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Old 02-01-2016, 03:37 PM   #1
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I need some replacement/ or full frame window advise


I am a DIY homeowner. I have done a lot of Door replacements for self and for friends. We have just moved into an early 1980's builder constructed home in Somerset County, NJ. The original windows are Andersen Narrowline. The previous owner didn't care for them very-much, and in most part is in need of a lot of TLC on the interior wood surface, several parts are also in need of replacement. I am torn between repairing existing ones, replacement insert windows, or may be go full scale and do full-frame replacement to ensure that flaws in previous installation, and any settlement related issues can be addressed.

From what I have looked-up, nothing can beat the look of a wood window. Vinyl window, if made from virgin vinyl and from a reputable maker, is likely to perform well. But, is it true that vinyl windows, generally speaking allow less air infiltration than wood windows (eg. Andersen 400 series).

The other thing I want to know is if anyone in NJ/CT/ NY area had experience with Ideal Windows in Bayonne, NJ (idealwindows dot com). This company has been around for almost a 100 years, something that is not easily seen in Vinyl window makers. Their BBB rating is A+. Any feedback on this window maker would be of great help. I plan on making a visit so I will provide my views once that is done.

How about Tri-state windows (from Passaic, NJ). they do not have a super long history, but have been in window making business for over 35 years. Any feedback on this company would be helpful as well. Any other makers you can suggest or any other advice is welcome. Thank you all.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:02 PM   #2
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Are your Narrow lines unfinished interiors or white? If white, while they are nice, they don't look that much more wood like than many of the other non-wood options out there.

There is nothing about wood vs. vinyl that makes vinyl more airtight. What makes the vinyl windows more airtight is that more of their customers are concerned about those items whereas the wood consumer is more focused on the wood look (speaking in broad generalizations).

If you are going to go with vinyl, there are a ton of options. The products you mentioned isn't bad, but it isn't in what I would consider to be the upper class of performance products either.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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Windows on wash thank you for your reply. Do you have any suggestions on make an model for NJ area?

My narrowlines are pine, rightnow I wish they were white eventhough I like the look of wood, but it's a mess because of the lack of care, the finish is peeling and the re-finish was applied without taking the sash out.

Any guidance on quality replacement or full-frame windows would be helpful.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:57 PM   #4
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If you are looking for wood windows, I would suggest considering Lincoln Windows. I have installed 4 of their sash replacement kits and am very happy with them. We put them in about 3 years ago and they are performing great and really help keep the north winds out of my son's room, unlike the old aluminum windows that were there. We are about to purchase another sash kit and will be buying new construction windows mulled together to fit a large opening either later this year or sometime next year (whenever the pocketbook will allow). They have different "collections" - aluminum clad, vinyl clad, primed wood inside and out, stain ready wood, etc. They do not do all vinyl windows.

http://www.lincolnwindows.com
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:08 AM   #5
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Centex2011, thanks for sharing the Lincoln information. Just one question, would lincoln replacement kit fit into an existing narrowline window frame?

I know Andersen has a similar product, I think they call it a Conversion kit to convert a narrowline to 400 series window. Is this product somewhat similar to that? Any specific advantages over andersen? I know I am asking a lot of questions, and that's because you have some experience that we all can benefit from. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:22 AM   #6
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Sash and conversion kits are fine as long as the openings are relatively square.

Preserves the trim and gives you a wood opening.

If you go the vinyl replacement route, look at Soft-Lite, Sunrise, or Okna.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:18 AM   #7
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I am not familiar with the Andersen narroline windows, but just doing a quick Google on them and the conversion kit, it looks like the lincoln kits would possibly fit and it looks like the Andersen conversion kit is the same basic type of kit that lincoln has. With the Lincoln kit, you take out the existing window (in my case it was aluminum insert windows that were placed in the original wood window frames and caulked in), install the new hardware - the sash channels, etc., install the new sashes in the channels, and make sure everything works, seals and fits properly (there is a little more to it than that in some cases - I had to remove extra strips of wood installed for the aluminum inserts and scrap and prime the frame). All in all, for the first one, it took about 4 hrs - didn't know how the old window came out, figuring out how the new hardware worked, etc.. The other three took a total of 5 hrs.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:39 AM   #8
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I am not sure if there are any advantages with Lincoln over Andersen. I had read reviews that Andersen were not good windows anymore and the customer service was not the greatest. Of course there are those kinds of reviews for just about every company and product on the market today (including Lincoln, although they were old reviews). I wanted solid wood windows and I liked the look of the Lincoln windows and having a sash replacement kit instead of just a new construction or an insert helped with the decision making.

If you go with the sash/conversion kits, whichever company, take your measurements at least twice (and you write down the right numbers) and that the frame is square within I think an 1/8th of in inch. My first kit I bought was about 1/16th to wide because I wrote the wrong measurement down. I also had to do a little extra work to get it in because between the time I measured and ordered and I got the kit in, the ground dried up enough to cause some shifting and the frame was out of square enough that it did not want to fit properly.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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We replace Lincoln windows weekly around here. It is not considered by most to be a high end line.

As WoW alluded to above, a premium vinyl unit will give you the best bang for the buck in terms of performance. If your existing frames show little rot and no signs of water leakage, and you are not concerned about a slight decrease in viewable glass area, a replacement installation is a good option and saves a bit of money. If there are major issues going currently, then its best to start from scratch with full tear-outs.
Going back to the option of wood, your assessment hits the nail on the head. The look and feel of real wood can't be matched by vinyl. It all comes down to whether or not you feel the look of a good vinyl unit is acceptable, and where you place more weight in terms of your goals for the project.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:42 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the guidance.

HOmeSealed: Just seeking your opinion, kind of like what I asked others. When you say premium vinyl windows, can you suggest a few names? My goal is to go and take a look at these and the ones others have suggested so that I can see it up close at a distributor before I make my final decision. Thank you and look forward to your response.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:35 PM   #11
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Homesealed, I'm curious why you are replacing Lincoln windows so frequently. I will admit they are not top of the line windows. I would consider them probably middle of the midrange windows. Definitely not "falling apart a year after purchase" type (in my opinion). They do seem to be put together well and functioning as I expect them to. The only problem I have had was one sash kit was not wide enough but that was my fault. Are they fogging up in a relative short amount of time, not sealing well? Just curious to know what possible problems I might see in a few years. They seem to be working really well here Central Texas, with no problems (as of yet anyway).
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex2011 View Post
Homesealed, I'm curious why you are replacing Lincoln windows so frequently. I will admit they are not top of the line windows. I would consider them probably middle of the midrange windows. Definitely not "falling apart a year after purchase" type (in my opinion). They do seem to be put together well and functioning as I expect them to. The only problem I have had was one sash kit was not wide enough but that was my fault. Are they fogging up in a relative short amount of time, not sealing well? Just curious to know what possible problems I might see in a few years. They seem to be working really well here Central Texas, with no problems (as of yet anyway).
Not replacing them a year after purchase, however in my experience their life expectancy seems to be around other "cost effective" wood window options, which is to say 10-15 years. I don't find anything as far as design or build quality that would differentiate that product from others in that range either.
What I will say, is that in this climate we see a high rate of damage due to condensation, which may not be the same (I'd expect not) in central TX.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APfromNJ View Post
Thank you all for the guidance.

HOmeSealed: Just seeking your opinion, kind of like what I asked others. When you say premium vinyl windows, can you suggest a few names? My goal is to go and take a look at these and the ones others have suggested so that I can see it up close at a distributor before I make my final decision. Thank you and look forward to your response.
I'd concur with those mentioned by Windows on Washington. The top products tend to perform extremely well in u factor, air leakage ratings, etc, so that is a good, objective way to compare.
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Old 02-22-2016, 03:42 PM   #14
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Everyone, thank you for your help. I'll be sure to post my final selection, as well as any good pictures I take along the way, may be it will help someone like me who is in process of selecting a window for their project.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:48 AM   #15
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Re: I need some replacement/ or full frame window advise


I have a follow-up question: I have now started to look at different windows, and I noticed a couple of options from a few, not sure if I know what the advantages and disadvantages are:

1) 7/8" IGU with standard glass (optional LowE, and optional Argon)
2) 7/8" IGU with double strength glass (includes LowE and Argon)
3) 1" IGU with double strength glass (includes LowE and Argon)

Location: Central NJ, almost 50% windows facing South-East, almost 50% facing North-West.

Assuming I pick these window maker, I could go for #1 for the garage windows (opinions invited), However I am confused between 2 and 3, is 1" IGU have benefits over 7/8" IGU, are those benefits significant? To be honest I have yet to inquire about the cost difference between all three. Any advise and opinions are welcome so that I can make an informed decision once I have picked a window. Thank you.
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