Replacement windows

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

I’m in the northeast and am looking for replacement windows. Have had 4 quotes ranging from $12,000 for vinyl to $40,000+ which was renewal by Andersen (crazy) for 23 windows and a sliding patio door.

The two best options seem to be okna 600 or sunrise vanguard. Does anyone have any experience with either product? They are both in the mid teens.

Any feedback is appreciated.
User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by GerryL »

When I got my windows >12 years ago I heard that it was best to get a product that is manufactured in your region, where they are more in tune with local weather conditions. (I'm in the Pacific NW.) Of course, the windows are one thing. The experience of the people who do the installation is very important. Some window manufacturers certify installers.
User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1971
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by ClevrChico »

I opted for new, modern storm windows over replacing the primary windows. It made a world of difference at a fraction of the cost.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
prd1982
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by prd1982 »

We installed Okna in 2015, and are happy with them. I don't have the model number. Be sure to research the installing company. Everything I read says that can make all the difference.

The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.

I'm sorry I didn't get an estimate from Andersen, based on all the comments I read online. Given what I suspect they would have charged, the OKNA's would have looked better! The Andersen's do come in multiple colors (at even more money).
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

GerryL wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:33 pm When I got my windows >12 years ago I heard that it was best to get a product that is manufactured in your region, where they are more in tune with local weather conditions. (I'm in the Pacific NW.) Of course, the windows are one thing. The experience of the people who do the installation is very important. Some window manufacturers certify installers.
Yes the companies are based in Pennsylvania and Michigan. It’s hard to get a read on one of the installers which is why I may pay more for the surer thing.
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

ClevrChico wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:37 pm I opted for mew, modern storm windows over replacing the primary windows. It made a world of difference at a fraction of the cost.
The windows have some problems, they are original 40 year old single pane that don’t open/close right, are hard to clean, get stuck.
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm We installed Okna in 2015, and are happy with them. I don't have the model number. Be sure to research the installing company. Everything I read says that can make all the difference.

The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.

I'm sorry I didn't get an estimate from Andersen, based on all the comments I read online. Given what I suspect they would have charged, the OKNA's would have looked better! The Andersen's do come in multiple colors (at even more money).
The sunrise seem to have a slightly thinner frame which is a plus. Also we are opting for new construction windows on the main floor given some surrounding insulation concern and which should look better.
mcamp18
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:34 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by mcamp18 »

We used OKNA windows when we replaced all of our windows in our home three years ago. We LOVE them.
The specs and value are tough to beat. Find the best company to install, and ask for their most experienced
people to do the installation.

Mark
like2read
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:30 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by like2read »

Do you have access to Checkbook magazine? Our local library carries it, and it was well worth the effort to visit and use when we purchased replacement windows.

Checkbook does user surveys and ranks (in our area) many, many installers on reliability, quality, price, would you use them again, etc.

We looked for installers that got "double checkmarks" for price and quality, and got estimates from four or five of those. We are very happy with our purchase of replacement windows from a local manufacturer.

While some may disagree, I don't feel that the major brand names are worth anywhere near 2X or 3X the cost of brands like OKNA, Softlite and others. We paid approximately $500 per opening a few years ago, installed, HCOL area. If I recall correctly, the bids we got fell between $400 and $600 per opening, all for pretty good to very good quality windows.

l2r
Last edited by like2read on Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
lazydavid
Posts: 3592
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by lazydavid »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
I've replaced all the windows in two houses now. In both cases (different contractors), replacement windows were more expensive, with a lower labor charge. New-construction windows were significantly cheaper, but required significantly more labor and misc. stock (plywood, metal flashing, etc). The net result was the total bottom-line cost of new-construction windows was 5-10% higher, so that's what we did in both cases.
like2read
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:30 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by like2read »

I do recall that OKNA was a favored brand of window installers who commented on a tradesman discussion board I found online a few years ago.
FinanceGeek
Posts: 872
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:27 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by FinanceGeek »

Bear in mind there are 2 completely different ways to replace windows - the preferable (and more expensive) method completely removes the entire frame of the old window, e.g. just like new construction. A less expensive method is to replace just the glass / mechanism, but leave the old frame in place.

There are many good window manufacturers, I'd focus more on which method of replacement you're getting, and find a window installer company that is reputable and does good work. And then go with a brand they recommend and are authorized dealers for.
Duckinator
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:16 am

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Duckinator »

I replaced the single pane windows in my 50 year old house, and tossed the ugly outer storm window. Big difference! Did it all myself and saved thousands. Its ridiculously easy to do. Pull off some interior 1/4 round, yank out the old sashes, then slip in the new window. Caulk and reinstall the trim and you are done. Watch some youtube videos and try it on one. One example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHVYqMRnr94
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 21842
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Watty »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.

In made up numbers;

A 2x3 foot window would be 24x36 inches=864 square inches.

If you have an inch less glass on each edge it would be 22x34= 748 square inches.

That is almost a 15 percent loss of light that would be coming into the room

Those were made up numbers and I suspect the actual numbers will be even worse.
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

mcamp18 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:26 pm We used OKNA windows when we replaced all of our windows in our home three years ago. We LOVE them.
The specs and value are tough to beat. Find the best company to install, and ask for their most experienced
people to do the installation.

Mark
Thanks. Reviews do sounds good online but hard to filter through what is marketing/installer talk Vs real reviews. Did you do replacement windows and do you notice a meaningful loss of glass space?
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

like2read wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:54 am I do recall that OKNA was a favored brand of window installers who commented on a tradesman discussion board I found online a few years ago.
Yeah though sunrise was too. Just hard to read how much it is those dealers commenting/marketing vs truly better then similar competitors.
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

Duckinator wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:15 pm I replaced the single pane windows in my 50 year old house, and tossed the ugly outer storm window. Big difference! Did it all myself and saved thousands. Its ridiculously easy to do. Pull off some interior 1/4 round, yank out the old sashes, then slip in the new window. Caulk and reinstall the trim and you are done. Watch some youtube videos and try it on one. One example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHVYqMRnr94
Come over anytime and replace mine if you have the time 😀 this is not a project I will be taking in.
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

Watty wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:36 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.

In made up numbers;

A 2x3 foot window would be 24x36 inches=864 square inches.

If you have an inch less glass on each edge it would be 22x34= 748 square inches.

That is almost a 15 percent loss of light that would be coming into the room

Those were made up numbers and I suspect the actual numbers will be even worse.
We will be doing new construction on the main floor windows because of this and replacement style on all of the others. That are often covered by blinds anyway. Still this is a concern so thank you for pointing out
prd1982
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by prd1982 »

Watty wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:36 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.
No question that if I lived in the SF Bay area, I would be putting in new construction windows. But housing is not appreciating where I live. So it didn't make financial sense. The cost differential isn't the price of the windows -- it is the installation costs.

We really didn't see a difference in available lighting, given that we use curtains to limit sunlight anyway. We were fortunate that we didn't have to replace the windows in the kitchen & family room, since they were different types of windows, and in good shape.

It is important that people getting replacement windows understand the loss of viewing area so their expectations are set before the installer arrives.
A440
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:46 am
Location: NJ

Re: Replacement windows

Post by A440 »

Duckinator wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:15 pm I replaced the single pane windows in my 50 year old house, and tossed the ugly outer storm window. Big difference! Did it all myself and saved thousands. Its ridiculously easy to do. Pull off some interior 1/4 round, yank out the old sashes, then slip in the new window. Caulk and reinstall the trim and you are done. Watch some youtube videos and try it on one. One example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHVYqMRnr94
+1
I did the same with Simonton Windows https://www.simonton.com/ (lifetime replacement, which I have used on 3 windows without any issues). I rented a brake from Home Depot to do the aluminum trim around the windows. IF you have the time and inclination, it is fairly easy to do. I had the summer off, so it provided a good opportunity. I didn't have YouTube videos available back when I swapped out my windows, so I paid a contractor to teach me how to do one window.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.
jjbychko
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:57 am
Location: Texas

Re: Replacement windows

Post by jjbychko »

I went with the sunrise vanguard after researching online at a builder site. Never heard of the brand until researching. I'm in North Texas and they don't seem to be as popular. I liked them because they are filled with insulating foam standard. But most importantly they minimize the amount of vinyl that takes up the window space. My neighbor had Pella installed and the width of vinyl versus glass is unappealing to me. That's one thing you will notice about vinyl compared to aluminum. The vinyl is sturdier in the vanguard sunrise. I got the double hung and I'm very happy with the choice.
like2read
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:30 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by like2read »

Watty wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:36 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.

In made up numbers;

A 2x3 foot window would be 24x36 inches=864 square inches.

If you have an inch less glass on each edge it would be 22x34= 748 square inches.

That is almost a 15 percent loss of light that would be coming into the room

Those were made up numbers and I suspect the actual numbers will be even worse.
If you decide to go with replacement windows vs. new construction I would definitely recommend visually comparing the competing products you are considering. If you look, you will notice significant differences in the width and coverage of the vinyl support area of the frames, vs. the amount of glass. Less costly windows typically have less glass area and more vinyl, and have a heavier bulkier look. Even at higher price points some brands look more streamlined than others.

I ended up visiting a couple of showrooms, raising and lowering the display windows, trying the locks, and snapping pictures of the various brands I was considering, which made it much easier to choose what appeared to be the option with the best construction and least amount of lost glass area.

l2r
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

like2read wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:09 am
Watty wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:36 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.

In made up numbers;

A 2x3 foot window would be 24x36 inches=864 square inches.

If you have an inch less glass on each edge it would be 22x34= 748 square inches.

That is almost a 15 percent loss of light that would be coming into the room

Those were made up numbers and I suspect the actual numbers will be even worse.
If you decide to go with replacement windows vs. new construction I would definitely recommend visually comparing the competing products you are considering. If you look, you will notice significant differences in the width and coverage of the vinyl support area of the frames, vs. the amount of glass. Less costly windows typically have less glass area and more vinyl, and have a heavier bulkier look. Even at higher price points some brands look more streamlined than others.

I ended up visiting a couple of showrooms, raising and lowering the display windows, trying the locks, and snapping pictures of the various brands I was considering, which made it much easier to choose what appeared to be the option with the best construction and least amount of lost glass area.

l2r
Thank you for all your comments. What windows did you end up using?
Topic Author
Kow
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Kow »

jjbychko wrote: Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:34 am I went with the sunrise vanguard after researching online at a builder site. Never heard of the brand until researching. I'm in North Texas and they don't seem to be as popular. I liked them because they are filled with insulating foam standard. But most importantly they minimize the amount of vinyl that takes up the window space. My neighbor had Pella installed and the width of vinyl versus glass is unappealing to me. That's one thing you will notice about vinyl compared to aluminum. The vinyl is sturdier in the vanguard sunrise. I got the double hung and I'm very happy with the choice.
Thanks. This is the window I’m leavening towards too.
crefwatch
Posts: 896
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Replacement windows

Post by crefwatch »

What about the marketing claim that the high coefficient of expansion of a pure vinyl frame causes damage within a few years of thermal cycling? (I bought Andersen Replacement, which are a composite material, not pure vinyl.)
User avatar
tainted-meat
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Replacement windows

Post by tainted-meat »

ClevrChico wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:37 pm I opted for new, modern storm windows over replacing the primary windows. It made a world of difference at a fraction of the cost.
Did the same about 4 yrs ago and would do it again.
dollarsaver
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:17 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by dollarsaver »

Kow wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:21 pm I’m in the northeast and am looking for replacement windows. Have had 4 quotes ranging from $12,000 for vinyl to $40,000+ which was renewal by Andersen (crazy) for 23 windows and a sliding patio door.

The two best options seem to be okna 600 or sunrise vanguard. Does anyone have any experience with either product? They are both in the mid teens.

Any feedback is appreciated.
We had 19 double hung vinyl replacement windows of varying sizes installed 2 years ago. After 6 different brand estimates we decided on Harvey windows. The installer was Harvey certified. Measurements were done by the installer and the windows came in quickly. The total cost including solid vinyl stops was just under 8k. So far, so good. No complaints. Very easy operation. Grid on top pane was included with a half screen on each. Argon gas, double pane as well. Low E. Removal and installation took 2 days. Hope this helps.
User avatar
Sandi_k
Posts: 1587
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Replacement windows

Post by Sandi_k »

Kow wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 4:21 pm I’m in the northeast and am looking for replacement windows. Have had 4 quotes ranging from $12,000 for vinyl to $40,000+ which was renewal by Andersen (crazy) for 23 windows and a sliding patio door.

The two best options seem to be okna 600 or sunrise vanguard. Does anyone have any experience with either product? They are both in the mid teens.

Any feedback is appreciated.
We refused to buy vinyl, as our house is semi-custom, and they looked cheap to us. So we did a LOT of research, and ended up with Marvin Integrity windows: fiberglass, and paintable, with dual-pane Argon insets.

For 22 windows and two sliding patio doors (3 panel size) we paid $17k for purchase, and then $300 per window/door for installation using our local contractor.

My big tip: make sure the window shop does the measurements, in case mistakes are made. They then have to make it good, instead of blaming your math. ;)
rockylou
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:31 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by rockylou »

We live in Maine and replaced over 25 windows with Paradigm windows made in Portland Maine about 10 years ago. They have a lifetime warranty and were installed in a building on top of Mt Washington, where there is extreme weather conditions. We have been extremely happy with them
pshonore
Posts: 7079
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Replacement windows

Post by pshonore »

Watty wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:36 pm
prd1982 wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:55 pm The replacement windows aren't as nice as original windows. That's because they increase the width of the frame, thus reducing the amount of glass by a couple of inches. But putting in original windows was too expensive.
Don't underestimate how noticeable this will be.

In made up numbers;

A 2x3 foot window would be 24x36 inches=864 square inches.

If you have an inch less glass on each edge it would be 22x34= 748 square inches.

That is almost a 15 percent loss of light that would be coming into the room

Those were made up numbers and I suspect the actual numbers will be even worse.
Also note that using "fit in" replacements may reduce the size of a double hung window opening so that it no longer meets egress requirements in bedrooms and would violate code. Some of my neighbors (Central CT) have replaced 35 year old windows recently. 30-35K is about the average. Probably a 100 year payback.
Post Reply