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Fiberglass Windows vs Aluminum Clad?

9 years ago

My husband I are purchasing a new house that is in desperate need of new windows. The current 36-year old windows are wood and have badly rotted throughout due to deferred maintenance (house has been vacant for 3 years). I've had three window install companies and one window restoration company out to look at the windows and all four companies have recommended that the windows be replaced instead of trying to repair them.

I had initially planned on putting in aluminum clad Lincoln windows, as that's what we had installed in our current home a few years ago and haven't had any issues. However, someone mentioned that Fiberglass windows (Marvin) would be another type to consider. I've been researching the pros and cons of both and have read mixed reviews on everything.

The outside of the windows will need to be a cream color and the inside needs to be stained wood - I'll have them stained to match the rest of the trim in the house. We'll be looking at a total of 23 windows, 2 6ft sliding doors, and 1 8ft slider. I've uploaded a picture of the exterior of the house in case that helps anyone with recommendations or opinions. The windows are much bigger than they look in the picture - the windows on the main floor are 38"x78" (rough opening) and upstairs is 36"x63".

We're looking at replacing the windows in 2 phases - 10 windows and 1 slider now, and the remaining at a later date. I've received quotes from Pella and Lincoln on aluminum clad, and Marvin for both fiberglass and aluminum clad. Marvin has been the cheapest to replace the windows doing either style. Lincoln was about $15,500, Pella was $18k, and Marvin was $12,200 for fiberglass and $14k for aluminum.

I've looked into Marvin some and can't quite figure out what the difference is between Infinity and Integrity (I'm sure it's something very obvious that I'm just missing) - can anyone tell me the difference? Anyone have recommendations and why on fiberglass vs aluminum glad? Any brands that stick out as being better? Brands to avoid? This is a house we plan on being in for a long time so I don't want to go with something that won't hold up. (This first round of windows that we're doing now get the brunt of the weather exposure). I live in Indianapolis, IN if that helps.

Thank you!


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