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Help choosing window materials & brand for new NW contemp. build

9 years ago

Hi everyone. I'm building a northwest contemporary house outside of Seattle, and I could really use some help choosing window materials and brand. While designing the house, we and the architect assumed we would use aluminum windows (we love the dark color inside and out as well as the very minimalist frames). But now that it's time to pick materials, my builder told me that aluminum isn't a good choice because of expense due to energy ratings as well as the fact that they sweat in our climate. So yesterday I went to a local window showroom and got a bit more education about this. After seeing how "dark" the glass looks after putting 3 panes and the coating needed to meet energy ratings, I am not excited about aluminum even if the cost and sweating issue wasn't there. The guy at the store recommended Andersen's E-Series/Eagle because they are able to achieve narrow frames using a laminated wood interior (like beams use). I only saw a big sliding door in the showroom, so I don't feel like I have a great sense of how they would look compared to the aluminum look I love. The sales guy also asked to see my plans, and after looking at them, he said the sizes and configurations of the windows rule out vinyl unless we are willing to revise the drawings. Does all of this sound legit? I'd love to hear recommendations for material and/or brand for what I'm looking for (dark interior/exterior, minimal framing, large picture windows with adjacent casement windows). Thank you in advance!!

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