replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

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dewalt
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replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#1 Post by dewalt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:17 pm

Hi, I live in a 1928 Northern Colorado home with what look like the original wooden windows. Of 27 windows and a French door, only about 6 of them open.

My trim is white, inside and out, so vinyl is not an aesthetic issue in that way. The house is lathe and plaster, so I think will be fairly chilly no matter the windows. Contractors say they cannot put insulation in the walls without drilling holes every three inches, which is out of the question, so I don't know that I need super protective, top-of-the line weather-proof windows. Something decent.

I've talked to a couple of window companies. One suggests Simonton Reflections or Asure, and the other company is high on Sierra Pacific, which is wood with aluminum on the outside. I haven't heard great things about either of these brands. I don't want to pay out the nose for Anderson or Pella wood. I heard Okana was great, but there is not distributor here. Also don't know the cost. My neighbor has new Jeld-Wen, but doesn't know much about them. She likes them. If you have suggestions for something reasonable that is good quality, I welcome your opinions very much. Thank you!

TheWindowNerd
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:02 pm

What elevation are you at? High altitude and hermetically sealed IG can have limits.
Here is some test data to look for, you want a AI(air infitration) of .05 or less, the U value .26 or less. Look for a lifetime warranty, at minimum 20 years full.
Vinyl will give you the best bang for your buck- duarabliy and energy performance.

A thought on the insulation comment. I am in the NE and there is lots of old housing stock here. There are good insulation contractors who do what you describe drilling , filling, pluging and plastering. Finding the right expert could make it a great project.

thewindowNerd.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#3 Post by Windows on Washington » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:42 pm

See if you can find a Sunrise dealer in your area. I seem to recall some postings about a Sunrise window project in Colorado.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#4 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:39 am

What is a zip code around you? We could then research good options for you.

dewalt
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#5 Post by dewalt » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:32 pm

Hi, thanks for the responses. I am at about 5K', so not too high for Colorado. Zip code is 80524. I'll take a look at Sunrise.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:14 pm

I did a small amount of research and came up with ...
K&H
Colorado Classic
Zen Windows
Let me know if any of them are a homerun for you.

theWindowNerd.

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HomeSealed
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#7 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:17 am

- If aesthetics are not a primary factor, vinyl is a great choice for performance

- Sunrise Vanguard and Restorations are very good, as is Softlite Elements and Imperial LS. On another thread I think I saw someone talking about the Timeless Elite in CO, which is a relabeled Imperial LS.

-I'd agree with nerd on getting a second opinion on the insulation. Lath and plaster wall cavities are dense packed on a pretty regular basis. You will also want to address the attic insulation and air sealing if that has not already been done. The one thing to consider in a very old home is the electrical system. If you still have any active knob and tube wiring that would need to be addressed first.

dewalt
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#8 Post by dewalt » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:16 pm

Thanks to all of you! In the last few days I have spoken with K&H and with a Marvin Windows distributor. K&H recommended SoftLite vinyl. They did recommend Barrington, which is the low end. I got concerned about that, but they say that while it is Barrington, they are modified for K&H with some customization of weather seals and construction. The supportive "thing" that sits inside the window that can be aluminum, vinyl, or stainless steel is stainless and in one piece that curves around the window instead of being cut up into pieces and glued or hammered together. Marvin stressed this as a big feature with their windows, but SoftLite does the same.

Marvin wants to take out the entire window frame, all the old wood, interior and exterior, to ensure the integrity of the installation. K&H wants to blow insulation around the old pulleys and rope then install the new window. Marvin really disagrees with that. However, the inside wood is in very good shape and tailored to the house. K&H is sending their measurements guy who has 40 years' experience not just with measuring but with evaluating structural integrity. They assure me if they see any issues during measurement or when taking out the old windows that they will address it immediately. K&H also says that the age of the house indicates the window frame is not just cut out, but was built in and framed as part of the original construction/architecture of the house and really doesn't recommend ripping it out unless it is damaged.

I like the Marvin Windows but had them price me with fiberglass and wood rather than wood with aluminum cladding. I loved the wood with aluminum cladding and how it's constructed separately, not just aluminum glued or hammered onto the wood. Just too expensive for me.

But I got real sticker shock on the fiberglass, which came in at $53K, with a discount to $40K if I signed right away for an additional 5% off - total of about 20%. I just can't afford that. Also I don't want to rip my house apart that much.

I've signed a contract with K&H. They offer a lifetime warranty on the windows that extends to any owners in the future. So even if the vinyl fades, I'm covered. They say replacements run them about a week, so you aren't sitting around for several months if there's a problem. Installation gets a 3-year warranty. I quizzed him about problems being blamed on an expired installation warranty. He said that in the 60 years of the company, that has never been an issue and gave me a long list of references. He was a very straight-shooting guy the whole time we spoke and very knowledgeable, plus they have excellent reviews.

K&H installers work directly for the company, receive extensive ongoing training each year, and they pay them a premium to keep the talent around.

The Marvin guy was great. As I said, I liked their high-end product. He was not at all pushy and understood when I told him it was just too much money, though I could see the value. His company is very new and they use Anderson Renewal-experienced installers, but they don't have the same training as K&H and work as contractors. Also, I wasn't sold that fiberglass was that great an alternative to vinyl. The wood and aluminum? For sure if you've got the money.

I feel good about my decision. K&H took my numerous calls, answered my lengthy questions with what I felt were good answers. I'm looking forward to my new windows. Thanks again to all of you for your input

TheWindowNerd
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Re: replacement windows for colorado house. Vinyl? Wood? Brand?

#9 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:32 pm

Good for you.
Let us know how things turn out.

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