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 Post subject: Alside Sheffield
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:30 am
Posts: 22
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Hi all-

Thanks to this board, I've learned quite a bit about my options for replacement windows.

I'm looking at replacing 6-8 DH, 1 garden window box and one 5' Sliding glass door.

Price is definitely an issue, as I'd rather spend $$ on my kids education than my windows. I've currently got 26 year old aluminum windows, so just about anything "modern" will be an improvement.

After much review of the discussion here, I'm definitely leaning towards the Sheffield. I don't need the best, I just need a solid window.

I live in Denver Metro, very little rain, windy at times and we have a finished basement which we use in summer, so cooling $$ isn't a worry.

My questions:

1. I'm pretty sure I'm going with the double pane, low-E & Argon option. What do YOU think about my choices for glass, spacer, other upgrades, etc?

2. Do you like Alside's window box and/or sliding door products? Which models?

3. Two windows we are looking to replace with an extra identical window next to it. The current opening for each is 34x58 and we'd like 2 new windows of approximately this same size put into a newly enlarged opening. I know a new header will have to be installed and some more labor, but do you have thoughts about the way that this goal should be accomplished?

4. We also have one oversized slider (maybe 48x58) that needs to be replaced as well. Is there an advantage or disadvantage to using 2 windows (either sliding or DH) to replace this 1 large one? Is it more economical to place a NON-opening window in this spot (we never open this window, it's block by my wife's 289 houseplants)?

5. We also have 2 bathroom windows that are small sliders, maybe 40x18. Is there an ez and economical option out there to replace these windows with something other than an obscured glass slider?

6. Lastly, what product do you like for new sills? Something between a Corian and the cheap plastic stuff (we'd like white).

Thanks again for any help you might be able to offer.

PS: If you know of a good company in Denver, feel free to let me know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:25 am
Posts: 42
Location: Central US
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I'd definitely go with the LowE and argon and consider adding the Super Spacer option for about $30 or so per window if you want slightly better upfront energy performance and probably better long-term performance. If this isn't a long-term home, the default Intercept spacer might do just fine for you. I liked the Sheffield well enough, and the performance numbers are fairly good, though the frame (especially at the bottom) was very wide compared to other options like wood/fiberglass.

The Alside 6100 sliding door performs decently in my opinion and comes with a double-lock mechanism and is wood reinforced, but I didn't like the interior look that well. The lines are not as clean as the Andersen 200 Series I looked at, for example. If you are looking at bay/bow/garden windows, everyone told me the installer's performance is as important as the window itself, so check the BBB and view a previous install and verify the labor warranty they provide.

Depending on the brand/line, you may be able to save a few dollars going with a non-operating window, but consider the extra hassle of cleaning and resale value of your home as well. Most people prefer a double-hung it seems.

If you replace one window with two double-hungs that are mulled together, you may lose some glass space, but not a whole lot. It would likely be more expensive to use two windows in place of one.

For interior sills, the most common things I've seen in my area are wood and marble, and marble is fairly rare. I can't remember seeing any synthetics/plastics except in garden windows, though I'm sure they are out there. I guess marble/synthetic might be nice for sills where you want to have plants and migh have some water leakage.

We put glass block in one bathroom window. It is fairly inexpensive and still lets light in, but is not as energy efficient as a good window and is non-operating, if you need air circulation.

Anyway, I'm not a window/door expert, so I'm just offering a customer's opinion. Good luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:46 am
Posts: 1493
Location: Northern Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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eberry wrote:
the frame (especially at the bottom) was very wide compared to other options like wood/fiberglass.


The reason it has a very tall sill is because it is not really a sill...... It is a side jamb with thick snap-ins on top.

It is much cheaper for a factory to use the same extrusion on all 4 sides. This way, all they need to cut the frame pieces is a 45 degree chop saw, and a simple straight line welder. It is a cheap way to make a window even though it doesn't make a quality well designed window, and as a factory you don't have to spend millions on robotic equipment that can cut and weld dissimilar profiles.

The red in the picture is the side jamb piece. The blue in the photo is the snap in piece that transforms the "side jamb" into a sill. Note how the screen track sticks up past the sill.

Image


Last edited by Window4U (IL) on Thu May 11, 2006 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:25 am
Posts: 42
Location: Central US
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The gigantic bottom frame (and snap in as you called it) are what moved me away from considering that window. It just didn't look right to me. At the home show I visited, they only had a double-hung of the Sheffield series. Does anyone know if the horizontal sliders have the same larger frames or know the exact frame measurements for the Sheffield slider? Is it that large?

I also saw a few people here mention the sub-par lift handle design, and how it directly touches the glass and can put extra pressure there (see #8 in the picture above).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:33 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:46 am
Posts: 1493
Location: Northern Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Many of you out there keep asking us, "what makes a good window". In my opinion, here is a real good chance to learn some basics about window construction and to know one more thing to look for in a window that has a good design. Eberry just pointed out one flaw with the handle for starters.

The photo below shows a window that has a similar side jamb profile to the previous photo, but has a dedicated sill...a sill that was made as a sill.

This factory has spent the extra money on sophisticated machinery to cut and weld dissimilar extrusions to provide you with a sloped sill that provides proper drainage and keeps the glass loss to a mininum. The sill is not being used as a multichambered gutter to get rid of water that leaks in through the snap-ins...because there are none.

In your window shopping, if you can distinguish between these two styles of window sill construction, that is one place where you can narrow your search on finding a decent trouble-free window.
One giveaway on detecting the difference is that on a window with snap-in sill pieces, the beveled screen track on the outside will look identical on all 4 sides. With a window with a dedicated sill, the screen track will look totally different.
Also, many of these type windows with snap-ins will have pocket sills, where the bottom sash goes down into a hole in the sill.

This is my take on sill design. I am sure there are plenty of installers as well as the factories that make them that might disagree with me.


Image


Last edited by Window4U (IL) on Thu May 11, 2006 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:44 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 345
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Thanks for reminding me window4u, I'm always looking for ways to outsell all the Alside people locally. Winstrom is our premium window and that is their sill construction. When I'm making a presentation, sometimes I forget one of the three hundred and twelve things I'm supposed to remember.


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 Post subject: OP
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:30 am
Posts: 22
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Thanks for the input so far, please keep your on-topic thoughts coming.


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 12:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:30 am
Posts: 22
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Anyone else?


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