Replacement Window shopping advice

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Findourway1
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:18 am

Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Findourway1 » Thu May 09, 2019 9:00 am

Hello all,

Hoping for advice on replacement windows. I have read previous threads on windows which are over a year old. Hoping to get more recent feedback.

~60 year old house in DC metro area with vinyl windows that are over 30 years old and are difficult to open - 4 windows do not open at all. I have tried WD-40, cleaning tracks & so forth. The dirt and stuff is either caked in small areas or something is warped somewhere. Tried calling in some handymen and no clear answer. Condensation occurs in at least half of them

Windows are:
- 11 large sliding windows > 100 united inches (Apparently anything over 100 united inches = more $)
- 2 small Hopper windows for basement
- 1 small window for bathroom
- All are double hung & double pane glass

So we went for a few quotes and the two finalists were -
1. 14 Okna windows installed by Windows on Washington - ~11k total after taxes (labor, material etc)

- Has great reviews on Angie's list but is pricey.
- All are pocket/insert installs and only one window requires a full-frame install due to rust & crack on interior sill
- Lifetime warranty and not transferable - seems odd since other companies have transferable warranties.
- Installers are own qualified people
- Closed cell foam is cut and slid in between for insulation

2. 15 Pella windows installed by Pella Franchise in Annapolis - 12k total after taxes

- Brand name
- All are pocket/insert installs. The salesman did not say anything about the rust & crack on interior sill
- Lifetime transferable warranty
- Encompass series windows on all
- One additional window for bathroom which can be eliminated and saves approximately $600 off total price.
- Installers are employees but some work may be subcontracted

Anything else I should know or is the price too high? I am averaging ~$785 - $800 per window total.

Thanks!

Murgatroyd
Posts: 319
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Murgatroyd » Thu May 09, 2019 9:27 am

Can't speak to price. But we've lived in 7 houses with all manner of windows. Our current house has a 19 year old addition with vinyl Pella windows. Even at that age these are demonstrably better in every regard than anything else we've lived with.

JeepDaze
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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:19 am

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by JeepDaze » Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am

I live in the same area as you (Northern Va). The prices seem fair to me. I just had a Renewal by Andersen consultant in my house yesterday. I have 37 windows in a three story townhouse. Total price after discounts came in at $76,000!!! >$2k per window on average. I've read great reviews about Windows on Washington. High 4-star rating on Yelp.

stan1
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by stan1 » Thu May 09, 2019 9:36 am

JeepDaze wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am
The prices seem fair to me. I just had a Renewal by Andersen consultant in my house yesterday. I have 37 windows in a three story townhouse. Total price after discounts came in at $76,000!!! >$2k per window on average. I've read great reviews about Windows on Washington. High 4-star rating on Yelp.
Wait for the next economic downturn if you can and get more quotes. That's high, although I'm sure you are paying extra for the 3rd floor work. I don't live in the DC area but OP's quotes are reasonable for my HCOL area.

Our strategy on window replacement has been to postpone as long as possible by doing maintenance and repair. It's darn expensive.

renue74
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by renue74 » Thu May 09, 2019 10:25 am

Anderson is notorious for crazy pricing. There is wiggle room on some negotiation, but not a lot.

The OP pricing for Pella seems pretty reasonable. Maybe also check out Ply-Gem windows. They have a fine mid-level window.

Other high end windows include Marvin, if you want to go down that road.

Energy loss through windows accounts for about 10% of total loss. You would fare better adding more insulation to your attic for energy savings.

And as far as re-sale....it's pretty low on the list of things new buyers look for.

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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by lthenderson » Thu May 09, 2019 11:34 am

Findourway1 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:00 am
vinyl windows that are over 30 years old and are difficult to open - 4 windows do not open at all. I have tried WD-40, cleaning tracks & so forth. The dirt and stuff is either caked in small areas or something is warped somewhere. Tried calling in some handymen and no clear answer.

Anything else I should know or is the price too high?
Personally, I would try to figure out an answer to why these windows are difficult to open or won't open first before spending thousands of dollars on replacements. If the answer is due to settling or movement of the house, putting in new windows without fixing the problem will only ensure you will be spending thousands of dollars down the road doing this all again.

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walkabout
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Location: Northern Alabama

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by walkabout » Thu May 09, 2019 12:04 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:34 am
Findourway1 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:00 am
vinyl windows that are over 30 years old and are difficult to open - 4 windows do not open at all. I have tried WD-40, cleaning tracks & so forth. The dirt and stuff is either caked in small areas or something is warped somewhere. Tried calling in some handymen and no clear answer.

Anything else I should know or is the price too high?
Personally, I would try to figure out an answer to why these windows are difficult to open or won't open first before spending thousands of dollars on replacements. If the answer is due to settling or movement of the house, putting in new windows without fixing the problem will only ensure you will be spending thousands of dollars down the road doing this all again.
Good advice about figuring out why the windows won't operate in the first place, but the OP also said that half of the windows are fogged. That probably means the seals on the double pane glass are shot and the windows aren't insulating as effectively as they should (in addition to just looking bad).

We used Champion windows when we had ours replaced. I don't remember what we paid. They were not the cheapest in our area, but we liked them more than some of the cheaper options. We are very satisfied. We got dual pane, not triple. The windows operate smoothly and cut the heat gain significantly vs the old single pane plus storms that we had previously. The Champion installer insulated around the new windows with low expansion foam made for use around windows. Our neighbor had their windows replaced by a different company and their installer insulated around some windows by pushing fiberglass insulation into the gaps around the window.

Like most other home projects, quality of installation is right up there in importance with the quality of the product itself.

mbres60
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by mbres60 » Thu May 09, 2019 3:21 pm

Several years ago we were in the market for replacement windows. We were in BJ's when someone came up to us asking about home renovations. We set up an appointment (they were authorized by Bj's). They were incredibly expensive. We got a quote from Thompson Creek and also another local company. I started doing research online and found a forum about replacement windows. One of the owners from Windows on Washington regularly posted (maybe he still does). We got a quote from them. I believe they were the least expensive. I liked the idea that they used their own employees to do the installation instead of subcontractors. We did get Okna windows. This was all about 6 years ago. We have been very pleased with them.

sasquatch12
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by sasquatch12 » Thu May 09, 2019 3:38 pm

JeepDaze wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am
"The prices seem fair to me. I just had a Renewal by Andersen consultant in my house yesterday. I have 37 windows in a three story townhouse. Total price after discounts came in at $76,000!!! >$2k per window on average. I've read great reviews about Windows on Washington. High 4-star rating on Yelp."

We had Renewal by Anderson come by a few years ago we got the same quote about $2k per window and $20k for french doors. Of course he said they are the best windows in the world and why would you buy anything less. They are total scam artists. We went with a local company and it was so much cheaper around $700 per window.

Yooper16
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Yooper16 » Thu May 09, 2019 3:55 pm

I would rather have cheap windows that have been properly installed than expensive windows not installed correctly. -- square to frame, level, properly caulked, spray foam/insulation at sill and trim area.

Many drafts occur not from the window or even the install, but that gap at the frame to the first stud behind the trim. Often a little as a 1/2 inch wide needs to be foamed not insulation shoved in.

WaffleCone
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by WaffleCone » Thu May 09, 2019 4:20 pm

Yooper16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:55 pm
I would rather have cheap windows that have been properly installed than expensive windows not installed correctly. -- square to frame, level, properly caulked, spray foam/insulation at sill and trim area.

Many drafts occur not from the window or even the install, but that gap at the frame to the first stud behind the trim. Often a little as a 1/2 inch wide needs to be foamed not insulation shoved in.
+1. If the framing and jamb are not spray foam insulated and water-sealed, wind and moisture will happily go around your new efficient windows.

Look into the possibility of getting new construction windows which allow you to seal from the rough opening. I'm not in construction so it may not be applicable for everyone, but it was the only way to fix my drafty windows. Some house types are easier to do than others. Stucco may be more difficult. I have brick and it wasn't much extra to tear down to the masonry openings and adjust for stock new construction sizes.

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Toons
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Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Toons » Thu May 09, 2019 4:30 pm

We had Pella Windows Installed by Lowes.
Couldn't be more pleased with price,quality,workmanship.
We had a couple of very minor imperfections on a couple of the windows,hardly noticeable.
Replaced within a week.
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

totesmagotes
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:08 am

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by totesmagotes » Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm

JeepDaze wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am
I live in the same area as you (Northern Va). The prices seem fair to me. I just had a Renewal by Andersen consultant in my house yesterday. I have 37 windows in a three story townhouse. Total price after discounts came in at $76,000!!! >$2k per window on average. I've read great reviews about Windows on Washington. High 4-star rating on Yelp.
My wife and I are in a ~35 yr old house that needs new windows. We've only gotten one quote, and it was after an in-home presentation by a Renewal by Anderson salesperson. He quoted us like $85k, while we were sitting in a house with almost no decor and essentially all hand-me-down furniture with my 300k mile car sitting the driveway. I wonder what he thought when my wife and I gasped. We very quickly said "thanks for the quote, but that's more than three times what we an afford at this time." I got a follow call later with something about financing, but I politely told the person that we will never find the money to purchase those windows. I was blown away.

We are still passively looking at alternatives, though we have a couple other household items (large retaining wall and deck) that are higher priorities than the windows that we are going to address before the windows.

Topic Author
Findourway1
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:18 am

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Findourway1 » Thu May 09, 2019 4:38 pm

wageoghe wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:04 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:34 am
Findourway1 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:00 am
vinyl windows that are over 30 years old and are difficult to open - 4 windows do not open at all. I have tried WD-40, cleaning tracks & so forth. The dirt and stuff is either caked in small areas or something is warped somewhere. Tried calling in some handymen and no clear answer.

Anything else I should know or is the price too high?
Personally, I would try to figure out an answer to why these windows are difficult to open or won't open first before spending thousands of dollars on replacements. If the answer is due to settling or movement of the house, putting in new windows without fixing the problem will only ensure you will be spending thousands of dollars down the road doing this all again.
Good advice about figuring out why the windows won't operate in the first place, but the OP also said that half of the windows are fogged. That probably means the seals on the double pane glass are shot and the windows aren't insulating as effectively as they should (in addition to just looking bad).

We used Champion windows when we had ours replaced. I don't remember what we paid. They were not the cheapest in our area, but we liked them more than some of the cheaper options. We are very satisfied. We got dual pane, not triple. The windows operate smoothly and cut the heat gain significantly vs the old single pane plus storms that we had previously. The Champion installer insulated around the new windows with low expansion foam made for use around windows. Our neighbor had their windows replaced by a different company and their installer insulated around some windows by pushing fiberglass insulation into the gaps around the window.

Like most other home projects, quality of installation is right up there in importance with the quality of the product itself.
The low expansion spray foam vs cutting and pushing foam seems to have its own life. I guess either is fine as long as the installers do a good job.

I tried to troubleshoot a couple of windows with different handymen and learned that repair costs roughly 100-200 per window. It makes more sense to replace them, enhance the value of the house when we sell and at the same time make my wife happy (she is the one who wants to open windows!).

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Ged
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Ged » Thu May 09, 2019 4:44 pm

One thing to watch out for is the financial condition of the window manufacturer. Warranties are no good if the issuer of the warranty goes BK.

I had that happen to me. I did a set of replacement windows about 10 years ago. During the Great Recession the window manufacturer went belly-up. I've had to replace a couple of sashes at my cost as a result.

It wasn't a huge cost or anything but it sticks in my throat a bit.

Topic Author
Findourway1
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:18 am

Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Findourway1 » Thu May 09, 2019 4:46 pm

totesmagotes wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
JeepDaze wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 9:32 am
I live in the same area as you (Northern Va). The prices seem fair to me. I just had a Renewal by Andersen consultant in my house yesterday. I have 37 windows in a three story townhouse. Total price after discounts came in at $76,000!!! >$2k per window on average. I've read great reviews about Windows on Washington. High 4-star rating on Yelp.
My wife and I are in a ~35 yr old house that needs new windows. We've only gotten one quote, and it was after an in-home presentation by a Renewal by Anderson salesperson. He quoted us like $85k, while we were sitting in a house with almost no decor and essentially all hand-me-down furniture with my 300k mile car sitting the driveway. I wonder what he thought when my wife and I gasped. We very quickly said "thanks for the quote, but that's more than three times what we an afford at this time." I got a follow call later with something about financing, but I politely told the person that we will never find the money to purchase those windows. I was blown away.

We are still passively looking at alternatives, though we have a couple other household items (large retaining wall and deck) that are higher priorities than the windows that we are going to address before the windows.
I had the same experience from a Thompson creek salesman and that was my first quote as well. He quoted 43k with 28k after discounts just because someone living nearby decided to that amount of work in stages - as if I care. I think it depends on what questions you ask and salesman's view of you. I put with that guy and got a detailed spec out of it. But all following quotes were much lower at 16k, 12k, and 11k for essentially the same amount of work.

Keep looking. I selected Okna because it is reviewed as a solid and durable mid-range window. I thought Windows were low priorities as well but these updates seems to hold its value and I may get 50-60% of the expenses back when we sell in a few years.

Good luck!

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GerryL
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by GerryL » Thu May 09, 2019 4:51 pm

One thing you might want to consider is looking for a window brand that is manufactured in your region. Different regions have different needs as far as what kind of window technology is most appropriate. Look into the brand of window, then look into certified installers.

I had my windows replaced -- original aluminum to vinyl -- about 15 years ago. Small house with lots of large (sliding) windows and one sliding door. Cost was under $6k. Imagine that would be much higher now.

You can also look into replacing some windows while having others re-glazed.

MathWizard
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by MathWizard » Thu May 09, 2019 5:20 pm

WaffleCone wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:20 pm
Yooper16 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:55 pm
I would rather have cheap windows that have been properly installed than expensive windows not installed correctly. -- square to frame, level, properly caulked, spray foam/insulation at sill and trim area.

Many drafts occur not from the window or even the install, but that gap at the frame to the first stud behind the trim. Often a little as a 1/2 inch wide needs to be foamed not insulation shoved in.
+1. If the framing and jamb are not spray foam insulated and water-sealed, wind and moisture will happily go around your new efficient windows.

Look into the possibility of getting new construction windows which allow you to seal from the rough opening. I'm not in construction so it may not be applicable for everyone, but it was the only way to fix my drafty windows. Some house types are easier to do than others. Stucco may be more difficult. I have brick and it wasn't much extra to tear down to the masonry openings and adjust for stock new construction sizes.
New construction is the way to go. These have flanges that go around the window frame to seal up around the window opening.
There is more labor. I had replaced about 1/3 of my windows over 3 summers, when my wife got tired of waiting and wanted the
rest done in one summer, so we had to call Pella to get the rest put in by a contractor.

Mine were only about $500/window, but my windows may have been smaller windows than yours, or easier to get to.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:37 pm

Several years ago I had my builder grade windows replaced with Miami-Dade spec wind-rated windows. They are built nearby, and I used the company my wife vetted for her company's buildings. She was in procurement, and the vendor of the windows and the installation company did scads of work that had to go through her. So both companies knew they would have to do a quality job.

I recently had to have a leak resealed and the trades people commented on the windows being in such great shape. The window job was not the cause of our water intrusion.

The windows were a under $1000 per window. They are still in perfect shape, no fogging from seal failures, mechanically still in great shape. The frames are vinyl covered and require no maintenance/ painting.

Prior to going with the window vendor we chose, we priced out Anderson, Pella, and another familiar name I can't remember at the moment. The windows we ended up with are better quality, and weren't as expensive as the name brands. The manufacturer is still going strong.

Hopefully you can find a balance of quality and pricing that works for you.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Reubin
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Reubin » Fri May 10, 2019 3:20 pm

I bought expensive Pella windows and they leak like a sieve. I wouldn't recommend them.

Yooper16
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Re: Replacement Window shopping advice

Post by Yooper16 » Fri May 10, 2019 9:21 pm

Who did the install? Leak like a sieve or do you mean rain coming in, or condensation on the inside of the windows?

I really doubt that its the windows, but rather improper install.

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