Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Choosing the best windows!
3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Choosing the best windows!

I am building a home in Iowa... the winters can be cold and very windy! I am being "pushed" by the builder to use Pella windows. I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation on the Brand and Type/Style of windows to use. I am looking for quality and energy efficiency. I don't want any drafts!

Re: Choosing the best windows!

I have Pella double hung windows and am very happy with them. Double pane glass, low e, aluminum cladding, and wood on the inside. You could also go with Anderson, Jeldwin, Marvin.

Things to look for are double or triple pain, low e coatings, good weather stripping, locks that lock the window tightly, and windows that have thermal breaks. You don't want a window that has metal or vinyl that is continuous from outside to inside. This will conduct cold into the house and could create condensation problems. Even on the coldest days of the year last year I did not have condensation problems on my windows. Hope this helps you out.


Re: Choosing the best windows!

We did an addition last year. I had pre-ordered (Before work started) Andersen 200 series windows with Low E glass and Argon. After we started, we found out that there were problems with most of the existing windows in the house, and removed them all and replaced them all. Due to lead times on orders, I went with Pella windows for the ones ordered during the work on the house. I forget exactly which ones, but they are basically the same as sold off the shelf in Lowes, with Low-E glass.

I am very satisfied with all of the Pella windows. I am moderately satisfied with the Andersen's. One has a crack in the wooden sash. Andersen has sent a replacement, but I have to arrange (or do it myself) to change over all the hardware and to re-install the new sash.

My windows are all "stain grade" or unfinished on the inside, so there is no finger-jointed wood in the sashes. However, both companies use finger-jointed (little pieces of wood glued together) wood for the frames, etc. Visually, just from looking at them when installed, I get the impression that the Pella wood (and our joints) was better in quality.

I should add that in doing all this, we removed all the vinyl siding from the home and put on house wrap (on the old part of the house) and the new windows all around. Also, my builder used the ZIP system sheathing on the addition, where there is no house wrap but the seams are sealed with special tape. With a 50% increase in home square footage on a single story ranch, we have had no increase in our heating costs or energy utilization for heating.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.