Author Topic: windows: what's better?  (Read 2939 times)

lbmustache

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windows: what's better?
« on: May 02, 2017, 07:59:34 PM »
We need 3 new windows in our condo. 2 bedroom, 1 kitchen. They are XO sliding windows (https://windowguru.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/xo1.png).

My question is... is VINYL or ALUMINUM better?

Most things online seem to say vinyl is superior for longevity and temperature control (two things which are probably the most important for these new windows). Are there any reasons why we should go with aluminum... am I missing anything? Is there anything else we should consider in terms of glass, double pane vs single, etc.?

The patio door/window was redone with aluminum and looks good 10 years later, but the patio is also enclosed so it is not exposed to the sun/elements like the other 3 windows. It is not double pane but is some sort of thicker noise reduction glass (?).

valsecito

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 08:45:31 PM »
We need 3 new windows in our condo. 2 bedroom, 1 kitchen. They are XO sliding windows (https://windowguru.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/xo1.png).

My question is... is VINYL or ALUMINUM better?
Aluminium is better in terms of longevity. Decent quality aluminium at least.

Quote
Most things online seem to say vinyl is superior for longevity and temperature control (two things which are probably the most important for these new windows). Are there any reasons why we should go with aluminum... am I missing anything? Is there anything else we should consider in terms of glass, double pane vs single, etc.?
Double or triple, for environmental and probably also economical reasons. Do consider the insulating value of the aluminium profiles, as this has a huge influence on the insulation value of the whole window. Older types of alu profiles rightly have a bad reputation in terms of insulation value.

For comparison, in large parts of the EU, it is illegal to even installl new single pane windows except in historical monuments where the original windows need to be preserved. And at least in my native EU country, it is illegal to rent out a house with single pane glass or without roof insulation.

Another Reader

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 09:58:58 PM »
If you are in a condo, the HOA may have rules about what kind of windows you can use.  In your shoes, I would review the documents and discuss this with the HOA people before I moved forward.

monarda

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 10:21:33 PM »
I like fiberglass windoows.  They're better than vinyl.

+1 to Another Reader's point. Check with the HOA

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 10:12:17 AM »
If you are in a condo, the HOA may have rules about what kind of windows you can use.  In your shoes, I would review the documents and discuss this with the HOA people before I moved forward.

Either material is fine, they just have to be sliding and be paned (?) -  or whatever it is called where you have the little squares instead of one big sheet of glass. And they have to be black - I was skimming a few things last night and saw someone mention that vinyl can only be in light colors? If that's the case then this decision is already made.

Papa bear

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 10:18:45 AM »
You can get vinyl windows skinned in just about any color you want.  And the "panes" would be called grids for some manufacturers. They typically are inside of the panes of glass now; there's no need to have the smaller glass size for cost savings like they used to. 


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NeonPegasus

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 10:45:35 AM »
Choosing between vinyl and aluminum, the choice for me is hands down vinyl. We replaced all of the aluminum windows in our house with vinyl. Granted, they were from 1990 but we had so many problems with them. They conduct temperature so we had constant moisture problems. We kept energy efficient blinds down over them in the winter and most mornings, there were puddles of water on the sill. On cold mornings, there was ice all over the window. On the inside. In GA. All of this moisture caused lots of problems with mold and mildew.

You can get the vinyl to be black and they can put in crosslites that make it look like a grid. Definitely get double paned. I'm not sure triple would be worth the additional cost.

gardeningandgreen

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 11:33:12 AM »
We are currently replacing the windows in our house. The orginal windows in our house were wood frame single pane with storm windows that we had to take off and put on with the change of seasons. So basically any new windows would have been better. After much research we went with vinyl because that was easily available where we live. WE also got double pane with low e and argon in the middle. They so far have been pretty easy to put in(we have the largest one left) and it has already helped with the insulation in our house. The hard part has been reframing in windows in a 100 year old house.

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 06:04:55 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help! We will definitely be getting low e and double paned. For anyone curious about prices differences, alum comes out to be $1628 and vinyl $2697. (each window is w25 7/8" h30 7/8")

NeonPegasus

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 09:51:37 AM »
Thanks everyone for the help! We will definitely be getting low e and double paned. For anyone curious about prices differences, alum comes out to be $1628 and vinyl $2697. (each window is w25 7/8" h30 7/8")

Hmm. That price seems pretty high for three windows. I would get some more quotes. What brand of windows were they recommending for the vinyl?

When making your decision, have the window guy bring samples to you. It was very helpful to actually get to see and operate the different windows. It became very apparent which ones were better.

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 10:52:26 AM »
Thanks everyone for the help! We will definitely be getting low e and double paned. For anyone curious about prices differences, alum comes out to be $1628 and vinyl $2697. (each window is w25 7/8" h30 7/8")

Hmm. That price seems pretty high for three windows. I would get some more quotes. What brand of windows were they recommending for the vinyl?

When making your decision, have the window guy bring samples to you. It was very helpful to actually get to see and operate the different windows. It became very apparent which ones were better.

Is it? They seem to be standard pricing around here... the windows are Milgard. We do have another installer coming by for a different quote today, though their windows are also Milgard. I will ask for samples, thanks for the tip!

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 12:54:37 PM »
Thanks everyone for the help! We will definitely be getting low e and double paned. For anyone curious about prices differences, alum comes out to be $1628 and vinyl $2697. (each window is w25 7/8" h30 7/8")

Hmm. That price seems pretty high for three windows. I would get some more quotes. What brand of windows were they recommending for the vinyl?

When making your decision, have the window guy bring samples to you. It was very helpful to actually get to see and operate the different windows. It became very apparent which ones were better.

As an edit, I just realized the kitchen window is substantially smaller than the kitchen window. The kitchen window is the size I listed above, the bedroom windows are 68" x 48" which is why the price might seem high?

gardeningandgreen

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017, 02:46:59 PM »
We put in 7 windows ranging from 20"x20" to 48"x60" and we spent a total of $1100. That  was for vinyl  but we did put them in ourselves. We also live in the upper midwest so YMMV

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 06:01:04 PM »
We put in 7 windows ranging from 20"x20" to 48"x60" and we spent a total of $1100. That  was for vinyl  but we did put them in ourselves. We also live in the upper midwest so YMMV

Wow! That's a great price. The windows themselves actually are not too expensive... it's the labor costs here in the greater Los Angeles area :O

Papa bear

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2017, 08:00:45 AM »
Window costs should be between 150-200/ window for mid grade vinyl windows (white, double pain, low e, argon gas filled, with grids). Install in Ohio around 100-150/window.

LA labor costs are not 300% of metro Columbus. Go get different quotes.


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paddedhat

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2017, 08:27:57 AM »
Window costs should be between 150-200/ window for mid grade vinyl windows (white, double pain, low e, argon gas filled, with grids). Install in Ohio around 100-150/window.

LA labor costs are not 300% of metro Columbus. Go get different quotes.


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Couple of possibilities on these wild price swings. The OP updated sized to the fact that they are  basically huge, and not something in the $150-200 range,  even in your market area. Second, if it's an removal and install in a stuccoed wall, it's probably not the slug and slam half hour per window install that is possible in many older homes here in the northeast.

lbmustache

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2017, 11:55:02 AM »
Window costs should be between 150-200/ window for mid grade vinyl windows (white, double pain, low e, argon gas filled, with grids). Install in Ohio around 100-150/window.

LA labor costs are not 300% of metro Columbus. Go get different quotes.


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Couple of possibilities on these wild price swings. The OP updated sized to the fact that they are  basically huge, and not something in the $150-200 range,  even in your market area. Second, if it's an removal and install in a stuccoed wall, it's probably not the slug and slam half hour per window install that is possible in many older homes here in the northeast.

Yep, correct on both counts. Good assumption on the stucco!

We got a quote from another guy and it is about $100 cheaper... we may just stick with the original guy since he has done previous work in this building (and on our condo) and we like his work.

MayDay

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Re: windows: what's better?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2017, 04:56:50 PM »
I am surprised. The Al windows I'm familiar with are very expensive- vinyl is considered cheap, entry level. I hate vinyl windows, btw.

Wierd.

The biggest difference in insulation is from how the window is installed.