Start Here

Most folks go about this all wrong.  When you think about it, that shouldn’t be too surprising.  I know a whole lot about windows, but I don’t know anything about your job.  If you dropped me in the middle of your office and told me to handle things, there’s a solid chance I wouldn’t do nearly as well as you do.

On this site we work to solve that problem.  Our goal is to give you the info you need to do a great job with your window project.

The number one thing you can do to start your project off right is to talk to a great window company about your project.

You see we get comments from people all over the US and Canada who have received a TON of misinformation from some high-pressure window sales company.  It’s not their fault.  Some company probably came knocking on the door offering a great deal because they were working in the area (or some other silly sales tactic).  The potential customer let them in and then got bombarded by the BS.

We know how this goes.  That’s why we try to put you in touch with a great local window company right off the bat.

If you start off by talking to a reputable company you’re much more likely to get accurate and helpful information from someone who is trying to take great care of his customers.  That’s what you wanted in the first place right?

 

Common mistake #1: Don’t try to pick out windows first

There are 2 reasons that trying to pick out a brand or model of windows before you identify a few great local installation companies is a HUGE mistake.

Reason 1: The absolute most important part of your window project is the quality of the installation.  You can get great windows, installed by a joker and you’ll have problems.  You can get solidly mediocre windows installed by a craftsman and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Reason 2: Many window brands have limited distribution.  There may only be one company in your town that offers a certain brand.  They may be great or they may be jerks.  It’s a big waste of time to fall in love with a window model only to discover that you don’t like the company that sells it.  We see that happen all the time.  I mean ALL the time.  Someone probably posted a comment about it today.  Don’t be that scorned window shopper!

Solution: Luckily, there is a very easy solution to this problem.  Start by identifying a few fantastic local window companies and see what they suggest.  I bet you lunch that if you do a good job of identifying which companies to meet with you’ll be happy with their suggestions, you’ll avoid all of the common window scams and you won’t understand why some folks have such a bad experience buying new windows.

How do you know all of this?

I’ve been in the window business since 2004.  That’s a pretty long time to be working with replacement windows.   I started out working in a distribution center in Baltimore unloading semi trucks.  From there I worked in manufacturing, distribution, sales, installation all over the country.  Now I own one of the largest window companies in the country.  That means I know a lot of people in the industry, both the good and the bad.

If you’re in an area my company serves I’d be happy to help you out and if you’re in an area where I know of a great company I’ll be happy to send you their way.  You can find our list of the best window companies right here.

It might feel like every window salesperson is a complete jerk, but I promise there are plenty of good folks out there and I’m happy to let you know who the good guys are.

Once you’ve identified a great company or two the next step is to compare their suggestions to find the best replacement windows for you.  You can compare their options with our in-depth collection of replacement window reviews right here.  We’ll show you how to understand the ratings, compare the warranties and much more.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming posts on the next 3 most common mistakes folks make, and our fantastic new video comparisons that will be out soon.

For now, take a look through the most common window sales scams to save yourself a lot of trouble down the road!

Thanks for stopping by; we really are glad you’re here.  We sincerely hope you find the info here to be helpful.  If you have any questions or suggestions just post a comment on any page.  We check them all and respond as quickly as we can.

Remember the number one piece of advice I have is to start with the a great company and you can find the best companies I know of right here.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

163 thoughts on “Start Here”

    1. We are looking to replace 2 dormer picture windows that open to an unused attic. We want windows that are plain, with obscure glass, weatherproof and with a good warrantee. We have 5 estimates. All are companies with good ratings on Angie’s list. The windows proposed are Sunrise Essentials, Softlite Pro, Ideal Perfect Fit, Simonton 5300, and Alside Mezzo. Which do you recommend and why?

  1. Hello-
    Trying to decide between Pella 450 Aluminum Clad Wood from Lowes vs. VantagePointe by Simonton via Home Depot. Much more impressed with the installer from Lowes and know the Pella name, but Home Depot talks, talks, talks about Simonton as being much better.
    Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Neither one is fantastic. The box stores typically don’t offer a great value when it comes to vinyl windows. I would suggest getting a quote from a reputable local company to compare. You’ll likely get more personal attention and better warranties from someone who specializes in windows.

      1. Thanks for your help. After reading most of your website, I agree. I know I want vinyl, single, replacement windows for brick mid century modern. Still trying to narrow down companies???

          1. The recommendation on windows, in Carrollton Texas

      2. Do you have any thought on patio slider doors. I have one already from Home Depot which Is so-so. I was also considering a simonton forna mid range option

  2. it is imperative to view windows on display (in a showroom or “windows store” or Lowes or Home Depot )before you even begin to consider an installer. i was stunned to find that even “big name” manufacturers (e.g., anderson) still fabricate with visible, raggedy, interior corner weld lines. OK for a garage or basement, but certainly not for a living or bed room. What are these manufacturers thinking about?

    1. You’re absolutely right. I would never suggest buying windows without seeing samples. Often companies will being samples to you as it’s like pulling teeth to get most customers to come to a showroom. Good advice not to order out of a brochure.

  3. Are there any reasons/advantages to purchase double (vs single) hung replacement windows? i saved almost $1000 by purchasing 17 single hung vinyl windows. In the 42 years in my house, I can’t recall opening any top window except for painting or repair, neither of which I expect to (rarely) require for my warrantied vinyl windows. And, as often I expect to need to clean the outside of the top window, it should be easy to access it from the flipped-down bottom.

    1. No that’s a great way to save a few bucks. The cost difference between single hung and double hung windows is typical about $20-$30 per window. The downsides are that with single hung windows you can’t open the top and you can’t tilt the top in for easy cleaning. If you’re ok with that trade it’s a great option.

  4. I am considering having a local lumber company install replacement vinyl windows made by Custom Window Systems, Ocala FL. Any rating on their windows? How do they compare with Alside which we had on a previous house and we were happy with. Thanks

  5. I am looking for some information on Diamond windows by public supply in Oklahoma City. The company is now bankrupt and for the last several years they have been selling silver line by Anderson. But before that they manufactured these “diamond windows”. I have found a guy that bought out the entire inventory during a bankruptcy sale. There are hundreds of windows and are VERY reasonably priced. I was just wondering, are these quality windows? Thanks in advance!

  6. Looking at Windsor vinyl/sash sash kit vs Simonton Asure I don’t see any reviews on Windsor. I know that I will be giving up some glass with the Simonton but any other pros/cons?

    1. I my experience people are often unhappy with sash kits. I’d look at a vinyl window with a thinner frame if you’re concerned about glass area.

  7. We are in the market for replacement windows and our budget has us looking at midrange windows. We live in northwest Missouri where it seems we can get both extremes in our weather. I have gotten several estimates and have it narrowed down to four window manufacturers and I was wondering which would be the best way to go. We are choosing between Pella 250 series, Alside Mezzo, Plygem contractor, and the Sunrise windows. What are your thoughts. Thanks

  8. Are you familiar with Rosati Windows, Columbus, OH? We are considering replacing our windows (20) and a sliding glass door.

  9. Fantastic info!!! We currently have single pane double hung wood frame windows with additional storm wundows. Should we replace all of it with triple pane ? Or should we just replace the single pane with double pane and keep the storm windows? We live in Atlanta, GA .

    1. You may not need triple pane windows in Atlanta, but if you like them go for it! Glad you find the site to be helpful!

      1. Yes. Do you have an opinion on the Omega 12 single hung windows? Can you give me 3-5 comparable alternatives from competitors?

        Thank you.

  10. Hi there,

    I’ve found your website to be most helpful as we decide on replacement windows. Most of the brands we are considering have reviews published with the exception of PlyGem. The bid for Plygem windows is the lowest considering all our other options. I’m keenly interested in your opinion when it comes to the PlyGem products. Any insight?

    Thanks-

    1. Hi Jamie, glad you’re enjoying the site. PlyGem makes so many products now. It seems they offer about everything. Which brands or models are you considering?

  11. what is the best material for the frame. seems life most are vinyl
    will these hold up long term. just tying to make the best decision
    thanks jack

  12. We are currently working with a builder preconstruction. Original plan includes installing Casco windows which is a direct, local company. I researched reviews and became concerns after some of the reviews I saw. Obviously we want a quality window but certainly do not want high end. I guess we are looking for middle of the road with known quality. Our builder is open to other windows. What would you recommend? Windows will be double hung and we will need a sliding door. We are in Chicago, IL area. Thanks!

  13. Trying to decide between Alside Fusion windows and VWD 210 series (both double hung). Two different contractors gave me estimates, one uses the fusion, the other uses VWD. Price wise they are comparable, however, I can’t find any insulating specifications for the Fusions while VWD has the U-values of the 210 series published online.

    Your insights are appreciated!

    1. The best advice I have is to spend a few bucks more and upgrade to the Alside Mezzo window. The cost difference between the Mezzo and the Fusion is small and the product difference is huge. You’ll be much happier with the end result.

  14. what advice do you have for someone in Western Maine where temps can dip to -20 and below. still trying to decide between replacing my old (original to the 1940 house) with replacement or new construction…some of my sills are punky, soft…..on the Northern side of the house. I will miss the character of the old window but not the heat loss.

    1. Those old windows are pretty, but they’re just not too efficient. If you’re going to be replacing them you might want to look at triple pane options. The best options would be windows with low u-factors and higher solar heat gain as you’ll want the heat from the sun.

      I would expect the local window companies would be able to make some good suggestions for the area.

      1. they have given me a quote for 10 Silverline new construction double hung windows… 31 1/2 w x 59 1/2 Energy star standard white low E argon DP 45 standard glass colonial contour grills between the glass , full screen, double lock, jchannel filler and nailing fin …each one is 243.89….just not sure about that brand Silver line by Anderson…and the grills between the glass just look cheesy to me. I am so used to my old windows.

        1. I’ve never been a huge fan of Silverline windows, but with new construction your options are limited. If you’re not happy with the look ask for other options. There are plenty of fish in the sea!

  15. We signed an agreement with Windows USA but I can’t find anything positive about their company online. In fact, a lot of the reviews I’m reading are about similar high-pressure sales tactics we endured. I am really concerned that we are about to get ripped off but can’t find any info one way or the other. We have until midnight Friday to cancel per the lawful “cooling off period” and I know we are doing this totally backward. The only way we can afford to replace our windows is very inexpensively. We live in a little bitty out of the way town that doesn’t have a lot of options. Do you have an opinion about Windows USA?

    1. I don’t know them, but I often tell people that if you’re worried about how long you have to cancel an order you should probably cancel it. If you decide to go back to them they’ll gladly take you back. There is no need to feel rushed or pressured.

      1. We went ahead and cancelled the order this morning. We just really didn’t feel good about the project and we aren’t about to spend nearly $5K without being absolutely certain. We are going to try to do it the right way and do research and get several quotes.

  16. With regards to the Window World 4000 series, do you think it is worth it to pay the extra $89 per window for the Solarzone Elite?

    1. It depends. If you’re in a very high sun area it probably makes sense. The SolarZone Elite glass is darker than many other options so I’d only suggest it if you’re in a very high sun area.

  17. We met with a rep from Apex Energy Solutions for installing their Alside manufactured Insignia casement windows. I have been looking for reviews for Apex and only found a few, though they were all good. A full install of 20+ windows is expensive so we want to make sure we are getting what we pay for. Thoughts?

      1. They were fusion welded, argon filled, triple-pane glass. The construction seemed superior to anything I have seen before. The hardware was sleek and the screens were of welded aluminum so they were very strong and had virtually damage-proof material. I just could not find them listed in any of the review aggregators so all I found were reviews in a smattering of places. All were positive, though.

        1. Sounds like pretty similar features that you’d find in all Alside casement windows. I’d get a couple of quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

  18. We are considering purchasing Alside Revelation windows. They stated they are the highest rated residential, but I am having trouble finding reviews on the product, product information is out there. Know of any reviews?????

    1. That’s because Alside doesn’t make a window called Revelation. You must be seeing a private label product, which means it’s another Alside window with a “special” brochure. Did they tell you what the model number was? We’ll be happy to show you which model it really is.

      They make many models that get very similar ratings so there really is no “best”. Be careful out there!

  19. I am replacing 16 windows and have 3 quotes for the replacement windows. Wincore 7700 for 4,000, Polaris ultraweld for 5,300 and Grand Estates for 4,300. Any thoughts? I was also thinking of installing them myself and save 1,000 dollars. I have a friend who has installed them before who is willing to help. I live in Akron OH.

    1. We ordered 8 windows from YKK, we waited 3 weeks but when they arrived they were the wrong windows.
      Now we can’t get anyone to help us find out about the missing windows, our house is boarded up waiting for windows, no one will call us back or let us know whats going on.

      1. A mistake can happen to anyone, but it’s strange that they wouldn’t call you back. Have you heard back from them yet?

  20. Just ran across your site, like it. We live in St. Pete Florida. I recently found out that my wife’s parents who live in Danvers Massachusetts paid Sears and Roebuck almost $6000.00 to install 5 windows. This was about five years ago, but still. approximately 36 inches wide X 52 inches high. Non impact, just standard windows. I’m not even sure if they were double insulated. Keep your eyes peeled and get multiple estimates. I told her parents I could have drove up and done the project for at least 1/2 price and had a little vacation, but it’s too late.

  21. I’m in the Hartford, CT. area and I’m wondering if you’ve done or plan on doing a youtube review of a popular window company in this area. AWS (Advanced Window Systems). They “mfg” their windows locally and would like to get a honest opinion.

  22. We are replacing 20 windows 400 series (double hung & picture). I’ve gotten an estimate from Renewal by Andersen for over $27,,000. Also 2 sets 400 series french doors at $12,500. I am waiting on Home Depot who is quoting the 400 series as well. The Renewal by Andersen rep said there is a huge difference between their windows (composite) and the windows at Home Depot (wood clad optimized for new construction and an older system). And their warranty is much better (they don’t stand behind Home Depot because malfunction can be caused on installer). Any advise you could give would be greatly appreciated.

  23. We currently have single hung aluminum windows are are looking to replace with vinyl. We have several quotes, but have narrowed down to Vista, Great Lakes (Seabrooke model) and Soft-Lite (Classic model). The GL and SL are about the same price, and the Vista is a couple thousand less. We have 36 windows to replace so it’s a big job. Each installer talks up their windows like they are the best and a better deal than the other guy, but who can we believe? Would appreciate some outside input. Thanks.

  24. Do you have any experience with H Windows out of Ashland, Wisconsin? They warrant their windows for 10 years. This seems short for a fairly expensive wood interior/aluminum exterior awning or casement window. Also, any feedback on Alpen Windows – a fiberglass, high-efficiency window? I believe they are owned by Serious Windows or vise versa. Thank you.

  25. How do you feel about glass replacements vs. frame and glass replacements?

    Our windows are 10 years old. No low-e and we live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons (averages 20-100 F) for highs.

    How do you feel about glass replacements vs. frame and glass replacements?

    Our windows are 10 years old. No low-e and we live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons (averages 20-100 F) for highs.

    Since we do not operate the windows very often and the frames are “ok” we’re thinking about trying just glass replacements to get LowE and better performance.

    1. If you were ordering new sashes from the manufacturer that would be one thing. Trying to replace the glass units in your windows has a relatedly large percentage change of being a problem. Our company used to offer glass replacement and we had so many headaches we needed to stop offering that service.

      It’s certainly possible that it could work out just fine. Just be aware the chance of a problem increases. Be sure to let everyone know how it goes!

    1. You typically see sash kits for wood windows and we’ve installed many of them. Oftentimes it’s not an easy installation and the results aren’t always fantastic. It can work well in certain circumstances, but we’ve found at the end you get pretty new sashes and you still have a beat up old crooked frame.

  26. Am retired on fixed income in SD, CA. Best bang for my buck to replace 5 sliding windows & 6 sliding glass doors.

    Thanks

  27. I have 21 windows that need replacing. The home is 45 years old. Only one big box contactor out of three other contractors stated 14 out of the 21 windows needed the sill replaced due to rotting. He stated you can only replace these windows with “New Construction Vinyl windows vs. Replacement Vinyl windows. He then went on to say you cannot use Replacement Vinyl windows if the sills are bad. Does this sound valid? Other contractors mentioned that they would replace any rotting wood if necessary and still use the Vinyl Replacement.

  28. My bad WD on a closer look Rite Window is the name of the company. They don’t say in their ad what type of vinyl window they install. A rep is coming tomorrow and I will find out then and write again if I have questions. Sorry for the confusion.

  29. Hey Dog, Great site you have and extremely informative. My question is we have a 1936 house on a busy road and we’re on a budget. Would you choose a Pella 350 dual pane tempered (3mm/5mm glass) or Bershire Elite dual pane laminated? I like the smooth pella look and narrow profile of Berks. Or if you think of better mid price window with excellent STC ratings. Thanks!!!

  30. Dan,

    We have builder-grade windows (my assumption, but this is an original build); they’re double pane supposedly low-E. At any rate, they need to be replaced as they are drafty and fogged not to mention that in a hard rain they leak (not all, but some). I’ve been following your emails (thanks), but should we go for a complete replacement, frames and all? I realize it depends upon they manufacturer and installer, but the windows I’m most impressed with Alside Mezzo and I don’t know if I can find an installer in the San Antonio, TX area.

    Thanks,
    Dean

    1. Hi Dean, you’re in the same boat as a lot of folks. Builders tend to use really cheap windows. Are your current windows vinyl? If so the whole frame will come out when they’re replaced so that’s not an issue. If they’re wood it typically depends on the condition of the wood frame. We’re about to start another project in San Antonio and I’d be happy to help with yours if you’d like. You can find info on our new program here.

  31. Hi
    Been reading on this site for about an hour now. My wife and I just had a visit from
    HTC Home Town Contractors out of Pace Fl
    Come and look at the brick ranch (built in late 60s) to do a replacement window project. We have 12 Windows They offer Windows by
    Wincore. Explained how the company was formed by executives from another firm
    We’re in Pensacola Fl So we’re going to go with the high impact Windows as the cost difference for the shutter option is minimal
    Looking At the 50 series (offer of a 50 or 70)
    I believe has to due wth the solor protection?
    At any rate the salesmen wasn’t pushy at all answered our questions. I informed him we are about a year out from doing the job as we want to pay cash and have no financing involved
    He was fine with that said price wasn’t guaranteed for that long but would be more likely very close to it
    So with “discounts” they come in at just under $10000 for the 12 double hung impact Windows complete.
    I’ve had two other firms contact me one wouldn’t come out due to the delay in the job that’s fine. Another talked with me at length and offered viynil Windows impact resistant
    At probably about 10 to 12k. I don’t know the window manufacturer on this one
    Any suggestions since we’ve got some time before doing this project?
    Thanks

    1. That’s probably not an unreasonable price for impact windows, but it never hurts to get another quote to compare. Wincore was formed by former Simonton executives, at least that’s the story I’ve heard. You have plenty of time so I’d check Angie’s List and get at least one more quote to make sure you’re in the right ballpark.

  32. Do you have any experience with Amcraft vinyl windows? I am looking to replace, using new construction windows in my house.

  33. Hello Window Dog!
    Great informative site…I am replacing 4 Windows in my 1950 ‘s home.
    Are you familiar with Zen Windows? The Nirvana line? I also got an Okna quote for 500’s that was a bit more expensive.
    Both installation companies have good Angieslist reviews. I am in Milwaukee.
    Thanks!
    Max

    1. Hi Maxwell, thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I know of a great company in Milwaukee and I’ll be glad to put you in touch with the owner. I’ll send you an email right now. I’m sure he’ll be able to help out.

  34. Received an estimate for windows. $8300 for Sunrise Restoration windows. 1 window is 40×59 and 3 twin mulled windows are 35×59 (6 windows). Does this quote seem reasonable?

    1. 7 windows for $8300? Feels a little fancy, but it’s hard to say for sure. Just get another quote or two and you’ll have a better idea.

  35. Your site has been very helpful. I got a quote from 2 companies.
    Sunrise windows called “sunrise ” which is middle of the road window. 7 windows for about $7000. Windows will have the nail fin and they will replace any rotten wood, trim the inside wood sills, put new house wrap and foam insulation.

    Next company. Simonton prism platinum. $3275. Windows will also have nail fin for installation but didn’t go into detail on what else happens.

    If installation is the same for both companies, is it worth spending the extra 3700? Not sure how long we will be in the house but at least 5 more years. House was built in 1998.

    1. I think the Sunrise is probably a nicer product. You won’t find too many top notch window companies offering Simonton windows. They’re an older design typically offered by smaller outfits. That is a big price difference. It may be reasonable to talk to them more about the details or get another quote to compare.

  36. Hello, WindowDog!
    (And I do love the doggy pic, but s/he should be poking out a window, no?!)
    I just wanted to say, THANK YOU! Your info and suggestions on getting started are great. Your reviews are upfront and sure seem honest and well-considered. (Apparently, you just need to get more folks writing reviews, based on many of the comments I have read – but time and money, and the staggering number of brands and styles out there, have a hand in how many reviews you can realistically do in short order.)
    I am only just getting started in what I am sure is going to be a painful process, so your web site is a breath of fresh air.
    I have seven 120+ year old windows (no storms) falling apart in the third-floor “penthouse” apartment of my three-family. I really WANTED to repair the wood and the fabulous old wavy-glass windows, and was looking to get good old-fashioned triple-track storms. Then I could work on the windows at my leisure (I am a somewhat skilled DIY’er, and pretty fearless in taking on new challenges – I built my penthouse apartment myself – except plumbing/heating – from demo to design to framing to finish. I am one of those Yankee cheap people!)

    However, the Lowe’s rep who came to check it out said he could not find anyone to take it on, due to filler strips put in when the house was vinyl sided; they’d have to be pulled, siding re-cut, etc. I don’t think my fearlessness extends to what I’d have to do to DIY it – third floor, tall house . Vinyl replacements scare me, as the 33 windows in 1st and 2nd floor apts. are crap, and were installed horribly (that was before my time). Price of any replacement windows scares me somewhat too. Wood would be nice, but again – price, and having to do maintenance on outside of windows way up high is not a pleasant thought. (I live in the Northeast, and know wood comes with some expectation of regular paint/stain.)
    So… all that is to say that I am considering my options, and I am REALLY glad I found your site. Will pass it on, too!

  37. Hello window dog, this is our first visit, We are looking for replacement windows and have had 2 estimates of different manufacturers. What do you know about Quaker Advantedge E4 or the Pella 250? Ours is an older home 1960’s and some of the prices we are seeing is outrageous for seniors. Preservation blew us out of our shoes. Can you help? Thank you.

    1. Ha, that can be common with Preservation. The pricing for those really depends on the local dealer. I’m not familiar with Quaker and not a huge fan of the Pella 250. I’d suggest starting with Angie’s List to find a reputable company in the area and then see what they recommend. If you’re not a member you can join here completely free. Good luck with the project and feel free to post more questions.

  38. Great web site! I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

    We got a quote today from a local company (Costal Windows). It seemed weird to me that they would price it out using “window inches” where they would add the width and the height to get the inches for that window (so a 50 by 38 window would be 88inches). At the end, he added all of the inches up for the non-basement windows and multiplied some fixed cost per inch to get us a quote (and then said he can give us a 10 percent discount on that). Is that a standard way to give estimates or just gimmick? I would think you just estimate it per window. No?

    They use soft-lite windows.
    The estimate for 8 double hung windows to replace 8×2 case windows, One picture window with 2 side sliding windows around it, 2 double hung bathroom windows, and 3 basement windows came to $16,582. I realized as I was writing this, I don’t know the series and the packet didn’t really have that info other than we talked about double pane, argon, and foam. Does his quote seem reasonable?

    I also submitted for a quote from Window Universe. I think the link they have to their Angie’s list profile is broken. It took me to the post a review section. However, I couldn’t find a way to actually get to their profile.

    Thanks!

  39. hi windowdog, great blog!
    I have had 4 window estimates from 4 different companies for 6 double hung and 1 sliding, 7 windows total. also wanting the woodgrain vinyl option on inside.
    estimates-
    Valley Brook Premium Windows $7165.00, seems way out of line and never heard of valley brook.
    champion 365 12 layer low-E double pain $6329.00 upgrade to wood grain vinyl $7583.00, ouch!
    window world window $4984.00, salesman seems to be wanting to keep brand of window a secret!
    sunrise restorations R7 triple pane $5546.00.
    Ive read positive reviews on sunrise and it seems to be the clear winner, the company using sunrise is running a speacial October deal on triple pane that comes out to be cheaper then the sunrise double pane. windowdog any thoughts??? ever hear of valley brook windows? I would consider window world but im hearing negitive things about them and i hear they do a lot of outsourcing which is kind of a deal breaker.

    1. I haven’t heard of Valley Brook and it looks like google hasn’t either. From the sound of those numbers the Sunrise looks like a decent option.

      1. Champion did come down on their price a bit but not enough to sway me over to them. After many hrs of research I found that the consensus is the sunrise restorations are a bit better window then the champion + the contractors that install the sunrise get very good ratings on Angie’s list, the bummer is they busy so I’ll have to wait a bit.

        1. Sounds like you got to a good place. Remember the windows will be in the house for 30+ years. An extra couple weeks probably doesn’t make much difference in the long run. We sometimes get customers who are very antsy to get their windows in this week instead of next week. In the big picture it makes very little difference. Good luck with the project!

          1. A window dog this is just a follow up, The triple pain resterations were installed 1st week of february on a unseasonable nice 40 degree a day!
            We had just a few really cold days sense the windows got installed. One night we had a low temp of 4 degrees and i turned the humidifier to its highest and the hummidity in the room was around 55% @ 69 degrees and no condensation on windows but more important no drafts! The certainteed windows upstairs that got replaced in the mid 90s by previous owners had condensation on them and were starting to frost. Im very impressed so far but will wait till after some hot summer days to give my final review on angies list.

  40. I am in need of some thoughts and opinions on replacement windows. I need to replace 16 windows, with 14 being double hung, one fixed window, and one large fixed with obscure glass that needs to be tempered. All double pane and white on both sides. I have looked at Pella but wasn’t overly impressed (10k). I liked Gilkey windows (11k) and sunrise windows (12k). I just got an estimate for Polaris ThermaWeld for 9k which seemed descent. I plan to contact them tomorrow to see how much to upgrade to UltraWeld. I liked the block and tackle for the Sunrise and Gilkey. I liked the insulated frame on the Sunrise and Polaris. I liked the lock on the Sunrise. I didn’t care for the balance systme as well on the Polaris and Pella. I also didn’t like the play in the Pella sashes. I did like the 36 months same as cash from Pella. All the installers use foams except the Sunrise installer uses fiberglass. Am I overthinking this whole thing?!!?!?!? Thoughts?!?!

    1. You’re doing some good thinking about it! Keep in mind, all dealers can probably offer the 36 month financing, but it does add to the cost. Some may have included that financing cost upfront and others may not. Nothing is free.

      Don’t worry too much about the foam in the frames, focus on the U-Factor to gauge efficiency. Who cares if the windows are filled with foam or cotton candy? What you care about is the efficiency and you can see that in the U-Factor (and cotton candy might attract ants so that’s a bad idea anyway…).

      Where are you? I might know someone to recommend.

  41. Thanks so much for your site — a Rosetta Stone in such a (surprisingly) complex area. But I still have questions. I have an oceanfront rental house on the Outer Banks of NC that was hard hit by Hurricane Matthew. Code now requires DP 50 high-impact shatterproof glass windows to replace my old and leaking (air/water/sand) Andersens circa 1995. I have quotes for 7 windows from Home Depot that are all over the map. Anderson Coastal at $30K and Simonton StormBreaker Plus at $8500. I have another quote from a Preservation dealer for 16 (not 7) EnergyMaxx 10 windows for $18,000. They were giving me a deal (after a 4.5 hour sales pitch) if I replaced all the windows. What do you advise?

    1. I have a friend on Hatteras Island who is an expert installer…and builder and roofer and all around good guy. Find him here. If you give him a ring let him know Dan from TheWindowDog.com sent you!

  42. Dear Dan,

    Topic: Casement and Awning replacement plans – backside house

    I have five 3’Wx6’H openings in the rear of my Texas country home & prefer unobstructed views. Two of these windows (for a dining rm.), adjacent to one another, are protected outside by a 3′ soffit; the remaining group of 3 adjacent openings (family rm.) are protected outside by an 8′ porch cover. My plan is to make the dining rm. windows ‘awnings’ and the family room windows casements. These will be latest Revere Elite designs. Because of size & weight do you believe the strength of these with stainless hardware will generally be stout enough to hold up in open position for the long haul?

    Also when in closed position will all 5 windows look alike?

    Thanks in advance for your help! Your answer should help me expedite my order with you.

    Joe

    1. Hi Joe, I’ve been a little slow on getting to the comments lately. Feel free to shoot me over an email for faster answers. In this case they don’t make the windows in sizes that won’t hold up. You have lifetime warranty and they don’t want to make a product that will fail.

      You’re also right that the casement and awning windows look just about the same when closed from the outside. They’re essentially the same window with a different configuration.

      Hope that helps!

  43. Hello Window Dog,

    I have enjoyed reading your emails and I am now “starting” in earnest to tackle the investigation toward the purchase of replacement windows for my house. But first, I would like to ask your opinion as to an idea of mine ….. and whether it has already been done or if it is even viable.

    I live in south Georgia. My wood frame house is about 35 years old. My window frames are in good condition with no rot. I have mostly double hung, 9 pane windows. On the back of the house, I have storm windows. I cannot remember ever opening a window. I would like to removed the double hung sashes and replace them with one solid window with either a clip-on or an inside the glass pane divider. It appears to me that this could be fairly easily done and look very nice with just a little molding around the insert. Of course, the bedroom windows would need to be double hung so as they were capable of opening for safety. When I have mentioned this to a general contractor they have looked at me rather funny and immediately discounted the idea. I have not spoken to a window installer.

    What do you think? This would apply to over 60% of my windows and would most likely be a fairly inexpensive install.

      1. IMHO the North Star window is built better than many of the big names. I saw one next to a Jeld Wen and a Plygem in a show room and it was twice the window for about $10 more. Not the biggest name out there but it certainly seems to be a well built window. Warranty is good too.

  44. My wife and I are currently in the process of building a home and are approximately 1 week from closing. The windows installed are manufactured by Atrium but not sure of the model or series number. The windows were just cleaned but when the sun hits the glass we noticed smudge marks and some scratching. It appears that these are
    Between the two panes of glass. My builder said he would advise the distributor (oh boy). The builder also indicated that these issues could result from the gas which is used to increase the R value. We are located in Cleveland, Ohio. Any suggestions on who can provide an informed opinion? Thanks

    1. It’s definitely not from the gas. It’s possible that the glass didn’t get properly cleaned before the units were sealed or that the low-e coating has a flaw. I’ve seen both of those happen in the past. The only solution will be to replace them. Should be easy enough.

    2. Atrium is a company that is big on customer service from what I’ve seen around here. The local dealer says that they want happy people. The gas comment is nonsense. Argon is invisible. I asked the local guy about replacement parts and he said there is a sticker in the top of the frame where the inside sash goes. With info from that they can get you anything you need. The builder can solve your problem, make sure he does before you move in.

      1. You’re right that it should be pretty easy to solve. Unfortunately builders don’t always have the b best reputation for helpfulness. Hopefully it gets fixed up.

  45. Love the site! Very informative! Do you know anything about Parco windows out of Eau Claire, WI? Been around for 30 years but can’t find many reviews about them. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Tasha, glad you’re enjoying the site. I’m not familiar with Parco windows. Don’t think they make it out to this area. What did you like or not like about them?

  46. We are looking at doing replacement windows. We have total of 38 windows with 20 of them having transoms. One provider suggested that we don’t do replacement on the transoms and put a window tint material on so that the transoms window color/tint would match the replacement windows. Another suggested doing a wrap on the transoms, problem with that is that the vinyl covers reduce the size of the transom windows and looks like a half open eyelid. We were thinking of doing away with transoms totally. Not sure how the cost would compare with larger replacement sized windows to cover the additional transom size. We would appreciate your thoughts/comments/suggestions. Thank You

    1. Ho Jon, depending on the framing you could probably eliminate the transoms easily enough. They’re typically just there for the style so if you wanted to get rid of them and make the windows larger you can. I don’t think I would suggest skipping them or tinting them as you’ll still be left with old windows. You’ll probably be happier in the long run if you replace all the windows so they’re all the same and they all have warranties, etc.

      If you’d like you can check our recommended contractors list to see if we know anyone in your area.

  47. Hello! I live in Aurora, CO and w/ the weather and where the sun hits our condo i’m not sure if vinyl windows are the way to go?

    I’ve lived in this place for close to 10 years, the place was 15yrs old when I bought it (so assuming 25yrs on the windows?) I noticed over the last 8 years when we had high heat for long periods and cold, the vinyl started to leak air when we would have wind storms.

    My goal is to get new windows to give added value to the home before selling in 5yrs. What do you suggest for windows where direct sunlight 365 (Denver is always sunny!) as I really would like to get good quality as we will be replacing our AC unit, and a few other items to make the house more energy efficient….

    Thanks!

  48. my <2 yr old townhome had plygem windows that were not installed correctly, i.e. pickle barrel. builder shimmed the sides but they still leak.
    the local OKNA rep quoted $881 for the 400; $1014 on the 800; and $1095 on the composite. i called OKNA requesting another vendor but was told they have only 1 rep in my zip code👿. However, the rep did not provide a quote for the Insul-Tec (500) series. And, the rep did not bring any samples. I did see the 400 and 500 and a cross section of the composite i his showroom. The company is in North Wales, PA and had a good reputation. Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you.

  49. Hi,

    Does anyone have experience with Rite windows out of Woburn, MA? Their double pane, double hung ESM Majestic windows with a U Factor=.23, SHGC=.27 and air leakage of .02. These seem comparable numbers to the Okna 500 Deluxe, but would be cheaper by $800 for 9 windows in the Boston area.

    Thanks.

  50. Hello, we are currently in the process of having a new home built here in Virginia. The builder has given us three brand options for the windows. The majority of the windows will be double hung, there will also be a couple of casements. All of the windows are vinyl. We haven’t received pricing for the windows yet, but we wanted to find out about the brands, if one stands out over the others. The window brands we have been given to choose from are MI, Andersen Silver Line, and Jeld Wen. They are all new construction windows since this is a new build. We were hoping to get some opinions on the brands from window experts on this site. Just trying to figure out which brand to go with if the prices are all similar. Thanks!

  51. Very informative site! Based on your insight and local research (Hartford, CT) I seem to have a dilemma. The local Window World franchise has a great installation and service reputation and attractive price but they install a seemingly low-grade product (MI 4000 series). Any thoughts on MI and where should I put the most weight between installation, product and price?

    1. The MI windows aren’t the nicest products out there. If you’re going to be in the house for a while I’d suggest finding someone else who offers another brand.

  52. Lowe’s in my area (60108) is selling the Pella 250 Window series, are these good windows to buy.
    They look better than the Sears ones I bought. We did get a quote and they are having a great
    sale for Memorial Day. We got a quote from Window Works and if we didn’t buy that day the price was going to go up almost $1500.00 to $2000.00 even though they told me over the phone the price was good for a year. Not into pressure sales and will NEVER use them.

    1. I like the Pella 350 windows better. Did you pick one already? I could probably help out in the Chicago area.

  53. Window Dog, do you have any experience with YKK vinyl residential windows. I am comparing and considering YKK, Atrium, Jeld-Wen and Andersen. It’s a new install not a replacement project in the North Florida area. Thank you,

    1. I’m not very familiar with YKK although you’re not the first person to ask about them. What did you like or not like about them?

  54. I’m debating between Atrium 8900, Simonton 9800, Seaway Signature Series, or Interstate Compositewood. Any one better than another?

        1. The wood windows I have now are in great shape with storms. I have a 5000 sf house and the utilities are never more than $350 but the house is totally renovated and my realtor buddy says “new windows are a must vs storms”.

  55. 20+ year old home in SE minnesota, with Caradco (now Jeld-Wen) wood windows. Several of the windows have significant rot under the exterior clading, so the glass/seals have failed. The failed windows are large openings with casement/picture/casement combo units approx 5’H x 7’W. Have six openings that are that size, and another ten that are single casement, double casement, or picture windows. Gotten bids from two different installers: one bid Andersen Renewel with stainable wood interior (44K), one bid Richlin 751 series with stainable wood interior (24K). Want the look of wood windows from the interior, stained to match existing woodwork. Recommendations on wood replacement windows – gun shy after experience with existing wood windows? Any thoughts on the stainable interior wood overlays in terms of appearance over time? When comparing price per window — do I consider those large openings a single window or multiple since they are really three windows installed in a single opening?

    1. If you have 3 windows in a single opening it would typically count as 3 windows. We do a lot with Jeld Wen and Weathershield with good success. I don’t know a good window window installer in your are. Have you found any other options yet?

  56. I live 35 miles south of Madison, Wisconsin and have a 17 year old home with wood windows. I want to replace 10 windows (6 double hung, 3 sliders and a 1 of 3 lite casement), patio door and an entry door. I looked at a lot of windows and had quotes from Renewal by Anderson, Feldco and Jordan Exteriors. I even looked into Starmark by Okna which was priced the highest. I chose Jordan Exteriors because of the reviews, no pressure from Chris, the look of the windows and the cost. We chose the Okna 800 series double pane, deluxe glass package with white in and white out. I was thinking of the triple pane but decided on double. Chris has been great and can’t wait to see how they are after they are installed. The door is manufactured by Albany Doors in Illinois.

  57. Howdy thewindowdog,
    Some wisdom if you please. Purchased ten double hung windows for the house in 2003. What’s happening is the form spacers in the windows are swelling up. So far I have had to replace two windows and I can see where other windows are starting to have the same problem. The company I purchased the windows from are replacing the windows minus the labor costs. Long story short labor costs are starting to add up. My questions are:
    Is this a problem that occurs on all vinyl windows sooner or later.
    Did I receive a bad batch of windows?
    Were the windows not manufactured for the Houston area. Lots of heat, humidity and direct sun light.
    Am I expecting too much for the form spacers to last more than thirteen years?

    Thanks in advance

    1. There was an old spacer called Swiggle that had many failures like that. It’s not a product that exists anymore. I wonder if that’s what you have and why it’s failing. Typically windows should last much longer than that.

  58. We live in Sunset Beach North Carolina and we only have 2 window replacement contractors available in our area. We are looking to replace a triple double-hung and a single double-hung window with casement windows. The price from the first contractor is $2,000 using MI windows and the second price is $2,700 for West windows. $700 seems like a big differential. We were thinking because of a lack of window replacement contractors, we thought to get prices from a general contractor, who can use various window manufacturers. We haven’t seen good reviews on either MI or West windows, that’s why we continue to search. What is your advice?

    1. A general contractor may be able to help out. You do have fewer choices in more rural areas so that’s just part of the fun of living away from the rat race. Have you made a decision yet?

  59. I have a question regarding the pricing of materials and installation. I’m getting window quotes for Vinyl windows. One product has a vinyl brickmold and sill nose option eliminating the need to wrap our existing exterior wood trim. One of the installers charges a material fee that includes aluminum coil amongst flashing, caulk, foam. The window installation charge also includes performing the wrapping. If I go with the exterior vinyl brickmold, he said that charge would stay the same and I asked why if they didn’t need to supply or install wrap. His answer was its automatically priced in on every quote and can’t be removed. Seems I shouldn’t have to pay for a service not being performed. What is the Window Dog suggestion for politely asking if the price can be adjusted for not adding wrap?

    1. I wouldn’t suggest worrying about individual charges like that. Focus on the overall price for the project. If it’s a good price then you’re all set and if it’s not good relative to your other options then you can buy elsewhere. We charge a disposal cost on our orders in some stores and customers will tell us that we’re thousands less than another quote, but they still want to take of the disposal charge. Our answer is typically that it’s part of the project and we’re thousands less than the other company so this should probably be ok.

      I know your charge is a little different, but it’s similar. Focus on the overall price and if it compares well then everyone is happy and if not you can buy elsewhere.

  60. I have two window prices for okna 500 at $5141 win core 5400 at $5100. Both are high quality installers with 5 star reviews. The difference is the win core installer will put on the window casing and all I have to do is buy the casings and paint them. The salesman said the only difference between the 4500 and the 7700 is the 7700 has two security latches. Its not worth buying the 7700.
    I like the idea of not having to finish the windows on the inside. I would like your comments and recommendations.

  61. Hi There,
    We live in New Jersey (just outside of Philadelphia). We have a 160 year old house with its original windows. Our house isn’t in the nicest neighborhood of the town, but it has LOADS of charm. Because of the neighborhood, as with all upgrades we make to this house, we will NEVER get the money back in what we can sell the house for. This is not our forever home, but we’re committed to staying for a few more years (5-8).

    So, we need new windows, but don’t want to invest tons on money into fancy windows that we won’t get a return on when we move in the future.

    Any advice?

  62. We just inherited a parents home. The money pit. The entire 40 yr old home is stone. Most of the Anderson windows and doors leaked and we are going to have to replace drywall along with with Windows. My opinion is the installer definitely needs to know what they are doing. Do you recommend anyone in the IL southeast area?

    1. Hi Cindy, I don’t really know anyone to recommend in that area right now. Good luck with the project, sounds like an adventure!

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