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Feedback / sanity check on Marvin & Kolbe quotes

9 years ago

So I got my rough quotes from a local Marvin Design Center and a Kolbe distributor. I'm wondering if you in-the-know folks have any feedback that can help me make the decision.

Key facts:

- SF bay area (pretty moderate weather)

- Humble house in desirable neighborhood. Zillow estimate for my neighborhood is about 2.3M$. My house is below that but not by all that much.

- House (1000sf) + Cottage (440sf). Replacing (new framing) total of 16 windows and 4 french doors. Mixture of double hung and casement.

- Style is bungalow/craftsman. Built after the war so not quite as nice as the stuff before, i.e., not a restoration candidate. My house is comfortable but still most of the value is in the value of the land.

- I don't plan on selling ... possibly ever. With two separate units, it's easy to rent out and make mortgage + taxes. The cottage has been rented to the same person for decades.

The quote from Kolbe is around 30K and from Marvin around 50K for all wood, primed (Kolbe)/unfinished(Marvin) exterior. The requirement for the quote was VGDF unfinished interior. No requirement for the species of the exterior.

The key issue seem to revolve around me wanting VGDF interior. The outside will be painted so I'm less concerned about that.

If I understand correctly, Marvin does their wood windows in all one species, so a lot more VGDF there. Kolbe does the visible interiors in the select species but the external pieces in pine (at least for this quote?)

The Marvin dealer gave me differences for a typical double hung: vgdf interior, clad exterior: 25% less than all vgdf; mix-grain df interior, clad exterior: 43% less than all vgdf.

I'm (pretty sure) mgdf is a non-starter. It's not the right look, isn't period, etc.

Is there anyway what I'd be getting from Marvin is worth 20K$?

VGDF is (I think?) a more durable wood, if I go with all wood windows, presumably external VGDF will wear better than pine. (I'm already (mostly?) committed to more maintenance than clad but pine's about as soft as you can get?)

Overall, I thought (perhaps naively) that the Marvin design touches were nicer/more consistent than Kolbe in this configuration. In particular, I understand that even with wood exteriors, the external SDL muntins are still aluminum with Kolbe. Also, the Marvin VGDF quote is for VGDF screens.

Any wisdom for me?

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