Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

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TooManyWindows
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2021 9:57 pm

Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#1 Post by TooManyWindows »

....I am not exactly sure how I ended up with this list, but we have bids for the following:

Milgard Ultra (fiberglass)
Marvin Essentials (fiberglass)
Milgard Tuscany (vinyl)
Gerkin Comfort Series (vinyl)
Target Elite (vinyl)

The latter is the value choice. I had never heard of Gerkin either before starting this search.

Replacing large single, double, and triple casements with like casements. Many of the larger casements are South facing and exposed. We are in North-Central region. I am likely overthinking it, but I am concerned re: putting in vinyl due to the exposure of some of the windows. Right now, I am considering going fiberglass at the front of house and putting in vinyl in less exposed places in back and side. We are replacing 23 windows (30 windows in the house). We are going to go back with white/off-white windows.

Here are my general thoughts:

The performance numbers for the Gerkins are best. The warranties are blah. The looks are okay. Hardware is good. Price is good.

Both Milgard options are esthetically a step above the Gerkins, but the performance numbers are middling. The Tuscany windows are a comparable price to the Gerkins. The Ultras would be re: 5K extra.

Marvins are esthetically the best, but they are priciest (re: 3K more than Ultras), the warranties are just okay, and the performance numbers are middling.

Target Elites are nearly 17K cheaper than Marvins. Performance numbers are surprisingly competitive. The esthetics are not great, but they are on par, more or less, with other vinyl options. Hardware is a little cheaper, which is a concern. The warranty is great, but they may be too small for it to matter.

I feel the companies are about equal on install.

Does anyone have a strong view of the casement offerings of these brands? Should I stay with this group or punt? Should I consider any other alternative vinyl or fiberglass options?

FWIW, Soft-lite (via Zen) and Sunrise (two vendors) are offered in this region, but unfortunately, neither are offered by the companies that I have interacted with to date.

Thanks for the input.

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toddinmn
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#2 Post by toddinmn »

When you are looking at performance numbers which ones are looking at? The Gerkin is a solid window but it is not known as a top performer , at least in the casements. If you are looking strictly at U values it does alright partly because of the glass package it uses as standard ( Cardinal 366). I think if all of these windows are equipped with same glass , which most can be via options They will be similar. This glass pack may not be the one I’d choose for locale which is not exactly known and would help.I know some of the brand but unfortunately I am not that familiar with them , especially in a casement window. If you could find the Soft-Lite without Zen or the Sunrise they would be better known options with better performance number if optioned correctly. No matter which way you go I think you should use the one you are most comfortable with and use that throughout vs mixing brands. I’m only familiar with Gerkin , Soft-Lite and Sunrise.I think all three are solid. I’d go Sunrise /Soft lite first since I think they look better and they will perform as well or better than the Gerkin with the same glass pack and even better with foam enhancement. If you personally feel if the fiberglass window will hold up better I think you should use it throughout.

TooManyWindows
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#3 Post by TooManyWindows »

Todd, thanks. This is very helpful. I am located in Kansas City. If you have recommendations for option packages, I am happy to hear them. As starting points, I would assume that the general recommendation would be the Soft-Lite Pro and Imperial LS (although I am not seeing on the Softlite website) lines and/or Sunrise Vanguard or Restoration lines. Is that correct?

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toddinmn
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#4 Post by toddinmn »

When it comes to casements all the brands typically use the same window . The biggest differences between the different lines will be the options in the glass spacers and foam enhancement these upgrades on some and standard on the higher lines will yield high U -values. I would be looking for a U-value or 0.27 and lower.I would be looking for a Solar heat gain number around 0.30. This number will be much more dependent on the glass package selected and very common default/standard glass package in your area. At this point finding a quality window and installer is key.

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TheWindowNerd
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Location: SE PA & NJ; DFW/Metroplex

Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#5 Post by TheWindowNerd »

As an east coaster I am not familiar with any but Marvin. I will not comment on the brands.

Todd did hit upon a thought that bares more consideration, mixing brands of product.
It strikes me as not being the best choice for you or for the future of the house. First you seem like a highly detailed person, it has the potential to become bite on the back side if you like or dislike one or the other as you compare them.
Future resale value will be better if there is consistency.

theWindowNerd

TooManyWindows
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#6 Post by TooManyWindows »

Thanks all. You raise good points. I will take a closer look at the foam options and spacer options as additional differentiators. I will also give more thought to going with one consistent solution. I have reached out to two new vendors (both recommended) that install the Sunrise Restorations and Soft-lite Essentials so I can look at those as additional options. Thanks again.

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toddinmn
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#7 Post by toddinmn »

Both of those are premium lines and will come with The best spacer they use and Foam enhancement as standard.

TooManyWindows
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#8 Post by TooManyWindows »

Marvin Essentials and Sunrise Vanguards are essentially the same price. Installers are of the same quality. Everything being equal, what do you go with - the Marvins or the Sunrise product?

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toddinmn
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#9 Post by toddinmn »

Go with the One you think looks best? You may want to look at lead times, installation details are very important, toss a coin?let the performance numbers decide?

TooManyWindows
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#10 Post by TooManyWindows »

The Vanguards are 5 months. Nearly double the time of the Marvins. Vanguards are better performing almost across the board. It does seem like after six months, it is largely a choice between aesthetics and performance. What is your recommendation on install details? I have folks toss out doing the installation to "OSI standards" and some who spotlight that they use "real batt insulation" around the windows instead of just caulk and spray foam. Is there a working standard of installation and materials?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#11 Post by Windows on Washington »

The "standard" can vary based on the installation necessities, but if the gap allows for the use of foam, you should.

TooManyWindows
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#12 Post by TooManyWindows »

Well, I might have my differentiator. Not sure why it is batt only with the one group. I am guessing it is all about time savings on the install. I was told they use batt instead of foam because foam turns to "dust" and doesn't allow the window to expand and contract as batt insulation does.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Looking for the consensus pick for casements among Marvin, Gerkin, and Milgard...

#13 Post by Windows on Washington »

Well...they are incorrect in this case. If you leave foam exposed to UV light, it will degraded, but it is not supposed to be exposed in this case. Given that they are incorrect and speaking outside the actual truth, their opinion would be less valid in my book.

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