Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

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ATL Window Seeker
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Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#1 Post by ATL Window Seeker » Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:43 pm

Hoping to tap in to the collective wisdom here.... We're replacing 47 windows (32 double hungs, 5 picture, 6 transoms, 1 twin casement, and then a round top picture window with 2 sidelites in the foyer) in a house we bought last fall. There is some rot on the brickmould, and the prior owners were very lax on maintenance (which is why the house was on the market 3 years and we paid well below recent comps in our area).

After doing a lot of research and getting quotes from highly rated local companies, we've narrowed our choices down to 2 main options, but they are not at all apples-to-apples. 

If we do a traditional pocket replacement we're likely to go with the Okna Eco Pro 600, for about $25K.

Our other option is Sunrise Restorations with a full frame replacement (https://www.sunrisewindows.com/blog/the ... advantage/). With doing a full frame replacement, we'd eliminate the transoms and install taller windows. The quote is about $41K.

We like the idea of finding any hidden problems that the prior owners might have covered up, or never noticed themselves. And we're planning to be in the house 25+ years, so want to make sure everything gets done right. So, part of me wants to lean Sunrise. Then again, a $16K difference isn't exactly chump change when you have a house that needs a lot of work.

So, what does everyone think? Is the premium for both the product and labor for the Sunrise appropriately priced?

Also, if we do go with a traditional replacement, what is everyone's thoughts on fixing brickmould? 

We've had some people recommend repairing the brickmould and then capping it with aluminum (or vinyl coated aluminum). They say you don't want to replace the brickmould with a PVC or similar material as in the Atlanta heat, that will warp over time leading to leaks, and eventually wood rot.

We've had others recommend using PVC or a similar material to replace. They say no matter how well capping is done, water will eventually get behind there, and once it's there, it's trapped and will cause rot.

The complete opposite opinions from different people (and how vehement they have been in their opinions) has us confused, and if anything makes us lean towards the Sunrise quote more as the brickmould would be attached to the window from the factory.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#2 Post by WindowsDirectCinci » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:30 pm

I’m not going to comment on the product because you have two great products and both will service you well. The full frame system with the built in Brickmould is one of the nicest replacement window systems. (I’m a dealer so maybe a little biased) but what you get is the same look you have now without having to need multiple lines of caulk and any capping/or trim.

We mostly do inserts and only do a few full frame per month but what your describing is the situation when a full frame will do you good. If the previous owners neglected the exterior and the Brickmould is rotted there is likely been water getting behind there. Hopefully nothing is rotted but it would be nice to know now right? Also with full frame you can get to the studs and make sure the entire opening is properly insulated. Another benefit is majority of the time you can possibly gain glass area as opposed to lose some with a pocket replacement

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#3 Post by toddinmn » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:22 pm

Brick-mold is very easy to replace , even if the brickmold shows rot does not mean the rough opening or existing frame is compromised the rotted parts are often easily repaired , if the rough opening is compromised it will require more work regardless of method. You are comparing apples and oranges here and it would make more sense IMO to compare bids from both companies both ways. Full frame replacement have other benefits such as loss of glass and the ability to fully incorporate the exterior water barrier system. I would ask how they intend doing that if going full frame since it can easier said than done when existing siding is in place. Its all in the details , especially with full frame installs.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#4 Post by Windows on Washington » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:02 am

Two very good windows with two different approaches (both of which are correct).

We tend to err on the insert side vs. full tear out because of the minimization of disturbance to the home. As mentioned above, there is absolutely nothing challenging about some brick mold replacement in the context of the installation. It is done very surgically and seamlessly and does not impact the installation.

If the full tear out option was part of a nailing flange and new construction option, that is the best of all the installations. Full tear outs without addressing the WRB tie in are not my favorite and certainly not in a good insert (especially wood removal) application.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#5 Post by masterext » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:42 am

Why spend all that extra money on new constructiin just because there is some rotted brick mold? That is a very easy repair and easy to fix. The overwhelming majority of time, the rough opening isnt compromised just because of some rotted brick mold. Its rare and usually apparant only when the water damage is also seen from the inside. Doing an insert is perfectly fine. Thats a personal choice on your behalf though.
Wrapping the brick mold with aluminum is 100% acceptable and most common as well as “tried and true”.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#6 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:52 am

The advantages to insert is obvious. The disadvantages are, loss of visible glass area, can not insulated betweenthe the house frame and the window.
Full frame on average cost $300 more per window. The advantages are you increase visible daylight area, you inspect the RO for rot, you insulate the RO to window frame(should be done with closed celled urethane window and door foam), you get brand new trim on the interior( this is your chance to upgrade and or design what you like, love 3 1/2" Atlanta casing with 4 1/2" sill, a disadvantage and not normally factored into a cost comparisons is that the new JE and casing will need two coats of paint). Takes almost 50% longer.
We do both all the time, our goal is to find the best option for the customer. My OP about your project would be to do full frame, I would suggest Okna 800DX.
As to BM replacement, if you go that route use Boral.

wayne theWindowNerd.com

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#7 Post by TheWindowNerd » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:58 am

Oops, forgot to comment on capping and water infiltration.
The biggest problem with capping is the quality of the workmanship. It can be done right, look great and last 20 years, the opposite is true too, I do not think there is a way for the average home owner to know the difference.
Even if you go look at examples they can look good but not be well done, you need some technical experience to eval properly.
Just my OP.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#8 Post by HomeSealed » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:59 pm

As you can see here, there is no real consensus and that is why you have dealers telling you the same. Having personally installed thousands of windows (and I'm not the only pro on this thread that has), I can tell you that some rotten brickmold very RARELY leads to deeper damage being found. If you are going to have deeper damage such as the structural sill or original frame, those items are generally able to be seen without having to tear anything apart.

With that said, BOTH are very valid as has been alluded to, and each comes with some pros and cons. Decide what your primary goals are, and then get apples to apples quotes. Ask the Okna guy for a full frame quote as well as an insert quote from the Sunrise guy. Then vet each dealer for reputation, history, trust level that you feel for each, etc.

The good news is that you have a couple very good product choices, now you just need to funnel down the install and company to decide which is a better fit for you.
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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#9 Post by ATL Window Seeker » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:32 am

Thanks for the replies everyone. I do realize that I'm trying to compare apples to oranges. With all the research I've done, I'm actually pretty comfortable comparing insert quotes. We've gotten a number of those quotes, and of those, we decided the Okna quote was the best combination of cost/quality. I was hoping to find experts on here that were qualified to compare apples and oranges... This is a really helpful guideline, and what I was hoping to get at, so thank you Wayne:
TheWindowNerd wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:52 am
Full frame on average cost $300 more per window.
The problem is that the local Okna dealer said Okna doesn't make a full frame replacement system. I'm guessing Okna actually does make a full frame product (wouldn't they have to for new construction?), but that the local Okna dealer doesn't carry it/isn't trained on installing. Also, Sunrise doesn't make a window long enough to replace one of our transoms, so as we were trying to figure out how to work around that with the salesman, that led us to full replacement and we didn't get an insert quote from them because there wasn't a good insert solution for the transoms.
HomeSealed wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:59 pm
As you can see here, there is no real consensus and that is why you have dealers telling you the same. Having personally installed thousands of windows (and I'm not the only pro on this thread that has), I can tell you that some rotten brickmold very RARELY leads to deeper damage being found. If you are going to have deeper damage such as the structural sill or original frame, those items are generally able to be seen without having to tear anything apart.
There is some noticeable damage on the interior of the windows. Mostly around the doors, but then also on a few double hungs, and then there's a picture window with really bad rot on the inside. I'm just worried that if this is the type of damage that is visible, what other problems just aren't visible yet?
TheWindowNerd wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:52 am
you get brand new trim on the interior
So, since my original post, I found a video on Sunrise's YouTube page showing the install of the full frame system, and it shows them taking off the interior trim. So, I've emailed the local dealer about this, and he said they do NOT have to take off the interior trim the way they do the install. I'm going to give him a call to talk through this later today, but this has me a little concerned, so curious on the opinions here of doing a full frame install without removing the interior trim. Will it be possible to properly insulate between the frame and the window this way?

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#10 Post by toddinmn » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:21 pm

It is not easy unless they are doing it without nailfins. The nail fin will dictate the placement of the window in the opening, they would also need jamb extensions. I would ask how they are going to integrate into the existing weather barrier and details how they are going to flash the sill and drip caps.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#11 Post by masterext » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:21 pm

Some companies choose not to do new construction installs despite being equipped to do so. Its purely a business decision.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#12 Post by TheWindowNerd » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:12 pm

"the local dealer about this, and he said they do NOT have to take off the interior trim the way they do the install."
We do this on occasion when there might be tile on the interior that we do not want to have to work back to. Or there is walnut trim or the like. It is not easy and requires what I refer to reverse engineering to get the make size of the new window correct.
Unless we are doing true new construction and I know the wall thickness, we do not use fins
You can order the 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 all with jamb extensions applied from the factory.
A full traditional interior trim package takes more time and a higher caliber of install to do well. Things like dog earing the stool or routing the returns on the sill ears. In my OP most of that type skill is not in our industry. It is more finished carpentry so you might need a finish/trim carpenter.

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#13 Post by HomeSealed » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:29 pm

ATL Window Seeker wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:32 am
Thanks for the replies everyone. I do realize that I'm trying to compare apples to oranges. With all the research I've done, I'm actually pretty comfortable comparing insert quotes. We've gotten a number of those quotes, and of those, we decided the Okna quote was the best combination of cost/quality. I was hoping to find experts on here that were qualified to compare apples and oranges... This is a really helpful guideline, and what I was hoping to get at, so thank you Wayne:
TheWindowNerd wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:52 am
Full frame on average cost $300 more per window.
The problem is that the local Okna dealer said Okna doesn't make a full frame replacement system. I'm guessing Okna actually does make a full frame product (wouldn't they have to for new construction?), but that the local Okna dealer doesn't carry it/isn't trained on installing. Also, Sunrise doesn't make a window long enough to replace one of our transoms, so as we were trying to figure out how to work around that with the salesman, that led us to full replacement and we didn't get an insert quote from them because there wasn't a good insert solution for the transoms.
HomeSealed wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:59 pm
As you can see here, there is no real consensus and that is why you have dealers telling you the same. Having personally installed thousands of windows (and I'm not the only pro on this thread that has), I can tell you that some rotten brickmold very RARELY leads to deeper damage being found. If you are going to have deeper damage such as the structural sill or original frame, those items are generally able to be seen without having to tear anything apart.
There is some noticeable damage on the interior of the windows. Mostly around the doors, but then also on a few double hungs, and then there's a picture window with really bad rot on the inside. I'm just worried that if this is the type of damage that is visible, what other problems just aren't visible yet?
TheWindowNerd wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:52 am
you get brand new trim on the interior
So, since my original post, I found a video on Sunrise's YouTube page showing the install of the full frame system, and it shows them taking off the interior trim. So, I've emailed the local dealer about this, and he said they do NOT have to take off the interior trim the way they do the install. I'm going to give him a call to talk through this later today, but this has me a little concerned, so curious on the opinions here of doing a full frame install without removing the interior trim. Will it be possible to properly insulate between the frame and the window this way?
Can you post any pics of the damage that you have? Even if some of the original frame would need to be cut out, that doesn't necessarily preclude a pocket install. Active leaking or significant damage to the majority of the frames however would make that (full frame) a stronger recommendation.

As far as Okna, they most certainly can be installed as full frame/new construction. Sunrise has some nice accessory pieces to finish the interior and exterior on full frames, but that simply makes the job a little easier. Nearly any window can be ordered with a nail fin and then installed as full frame.

On install specifics, this is VERY important. Get a thorough description of what is being proposed. Company "A" will measure a window the same size as original, then install it with no nail fin and your seal consists of caulking (maybe foam if you're lucky) that will need maintenance in order not to leak. That window will be set against your existing woodwork. They'll call this a "full frame", even though it is actually inferior to a pocket install. Company "B" will come in a tear everything down to the studs, remove what is needed on the exterior to access the old nail fin, install the new window with nail fin, flash and integrate with WRB and wall cladding, replace your interior woodwork, completely seal top to bottom. Also called "full frame". This is why its so important to know what you are getting, as just calling it a "full frame" could range from the absolute bare minimum installation in terms of protection, all the way to the most thorough possible. If going that route, I'd advocate for the latter. Otherwise go pocket.
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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#14 Post by ATL Window Seeker » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:49 am

I don't know if this makes a difference, but the "full replacement" quote is NOT a new construction window quote. It is specifically Sunrise's "full frame replacement" system. Here's the video I referenced in my prior post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdJrnD_jK-E

Also, our house is 4-sided brick, so I don't think removing the existing nail fins is going to be possible.

Hopefully I can finally get the image link to work...Below is the picture window I referenced in my earlier post. Sorry for the poor quality. I snapped it quickly before leaving for work and didn't realize it was out of focus.

Image

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Re: Atlanta Replacement Windows - Okna vs Sunrise and Brickmould Questions

#15 Post by TheWindowNerd » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:58 am

It does not need to be a fin install if done with the proper care.
Are your existing units with fins or brick moulding. If your exterior of the windows is painted wood, not clad, you probably do not have fins.
We have been doing this for 4 decades and have no leaks. Most of the time if there is a leak it is caused by the building envelope above the unit.
Based on that pic, that unit may need safety glass.
Post a pic of the exterior.
best,
wayne

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