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mark_g
How Would You Rate?

We're building a year-round weekend home in New York State -- in a forested area w/severe & windy winters. I'm researching energy efficient windows, but am particularly interested in mechanical soundness of construction, durability, and ability of window exterior to shed whatever nature throws at it (esp wind & water). I've had Pellas fail in another house and won't go through that again.

The windows are a combination of dbl hung, casement and a few awnings. Most will have divided light uppers (between the glass), primed interiors. Wall construction will be typ 2x6 24" OC, with either foam or combined foam/batt insulation.

Feedback on these particular brands esp appreciated for our application (all spec'd aluminum clad over wood, low-e w/argon, integral nailing fin, factory applied brickmould, unless noted):

+ BiltBest
+ Jeld-Wen
+ Hurd
+ Lincoln
+ Fibertec (all fiberglass, Canadian mfr)
+ (possibly also Kolbe-Kolbe and Milgard)

These are listed in ascending order of cost. I have also priced Eagle, Accurate Dorwin (another Canadian-fiberglass mfr), Marvin, and Loewen, but they price out of our budget.

From my limited experience, the industry forces us to look at glazing stats, but the structural integrity and field installation make the real-world performance difference, and this is a house we hope to keep for a long time.

I really appreciate feedback. Thank you! Mark

Debra
Re: How Would You Rate?

I wouldn't really know what to recommend based on the list you have.

I would suggest that you ask to see installations of these windows in projects like what you intend to build, ask the home owners in the area you're building in or ask people in the local town hall.

My Uncle In-Law and Aunt In-Law work for the Township of Thompson up near Monticello, NY. Both have aluminum replacement windows with removeable storm windows. I wouldn't recommend those at all. We have aunts, uncles and cousins all over that third of the state.

My only other thought would be to install shutters over what ever windows you do pick. Maybe they won't go with the style of the house but they will keep you from having to replace windows when you'll not up there.

mark_g
Re: How Would You Rate?

jkirk, thanks for your comments.

To clarify one point--walls will be 2x6 24" OC with 1/2 ply exterior sheathing, housewrap, and cementitious finish siding over that. Sprayfoam or foam/batt will be applied to the inside cavities. We're not eliminating exterior structural sheathing.

As for the brands I requested feedback on, they are all grouped together price-wise; at most 30% difference from the lowest to the highest in the group of five. I'm not saying 30% is not a lot, but with feature sets being different, it's difficult to correlate one against the other apples to apples.

I want to get behind the marketing chatter and get feedback from those who have actually installed and/or lived with these windows.

--Mark

bp21901
Re: How Would You Rate?

I don't know how Andersen 400 (Narrowline) match up price-wise or efficiency-wise with those on your list, but we have been very happy with the ones we installed in 1993. Although ours are vinyl clad wood rather than the aluminum you mention. They have performed well enough that we use them again in the addition we put on about 5 years ago.

Jkirk is absolutely correct. Nailing flange all around sides and top and they must be flashed properly during the install or you are asking for trouble. I have heard similar stories to your Pella experience and we stayed away from them when we were making our decision.

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