Austin, TX Window Recommendation

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DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#1 Post by DoubleD » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:51 pm

Hi folks,

I'm going to be "that guy" and ask for help selecting windows for my place and for recommendations in the Austin, Tx area!

My house overlooks a canyon with a gorgeous view, which means that the wind whips & howls ferociously around here. I plan on staying here for at least 20 years, so I want to replace the windows and doors with the best quality replacements available.

My main concern is insulation and air infiltration (and keeping the house cool in summer and toasty in winter). I'm willing to pay a premium to ensure that the heat stays out in the summer, and in winter the cold air doesn't come gusting in.

I went to Window World and didn't care for the sales process and I didn't find good reviews for the AMI 4000 they offered.

Questions:

1) What are the best (high quality) windows to get? I would like them to be triple pain, but am curious if there is a reason why double pain could be better.

2) Any recommended installers in the Austin area?

3) I'm thinking of vinyl windows, but am curious if there are reasons why Fiberglass could be better.

4) Any thoughts on the Zen Lotus Window by Soft Lite which are triple planed? Should I be wary of an internet-only shop?

5) I'm drawing a blank for doors. Any recommendations for the best quality doors in the market?

With much appretiation!

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:56 pm

There is a great window guy in Tx, Randy. He should take notice and chime in to help you.
He is based in Houston but if you can get him to come do your place you will have what you are looking for, great product, great install exceptional value.

theWindowNerd

Randy
Posts: 1030
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:26 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#3 Post by Randy » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:53 am

1) In your area, the only premium grade vinyl window that is available is Sunrise. (Although you may be able to get Soft-lite from Zen, I wouldn’t recommend that option). You might consider NT vinyl windows or Don Young thermally-broken aluminum windows. The only value in going triple pane windows is in order to get multiple coatings of Low-E to reduce the SHGC. However, doing so provides minimal improvement while significantly reducing the Visible Light and that’s a trade-off that most homeowners reject.

2) I don’t have any recommendations.

3) Fiberglass is very strong is some ways (tensile strength), but it can be fairly brittle and there’s a significant price jump over vinyl. Generally, I offer fiberglass (Marvin Integrity) only when a customer wants a stainable wood interior and simulated divided lites. Other than that, I use other products.

4) I would never recommend that company and you don’t need triple pane.

5) What kind of doors?

DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#4 Post by DoubleD » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:00 pm

Randy,

I appreciate your quick reply! I hear you on the fiberglass windows. I have no need for a stainable wood interior etc, so I can give those a pass now.

1. Do you work in the Austin area? If not, any recommended dealers? I looked for dealers on the Sunrise website and couldn't find any.

2. I definitely don't want to reduce the visible light from the windows, so I'll stick to the double panes. Thanks for the discussion on that. I notice many different versions of NT vinyl windows. Which are the best windows to keep cold air out. The ones which looked good to me were the Traditions line or Solar Pro.

3. I appreciate the suggestion not to go with Zen. I'm curious to know if there is a specific reason not to go with Zen windows

4. For the doors, the previous owners replaced them with Anderson doors ~2 years ago. But they leak air through the channels and sides. I can feel gusts of cold air when I put my hand there! I haven't been successful at finding anyone who wants to repair those doors.

Many thanks!

D~

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#5 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:42 am

What do you know about your AW doors?
What series are they and how do they function?
Can you post any pictures?
If you can find a local AW circle of excellence dealer they should have a service person. Also you can ask the circle of excellence dealer or any AW distributor for a AW certified contractor/installer. You can also call AW directly to find some of these resources.
theWindowNerd

Randy
Posts: 1030
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 7:26 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#6 Post by Randy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:58 pm

1. Sorry, I truly wish that I could service the Austin area, but I have more than I can say grace over here in Houston. Sunrise does have dealers in the Austin are, but you might have to call them on the phone as their website may not be updated.

2. NT’s Energy Master, Presidential or Traditions would all be decent options for mid-grade vinyl windows. Not the most airtight, but worth considering since they are readily available all over Texas.

3. I’m trying to learn restraint in criticism, so I’ll just leave it at what I’ve already said.

4. ProVia doors should be available in your area. If they aren’t you may be stuck with Thermatru, unless you want to Marvin Integrity or something similar. You might consider outswing doors to help with airtightness in a windy environment.

DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#7 Post by DoubleD » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:36 pm

@TheWindowNerd -

Thanks for the tips!

- I don't know much about the doors except that they look double glazed and that the previous owners installed them.
- The numbers on the door say 'CCG 4 mm" "SGCC 1828" "Tempered U" & "16 CFR 1201 II") I don't know what they mean, and couldn't find much on google besides the CFR regulations and Tempered.
- I looked closer and found a sticker on 1 of the doors which said "Prod # 510" and a phone number to call, which I'll do.

'm not sure what series doors they are, though.

- They are sliding doors (move from left to right in a track) which open on the patio (one of which faces a cliff and has lots of wind!)

- Here are links to pictures:

Sticker label ---> https://drive.google.com/open?id=1R3bwV ... RukoNAnb6u
Glass etching ---> https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tMlS3 ... NMfUrMC_UI
Dining Room door ---> https://drive.google.com/open?id=1V7rrh ... z3KedKXM8F
Living Room door ---> https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lHp8v ... sDXrlrQslt

Thanks!

DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#8 Post by DoubleD » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:17 pm

@Randy - A busy schedule is a sign of jobs well done. :)

I'll give Sunrise a call to see who they have in the Austin area.

I'm assuming you're referring to the Sunrise Restoration window in the double glazed option so (Ultra U, U factor = .28, SHGC .28) or (Omega 12, U Factor .28, SHGC .21) right? And not the triple-glazed options (Ultra Ar 90) and (Ultra Kr 90).

The stats for the NT Executive (U Factor .29, and SHGC .21) are very similar to the premium Sunrise windows.

This may be a silly question, but what makes the Sunrise windows premium compared to the NT windows? Are the Sunrise windows more airtight?

I hear you about the criticism. :) I read a previous post by you recommending the Soft-Lite Elements, so I'll infer that the no-go here is more about the dealer/installer than the window.

Thanks for the suggestions on doors and the idea of outswing doors. I'll see if I can get the existing doors repaired first, and I like having options in case I can't stop the air infiltration.

TheWindowNerd
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:46 pm

Those are AW Permashield gliding doors.
I have installed many of them, though it is not a door a suggest.
The door has to be square, the jamb true, and the latch adjusted properly to try and get close to a good seal.
Where are you feeling the air infiltration. I could not tell by looking if the interlock is on the venting panel, it gets field applied if the unit was KD.

TheWindowNerd
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
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Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#10 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:48 pm

As to hinged compared to sliding.
Like most things you can find great or bad in every option.
Okna glass sliding doors seal tight.

theWindowNerd

DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#11 Post by DoubleD » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:44 pm

@TheWindowNerd

Thanks for being the detective here!

What does "KD" mean? Knocked Down, I'm guessing. Or Known Delinquent? :)

I'll check out Okna glass sliding doors. Would you suggest their windows too?

I'm feeling the infiltration at the bottom channel and where the glass doors overlapped. I've circled the spots in red in this picture.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hDWMV ... htugLW0MpJ

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fGZrp ... AIUm0BgRpw

I'm curious if:

1) You do projects in the Austin area or have leads to dealers in the area you trust.

2) I'm curious what brand windows you'd recommend to keep the cold air out and which are premium quality.

3) A friend has Milgard windows, and they seem a bit flimsy to me, and not something I'd want to pursue. Is that the pro assessment as well?

Thanks!

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#12 Post by Windows on Washington » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:33 am

Interlocks are the weak point in any slider (door or window).

Some are better than others about engineering that normal tendency out of them. Be sure to examine and quantify air infiltration rates if that is your concern from before. Last thing you want to do is get a new door...with the same complaints.

toddinmn
Posts: 561
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#13 Post by toddinmn » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:48 am

Andersen typically has very good air infiltration numbers.
As the Nerd said, it has to be installed correctly, also check out the weather stripping.

TheWindowNerd
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:05 pm
Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#14 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Yes, KD means knocked down.
If the unit was KD and a home owner or handy man did it the may have missed that part.
Based on your area of air I would say that is a good possibility that you are missing the interlock on the venting panel.

I live in PA, helping with your install would be difficult.
You might consider hiring Randy as a consultant for product selection. Sometimes the size of the windows in TX precludes the use of products we use in the NE. Randy knows the best products in TX.

If your windows are not TX sized and more normal by NE standards, Then Okna might be a brand to look at. It is relly size dependent. You might do really well with a top line aluminum thermal break with a low AI.

theWindowNerd

DoubleD
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Re: Austin, TX Window Recommendation

#15 Post by DoubleD » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:15 pm

@ Windows on Washington @toddinmn @ TheWindowNerd - Thanks for that great information. I suspect the home owner did the install, so I'll check to see if the interlock on the venting panel is missing.

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