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Gus

Longest lasting Windows/Doors

21 posts in this topic

I need to think about replacing my windows and I need to start with a rotted patio door. Who makes the longest lasting? I would rather have a long lasting window/door than a good looking one. I mention that because my windows probably used to look great on the inside of the house. Nice wood frames etc. Now the aluminum clading on the outside has let loose and water is seeping in rotting the bottoms of the frames out. If going with a 100% vinyl window will help I don't care if it doesn't look pretty on the inside. I do however want the window to hold up. It's my understanding that all vinyl windows have less strength than wood core windows?? Is this correct or just a generalization? I wish I knew what brand of window is in my house now but I do not. As far as I can tell the installation of my windows was ok, it's just the aluminum clading has let loose from the frame. House was built in 94 so the windows really are not all that old.

Lets hear some opinions guys. Thanks!

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I would reccomend for the patio door and windows an Anderson , or a Thermo-tech. Stick with one brand though, dont mix and match.

The Anderson Permasheild is wrapped completely in Vinyl inside and out, no rotting, minimum maintenance, 20 year glass warranty.

I've sold a number of these doors and have had ZERO complaints. they are made in Bayport/Stillwater, so you're helping local factory workers as well. Quality is extremely high. Anderson seems to be on the leading edge of technology, everyone else follows.

thermo-tech is an All-vinyl product as well, made in St. Cloud has a 15year glass warranty. Also provides excellent quality, for less $$ than an anderson. I put Thermo-tech replacements in my House this fall. I've also sold a number of their products and have had no complaints.

I have sold more than these two brands, i've been to numerouse product knowledge trainings on multiple different brands of windows and doors. Im in no way an expert, and there is no guarantee that you wont have a problem, but my advice would be these two, minimal problems, and IF there happens to be one they are the best in the business to work with. Easy, nice, and will take care of you.

Warranties are transferrable also, if you decide to sell!

enough rambling.

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Thanks for the info crothmeier. Gives me more options to look at.

Anybody else? 87 views and only one guy has knows windows?

I've replaced windows myself in the past but that was a budget house I never intended to keep longer than a couple of years. I just went with Cheapo Menards specials then. This time I'd like to do it right and go with quality. Are these the only two brands worth looking at? wink

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When I went to the Home and Landscape Expo I talked with many Window Manufacturers. Each one made a pretty good pitch about why there's are the best.

They all said that tests show that their windows were highest rated and they showed what the competitions windows tested at. Then you go talk to the competition and they give you test reults that were exactly opposite of what the last guy just showed you. I probably talked with 4-5 guys representing 4-5 different companies and everyone had the best window on the market and had proof that all the others were garbage.

In the end we couldn't really base a decision off of what we learned. I think if you stick with some of the known brands like Pella, Anderson, etc... and don't go with their lowest price point you'll probably end up with a good window.

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I would reccomend a 100% vinyl. wood will rot, and water will always find a way to get to dry wood. We have 40+ anderson windows in our home and would never put them back in. Look really nice till moisture finds them. Just my opinion, aluminum wrap or vinyl clad just hide the wood, butr its still there

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Check out the Next Dimension Series of window (vinyl) made by Windsor. We have used almost every window out there for our houses in the 30 years we've been in business as a contractor, including the big names like Pella and Anderson, and this line of windows (especially their casement and single-hungs) have given us BY FAR the least amount of problems. I'm in the process of replacing all of the windows in my personal home with Windsor Casements. Don't let the price fool you, either. They may be "inexpensive", but they are far from "cheap". Anderson makes a decent window as well. BUT, I think I would pay more for the Windsors than Andersons if I had to....

As far as glass......almost all window manufacturers around here use the same glass company (Cardinal Glass) for their windows. Make sure you get the "366 glass" if you want the energy rebate. For my house it cost $138.00 more total for this upgrade, and I'll save around $1,200.00 with the tax credit.

BTW...I have no connection with Windsor. Just thought I would give you my (somewhat professional) advice.

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I would second the Thermo Tech windows. I've been in the business for thirty years. Have sold Anderson, Marvin and several other lesser known brands over that time. I put Thermo Tech in my personal home. In a small community the last thing you want to do is sell a product to a customer that your not 100% confident in.

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I have a personal preference for Marvins. I am not a vinyl window guy for the simple reason that vinyl expands and contracts greatly, but glass does not. It seems like an problem waiting to happen.

IMHO, Anderson has gotten a little too big, and cannot provide the same service they once did. You will get them when you get them, and their sales force is a little less then stellar. I think they are just spread too thin.

If I were building a house I planned on living in forever, I would go Marvin hands down. Not the Integrity line, but true Marvins. They are custom windows, made to order, and there is a reason they cost a little more. I have never had a service problem, and the few times their have been issues, they were replaced or repaired quickly, with no cost to me as a contractor or the owner.

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We put thermo tech in the garage and all Anderson Patio doors and windows in the house. I have no complaints and would do it again in a heart beat. The dealer also had them delivered prior to the date we needed them and excellent service. I'm not sure I would buy them at HD though.

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Farmboy, can you tell me why you don't like Marvin Integrities? Thanks!

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i cant remember the brand windows i put in my house 14 years ago but they are not vinyl, they are a composite material. They look like vinyl. They werent cheap but we havent had one problem with them. since then i have added 3 windows and went with vinyl because of cost. I will be changing them out when i can afford to. Like most have said do some shopping.

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Farmboy, can you tell me why you don't like Marvin Integrities? Thanks!

I don't have any experience with them. I know the Marvins are high quality, but they are entirely differnt lines, and I do not know if the quality is the same.

What I do know of Integritys are they are a "price point" window to compete with Andersons, Pellas, etc. They are made with a extruded fiberglass (If I remember right), and are in only premanufactured sizes. I have never used them, or installed them (I'm a GC) so I simply did not want to say good or bad without any personal experience. I guess I made it sound like they were bad, and I simply do not know enough about them to give a thumbs up or down.

I have installed or used Marvins, Andersons, Pella, and numerous fiberglass windows, and I feel Marvins are a step above in their product quality, and service. I put in some large 9' tall x 4' wide Marvins (their rep told me they were the largest double hungs they would make) and installed them in a historic building in Rochester. 10 years after the fact, the mechanism was damaged by the tenant trying to remove the window without pulling the clasp. Marvin came out, replaced the entire sash that was damaged, thanked me, and went on their way. Service like that is hard to come by, and for that reason they are worth it to me. But, yes, they are more expensive if only looking at dollars and cents.

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Thanks Farmboy. I was just curious as we put them in new construction cabin. Price was a factor, yes, as it is not a big place. Our GC recommended them highly, and didn't want me to go with cheap stuff, but knew we didn't have huge budget either. So far I like them, only had since Oct last year, so can't tell yet. Fingers crossed wink

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I am kinda partial to Simonton Windows, I have delt with them for over 15 yrs now and are a great product. They have a full line of new construction and replacement units and three different colors. The "call back ratio" on Simonton is very low. The new construction has a lifetime warranty on the vinyl and hardware and 20 yrs on the screen and glass. The replacemect series are full life time on all components. Just stop in to one of your local independant ( not Menards or Home Depot, They are not sold there) and ask for a quote. The turn around time is one week to get these in.

Jar Jar

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If you are think of going with vinly I would look at the Integrity by Marvin. I had all vinly in my last house and talk about junk. The wood may not rot but the vinly expands and contracts so much that the seals pop and the glass fogs up inside. We had to raplce all our glass by 2006 and the house was built in 1994. The Integrity is an Ultrex (fiberglass)frame and has the same expansion/contraction rate as glass, so no popping seals. You can get them with ultrex exterior and wood interior or you can get them with all ultrex exterior and interior. The Integrity prices are comparable to highend vinly windows. I myself have put Marvins in our new house.

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The thing of it is, window/glass technology has advanced 10 fold over the past 10-15 years. So everyone that has had bad experiences with certain brands before, have to realize that almost every window company in the mid- late 80s into the early 90s were just getting a feel for the insulated glass with argon, and other gasses. Alot depends on how long a window will last. Proper maintenance is key. I've seen 40 year old Andersons that are still good to this day, and i've seen 40 year old andersens that were rotted and shot. Location and care have alot to do with it. A constant damp wet environment or a house with high humidity is going to accelerate rotting and softening. Recoating with poly every couple years is a good way to keep interior wood looking new and lasting longer.

A quality vinyl window will not expand and contract enough to give you a seal failure (fogged between panes).

Everyone is using cardinal glass, but not the same cardinal glass. Anderson/Eagle/Renewal by Anderson have patents on glass technology that other manufacturers dont. you can get your basic low-E argon glass in any window nowadays, the big factor is who and how it is put togethe and sealed.

Weathersheidl puts there own glass together and when i used to sell them i would guarantee a seal failure with every window.

I guess what im trying to say is theres other circumstances involved with someone having "bad" or "junk" windows that were 20 years old. They've come a LONG way in the last few years.

I dont work for any window company, i used to sell a bunch of different brands and arent glued to any particular one, but from personal experience if i want the wood look i go with Anderson or Eagle, and if vinyl is ok the I got with thermo-tech. All local companies with great customer service and a quality product.

wheewh that was long!

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i would most likely go with Marvin since I work for them. I think i even get a discount . dont know much about their windows but I do like the Integrity line. I have the duties of delivering Marvin products all over the continent.

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For window replacements, Marvin Infinity (not Integrity) windows have my vote. I put these in my home last year and have been very, very pleased. They are made from pultruded fiberglass. Expensive windows, worth it IMO. I have the EverWood replacements---they stained perfectly to match the existing wood trim in my home.

Woollman

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Gus, I hope you read this.

By chance do you have Scheer Bros. Far North windows in your house?

I ask because right now there is the beginnings of a class action law suit against them, for the exact problems you are describing.

I have been in contact with a local law firm that is working on this since I have 10 year old far north windows that are rotting away.

If this is the case, I can put you in contact with the law firm.

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I am still around monitoring this thread. I really appreciate all the responses. It took some time but I found the manufacture of my windows. They are Crestline windows and doors, most commonly sold at Menards. I checked out the warranty and I'm pretty much SOL at this point. Still shopping and taking my time. Spring can be such a busy time. One can still hope for a bad hail storm right smile

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A good hail storm could help the economy! haha put contractors to work, help the local lumberyards move some materials! thats a good and bad thing to wish for.

the big thing is, get a few bids, look at alot of displays, touch and feel and then pick. you dont buy a car without test driving!

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