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A couple of vinyl replacement window questions

11 years ago

After a lot of searching, I'm coming down to a decision on my vinyl window replacements. I've had estimates from Great Lakes, Alside, Gorell and Okna distributors and gone back and forth on how I'm going to do this (my original budget was $9k - I've gone up and down from there with every passing estimate).

It looks like i'm settling in on the Okna 800 - more than I wanted to spend for 20+ DH, but I want to do this job once and not have to repeat it in the next 15-20 years if possible.

The few questions I have remaining:

- Of the window brands I listed, does this appear to be the best of the bunch? Gorell and Okna priced close, GL a little higher, Alside at the bottom.

- Three installers came, all highly regarded. Two claimed that they would add foam fiberglass insulation to the capping, the third claimed that there wasn't enough room for insulation but that caulking would stop any air intrusion around the frame. This sounds off to me, since I know caulk's usable lifespan is less than the window's (hopefully).

- Do I want triple-pane glass? I know it's more expensive, but I've read positives and negatives (positive = greater energy savings, negative = less ambient light passing through). I care about both, but it's hard for me to quantify what the energy savings would be from double to triple pane (I know the U numbers, which are Chinese to me), and I know I'm paying more and losing light. I'm leaning towards double pane, but not sure if that's the right approach.

- Does adding a color to the window frame increase the cost? I'm primarily working with the last installer I spoke to now, as they had more recommendations from people I know, so I hate to go out and ask the rest if I'm likely just wasting their time, but is it a universal that all window makers charge more for coloring the vinyl, or do some charge and not others (and hope springs eternal, everyone gives it for free?)

I've asked these guys every conceivable question, from do you cart away your mess to what the warranty is, are there any questions that aren't intuitive that I should ask before I sign on the dotted line?


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