Casement Quotes/Advice

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HomeSealed
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#31 Post by HomeSealed »

Ultraweld is a very good window. Little bit less glass than some, but a top tier performer. The TW+ is their newest model. I haven't used it, but I haven't heard anything negative from other pros that have.

It looks like there is a Softlite Elements dealer in Indy as well, Amos? I know absolutely noting about them, just found by googling. I'm generally not a fan of "storm" based companies, but Softlite is picky about who they let sell that product so that bodes well as another potential option.

apmech46166
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#32 Post by apmech46166 »

Thanks HS. I did find "Amos" as well based on your Softlite referral. I know there's always negative reviews, but I read several about poor CS and failures to respond/lack of communication. That has me gun shy there.

I am pursuing a quote for the Polaris UltraWeld and ThermalWeld Plus thanks to your feedback. Of course there's what seems to be a legit BBB complaint against this contractor from last year that never appeared to get resolved. (substantial exterior brick damage due to "crowbar" leveraging during window frame removals) And...they don't offer any kind of labor warranty, said they don't ever get called back for labor warranty type issues. So, there's that. I asked if sill pans and flashing tape under them were a normal part of his installs and he stated that he didn't know what a sill pan was. After I described it, he said installing them would not be necessary because water wouldn't get in that area. I have to wonder if this shouldn't be a large point of concern?

Thanks

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HomeSealed
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#33 Post by HomeSealed »

I don't see any major red flag with the Elements reviews. That's a high volume, and if you removed the people complaining about the door to door canvassing, their rating would be pretty impressive. The other stuff sounds like there could be reasonable explanations from the other side... Not saying that this is your solution, but I think its worth a meeting.

As for the Polaris guy, what type of employee were you speaking to about this stuff? As salesperson may not be well versed on nitty gritty install details. If this is a smaller company and this happened to be the owner, or someone that should know this stuff, that would be more alarming. I also don't like the "no labor warranty" aspect. One year should really be minimum.

apmech46166
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#34 Post by apmech46166 »

HS...thanks for going over the reviews for me on Amos. I think I needed the kick in the shorts. I have talked to two or three different people there so far and set up an in home consult for tomorrow. I am pleasantly optimistic so far based on these conversations! I hope all goes well from here.

As far as the Polaris guy...it IS a small company. He was the owner and I would have also expected him to know the nitty gritty like you alluded to. He seemed knowledgeable on other questions though.

I found out through Amos that they used to carry Polaris, and he said anyone can get them, which appears to be the case as I stopped by a general supplier and they were on display for contractors or the public to see and purchase. I checked them out...the ultraweld does look nice. Amos said they quit carrying them due to manufacturing quality issues arising too often. They jumped on an open Softlite agreement when it opened up and only deal in Softlite now.

Do you personally feel like flashing tape around the RO and a preformed manufactured sill pan are a must? The more companies I talked to the more they make me feel like I'm asking for something I don't need. None of them speak as though they do this by default and that I'm definitely asking for something extra, outside of their norm. I have the same question about head flashing. These all sound like best practices to me and something I should push for.

Thanks

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HomeSealed
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#35 Post by HomeSealed »

That sounds promising regarding the Elements dealer.

Regarding the items that you are looking for in the installation, if you are getting a full frame with nail fin, yes, head flashing/drip cap and flashing tape (over nail fin) should be included. A sill pan is best practice, some old timers are late adopters on that. It is a CYA measure. Not installing it would not cause a leak, it would simply allow for potential damage to the rough sill if a leak did occur. The other items done properly do lessen the need for it, but again, its good insurance. It doesn't need to be a pre-manufactured piece (not common), but creating one from the flashing tape will generally suffice. I should also mention that flashing tape inside the RO on the top and sides isn't needed either, not sure if you meant that or just over the nail fin. My issue with the Polaris guy is not as much that he wouldn't use it, as much as it is that he was confused. That is not a good sign. In my experience, those same types of guys will set a new window with the top nail fin OVER the WRB/housewrap instead of tucked under where it should be, causing a backwards drainage plane and future leak. This is speculation, but again, somewhat alarmed that he wasn't familiar with a sill pan if I'm understanding you correctly.

As far as Polaris vs Softlite, the performance is similar with a slight edge to Softlite, the Elements would be my choice if all else was equal. In my experience, SL does have a little better QC, but this was before the pandemic and all of the material shortages, etc. I've not used either product in the past two years to comment on what is being turned out these days as far as QC is concerned.

apmech46166
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#36 Post by apmech46166 »

Great info, thank you. My home is all brick.."brick veneer". Is the use of a nail fin on the replacement window still used in that application? I was assuming there would not be a nail fin used because there wouldn't be enough framework accessible to nail a fin to inside the brick opening. In regard to RO flashing, I was asking about using flashing tape along the rough sill and up the lower corners a few inches under the preformed sill pan but thank you for all the extra info about flashing the fin and tucking the fin under the WRB. I could definitely see that being done backwards.

Seperate question here...if I go with the SL elements, is the black laminate interior and exterior a bad choice? I was concerned there could be heat issues with the black that could affect the integrity of the vinyl? If not, are there any concerns you have with laminate colors or paints in general on the SL vinyl as far as their longevity?

Again..thank you for all the info and the time you've spent to help me out

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HomeSealed
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#37 Post by HomeSealed »

Ahhh.... with brick/stone, it depends on what size trim (if any) is present between the window frame and masonry. It is a possibility that a fin cannot be used. My description primarily applies to the typical install in a sided wall.

As far as the colors, I wouldn't have any qualms about using those options. The black interior laminate is a cool option. On the exterior, any color or any material (paint, vinyl, etc) will fade, its just a matter of how fast ad how noticeable it will be. Darker colors will be fade a little bit more noticeably than lighter colors, however unless you put a brand new piece next to it some years from now, its fair not to expect it to stand out. The paint/coating used on the exterior has reflective properties that eliminate heat build up as an issue.

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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#38 Post by apmech46166 »

Amos came in at 32,463 with the SL Elements for a FF tear out. They emailed me a quote at 10pm, roughly 4.5hrs after the consult. They have a 5 year labor warranty. They did a great job answering all my install questions and are willing to approach the install however I like. After talking nitty gritty with them, I would be comfortable with letting them move forward with their standard FF install for the quoted price. If I want sill pans, they'll do it, but it would be an upcharge. Quote includes rough sill flashing tape. Head Z flashing will be installed where necessary based on how the brick opening is trimmed out, or bumped out, if I understood correctly. No grids, black out, white in.

Four openings have 1" x 8" cedar trim. Some of the boards are starting to get soft. They offered to wrap the cedar as-is for the same quote, or replace the boards for the same quote. If I want them replaced AND wrapped there would be an upcharge. Still chewing on how to approach that. Any thoughts appreciated.

They will be using aluminum coated PVC (if I caught that right) in place of the existing wood brick mold and wood sills that are rotting. They showed me pics of that finished install product and it looked like quality work. As I'm sure you know this snaps into a groove around the edge of the window frame on the SL.

Can you offer thoughts on the quote? It's about 8k more than the OKNA quote on the 700DX (apples to apples install), which was surprising. Is SL typically that much higher? I do feel better about trusting this installers quality, integrity, and communication over the OKNA option.

Thanks for any insight.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#39 Post by Windows on Washington »

PVC coated aluminum coil...but that's close enough.

Sounds decent. What sort of differences in the install between it and the Okna quote that was 8K less?

Unless the Okna vendor is not giving you the warm and fuzzies, can't see a reason to pay 8K more. The window certainly isn't any better.

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toddinmn
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#40 Post by toddinmn »

Typically they would be removing the cedar boards on a full frame install. There still could be differences in the install that Is having an effect on price. I don’t think Okna offers a black interior and did know that Soft-Lite now does. The black interior and exterior will have a noticeable impact on pricing as well.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#41 Post by HomeSealed »

The two windows in this case are on a similar level, so the higher price is not justified based on product alone. A superior quality installation and/or better service from a more reputable dealer could be though. As WoW said, it really depends on how you are feeling about that.

I'll say this, those are two great window choices, so either one will serve you well from that perspective. You could approach this in two way IMO:
1) Talk to the Elements guy, let him know where your Okna quote is, and see what he's willing to do.
2) Reengage the Okna dealer. See if you might be able to talk to someone up the chain of command (a senior rep, sales manager, or owner) to see if it answers any of the concerns that you had initially.

apmech46166
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#42 Post by apmech46166 »

Guys, I seriously can't thank you enough for all the insight.

The only big difference I see between the OKNA and SL quotes from a pure cost perspective is that the SL dealer quoted me a triple pane option, which is apparently their standard. Any thoughts on typical cost savings to "downgrade" to double pane? Also, is it wise to do so in central Indiana?

The OKNA and SL install details on paper look basically identical, with Okna allowing for preformed sill pans in theirs. I was actually speaking with the owner of the OKNA dealer in person, on the phone, and via email. I made a personal visit to their showroom to get a better feel for their business and to see the window in person. He was quite matter of fact about making me feel as though he was doing me a favor in completing a FF replacement, not to mention the few best practice items I asked for that seemed to make his BP rise. (Flashing tape, sill pan, replacing rotted brick mold with wood before wrapping) He started off the Convo by saying he'd prefer to just sell me the windows and let someone else install them (I think partly because of the approx 48 minute distance from showroom to jobsite). When I inquired about handling the 1"x8" cedar trim around the brick mold he actually said, "I suppose you want that wrapped too" and when I said yes, he verbally said the words, "JC". I can't make this stuff up. Also, a 1 year labor warranty "free" unless you give positive feedback on social media, then it's 2 year "free" warranty. ( I was told later during an unrelated convo that Indiana actually mandates a minimum 2 year labor warranty)

So, all that said...8k more for the SL folks that seemed down to earth and genuinely just wanna give me whatever I want as long as I pay accordingly...I think I can stomach it. The SL guys do give me a warm fuzzy when it comes to actually delivering on the install practices agreed upon. They were knowledgeable and patient with my questions, even sent an "install savvy" guy to the consult with the salesman because the home office perceived I would have detailed questions when we set up the consult.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#43 Post by Windows on Washington »

Go with your gut. You have two great production options there and have definitely done your research.

apmech46166
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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#44 Post by apmech46166 »

The SL company came down to within 5k of the Okna quote, so we are signing tomorrow! Okna quoted me 24,xxx if I committed within two weeks or the price jumped 2,200, making it 26,xxx. The SL company came down to 29,866 from 32,463 after I asked them if they could work on the price based on the Okna quote. I feel comfortable with the decision and can rest easy for now. I will try to come back here and update during and/or after install. Lead time is 22 weeks.

Thank you is not enough for all of you that have provided me a free education and advice along the way. It was a huge help. I read alot of former questions from your archives as well. That was a tremendous help also! If there's ever anything I can do to return the favors, hit me up @ apmech46166@yahoo.com. Take care.

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Re: Casement Quotes/Advice

#45 Post by Windows on Washington »

Be sure to post back up after the project is completed. We do enjoy seeing the feedback after the fact.

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