Replacement Windows in Connecticut

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evan_ct
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Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#1 Post by evan_ct »

I've been browsing this forum quite a bit and learning a lot, but I wanted to post here to ask about my specific situation.

I live in Connecticut and want to replace some windows in my home:
- 6 double-hung 34" x 51"
- 1 "double" double-hung 68" x 51" (possibly changing this to a slider)
- 1 awning 33" x 20" (possibly changing this to slider)

I started with a couple of big name window companies but quickly realized they were way more expensive than they needed to be. My contractor friend suggested I go to a local window store and he could install the windows for me. I went there and they suggested MI Windows 1650 Double Hung and 1685 Sliders. They quoted me at about $425 per window (windows only).

I did some research and it sounds like MI Windows are not great. The one thing I did like about them is the option to improve STC/OITC ratings to 33/28 respectively.

I have started looking at OKNA windows and have been talking to another supplier in my state. I like the 800 series but they do not come in New Construction, which my contractor said I needed to do based on the way my original 1982 windows are installed. I have a quote for the 500 series double hung, new construction windows at $350 each (windows only); if I add triple pane they are about $450 each. If I order them ASAP I may be able to get them installed before the end of the year and qualify for a $100 rebate per window in the state of CT for triple pane windows with 0.20 U-factor or less. I also don't want to jump the gun for a few hundred dollars if I'm making a mistake (it sounds like I can't go wrong with OKNA 500 though).

So far I have not looked beyond this. I am really interested in something that has better than average STC/OITC ratings, but OKNA does not test for this so I can't really compare them to others. The supplier said they should be better than average due to triple pane and since the air infiltration is so low. They do not seem to have any options such as dissimilar or laminated glass like other manufacturers do, unless this supplier is unaware of them.

To me the OKNA 500 windows seem like a great deal, but I am willing to spend a bit more to get higher quality window with better STC/OITC. Cosmetics do not really matter to me, I'm just looking for great performance, quality and warranty.

Do you have any suggestions for other windows that are as good as OKNA in thermal/structural performance and as good or better than the MI Windows in STC/OITC?

Thank you in advance!

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#2 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Depending on what the dealer is set up with you could do Okna 6600 and even 800 ( if you want a fin install, they have a snap in fin available).

evan_ct
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#3 Post by evan_ct »

TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:39 am Depending on what the dealer is set up with you could do Okna 6600 and even 800 ( if you want a fin install, they have a snap in fin available).
Thanks for the quick reply and feedback. I'm waiting to hear back from my current supplier on the snap fin availability, but in the meantime I contacted another Okna supplier and they said the snap fins are not a good solution and that it would be better to do a 500 new construction. What do you think about this?

They also said that dissimilar glass or laminated glass was available for sound reduction which is encouraging.

I also attached photos of a representative window to see if anyone agrees/disagrees that new construction is the way to go.
Attachments
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20211001_102236.jpg

evan_ct
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#4 Post by evan_ct »

Looks like 2 of the files didn't go through on the last post.
Attachments
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20211001_102432.jpg

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

Any particular reason you want to do new construction over an insert?

The snap in nailing fins work really well. You just have to know how to use and install them.

evan_ct
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#6 Post by evan_ct »

Windows on Washington wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 10:33 am Any particular reason you want to do new construction over an insert?

The snap in nailing fins work really well. You just have to know how to use and install them.
I'm just going by what my contractor friend told me. He said it needed to be new construction with a nailing fin to work. I'm sure it's possible he's wrong or that's just how he wants to do it. I'm thinking I should have a local Okna installer come out to take a look; so far I've been getting quotes for windows only.

Glad to hear you like the nailing fins, which I will pursue a bit more if new construction is definitely required. When you say you have to know how to use them - do you mean an Okna specialist should do it? Or are there just specific instructions you need to follow?

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#7 Post by Windows on Washington »

Unless you are doing the siding (asbestos), I see no reason NOT to do an insert installation.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#8 Post by HomeSealed »

I agree with WoW, there is really no reason that a pocket install won't work there.

One of three things going on:

1) Contractor friend prefers "new construction" and there's some miscommunication about it being needed

2) There are other circumstances unknown by us that were seen by contractor friend (perhaps half the windows frames are rotted or something)

3) Contractor friend is unqualified and his statements follow suit.


Hopefully its not #3, but having been in this business for decades, I can't even count how many horror stories start with "my contractor friend".

If you opt to be the "General Contractor" on this project and source the windows and installation separately, just be prepared to earn those $ savings when something goes wrong and the installer blames the product but the supplier blames the install... (Hint: in most cases its an install issue).

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toddinmn
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#9 Post by toddinmn »

+1 on an insert. Those type of windows work very well for inserts. If it was my house I would be doing inserts.

Delaware Mike
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#10 Post by Delaware Mike »

Flanged installation would be a real pain with those asbestos tiles. I prefer inserts with nice aluminum capping. If full frame new construction windows are installed, one would be loosening and removing surrounding asbestos tiles. Some kind of trim board would need to go over the flanges and then the tiles cut in an asbestos tile cutter and reinstalled, or modern cement tiles which would not painted.

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TheWindowNerd
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#11 Post by TheWindowNerd »

Men, take a closer look, it is cedar shakes. Even if it was asbestos a full tear is easy.

Full frame/full tear/newconstruction vs insert

Insert is cheaper, less work for the home owner, faster, lose 1 sq ft of glass per window. The bulk of companies prefer this, because it is to their benefit and they seldom have the next level skill set of installers.

Full frame/full tear/new construction is more expensive ( probably $400 per window), it takes 33to 50% longer, is more extensive, allows for W&D foam between the RO and window, may have a net gain in visible glass.

Both are viable choices for you.

TheWindowNerd

evan_ct
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#12 Post by evan_ct »

Thank you so much for the replies and feedback!

I will discuss the options more with him and see if it's more of just a personal preference and if inserts would work. I am personally unfamiliar with the installation process so I should probably educate myself further as well. I think I will also get a local installer or two out to evaluate and give estimates. I will see what they say and discuss it with my friend.

We do hope to get new siding within the next couple of years but it's not related to this project. If there are any issues with the siding afterward I'm not too worried as it'll get replaced in the not too distant future anyway. Is there anything I should be concerned about here regarding future siding replacement?

Besides the install, I've got my eyes set on the Okna line as I've mentioned. I luckily have at least 2 suppliers nearby and I need to get some quotes on the 800 series and maybe even the Starmark. I'm curious what the price differences are between the lines and the glass options. Since this is my "forever" home and they have a lifetime warranty, I'm ok with spending a bit more to get better performance and quality. I don't want to think about replacing windows again in 10 years.

I've heard good things about Soft-Lite here as well, but I don't seem to have any suppliers nearby. The local Sunrise supplier stopped dealing with them a few months ago. Assuming I'm looking in the high-end Okna range, is there anything else I should consider? From what I can tell I can't go wrong with Okna unless for the some reason the prices are unusually high.

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toddinmn
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#13 Post by toddinmn »

The best choice would be to do the siding and windows at the same time.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#14 Post by Windows on Washington »

Correction. Not asbestos, definitely cedar. Possibly lead based paint, but the material correction is spot on.

Still would do an insert if I wasn't messing with the siding. If I was doing the siding, clearly it would be new construction then.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Replacement Windows in Connecticut

#15 Post by HomeSealed »

Interesting take Wayne, some "artistic interpretation" perhaps?
TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:38 pm Men, take a closer look, it is cedar shakes. Even if it was asbestos a full tear is easy.
You may be right about the cedar shakes. As far as a full tear out within asbestos, I agree with the others that I'd avoid that. More room than provided by the removal of the brick mold would be preferred for proper application of flashing tape over the nail fin, and that would mean cutting (or removing) the asbestos and the measures required when working with hazardous materials. Easy is not the first word that comes to mind.
TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:38 pm Full frame/full tear/newconstruction vs insert

Insert is cheaper, less work for the home owner, faster, lose 1 sq ft of glass per window. The bulk of companies prefer this, because it is to their benefit and they seldom have the next level skill set of installers.
Well that is one way of looking at it. In my area, some shady sales guys use the same pitch as they try to use a full frame install for the purposes of differentiation and a pumped up price/commission. Its a shame in many cases (including this one) as if you were to take the measurement of the viewable glass area in that existing storm window vs the Okna 500 that is being considered, I'd wager that the glass loss would be negligible. Certainly no where near 1 sq ft.
TheWindowNerd wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:38 pmFull frame/full tear/new construction is more expensive ( probably $400 per window), it takes 33to 50% longer, is more extensive, allows for W&D foam between the RO and window, may have a net gain in visible glass.
This phrasing of "may have a net gain in visible glass" is more accurate IMO. The cost and time needed will exceed those in many cases though, particularly if interior trim is replaced.

I agree that both are "viable", but I'd lean strongly toward pockets here unless the siding is also being replaced, or there are other unknown circumstances such as existing water leaks, rotted frames, etc.

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