Bonus Room Replacement Windows; Cheap vs Expensive

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Bonus Room Replacement Windows; Cheap vs Expensive

#1 Post by sasd129 »

We have a 180 sq ft bonus room attached to the rear of the house. It is fully insulted and has finished walls/ceiling. However, it does not have heat or normal windows (just very old storm windows) and it cannot be entered through the house (it has a single exterior door). We live in Connecticut and are looking to make it more usable in the winter. We think replacing the storm windows (9 total) with vinyl replacement windows would be a good start.
So with that said, we see 2 possible options going forward.

1) Purchase cheap with the idea that any window is better than what is currently there. Local suppliers have quoted me for $200-300/window for brands such as United Window and Atrium. Also there's the in stock options at Home Depot which has American Craftsman 70 series for $178/window and Lowe's which has Pella Thermastar for $240/window and Reliabilt 3500 $285/window. Of these options, I've actually found that the Reliabilt 3500 is a re-branded Atrium and has the lowest u value & SHGC. Other than a bunch of poor reviews for American Craftsman, I cannot find much information on any of these windows.

2) Save up and buy a more reputable mid tier brand. Though I will admit I am very hesitant to buy more expensive windows in a room that does not have any heat (aside from a tiny space heater) and will not be used daily (mostly to entertain and occasionally hang out in). We actually faced this exact decision back in May when we replaced all the other windows in the house with Marvin but opted not to do the bonus room due to cost vs value.

What do you all think? Is there any cheap vinyl window brand out there that you would recommend that's under $250/window? I'd like to think I am not completely nuts for wanting to purchase cheap windows in this situation?

P.S. I intend on installing the windows myself to cut down on price.

Delaware Mike
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Re: Bonus Room Replacement Windows; Cheap vs Expensive

#2 Post by Delaware Mike »

I would steer clear of the American Craftsman (Silverline) junk. It's a 10-year window at best. And it's blue-white in it's vinyl extrusion color which makes it even uglier when you try to paint anything white on the inside. I've seen too many of them experience seal failure and the lock actuators fail. I'm not a fan of any of those windows, but I'd probably go with the United.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Bonus Room Replacement Windows; Cheap vs Expensive

#3 Post by Windows on Washington »

What he said. Going cheap gets expensive after a few years.

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Re: Bonus Room Replacement Windows; Cheap vs Expensive

#4 Post by HomeSealed »

+1. You don't need uber expensive Marvin's in there, but you don't want to waste money on windows that are going to warp and leak, have failed seals and other parts within 10 years. If you use apples to apples glass the difference in energy efficiency from a poor window to a great one won't be extreme on day one, but all of the hassles, failures, and performance a few years down the road are where the difference is seen. Even if the room is unheated, if you are spending money on windows, I wouldn't recommend one of those "throw-away" options.

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