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  #1  
Old 07-19-2014, 03:14 PM
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Replacement Windows

Looking at replacing the windows in my 1920's house. Current is single panel, divided light with sash weights.

Looking at vinyl, Fiberex (Andersen), and wood with vinyl or steel exterior cladding. Andersen, Marvin Pella are in the mix right now..

Any experiences to share, brands to avoid, durability issues? Installation from outside vs inside to avoid trashing 95 year old beautiful molding?

I'm in New York so we have real winters and summers.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2014, 04:55 PM
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I had vinyl replacements installed by a local Baltimore company, and I have been very happy with them. They replaced the original, builder-grade thermal aluminum windows. They have been in for 3 or 4 years and I have had no problems.

Stoney--I thought you were in Howard County, MD.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:38 PM
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Nope. Except for the odd TDY, I have been based in NYC for 40 years.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Fowler View Post
I had vinyl replacements installed by a local Baltimore company, and I have been very happy with them. They replaced the original, builder-grade thermal aluminum windows. They have been in for 3 or 4 years and I have had no problems.

Stoney--I thought you were in Howard County, MD.
There's another guy with a similar handle (Stoneseller?) you and I were thinking of......

OP< To me it would depend on your budget, the home, the time I expected to live there, the amount of resale value that could be recouped on sale day through the upgrade, and, (drum-roll please.......) your neighborhood. You've got to weigh it all out for your situation........
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2014, 08:49 PM
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I had my old builder-grade Andersens replaced in March with Marvin Infinity fiberglass windows. Big difference in quality, and I expect to see a reduction in heating costs next winter. They are only sold through territorial dealers, not in box stores or high-pressure retailers.
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Last edited by rscurtis; 07-20-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2014, 09:58 PM
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It's one of the best suburban neighborhoods in 5 Boroughs of NYC, homes within 2-3 blocks sell for 850K - 1.5 mil. Good house, 1920's build. I will probably retire in the house. Bought it 3 years ago from MIL to make estate settlement easier. My wife grew up in the house, her Mom will live there until she doesn't want to or passes.

Was thinking about either the Andersen or Marvin products. Vinyl just would not look right, plus we can ditch the 1960's storm windows. Key is keeping the window moldings and trim intact, just cannot replace them with anything made today, even with custom millwork , 'cause the tight grain and age cannot be matched.

Not DIYing this one, interviewing local contractors for the job. Already had an Architect at my firm draw up a typical detail and spec including slow rise foam fill in the sash pockets and over/under the windows. The guys bidding know I'm an Inspector so the "Creme de la Crap" have not been on the bid list.

Just wanted to see what experiences people had with replacement windows from the big 3.
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2014, 10:39 PM
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Get a Mac.



Seriously, we've had both Pella and Harvey windows. The Pellas are great; the Harveys have been good, except for screens that don't quite fit the window. Harvey sent us a set of replacements, but those, too, leave a very small gap that we have to block.

Our neighbors have had Harveys for 10 years that have held up well.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
It's one of the best suburban neighborhoods in 5 Boroughs of NYC, homes within 2-3 blocks sell for 850K - 1.5 mil. Good house, 1920's build. I will probably retire in the house. Bought it 3 years ago from MIL to make estate settlement easier. My wife grew up in the house, her Mom will live there until she doesn't want to or passes.

Was thinking about either the Andersen or Marvin products. Vinyl just would not look right, plus we can ditch the 1960's storm windows. Key is keeping the window moldings and trim intact, just cannot replace them with anything made today, even with custom millwork , 'cause the tight grain and age cannot be matched.

Not DIYing this one, interviewing local contractors for the job. Already had an Architect at my firm draw up a typical detail and spec including slow rise foam fill in the sash pockets and over/under the windows. The guys bidding know I'm an Inspector so the "Creme de la Crap" have not been on the bid list.

Just wanted to see what experiences people had with replacement windows from the big 3.
A distance of "2-3 blocks" could == an entirely different 'hood almost anywhere. Not necessarily anything about your home or budget. If your home would sell for; "$850K to $1.5M" - then it's probably worth spending large - IF it's within your budget.

I'd look at commercial-grade products, since you say you work for an architectural firm, that should be no problem getting the best price too. I love commercial-grade materials, when you can pick them up at wholesale/cost. Spend some time with your specifying personnel or delve into Sweets for some ideas on the top end. Since you live in OR near a million-dollar neighborhood, you should recoup just fine.
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  #9  
Old 07-20-2014, 12:30 AM
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I own a small bungalow and have replaced many windows on it over the past 7 years. Vinyl is entirely adequate. Most of us prefer more than adequate, so I would steer you elsewhere. I have some fiberglass windows as well, and they are simply stronger and operate better than vinyl. Also, fiberglass is paintable unlike vinyl. But many fiberglass windows cannot be made to order and only come in predetermined sizes (which sounds like it wouldn't work for you).

Some criticize metal covered wood windows because the wood could be rotting away under the metal, but I really think that is the way to go. I have a few Loewen windows in my kitchen. If you have money, they are excellent windows with fine grain douglas fir. I could never afford to do an entire house in Loewen though.

I honestly think you cannot go wrong with the major manufacturers. It is mostly about the quality of service by your local window vendor and the quality of the person installing the window. Good luck with the project.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2014, 10:36 AM
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I've got a mix of windows in my old farmhouse -- some drop-in vinyl replacements (Simonton), some original installations in a 1990s addition (Marvin wood/aluminum), some custom installations in an existing rough opening (Pella wood). Of the lot, Pella is the best. They offer wood, fiberglass and vinyl construction.

I was less sensitive to historical accuracy and installed casements where I could. They're far more weathertight than double-hung windows.
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2014, 08:41 PM
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I love Anderson.

Look at the A or E series for a higher end house, my uncle used the A in his beach house.

I'm using the 200 series in my rentals and 400 in a spec I'm building for a couple.

The 400 is Anderson's bread and butter series, 200 is volume.
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2014, 05:26 PM
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Thanks to all who responded, now I have some ideas and a place to start.
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2014, 06:33 PM
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In my new house I used the Andersen, casements and awnings.

In my old buildings I could not find a quality wood window to use and in the end repaired all my sashes, wrapped the wood frame which is exposed with aluminum and installed quality three track aluminum storms with panes to match the existing double hungs.

The best wood inside window I could find had pot metal inside handles which looked very cheap.
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Last edited by t walgamuth; 07-24-2014 at 07:14 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2014, 12:06 AM
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Not in a Landmark district are you? That can be a game changer.
We usually spec Marvin, or if need be custom, double insulated Low e glass in mahogany sash/frame with bronze zero weatherstripping with profiles matching the original units.
The weatherstripping is as critical as the glass, if not more so- crack leakage is raw pressure differential air flow vs thermal delta thru glass.
Retrofitting weatherstripping to existing decent shape units is very cost effective- and if the window profile is deep enough (IE the windows were high quality when installed) you can retrofit double pane glass...
With interior moldings being important, need to look at units that fit in existing sash space.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2014, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my83300cd View Post
Not in a Landmark district are you? That can be a game changer.
We usually spec Marvin, or if need be custom, double insulated Low e glass in mahogany sash/frame with bronze zero weatherstripping with profiles matching the original units.
The weatherstripping is as critical as the glass, if not more so- crack leakage is raw pressure differential air flow vs thermal delta thru glass.
Retrofitting weatherstripping to existing decent shape units is very cost effective- and if the window profile is deep enough (IE the windows were high quality when installed) you can retrofit double pane glass...
With interior moldings being important, need to look at units that fit in existing sash space.
This sounds like a quality window. How are they for cost?
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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