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Old 03-25-2015, 08:38 AM   #1
Lyver
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Default Replacement windows

Last year I got several quotes ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 on replacing 3 large 84" wide, 64" tall windows in our condo. I got bids from places like Lowes, Granite State Glass, private contractors, Window World and Portland Glass. The windows ranged from Pella to Anderson to Harvey.

Does anyone have any recommendations, or pros/cons to any of the companies/windows listed above? I really just want a window that is built and installed correctly and will keep the heat in (all windows are north facing, so don't see much sun).

Thank you in advance :-)
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:30 AM   #2
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Default For what it's worth

I'm very pleased with my recent install by Window World. I went with them because they were half the price of Pella and I liked their approach much better. Shortly thereafter Pella sent me a letter claiming they would charge 50% less then the first estimate which indicated to me that they were totally ripping me off with the first price quote.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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We've not had great experience dealing through the big box stores. They hire local contractors and then need to add a mark up for themselves. You would be better off dealing directly with the local companies. I also don't think their standards for contractor selection are very high.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:28 AM   #4
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Default Just a question for you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude View Post
I'm very pleased with my recent install by Window World. I went with them because they were half the price of Pella and I liked their approach much better. Shortly thereafter Pella sent me a letter claiming they would charge 50% less then the first estimate which indicated to me that they were totally ripping me off with the first price quote.

Did you stand on your new windows before you stood behind them?

(If you haven't seen that particular Windows World TV ad, this won't make any sense to you. )
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default Alside Windows.

The cheapest quote for windows I have found in the past few years was from the Alside Windows distributor on Brown Ave. on Manchester. They will refer you to independent contractors that have proven reliable. Kevin St. Croix out of Hooksett installed 24 replacement windows for a project I was working on. Kevin was very thorough as to insulation, caulking as well as installing the widows. The trim work was meticulous.

Big change from the box store contractors. I witness one job when the windows installed were so loose, when the trims were removed, the windows. frame and all actually fell out onto the floor!
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
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Default Andersen windows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyver View Post
Last year I got several quotes ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 on replacing 3 large 84" wide, 64" tall windows in our condo. I got bids from places like Lowes, Granite State Glass, private contractors, Window World and Portland Glass. The windows ranged from Pella to Anderson to Harvey.

Does anyone have any recommendations, or pros/cons to any of the companies/windows listed above? I really just want a window that is built and installed correctly and will keep the heat in (all windows are north facing, so don't see much sun).

Thank you in advance :-)
We just completed the installation of 12+Andersen windows and a large sliding door.

We ordered their top grade. We hoped that they were as good as their extensive advertising indicates.

They were not.

We are fighting with them to get them to replace some of the windows, without having to sue them, but needless to say we would never specify Andersen products again. Ever.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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Replaced all mine with Harvey 6 years ago and they are perfect.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default windows

I used Harvey and got a free tinted & triple pain upgrade. I was very happy. Got an Anderson estimate first & they seemed to have less glass area and were 50% more.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:56 PM   #9
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Smile Pemi Glass

Pemi Glass (Meredith store) did a nice job for me on a 84" x 66" piece with a semicircular top.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.H.E. Binz View Post
Pemi Glass (Meredith store) did a nice job for me on a 84" x 66" piece with a semicircular top.
your best bet is hiring a carpenter and select the windows of your choice or discuss with your carpenter what would be the best fit for your home. in many cases new casings will be needed or extension jambs or both carpenters will give you nicer finish work. it always kills me when people take the cheapest price for there home projects im not saying paying more is better but 9 times out of 10 YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. best of luck.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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Default I agree

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your best bet is hiring a carpenter and select the windows of your choice or discuss with your carpenter what would be the best fit for your home. in many cases new casings will be needed or extension jambs or both carpenters will give you nicer finish work. it always kills me when people take the cheapest price for there home projects im not saying paying more is better but 9 times out of 10 YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. best of luck.
I agree with Sky. I had two sliders and a few double-hung replaced by Scott Compton Builder and he did a great job. Using a carpenter like Scott assures he will fix any problems that might occur with the install. I had some rot and water problems that he was able to correct. Window installers don't do the extra work that is sometimes required. Scott (234-1277) is in Meredith, works the Lakes Region.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:35 AM   #12
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i agree with sky. I had two sliders and a few double-hung replaced by scott compton builder and he did a great job. Using a carpenter like scott assures he will fix any problems that might occur with the install. I had some rot and water problems that he was able to correct. Window installers don't do the extra work that is sometimes required. Scott (234-1277) is in meredith, works the lakes region.
bingo good response and 100% correct
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky's View Post
im not saying paying more is better but 9 times out of 10 YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. best of luck.
...and there are those times when the company (Pella and Anderson see post by Smokie Norm ) is just trying to rob you of your hard-earned money. Shop around. Compare QUALITY and price.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:27 PM   #14
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My experience is that installation quality is more important than the components installed.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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Any mid-priced window will be fine....just make sure the installation is done properly.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:06 PM   #16
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Agreed. I'd rather have a low or midline window with a proper installation that a high end window with a lousy installation.
Replacement windows are a pretty easy Do it yourself project. I replaced 10 of them last year at out cottage in Meredith with my son. First time experience for both of us. We had a contractor friend show us how to do it. The hardest part was taking the old ones to the transfer station.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:28 PM   #17
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A quality minded finish carpenter and local, NH made, Harvey Windows is a pretty unbeatable combination in my opinion!

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Old 03-26-2015, 09:27 PM   #18
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Can't go wrong with a good brand name - Anderson and Pella are both great products with good reputations and support after sale. I would strongly suggest going to a local lumber yard that represents the line. They may have specially trained people on both installation and service. My experience is you will probably get better pricing from a local dealer than a big box store on items that are not stocked at the big box (


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Old 03-26-2015, 09:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokienorm View Post
We just completed the installation of 12+Andersen windows and a large sliding door.

We ordered their top grade. We hoped that they were as good as their extensive advertising indicates.

They were not.

We are fighting with them to get them to replace some of the windows, without having to sue them, but needless to say we would never specify Andersen products again. Ever.
Same happened to an old friend. The couple decided to get the best Andersen metal storm/screen doors. The screen/glass is built in. Slides up/down. Multiple replacements of screens/glass. Both doors. Very expensive doors. That didn't hold up.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:20 AM   #20
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Forget about brand names because that means nothing anymore they all make bargin basement cheapo lines. Most of those are all you're local big box store will offer, along with two goons and a hammer to do the "installation". I'm finding that price does matter. Duh, the better the window the more it will cost to make. Stuff today is being cleverly manufactured to look tough and rugged, even feel or operate as nicely as a windows twice it's price. How do they do it? Easy, first and foremost, glass thickness and yes this makes a big difference. More expensive windows have thicker glass which is REALLY important when it's insulating value is a reason to get them. Doesn't matter how many panes there are. Quality and durability of the hardware and frame. Cheap windows are built for a price point and you can be 100% assured that every corner was cut to get to the sale price. Cheap cast but painted to look good lock work, plastic tracks, cheaply made lift assist mechanisms all will have a limited life time and will no doubt break first. Of course then you're stuck cause finding replacement parts for these things is impossible and probably by design, you end up having to buy a whole new window. Just like everything else today things are starting to be manufactured for not only price points but to last pre-determined life span.

Suppose it's poor market strategy to make something that is designed to really last, nobody gets rich without returning customers.

All that said, I'm knowingly going to buy and install quasi cheapo windows, but that's OK it's a camp and I'm good with that. There is no way in hell I would put that crap in my house though.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:53 AM   #21
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Default vs

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProfessor View Post
Same happened to an old friend. The couple decided to get the best Andersen metal storm/screen doors. The screen/glass is built in. Slides up/down. Multiple replacements of screens/glass. Both doors. Very expensive doors. That didn't hold up.
So Professor, seems what you are saying is; Brand is at least as important as install.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Gourmand View Post
Agreed. I'd rather have a low or midline window with a proper installation that a high end window with a lousy installation.
Replacement windows are a pretty easy Do it yourself project. I replaced 10 of them last year at out cottage in Meredith with my son. First time experience for both of us. We had a contractor friend show us how to do it. The hardest part was taking the old ones to the transfer station.
I also put in 4 windows myself last fall with the help of a friend. I was nervous, but it's not at all difficult once you start doing it.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:32 PM   #23
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Buying name brand replacement windows from a big box store will get you a lower quality product than what you would get from any of the same manufacturers direct sales divisions like Pella, Anderson or Marvin. They all make windows that they would never sell direct. As far as installation I would go with a local carpenter who can buy direct from the window manufacturers. Vinyl is OK but why do they have 2 sash locks? All vinyl warps with the heat and cold.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:06 PM   #24
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Default The Big "Names" in Windows

More on our recent window experience:

Anderson finally agreed to replace what are clearly defective windows. But since this has thrown our project behind by about 8 weeks or more, I still am not enamored of them.

I just priced similar windows from the Gilford Home Store, the local distributor for Marvin windows, and Marvin has a very good reputation but is more expensive than Anderson, which has over 50% of the market. Marvin has 2 levels of quality (and price) so make sure you know what you are getting. Marvin also has a local rep who lives in Gunstock Acres so he could be brought into any project to help.

The other big name in "quality" windows is Pella, but our GC has had prior problems with Pella windows and would not recommend them. I have been told that they make one grade for their distributors and a somewhat lesser quality grade for the big box stores.

If we had to do it lover again, we would go with Marvins.

And a good installer is essential- in our weather it is especially important to have someone who knows a lot about proper caulking, foam insulation around windows frames, securing the house wrap around the openings, etc.
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:21 PM   #25
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Granite state glass sells and installs Harvey (and other) brands.
Have used them for other things and have been very happy.
Another brand to consider would be Paradigm, which I used in my office building and have been very happy with for past 7 years.
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