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minnesota4x4

Best replacement windows in MN??

10 years ago

We are needing to replace all 13 windows in our 15 year old home and would appreciate any help or advise.

I have been researching for over 6 months what manufactures are the best and which ones to steer clear of. I have also gotten a bid from Soft-lite and liked the windows very much but I can not pay $18,000 for 13 windows. That price seems crazy. The quote was for the Soft-lite Imperial LT dual pane window.

So now we would like to have a contractor we know and trust do the installation. But here in Minnesota it seems like we are limited on the windows that are available. I have read a lot of the feedback on the good vinyl or fiberglass window manufactures but many of them I can't find a place to purchase here in MN.

Ultimately we are looking for dual pane, vinyl or fiberglass windows with the lowest U-factor. Does anyone have any advice on what are our best options for windows here in Minnesota? Or where my contractor could get good windows?

Thank you all for you help and time!

Comments (38)

  • PRO
    10 years ago

    Marvin Integrity is manufactured next door in North Dakota and owned by a Minnesota company. They have tri-pane offerings for the low U factor that you are looking for. Andersen is also a Minnesota company with a vinyl line manufactured in Texas as well as the 100 Series Fibrex (Vinyl and Wood) and the Fiberglass A Series. There are quality Canadian fiberglass companies to the north of you so you don't have a shortage of local options. Visit showrooms and find one that you like and can afford. Take your time and you won't be sorry. Don't let anyone hurry your decision.

  • 10 years ago

    $1300/window seems quite high. Yes SoftLite is a good window, but not that at that price -IMO.

    Sunrise windows are available in Minnesota - another top tier manufacturer of vinyl but I believe they only sell to select contractors / dealers.

    You might have to leave your options open as to who does the install.

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  • 10 years ago

    Polaris, Soft-Lite and Sunrise all can be purchased through dealers in MN. You may have to call more than 1 since not all will. Soft-lites mid level windows are available quite readily in the big city.

  • 10 years ago

    I am currently contacting local Building Supply companies to see which brands each offers.

    From the research I have done so far; Marvin, Great Lakes and maybe Sunrise (if I can find a place to purchase them) are available at the local building supply companies here in MN.

    Does anyone have any opinion of which of these is better than the other? And when it comes to the warranties, would it be smarter/easier to work with a local window manufacturer?

    Maybe I am over thinking all this but there is a lot of info to consider AND this is a lot of money to spend.

    Thank you all for all you help and input!!

  • PRO
    10 years ago

    Depends in large part what your decision criteria are as to what window is better.

    Performance, Sunrise. Looks, many like Marvin.

    Really depends on what you want and what is important.

  • 10 years ago

    I put in Marvin Infinity replacement windows 3 years ago, about $7000 for 8 windows. I did the inside trim work myself (jamb extensions and casings) - I think that saved me around $1800.

    They are fiberglass, but the inside is wood grain, and they came stained to match the woodwork in the house. I wanted the wood look (but not wood), and this was the only company I found that made exactly what I wanted. There are dealers scattered around MN - Duluth, Fargo, Bemidji, Minneapolis, Rochester, Mankato. I'm in North Dakota.

    I love these windows. The day after they were installed, my son mowed the lawn - and I thought the mower must be at least 3 houses away. In addition to the quiet, the thermal performance has been terrific - and as you know, this winter put them to the test!

    Good luck with your search.

  • 10 years ago

    You should see if you can get in touch with Todd in MN who posted above.
    Great guy will be able to help you the best.

    theWindowNerd....

  • 10 years ago

    I am currently contacting local Building Supply companies to see which brands each offers.

    From the research I have done so far; Marvin, Great Lakes and maybe Sunrise (if I can find a place to purchase them) are available at the local building supply companies here in MN.

    Does anyone have any opinion of which of these is better than the other? And when it comes to the warranties, would it be smarter/easier to work with a local window manufacturer?

    Maybe I am over thinking all this but there is a lot of info to consider AND this is a lot of money to spend.

    Thank you all for all you help and input!!

  • 10 years ago

    You mention in your original post that performance is a top concern. If so, the top vinyl choices will be the best choices for you , Softlite Elements, Sunrise Restorations and Vanguard, Okna/Himark, Energy Wall by Polaris are the elite choices and all should be available in some capacity in MN. If appearance carries a little more weight -as in a wood interior-, then the INtegrity and Marvin in general comes into play. Very high end window, beautiful and elegant, just not a great performer in comparison to the vinyl units.

  • 10 years ago

    Marvin's will be the easiest to find since most lumber yards carry them. Norandex and united building products will carry the Soft-lite Pro series which is a nice mid grade vinyl that is priced nice . The sunrise ,polaris and upper end soft-lite are harder to find and the pricing will probally vary a bit from dealer to dealer. Might be able to help more with a more precise location..

  • 10 years ago

    toddinmn has shared some good info with you.
    where are you located?
    you have two very important decisions: the product selection, the installer choice.
    I am going to share with you about the product selection and hope Todd will jump back in with installer choice guidelines and methods.
    Three easy to read and compare items for product selection:
    1. warranty... limited lifetime or lifetime, must be minimum of 20 year full seal failure warranty.
    2. U value for dual pane low e argon .28 to .26 , if you do triple pane which is cost effective to do in your neck of the woods you are looking at .20, the lower the better.
    3. AI, air infiltration, this is a tested and measured structural performance number that will tell you how leaky/drafty a window will be, AI.09 or less a must, the lower the better, preferred AI .05 or less.
    Contact Todd.

    theWindowNerd....

  • 10 years ago

    We live in North Branch,MN. It is about an hour north of Minneapolis/St.Paul area.
    We are going to go look at the Marvin lines, Integrity and Infinity, this weekend. I am hoping to find the Infinity, which I believe is fiberglass. We are looking for a window that is vinyl/fiberglass inside and out. And I think the Integrity only offers wood interiors.
    It is also frustrating finding where to go and physically look at and compare different windows. And many of the local building supply stores are either closed on the weekend or only open until noon. You almost have to take a day of work to go and even find and look at the different windows.

  • PRO
    10 years ago

    Integrity has two lines, one with the fiberglass with a wood (Wood Ultrex)interior and the other which is solid fiberglass (Ultrex). The Integrity dealer should have both on display.

  • 10 years ago

    The integrity is commonly sold through many distributors and the Infinity is through a limited amount authorized dealers only and often commands a heftier price tag.If you are looking at double-hungs the Integrity is not among the better looking windows in the All Ultrex and why others will disagree I don't care for there wood version either, Minnesota Exteriors(MEI) would carry the Infinity and they are typically open till 4pm.
    I would lean towards vinyl if a wood interior is not needed.It would we time well spent to go and look at windows considering the amount of money and the consequences of buying a poor product or one that did not meet your expectations.

  • PRO
    10 years ago

    Well said Todd.

    Can't add anything to that that I don't agree with.

  • 10 years ago

    Todd do you service North Branch, MN?

  • 10 years ago

    Typically yes, but I am booked solid till at least November and shy away from soliciting on forums.
    If the OP wanted I could sell Polaris windows for cash and carry..
    I previously stateded United Building Products carries Soft-Lite but meant to ABC supply. Both Norandex and ABC do not have floor samples but may have something in the back room to show.

  • 10 years ago

    Isn't Polaris available through distribution in your neck of the woods Todd?
    Either way, good advice above. A higher end vinyl choice sounds like what you are looking for 4x4.

  • 10 years ago

    They are available , there is a company(forget their name) in South Minneapolis that sells them, Universal Window Direct would sell them installed, maybe direct?.Other than those two I don't k ow of any.
    If the OP is looking for casement windows the Soft-Lites in the lower lines is an excellent choice.
    I would also consider the 100 series by Andsersen, but only in the casements.It is a nice composite window and has decent performance numbers and price,

  • 10 years ago

    Incidentally, what are you installing these days Todd? I've never met anyone willing to wait 6 months for windows... Just curious.
    We have a distributor around here that sells Polaris (either Richards or MBS, I forget) that is why I asked.
    I second the recommendation on the Softlite casement on a budget. They use the same casement regardless of line, just with varying options and weatherstripping profiles.

  • 10 years ago

    Mostly installing Polaris vinyl with a few "affordable'' sash kits here and there.

  • 8 years ago

    Hi, we are looking to replace our windows, I've seen 'toddinmn' come up on a few sites - how can we contact?? I'd like to talk with him if he's still in this line of work - I know these comments are a couple of years old. Thanks!

  • PRO
    8 years ago

    6127494103

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello,

    Help! in Bloomington Minnesota.

    I am looking to replace three double hung windows and a 6ft patio door, I've gotten three quotes so far and get more discouraged each time.

    full replacement not insert. full screen and two flat grids in upper window, double pane.

    Zen windows soft lite Nirvana/classic, warm edge spacer and foam filled frame and sash. installed $6,200.00

    Sunrise windows same as above. installed $6,500.00

    Budget exteriors soft lite imperial as same as above $9,900.00

    I'm scheduled for quotes from BWE construction who does Okna, Universal windows direct who does Polaris and Builders & remodelers who does soft lite I'm afraid because the quotes keep getting more $$$$$

    Thank you,

    Rob

  • PRO
    7 years ago

    Rob, it sounds like there is something missing. Are these units all loaded up with options? Are the "3" doubles hungs twin units or something like that? ... I ask because your lowest bid sounds like it would be on the higher end of the normal range. Double hungs pushing $1k and a 6' door at $3k are not at all unheard of for a top end product with a bunch of options (for a total around $6k), but having that as your lowest bid is abnormal.

  • 4 years ago

    great thread!! anyone have experience with Vector windows?? Our contractor uses thermo-tech, and we were going to go with their Northern Elevation line in bronze. Sounds like they are discontinuing that line. We'd like either bronze or black exterior trim. thanks for your input!! :)

  • 4 years ago

    Trying to decide between Windsor Next Dimension Pro and Anderson 100 series for a low maintenance, energy efficient window option on a new construction. Advice on either?

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    Are We talking double hungs, casement, sliders, or?

  • 4 years ago

    Single hung

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    While the Andersen 100 is their entry level window, it seems to be reviewed quite well and do just fine if installed properly.

  • 4 years ago

    Plus one to Windows response, and Windsor is not know for being anything special. I would strive to avoid them were it me.

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    There single hung is an odd duck in appearance and design. The look is unique and unlike most others. Single hungs are what they are but the lower sash in this unit does not tilt in but is side loaded. It also has a pocket sill that that drains water through the frame. If you’re fine with all that it should work well for you.

  • 4 years ago

    Doesn't a single hung and double hung look identical just the operation is different with the top sash being fixed and the lower sash being operational?

  • PRO
    4 years ago

    pretty much, just saying All the brands do not look identical and the 100 has its own unique look.

  • 3 years ago

    This is great info . Thanks I need to replace a 72" x 88" opening. I currently have one picture window along the top two picture windows on the bottom with a roll out window in the center. I'd prefer it to be one big picture window. Can you tell me what brand has the best price and energy efficient? Renewal by Anderson's bid was really high and Home Depot didn't offer a window that size.

  • last year

    DDK with a window that size I definitely would go with Marvin windows. They custom make large windows and have a good online visual.

  • last year

    "DDK with a window that size I definitely would go with Marvin windows"


    Why is that Cindy Gibbs? I would be fairly certain DDK made their choice being a year ago but just curious to your reasoning and which Marvin would you recommend as they make more than one line.