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Need help window shopping (for home)

spta97

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I've got a bow window in my living room (about 10.5' x 4') that has rotted out at the bottom. Last night I had Tri-State Windows come out for an estimate.

The sales person said the reason that the bottom rotted out was two fold:

1) There was no "cap" on the window so the rain just sat there and seeped down to the bottom.
2) The bottom flashing was nailed on (rather than factory sealed) so condensation was allowed to get in from the bottom.

The guy discussed their 5400 series. It is a triple pane window with two layers of low-e glass. Here is the Link

It really seems like a quality window but much like other great presentations I have received, the price was very high. He quoted me $4500 for installation of the window and putting the shingled "cap" on the other bay window I have. :eek: The U-rating of these windows is the lowest in the country apparently but since I am only replacing one window I don't know how much of a difference that would make in my heating / cooling costs. Granted, I get a ton of sun through that window and it cooks my house in the summer and freezes it in the winter.

I am aprehensive to go to the likes of Home Depot / Lowes because HD screwed up a front door installation for me that took a year to resolve. I guess the Tri-State window is the Mercedes Benz of windows, but I just wonder if it is really worth it in this case?

Can anyone give me insite on:

1) Other companies to consider?
2) How important U-ratings are?
3) Am I getting totally ripped off on this window?

Thanks...Winter is approaching so I would like to move fairly quickly on this.
 


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410Fortune

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Hello.
get more estimates. Tell them the tripple pane is overkill and you don't want to spennd $4500.

I am shopping for all new windows for my house. Man those new tripple pane suckers are sweet aren't they? If I had a million dollar home I might jump at those.
I see no point in having a window that blocks more stuff then the wall around it though! hahaha The estimate for my entire house (8 windows total, including a big ass bow and a greenhouse style on the kitchen) was $12K

For nice middle of the road dual panes I got an estimate of $5K without the kitchen (build the greenhouse window myself, have done this before). Much better.

tripple pane was way overkill for my hosue and for my neighborhood. It is a sweet product though! Windows you dont get as much out of as you might spend as far as a investment is concerned, so it's easy to go too big.

If you can frame and shim a wondow yourself (not that hard really if you have the right tools and help) the the Home Depot route is a great way to go.
If I am going to spend this much $$$ (I wont finance windows) then I will consider all my options.
 




spta97

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Thanks for the reply. I have installed a pre-hung door so I'm sure I could tackle a regular window, but with a bow window of this size I'm afraid it would be too much to handle. I tend to agree about the triple pane glass. I do not have a million dollar home (yet!) so perhaps double is the way to go.
 




410Fortune

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well its alot of gimmick IMO, I mean doyou need a window that blocks 100% of everything? I bet more heat and cold get through the wall anyways, so why block 100% when the wall blocks say 80%?

I told the guy that and hes like, well you have this benefit and this benefit. I mean its a nice ass product, but overkill for me!
 




jeff96

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did you remind him that we drive explorers :)
 




410Fortune

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hahaha how about a 88 Bronco II?
You want leaks? I got leaks.
I get water on my floor when it rains, and its not from the windshield :)
 




Bill Kemp

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I think the number is 80% or more of heat loss is thru the roof. Unless your windows are leaking air you dont gain much w/new windows. Triple pane=triple price.
Talk to friends & neighbors, find a handy man or moonlighting carpenter to help with the installation. Usually their experiance is well worth their cost.
 




EMG7895

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You also need to find out if this is a custom order window or a standard preman. size.
 




spta97

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Thanks, that is all good advice. I am starting to lean towards a 2 pane window but I will admit that that particular window gets sun (in the summer) for like 10 hours. I don't know if the 3rd pane would make any difference in A/C costs. $4500 just seems like too much $$$$$ :thumbdwn:
 




410Fortune

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EMG, most vinyl; windows are all custom, there are no standard sizes. At least that is what I have been told.

I esign elevators and elevators have become the same way. It used to be you get an off the shelf size no matter what or the price is 5x's for a custom cab. Now day's the tooling at all the manufactures is setup in such a way that basically all traction elevators are considered a custom cab, they can make them 1 by 1 any size they want. this is the same thing I have been told about home windows.
Maybe it was jsut the manufacturer's I was talking to?

So did they put that super hot bulb up and show you the single pane, doulbe pane then their tripple dude? hahaha it;s true nothing gets through that sucker, but for $4500? thats more then a full summers AC bill for that window by about 100 fold.

Blinds seem to stop the sun pretty good if you ask me.
 




Positive Vibes

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I'm in the process of replacing my windows. I have replaced one sliding door with an Anderson door and tore out a window and installed another Anderson sliding door. Anderson windows are very nice! For the rest of the house (5 more windows) I will be buying Milguards, they aren't the top of the line but a step down and more affordable. As 410 was stating, the window manufacturers can custom make your windows cheap. For my doors I paid around $1,800 but that was a special deal and was about half price. For the windows I got a bid on Milguard windows for around $1600, not installed. That includes 2 bedroom windows, one kitchen window and two bathroom windows. The dam small bathroom windows are more that the bigger ones.

I wouldn't bother with the triple pane, double would be fine and maybe some curtains or blinds.
 




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Anderson and Milgard are both great windows. Since the window gets a lot of sun, look for low-e glass, and think about a light to moderate tint. Argon helps the u-value a little bit, but its actual benefit is debatable.

I used to sell doors & windows for HD. We had install problems from time to time, but you might give them another chance. Their install rates are usually pretty competitive. I'd still get a quote from a good local installer too though.
 




EMG7895

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Many companies offer windows in premade sizes, like what you can go to a builing supply/ home depot and pick up, although some companies only make windows to your specs. The sizes also vary by the area and company. They mainly make them in the most popular sizes for replacement and new construction. Do you know waht brand tristate uses?
 




WhitEngineering

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Definately get more estimates. I priced a roughly 10' x 4' Andersen bow this morning at around $1700... 5 units, HP (LowE) glass, double pane. I don't know what the Tri-State costs, never even heard of them, but Andersen is high quality and I don't see near $3000 labor to bring you up to $4500. Go to a building supply center.. not a chain like HD or Lowes but a smaller local place that deals more with contractors. Ask if they can refer you to an individual that does this work.. either fulltime or on the side. They should be way cheaper on labor and can get the product cheaper than you can.
 




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