which is about 60-70 higher than a big box for the same size, but obviously better quality.

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Old 09-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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Is there a possibilty that these windows are 1910 original to your home?

Andersen was founded in 1903 by Hans Jacob Andersen and if you have original Andersen windows from 1910, you need to contact the company before replacing them.

I have heard that Hans Jacob sold windows in the early years with a lifetime warranty. I know of a specific case where he gave a skeptic a hand written note stating that Andersen would repare or replace the windows in the gentleman's home for some extraordinary length of time (I was told how long at the time but I have forgotten - 100 years, maybe longer?).

The genteman who had the warranty (then in his late 80's or 90's) approached Andersen some years ago because his windows needed repair or replacment. The company repaired or replaced every window in the home at no cost. The repairs and replacements were all done to the original specs and were hand-made in Andersen's model shop so that they exactly matched the originals. The guys in the model shop even gave them extra attention because they had fun doing it.

If you have original 1910 windows, yours may be as old or even older than were his - I dont know for sure.

Once again, if you have original Andersen windows from 1910, you need to contact them before you move on! I certainly can't promise anything of course, but I strongly suspect that you will get their attention.


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Old 09-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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Is there a possibilty that these windows are 1910 original to your home?

Andersen was founded in 1903 by Hans Jacob Andersen and if you have original Andersen windows from 1910, you need to contact the company before replacing them.

I have heard that Hans Jacob sold windows in the early years with a lifetime warranty. I know of a specific case where he gave a sceptic a hand written note stating that Andersen would repare or replace the windows in the gentleman's home for some extraordinary length of time (I was told how long at the time but I have forgotten - 100 years, maybe longer?).

The genteman who had the warranty (then in his late 80's or 90's) approached Andersen some years ago because his windows needed repair or replacment. The company repaired or replaced every window in the home at no cost. The repairs and replacements were all done to the original specs and were hand-made in Andersen's model shop so that they exactly matched the originals. The guys in the model shop even gave them extra attention because they had fun doing it.

If you have original 1910 windows, yours may be as old or even older than were his - I dont know for sure.

Once again, if you have original Andersen windows from 1910, you need to contact them before you move on! I certainly can't promise anything of course, but I strongly suspect that you will get their attention.

Wow, i never knew that. Unfortunately my windows are not original to the house.

A secondary question to my previous post is HOW do you know if a window is better than, say, a home depot, lowes, menards window? What evidence could I find? The U-factor and structural numbers are similar but is .01 or .02 lesser in U-value significant?
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:47 PM   #10
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You want low e argon filled. Don't hesitate to open up your yellow pages and find a local glass company. See what he offers. I took the screen off my patio door to local glass company for rescreen. He had some pretty sweet replacement windows. ABC supply should have some simontons.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Where are you located? That will dictate what quality brands are available. My favorites: Himark/Okna, Softlite, Polaris, Sunrise, Gorell, and Vytex all have very good products in vinyl, Marvin , Kolbe, Andersen are great wood windows. On comparing, the best way is to look at objective information. Thermal and structural ratings are independently tested and will tell you how that product will actually perform, as well as give a good indication of quality. Vinyl, fiberglass and wood all have pros and cons, but quality vinyl is hard to beat in terms of performance and value per dollar.

Researching for some replacement windows for my place also. A lot of your favorites are unfamilair names to me. Marvin and Anderson i hear of, but none of the others. I have never looked into buying windows before though, what about the JeldW and MillG or should i just still with your list? I am in Southern California if it matters.

I was thinking of tackling this myself on some of the smaller easier windows and seeing if this is something i will do for all of them or if im gonna pay a window company to do it. But product is my main concern atm.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #12
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Researching for some replacement windows for my place also. A lot of your favorites are unfamilair names to me. Marvin and Anderson i hear of, but none of the others. I have never looked into buying windows before though, what about the JeldW and MillG or should i just still with your list? I am in Southern California if it matters.

I was thinking of tackling this myself on some of the smaller easier windows and seeing if this is something i will do for all of them or if im gonna pay a window company to do it. But product is my main concern atm.
Unfortunately most if not all of those products are going to be unavailable in CA (they are sold primarily on the east coast and midwest). Milgard is a solid option in your neck of the woods. I'm personally not fond of Jeldwen.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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Unfortunately most if not all of those products are going to be unavailable in CA (they are sold primarily on the east coast and midwest). Milgard is a solid option in your neck of the woods. I'm personally not fond of Jeldwen.
Ok thanks for the info.

Just came from a remodel and they have new Milgards installed. Didnt really look at them though, was working on the roof. I asked a friend here about windows and he mentioned Anlin, i never heard of these either. Sounds like i have a few options, i just need to look at them and see which i like better.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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Not familiar with them personally, but I've also heard good things from pros out there.

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