Advice on Windows in Denver

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Denver_Windows
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Advice on Windows in Denver

#1 Post by Denver_Windows »

Hello!

We bought our first home last March, which was a townhome built in the 90s and all the windows have aluminum frames. Recently, a Power rep from Pella stopped by and confirmed that we need to replace 9 windows, as there are obvious signs of water damage.

For the following Power Symphony windows, they quotes us $11,700 installed.
- Double Hung x 6
- Slider x 2
- Architectural Circle Top x 1
- Mull Kit x 1

Some considerations:
- We don't want to get the cheapest window out there, but we also know that we'll probably only be in this house for ~5 years, so we also don't want the most expensive windows.
- We really like the lifetime transferrable service and warranty guarantees for peace of mind.
- We found out one window literally has moss starting to grow (I know, terrible), so we also like that Power has said they won't charge extra if they do end up needing to replace the wood underneath that one window.

Can you give some advice on if this is a decent quote and product, or if we should look elsewhere?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#2 Post by HomeSealed »

The best thing that you can do to compare is get another quote or two from reputable install companies.

My thoughts on this one:

- Price: pretty much normal range. If you factor in the premium for the circle top, you are probably between $1000-$1200 per window which is solid pricing these days. For perspective, there are companies getting $2500-$3k per window for pretty basic product and install details.... There are also still guys getting $700 +/-, but if you want the company to be in business by the the time your install date comes around, those should be avoided.

- Product: there are better performers available for the price. It's not a window that I would consider.

- Company: the reviews etc for the location in your area should be able to speak to this provided that they have been established there for some time ( I don't know whether they have or not). Outside of that, the plus side is that its a large company that isn't likely to go out of business anytime soon, however if they haven't been in your area for at least 5-10 years that would give me pause. Still better though than your cousin's neighbor who has a brother named Larry that installed windows for 6 months and said he'll do it for $100 each and a case of beer... also better than the big box installs or discount companies.

To my knowledge, Sunrise(MI) is probably the best vinyl window that you have access to out there, I'd look for a quality local company offering that window and see how you like them. I don't think you can get Softlite, Okna, or Polaris, but it would be worth a look.

Denver_Windows
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#3 Post by Denver_Windows »

Thank you so much for your response, this is very helpful! I am curious what the biggest reason people are saying that the Power Symphony window is a lower performer (and in turn, what I should look for to recognize a better performer). Is that based on the NFRC ratings?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#4 Post by HomeSealed »

The NFRC ratings cover the thermal part of the equation, and then there are the structural ratings like Air Infiltration, Design Pressure, etc. The former is going to be largely dependent on the glass offered (low-e profile, spacer system, etc), where the latter really speaks more to the engineering and build quality of the window. Generally speaking, these ratings are a "cheat sheet" to tell you not just how well the window will perform, but how long it will perform at or close to those levels. The options that I mentioned at the end of my previous response are significantly better in those areas.

Denver_Windows
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#5 Post by Denver_Windows »

Thanks again for the advice! I've been working on quotes from the brands you recommended and got a few more quotes back:

For:
- Double Hung x 6
- Slider x 2
- Architectural Circle Top x 1

• Pella Power Symphony Windows -$11,700
(Based on advice here, we've decided not to go with this brand).

• Sunrise Restorations - $23,376

• Soft-Lite Classic Plus - $8,945
U-FACTOR = 0.29 / SHGC = 0.28
VLT = 0.53 / COND.RESIST = 60

Air: .08 cfm
Structural DP: 45 162mph

• Anlin Catalina - $10,681.50
(Would be choosing single hung instead of double hung windows)
U-FACTOR = 0.27 / SHGC = 0.22
VLT = 0.51 / COND.RESIST = 59

Air: .04 cfm
Structural: LC30 rating

Based on this thread and reading through the forum, it does sound like Sunrise is one of the best vinyl window options. Unfortunately, it's nearly double the cost of all our other options and only available at one dealer in Colorado. We'd likely consider this window in a forever home, but since we'll likely be moving in 5 years, it's hard to justify the additional investment.

That leaves us with the Soft-lite Classic Plus vs. the Anlin Catalina options.
Locally, both companies have 4.9 stars and lifetime transferrable warranties on both the product and labor, so feeling pretty good there.

With the Anlin Catalina being ~$200 more per window, what are your thoughts?

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toddinmn
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#6 Post by toddinmn »

If the installation details are all the same I’d go with Soft-Lite. There upgrades to boost u-value and I think sash e reinforcement will boost the air infiltration number. Not familiar with Analin.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#7 Post by HomeSealed »

The Sunrise Restorations is a very nice window and the best of this group by a fair margin IMO. That said, WOWZA, that's a big price discrepancy. Are you sure that this is an apples to apples comparison in terms of product options, install details, etc? Sunrise has their own trim systems (inside and out) so some of their dealers push full frame installs hard accordingly (including the added expense of that system), perhaps that is in play here?
If these are white/white, double pane, pocket installs, I would probably move on. Again though, I'd verify all of those details first to see if an apples to apples comparison might change things for you.

Anlin: I have not worked with but the feedback that I've seen/heard from moderate West Coast locations has been generally positive. Ratings are decent.

Softlite: This model is the bottom of their lineup. Dated chassis with some modern updates to make it relevant, but this is not the window that is thought of when touting Softlite's quality and performance.
Is it better than Anlin? Maybe. I don't know the Anlin well enough to say for certain.
I'd ask this dealer if they have access to any of Softlite's higher end lines, preferably the Elite assuming that they don't have the Elements.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#8 Post by Windows on Washington »

Yeah...big jump. Any difference in work scope or details?

@HomeSealed ... is the Restorations now a 0.08 on the AI?


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Windows on Washington
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#10 Post by Windows on Washington »

Thank you sir.

Ricknez
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#11 Post by Ricknez »

Restorations and vanguard are a .02 air infiltration rating. Its listed on the very last line of that chart.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#12 Post by Windows on Washington »

Weird how they have that last one on there and begs the question as to what they do to it in order to cut the air leakage by 75%.

Now...that said, they are also running a unit that is nearly 40% larger (4' by 6' double hung is a whopper) that will artificially depress the air infiltration number, but I don't see it reducing it by 75% here.

Denver_Windows
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#13 Post by Denver_Windows »

Thanks everyone!

I reached out to confirm and you were right: they were different install methods.
- The installer offering Anlin and Sunrise only offer full frame installation (unless they're putting windows into an old wood window).
- The installer offering Softlite quoted a pocket installation.

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toddinmn
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#14 Post by toddinmn »

Ricknez wrote: Sat Feb 24, 2024 4:06 pm Restorations and vanguard are a .02 air infiltration rating. Its listed on the very last line of that chart.
It is also listed on other lines for different test sizes.
The PG rating is very low regardless of line.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Advice on Windows in Denver

#15 Post by HomeSealed »

The rating is not .02, it appears to be .08.

It looks as though MI has had the product retested and is "pending", it used to be .04 I believe?

The reason that the .02 is listed under "alternative unit size tested" is because that is not the gateway size used for the actual certification.

To me (and I hope I'm wrong), this appears to be an attempt to manipulate the AI rating for marketing purposes. Do they have a double hung unit that tests at .02? Sure, apparently so. But it's not the certified size that allows for accurate comparison from one product to another. There are other manufacturers that play the same game, but its typically those that have really poor numbers for air leakage.

Does any of this make it a bad window? Certainly not, I still think it's one of the better options out there, and especially in your neck of the woods.

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