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HorseFeathers 01-23-2009 05:26 PM

Need help with windows
 
I have done a search and read most of the threads regarding windows but did not quite understand all of the technical jargon. I hope ya'll can help me pick the right windows for our build. Here are our needs:

New Construction (steel). Need windows for the entire garage apartment.
Live in Texas so heat is a big factor.
Decor inside will be "western" so wood inside is wanted.
Energy efficient
Will not ever be moving or selling out
Want them to LAST.

Pls advise which brand we should look into and where they sell them. I know you said don't go to Home Depot but they are the closest to us (30 miles away). Other than them, where and what kind?

ALL help appreciated!
:)

II Weeks 01-23-2009 07:12 PM

some of the best windows Ive ever scene have come from Europe. Highly advanced and have the best R rating or insulation value. The big sellers over there are their tilt and turn windows. Strong aluminum frames with wood inside. Google European tilt and turn windows and you'll see a large selection. There sliding doors also tilt and turn.

HorseFeathers 01-23-2009 07:24 PM

Thanks! My husband said he's "not going to Europe"! LOL!!

Seriously though, I will research them. :thumbsup:

Anyone else? I know I read not to buy Pellas on here. Saw that Andersen 400 series were not too bad. Just wondering if there is a brand out there that maybe contractors swear by that the average do-it-your-selfer might not hear about.




EMILY P 01-23-2009 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HorseFeathers (Post 217998)
I have done a search and read most of the threads regarding windows but did not quite understand all of the technical jargon. I hope ya'll can help me pick the right windows for our build. Here are our needs:

New Construction (steel). Need windows for the entire garage apartment.
Live in Texas so heat is a big factor.
Decor inside will be "western" so wood inside is wanted.
Energy efficient
Will not ever be moving or selling out
Want them to LAST.

Pls advise which brand we should look into and where they sell them. I know you said don't go to Home Depot but they are the closest to us (30 miles away). Other than them, where and what kind?

ALL help appreciated! :)

I would look at consumer reports then JD Power for ratings. I would suggest the follwoing window MFG in order as far as TOP BRANDS;

Eagle- 50 exterior colors/9 interior wood options-Premium Window
Best top rated interior blinds
Marvin- 19 exterior colors several interior option- lots of options-

Andersen-best brand for streching your dollar if you want Standard Colors-and a little less in price but still top rated quality- they make over 6-7 million windows and doors a year-alot of little things you don't see unless you know the window that make it a top rated window

then it drops off for: quality-service-reputation-warranty- parts availability(nothing lasts forever)- consistency-craftsmanship-resale value-

Koble & Koble-a little higher in price than Andersen but-just a little
less in quality. Still a good window-

Weathershield-above average window
Peachtree-above average window-redsigned window system
Milgard-not sure -never sold it, but good reviews

Pella-stay away -currently in class action lawsuite for 250/450 next designer series pre mature rott with in 10 years cheaply made-alot of better choices out there- still better than some-but you get what pay for- see Pella consumer complaints- rotting Pella windows-class action law suites

Crestline-average or below average-alot of consumer complaints- stay away if you can
Jeldwen -not a good window-you get what you pay for remember that saying.

Wood is natures best insulator. Wood is still a better choice than vinyl- and there are ways to find out about ratings;
The National Fenestration Rating Council -301-589-6372
Window and Door Manufacturers Association-www.wdma.com

HorseFeathers 01-23-2009 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EMILY P (Post 218066)
I would look at consumer reports then JD Power for ratings. I would suggest the follwoing window MFG in order as far as TOP BRANDS;

Eagle- 50 exterior colors/9 interior wood options-Premium Window
Best top rated interior blinds
Marvin- 19 exterior colors several interior option- lots of options-

Andersen-best brand for streching your dollar if you want Standard Colors-and a little less in price but still top rated quality- they make over 6-7 million windows and doors a year-alot of little things you don't see unless you know the window that make it a top rated window

then it drops off for: quality-service-reputation-warranty- parts availability(nothing lasts forever)- consistency-craftsmanship-resale value-

Koble & Koble-a little higher in price than Andersen but-just a little
less in quality. Still a good window-

Weathershield-above average window
Peachtree-above average window-redsigned window system
Milgard-not sure -never sold it, but good reviews

Pella-stay away -currently in class action lawsuite for 250/450 next designer series pre mature rott with in 10 years cheaply made-alot of better choices out there- still better than some-but you get what pay for- see Pella consumer complaints- rotting Pella windows-class action law suites

Crestline-average or below average-alot of consumer complaints- stay away if you can
Jeldwen -not a good window-you get what you pay for remember that saying.

Wood is natures best insulator. Wood is still a better choice than vinyl- and there are ways to find out about ratings;
The National Fenestration Rating Council -301-589-6372
Window and Door Manufacturers Association-www.wdma.com

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

What should I ask for as far as energy efficiency in the Texas heat during the summer? Also, do I look for the kind with the gas between the panes? Is vinyl on the outside, wood on the inside okay? Low maintenance sounds good to me!

Thanks again! You are VERY helpful!

EMILY P 01-23-2009 08:12 PM

[quote=HorseFeathers;218057]Thanks! My husband said he's "not going to Europe"! LOL!!

Seriously though, I will research them. :thumbsup:

Anyone else? I know I read not to buy Pellas on here. Saw that Andersen 400 series were not too bad. Just wondering if there is a brand out there that maybe contractors swear by that the average do-it-your-selfer might not hear about.



Eagle then Marvin then Andersen then koble koble-you will always question your self if you buy any others- when the problems arise-who will be there to help? Will they still be in business? Have parts? Have service?

oberon 01-23-2009 08:16 PM

Horsefeathers,

In your environment you want to block excess heat from coming into your home. The main source of unwanted heat is going to be from the sun beating down on your windows.

Because of that you are going to want dual pane windows with the lowest solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) that you can find. Related to low SHGC you are going to find low U-factors as well. Like SHGC, you want the lowest U-factor number you can find.

Both SHGC and U-factor are listed from 0 to 1. Low (good) numbers will be in the .3 and below region for both. You are going to want LowE2 or even better LowE3 coating on your windows.

Frame is really up to you, but since you want a wood interior, you might consider wood windows with exterior cladding in either aluminum (more common) or vinyl (less common). Is there a particular reason why you mention steel in your original post for frame material?

You might consider visiting Home Depot just to get some ideas. Consider that the sales folks at HD might not be experts, and keep in mind that they might even be wrong at times (or you might get the odd employee who really is knowledgeable), but they can at least walk you thru a few available options and you might get some ideas.

I am not suggesting that you consider buying or not from them, but "window" shopping (pun intended) for windows might be worth your time if just to get a few ideas.

There are about 1000 window companies in North America - check your yellow pages and see what might be there...

wrangler 01-23-2009 08:18 PM

Due to site rules and such, I have tried hard to not reccomend any particular company, but since your question is quite specific, I will reccomend that you at least call Window World (if there is a franchise in your area) for a quote. Reason being that I once worked for them and they have a great product and even greater prices since they have the buying power of being a national franchise. They have a very varied product line, including vinyl windows with wood grain interior, and often come in less than half the price of comparable competitors, but more importantly, is their service after the sale. If a sash should fail, they simply reorder and swap it out when it comes in. Just another option to consider.
Brett

EMILY P 01-23-2009 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HorseFeathers (Post 218070)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

What should I ask for as far as energy efficiency in the Texas heat during the summer? Also, do I look for the kind with the gas between the panes? Is vinyl on the outside, wood on the inside okay? Low maintenance sounds good to me!

Thanks again! You are VERY helpful!

Andersen Windows recently came out wiht a Glass called Smart Sun-they also have about 20 glass tints available-if you want to block sun then Sun Glass would be recommended- Eagle/Marvin/Andersen also offers prefinished white or other interior prefinished options-

HorseFeathers 01-23-2009 09:26 PM

Thank you!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Oberon! I will certainly ask for a number lower than .3 for the solar heat gain and U factors. Thank you for educating me on that. In Texas, I'm sure that will make a BIG difference on our energy bill! I am attaching a pic of the very beginning of our garage/apartment. As you can see, it is made of steel and I wasn't sure whether that would make a difference or not when buying window types. Thanks again!

Wrangler, Thank you so much for the Window World tip! I will definitely see what they have!

Emily, will those glass tints make a difference in the atmosphere or color inside a room? Is glass tint akin to what Oberon was explaining about solar heat and U-factors? Thanks again for all of your help!

I'm so thankful for a place to come to learn before we make a mistake!

I will try to take some more pictures tomorrow because we just finished screwing down the floor upstairs. 3/4" tongue and groove plywood on top of 8" C-Purlin on 12" Centers.

:):):)


HorseFeathers 01-23-2009 09:29 PM

Some of what you see is a few sticks of bracing in the garage below. The frame on the top floor where the apartment roof will be is quite tall and I will take some pics of that tomorrow as well if anyone is interested.

HorseFeathers 01-24-2009 08:24 AM

I looked up Window World this morning and clicked on their Energy Savings link. I didn't see anything about U-Factor or Solar Heat Gain ratings. They are closed today, so I will try to call on Monday and find out if they rate their windows that way.

I have a really stupid question:

Their site says "replacement" windows. Is there a difference in those and "new construction" windows? It seems to me, if there was no difference, they would just advertise "new" windows.
:confused1:

oberon 01-24-2009 09:06 AM

Are you going to be using wood framing around the windows?

wrangler 01-24-2009 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HorseFeathers (Post 218227)
I looked up Window World this morning and clicked on their Energy Savings link. I didn't see anything about U-Factor or Solar Heat Gain ratings. They are closed today, so I will try to call on Monday and find out if they rate their windows that way.

I have a really stupid question:

Their site says "replacement" windows. Is there a difference in those and "new construction" windows? It seems to me, if there was no difference, they would just advertise "new" windows. :confused1:

The main difference between new construction and replacement windows is the nailing flange on NC windows. You can get either one. And they do have ratings for their windows, but there are many factors that affect this, i.e. size, low-e, argon, thickness of glazing, etc.

HorseFeathers 01-24-2009 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oberon (Post 218246)
Are you going to be using wood framing around the windows?

No, steel framing.

Oberon, I wish I could PM you because I have seen your expertise in this field on the Contractor's site and would love to pick your brain some more on the ratings factors. I would have never known about U-Factor or Solar Gain if it had not been for you. Thank you and I will PM you when I get enough posts on here to do so. I think I need 12 more posts before I can send a PM. I promise, I won't bug the fire out of you!:whistling2:



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