Replacing Aluminum Windows in the House

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Chingo77, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Matt fe2o3

    Matt fe2o3 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,501
    We did our windows a couple years ago. I used a local outfit in San Leandro (Manor Glass) and Mike came out and it was basically 500 bucks a window installed. Replacement windows for the aluminum single panes put in the house in 1983 when they did the gutting and addition. The guy actually remembered being a teenager and installing them with his dad - LOL what are the chances... Local town.

    Anyway we bought Mercer Windows (who have been sold) but the warranty and quality, unless you have to have a brand name - is perfectly fine. 14 windows, 7 grand - done. And a few were huge fronts.

    So my point is look to the local guys - this is a great time of year to look for windows - when things are slow-ish and have not picked up. There are plenty of perfectly fine window makers and will you go through three sets of 500 a pop windows before you go through a single set of 1500 a pop windows with a neat sticker? Probably not.

    Local guys - check them out - the ones that have been around for a while and are on second generation. By the third generation they are idiots, so it seems of any business.
    #21
  2. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,907
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    You should be able to get pretty decent windows installed for that $500/per window budget.
    #22
  3. Cheddarhead

    Cheddarhead Perenial Noobie!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    730
    Location:
    Pewaukee....Lakes, Rivers, Kettles, and Moraines
    We couldn't be in "more" different climates....you in AZ, me in WI...but I "will" say that, when we replaced the windows in my house, we elected to go with SMC / Fiberglas Frames. Dimensionally stable, non-conducting, able to be painted / stained / etc. Double-pane etc. 2nd choice wouldn't have been an easy decision...AL (vs) Vinyl. Happy not to have had to argue that our out w/Better Cheddar...it wouldn't have been pretty.

    We went with the MARVIN Window product. It compared vary favorably with the similar nat'l Brands (Anderson, Pella, etc) on a features / benefits / cost perspective.

    I'd use them again...

    Install was easy - peasy. Thirteen of the fourteen were sized to fit the openings we had...one was ordered smaller (intentionally) to match up with a planned Bathroom Refit.
    #23
  4. TNWillie

    TNWillie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    316
    Location:
    NE TN
    If Weather Tamer has an office near you, don't waste your time calling them. I made the mistake of replacing my aluminum framed windows with vinyl that are made and installed by WT. The largest window leaked at the overlap when it was really windy. Their response was that it was normal because of the size. Gave me another clasp to install, if I wanted to. Their warranty sounds good but getting them to honor it is a major PITA which, IMO, makes it even worse than their product.
    Check the validity of the references of any place you're considering going with and choose wisely.
    Good luck.
    #24
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,662
    Location:
    Baking in AZ
    House was built in '06. Nicer build but still tract built house. Built with aluminum frame windows. The big 8 foot wide, 5 foot tall double slider in the master bedroom was giving issues. I never liked the sliders, can't crack them open at night without light breezes blowing the curtains. For privacy I only wanted to open the curtains so far. Then the main pane cracked. Thermal insulation went to crap. At this point I had this one window replaced. Did a fair bit of research. Changed the window from double sliders to double single hung. Got good glass. Installation went well. Had to do a little warranty work as there was a silicone goober inside a window. The installers pointed it out and had the workorder wrote up before I knew of it. Milgaurd window. The house is Stucco, they had to break the stucco off the house to get the window out and the next day a stucco guy came back to fix it. With what I saw it take to change the window, just doing a single window would have been a major undertaking as a home owner (and I do everything myself). And the stucco work, no way I could ever do that. At least that part would need to have been farmed out. Overall it was a good professional install that would have been challenging for a homeowner. I may be willing to do a window in the future, but I am not doing a whole house.

    Now the bad. I got vinyl. I hate that part of it. Way too thick. You don't realize it until you loose that much window. Before you decide you want a vinyl framed window (you said in black right?) get some duct tape and outline the windows you have now. Fatten everything up like the vinyl frames will be. Step back and decide if that look is acceptable. I only did one window and the blinds are close nearly all the time, and I don't like it. I should have done the thermal break aluminum frames instead.

    Be even more careful of retrofit windows. They are quick and easy to install. Take the old glass out and you have a finished hole that the new window slips into. Makes the opening even smaller. A window frame inside the old window frame. Yea it is more efficient, you only have 2/3 the glass you had before.

    Learn from my mistake, research thermal break aluminum windows.
    #25
  6. wintu

    wintu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    S.F
    marvin integrity
    andersen 100 series or 200 series
    both fiberglass and i think better than any vinyl although milliard tuscany series is not bad.
    #26
  7. thumpism

    thumpism Between bikes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,864
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    We did this by adding strips of blue painter's tape to the glass area of one kitchen window, reducing the daylight opening (DLO, very important term when telling window guys what you want) to match that of many of the windows we found. Our casements in an 18" opening have 15" of DLO and the tape reduces that to 11", which is way too much DLO to give up. Hold out for narrow sightlines.

    There are a couple of houses in our neighborhood that have had the frame-in-a-frame replacments done and you can tell from a block away that it just does not look right. In our old (and 1928 old) house we simply did double-pane wood replacement sashes that installed easily with snap-in plastic tracks and they worked beautifully for the 20 or so years we lived with them.
    #27
  8. Chingo77

    Chingo77 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Lakeside AZ
    App good advice, I will mask a couple off and see if they're acceptable.

    My install is pretty easy, I won't have a problem, other than it will be slow. Wood siding, picture frame trim and done. Inside trim is drywall but I can tackle that at my leisure. I'd like to swap it out for wood casing in the future.
    #28
  9. MrBob

    MrBob Curiouser and curiouser

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,235
    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
    I installed a Marvin Integrity in my own house and loved it. I installed Marvin windows for customers for over 20 years and they loved them. You can't go wrong with Marvin or Andersen. Do they sell Pella windows in your part of the world - another good product. I'm currently installing Weathershield vinyl windows in a house near Boulder and they seem like decent mid-grade windows.
    #29
  10. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Mosquito bait

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,950
    Location:
    NH
    You should be able to get some awesome windows for $500/per. I did my own install for around $300/per for Marvin windows.
    #30
    Yinzer Moto likes this.