Replacement windows

PeteM

Pete
Corporate Member
That depends. Are you looking to replace Windows 10 or just upgrade from an older version?

(Sorry, I've been working on my computer and am feeling a little silly!) :rolleyes:
 

dancam

Dan
Corporate Member
I'm in the process of converting a screened porch to a fully winterized year-round room. It's a timber-framed structure that had four bays of screening. We wanted to have picture windows facing the mountains (south) and sliders on the side with an exterior door replacing the storm door.

We talked with the Pella folks and the Anderson folks and they were fairly inflexible. We then went with Marvin and they came over and said no problem. They made custom-fit picture windows and custom fit sliders. Their price was less than both Pella & Anderson ( they were force-fitting stock sizes ).

Take a look at Marvin as you make your selection.
 

DSWalker

David
Corporate Member
Hey Jeff, I can't respond to Anderson, however I will provide info on Window World. I replaced all of my windows about 10 years ago with the WW brand. Almost ALL of them have had broken seals, and mold or algae growing between the panes.

They did replace them at no charge (lifetime warranty) but it was a hastle just going through that process. Now, one of the replacements is doing the same.

Hopefully their quality has improved. But I wouldn't think about another purchase from them.
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
+1 on Marvin windows.I

We replaced all windows (16) with Marvin fiberglass windows. All windows have tilt-in frames so easy to clean outside from our interior. Noticed a significant reduction in our power bill too. (Home is 47 years old.) Had a similar potential issue as Dancam with our picture window ...very large. They arranged the size (custom) with the Marvin rep, built,delivered and installed. Triangle Window and Siding did the install and the manager stated that our picture window was the largest he ever installed in the triangle area. Very pleased with the Marvin product line.

Wayne
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
We went with the Andersen Fibrex window replacement about 10 years ago. They are 25% more expensive than Pella and 100% higher than some of the lower cost alternatives. I have never regretted the investment. My power bill dropped 50%, the windows still function extremely well and never change the ease of opening as the seasons change. I decided to go with Andersen as an investment for when we decide to downsize.
 

Brian Patterson

Bstrom
Senior User
So it’s a matter of ROI - spend more to save more? I bought Pella Therma-something windows at Lowes and will see how they do but trust their quality is adequate. A lot will determine your results - wall direction, wall construction, installation, etc. New codes in TN dictate an R-19 rated wall in new construction which will be felt by you and your wallet when the electric bill arrives.
 

Wiley's Woodworks

New User
Wiley
I sold over $2,000,000 of replacement windows in existing structures for major manufacturers in the Triangle area, so I'm speaking from experience from inside the business.

The best window is the Marvin Infinity. It is an extruded fiberglass frame that never shrinks or expands with weather. The Infinity is sold through local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows and install them yourself. Marvin windows are sold through a limited number of retailers who may or may not offer installation. I don't have direct experience with the retail line, but factory training emphasized the Infinity is the best window Marvin manufactures.

Andersen windows can be bought for you to install through Home Depot, but they only sell stock sizes. HD will offer an "authorized installer" to put them in, but the entire HD authorized installer system has a real spotty record. No authorized installer is an HD employee; they are all independent contractors with their own businesses who are purchasing leads from HD. The best Andersen window is the Fibrex line that has an extruded sawdust and resin frame. It is strong, stable, and has a good warranty. The catch: it is only sold through a separate national company--Renewal by Andersen--that has a large network of local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows without the installation. Renewal prices generally will be the highest, sometimes significantly more, because it is not a factory-direct purchase, and you're paying for a lot of slick advertising and merchandising . Seriously, do you really need everybody on the crew wearing matching shirts.

Vinyl windows have significant pluses and minuses. They are weather resistant and don't expand and contract, but the frames are obviously thicker and bulkier because the basic frame material is the same stuff that's inside your refrigerator and on its own it is flimsy. They will never be the highest priced; they will always be the lowest price if you put yourself through the meat grinder of getting multiple bids. FYI if this is your preferred shopping method you have to get at least 5 bids to be able to make a self-benefiting decision and protect yourself. Remember you always throw out the highest and lowest bids, and you need the remaining 3 to give yourself a sensible selection.

Any reputable dealer/installer is going to do a good installation using quality materials on standard size windows. Many dealers don't want complicated jobs with custom window designs and sizes. If that is what you need and you sense any hesitation from the salesman about doing custom orders, don't give them your business. For custom sizes start with Marvin, then fall back on Renewal by Andersen; you will still be in good shape. Start your research by making sure they have been in business at least 10 years repping the same brand. A red flag for me is a local contractor who claims he represents multiple manufacturers. He will start with the most expensive and drop and drop and drop until he finds your price point, and at the end you will be so confused you won't know what you're getting in the window.

Last thoughts: Be prepared for sticker shock if you go with a reputable brand with a reputable local dealer, especially if you have an older house (pre 1960) with lead paint. With top of the line products, you will find the prices pretty close brand-to-brand. Resign yourself that you get what you pay for in replacement windows. The old joke is "every homeowner wants 3 things--the best window, the best installation, and the lowest price. Pick two." You can't get all 3 in one job.
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
I sold over $2,000,000 of replacement windows in existing structures for major manufacturers in the Triangle area, so I'm speaking from experience from inside the business.

The best window is the Marvin Infinity. It is an extruded fiberglass frame that never shrinks or expands with weather. The Infinity is sold through local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows and install them yourself. Marvin windows are sold through a limited number of retailers who may or may not offer installation. I don't have direct experience with the retail line, but factory training emphasized the Infinity is the best window Marvin manufactures.

Andersen windows can be bought for you to install through Home Depot, but they only sell stock sizes. HD will offer an "authorized installer" to put them in, but the entire HD authorized installer system has a real spotty record. No authorized installer is an HD employee; they are all independent contractors with their own businesses who are purchasing leads from HD. The best Andersen window is the Fibrex line that has an extruded sawdust and resin frame. It is strong, stable, and has a good warranty. The catch: it is only sold through a separate national company--Renewal by Andersen--that has a large network of local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows without the installation. Renewal prices generally will be the highest, sometimes significantly more, because it is not a factory-direct purchase, and you're paying for a lot of slick advertising and merchandising . Seriously, do you really need everybody on the crew wearing matching shirts.

Vinyl windows have significant pluses and minuses. They are weather resistant and don't expand and contract, but the frames are obviously thicker and bulkier because the basic frame material is the same stuff that's inside your refrigerator and on its own it is flimsy. They will never be the highest priced; they will always be the lowest price if you put yourself through the meat grinder of getting multiple bids. FYI if this is your preferred shopping method you have to get at least 5 bids to be able to make a self-benefiting decision and protect yourself. Remember you always throw out the highest and lowest bids, and you need the remaining 3 to give yourself a sensible selection.

Any reputable dealer/installer is going to do a good installation using quality materials on standard size windows. Many dealers don't want complicated jobs with custom window designs and sizes. If that is what you need and you sense any hesitation from the salesman about doing custom orders, don't give them your business. For custom sizes start with Marvin, then fall back on Renewal by Andersen; you will still be in good shape. Start your research by making sure they have been in business at least 10 years repping the same brand. A red flag for me is a local contractor who claims he represents multiple manufacturers. He will start with the most expensive and drop and drop and drop until he finds your price point, and at the end you will be so confused you won't know what you're getting in the window.

Last thoughts: Be prepared for sticker shock if you go with a reputable brand with a reputable local dealer, especially if you have an older house (pre 1960) with lead paint. With top of the line products, you will find the prices pretty close brand-to-brand. Resign yourself that you get what you pay for in replacement windows. The old joke is "every homeowner wants 3 things--the best window, the best installation, and the lowest price. Pick two." You can't get all 3 in one job.
I should have stated we used Renewal by Andersen. I replaced a French door on the north side of the house and they priced this custom size with a transim way out of range. I ended up using Pella (dealer, not Lowes) for half the Renewal by Andersen Cost. It pays to shop around.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
Kind of off subject...but along the lines of replacing windows, my sister had all the windows replaced in her house. She has 4 large (40"x50") picture windows that she saved when the old ones were removed and she's been storing for a project. Well, just last week she completed the project. She painted on the windows some flowers then clear coated then hung them on their barn/garage. Now when they eat breakfast and look out at the birds and deer, they have these big beautiful paintings of the flowers she made!

finished on barn 1.JPG
 

gamiller3rd

Pappy
Senior User
I sold over $2,000,000 of replacement windows in existing structures for major manufacturers in the Triangle area, so I'm speaking from experience from inside the business.

The best window is the Marvin Infinity. It is an extruded fiberglass frame that never shrinks or expands with weather. The Infinity is sold through local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows and install them yourself. Marvin windows are sold through a limited number of retailers who may or may not offer installation. I don't have direct experience with the retail line, but factory training emphasized the Infinity is the best window Marvin manufactures.

Andersen windows can be bought for you to install through Home Depot, but they only sell stock sizes. HD will offer an "authorized installer" to put them in, but the entire HD authorized installer system has a real spotty record. No authorized installer is an HD employee; they are all independent contractors with their own businesses who are purchasing leads from HD. The best Andersen window is the Fibrex line that has an extruded sawdust and resin frame. It is strong, stable, and has a good warranty. The catch: it is only sold through a separate national company--Renewal by Andersen--that has a large network of local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows without the installation. Renewal prices generally will be the highest, sometimes significantly more, because it is not a factory-direct purchase, and you're paying for a lot of slick advertising and merchandising . Seriously, do you really need everybody on the crew wearing matching shirts.

Vinyl windows have significant pluses and minuses. They are weather resistant and don't expand and contract, but the frames are obviously thicker and bulkier because the basic frame material is the same stuff that's inside your refrigerator and on its own it is flimsy. They will never be the highest priced; they will always be the lowest price if you put yourself through the meat grinder of getting multiple bids. FYI if this is your preferred shopping method you have to get at least 5 bids to be able to make a self-benefiting decision and protect yourself. Remember you always throw out the highest and lowest bids, and you need the remaining 3 to give yourself a sensible selection.

Any reputable dealer/installer is going to do a good installation using quality materials on standard size windows. Many dealers don't want complicated jobs with custom window designs and sizes. If that is what you need and you sense any hesitation from the salesman about doing custom orders, don't give them your business. For custom sizes start with Marvin, then fall back on Renewal by Andersen; you will still be in good shape. Start your research by making sure they have been in business at least 10 years repping the same brand. A red flag for me is a local contractor who claims he represents multiple manufacturers. He will start with the most expensive and drop and drop and drop until he finds your price point, and at the end you will be so confused you won't know what you're getting in the window.

Last thoughts: Be prepared for sticker shock if you go with a reputable brand with a reputable local dealer, especially if you have an older house (pre 1960) with lead paint. With top of the line products, you will find the prices pretty close brand-to-brand. Resign yourself that you get what you pay for in replacement windows. The old joke is "every homeowner wants 3 things--the best window, the best installation, and the lowest price. Pick two." You can't get all 3 in one job.
Well written and informative. Thanks for sharing this with us.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Thanks to all of you. I'll do my research and shopping. Our windows are 30 years old and they were built by Hurd Windows but they're starting to degrade.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I sold over $2,000,000 of replacement windows in existing structures for major manufacturers in the Triangle area, so I'm speaking from experience from inside the business.

The best window is the Marvin Infinity. It is an extruded fiberglass frame that never shrinks or expands with weather. The Infinity is sold through local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows and install them yourself. Marvin windows are sold through a limited number of retailers who may or may not offer installation. I don't have direct experience with the retail line, but factory training emphasized the Infinity is the best window Marvin manufactures.

Andersen windows can be bought for you to install through Home Depot, but they only sell stock sizes. HD will offer an "authorized installer" to put them in, but the entire HD authorized installer system has a real spotty record. No authorized installer is an HD employee; they are all independent contractors with their own businesses who are purchasing leads from HD. The best Andersen window is the Fibrex line that has an extruded sawdust and resin frame. It is strong, stable, and has a good warranty. The catch: it is only sold through a separate national company--Renewal by Andersen--that has a large network of local dealer/installers. You can't buy the windows without the installation. Renewal prices generally will be the highest, sometimes significantly more, because it is not a factory-direct purchase, and you're paying for a lot of slick advertising and merchandising . Seriously, do you really need everybody on the crew wearing matching shirts.

Vinyl windows have significant pluses and minuses. They are weather resistant and don't expand and contract, but the frames are obviously thicker and bulkier because the basic frame material is the same stuff that's inside your refrigerator and on its own it is flimsy. They will never be the highest priced; they will always be the lowest price if you put yourself through the meat grinder of getting multiple bids. FYI if this is your preferred shopping method you have to get at least 5 bids to be able to make a self-benefiting decision and protect yourself. Remember you always throw out the highest and lowest bids, and you need the remaining 3 to give yourself a sensible selection.

Any reputable dealer/installer is going to do a good installation using quality materials on standard size windows. Many dealers don't want complicated jobs with custom window designs and sizes. If that is what you need and you sense any hesitation from the salesman about doing custom orders, don't give them your business. For custom sizes start with Marvin, then fall back on Renewal by Andersen; you will still be in good shape. Start your research by making sure they have been in business at least 10 years repping the same brand. A red flag for me is a local contractor who claims he represents multiple manufacturers. He will start with the most expensive and drop and drop and drop until he finds your price point, and at the end you will be so confused you won't know what you're getting in the window.

Last thoughts: Be prepared for sticker shock if you go with a reputable brand with a reputable local dealer, especially if you have an older house (pre 1960) with lead paint. With top of the line products, you will find the prices pretty close brand-to-brand. Resign yourself that you get what you pay for in replacement windows. The old joke is "every homeowner wants 3 things--the best window, the best installation, and the lowest price. Pick two." You can't get all 3 in one job.
Excellent to have this cross-brand knowledge. That is hard to gain as a consumer.
Thanks for the write-up - as we consider this project, for our home, and while this is something I expect I can do myself, this is VERY helpful info.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I had all the windows on the first floor of my house and some of the ones on the second floor replaced by window world in 2014. They are all working very well. I had Lowe's vinyl house brand window used in some dormers we added on the second floor thinking they were similar. They look similar but are noticably lower quality. But they are working fine. Due to the new windows and upgraded insulation I've gone from very high energy bills for an uncomfortable house to moderate to low (last bill was under $150) bills for a comfortable house. The installation crew WW sent was also great. I'm sure this varies by area but the guy that did mine was great. He had enough people there to get all the windows done in a day and they did a nice job including the cleanup.
 

Wiley's Woodworks

New User
Wiley
I should have stated we used Renewal by Andersen. I replaced a French door on the north side of the house and they priced this custom size with a transim way out of range. I ended up using Pella (dealer, not Lowes) for half the Renewal by Andersen Cost. It pays to shop around.
Sorry to be the one to clarify things for you. You bought Andersen factory french doors through a Renewal by Andersen dealer/installer. These are the same doors that Andersen sells throughout its retail outlet network, including Home Depot. It is still a good product. The Renewal by Andersen window, made with Fibrex frames, is made at a separate factory and is only available through Renewal by Andersen dealers. Any other products--front door sets, french doors, patio doors--is Andersen factory made. The local dealers just neglect to inform the homeowner of the difference.
 

Wiley's Woodworks

New User
Wiley
Kind of off subject...but along the lines of replacing windows, my sister had all the windows replaced in her house. She has 4 large (40"x50") picture windows that she saved when the old ones were removed and she's been storing for a project. Well, just last week she completed the project. She painted on the windows some flowers then clear coated then hung them on their barn/garage. Now when they eat breakfast and look out at the birds and deer, they have these big beautiful paintings of the flowers she made!

View attachment 195750
Now that is cool...and beautiful. Sure beats those wooden quilt patterns you see all the time.
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
The french doors ended up being Pella as the pricing was much better and there was no difference in quality. Due to the Transom at the top and unusual width of the opening the supplier choices were very limited
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
The french doors ended up being Pella as the pricing was much better and there was no difference in quality. Due to the Transom at the top and unusual width of the opening the supplier choices were very limited
 

Wiley's Woodworks

New User
Wiley
Excellent to have this cross-brand knowledge. That is hard to gain as a consumer.
Thanks for the write-up - as we consider this project, for our home, and while this is something I expect I can do myself, this is VERY helpful info.
If you choose to do your own installation, 2 important points: 1) Use the highest grade silicone caulking, and have a few cans of expanding foam handy if you run into gaps that are so big they bother you. 2) Do the installation from the outside, not the inside. This will require putting a wrap on the exterior frames, but it sure beats pulling off interior trim. Nobody can take off all the interior window trim and not split or otherwise wreck a few pieces, and now you're into a whole new project replacing them. Plus, you will have so many misfitting miter joints and old and new nail holes in the interior trim you are going to have to spackle and repaint every set of interior frames. It is easy to rationalize that the installation will be easier from the inside because you just kneel on the floor instead of climb up and down ladders lugging heavy windows, but it never works out that way.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top