Contractor & Installer Recommendations
Our replacement window recommendations from contractors and installers. See opinions from industry insiders on what they think are the best windows out there.
Replacement Window Recommendations #1
Rotten Wood On Window Frame
Two of my Pella double casement windows with wood inside/vinyl outside are rotted at the bottom of the glass. Can I purchase replacements for just the portion of the window that moves/opens circled in
red below and not the entire frame?
[Site Editor's Response]
Diane, once the wood is rooted, unfortunately there is very little you can do. You can call your local Pella rep or take pictures and send it to them, but I would imagine that there is no way to repair a portion of the frame. When replacing the windows, you would need to remove all of the exterior aluminum wrapping, which would certainly add to the cost of the repair.
The Okna 500 series is one of the best windows out there. I wouldn't call the Harvey bad, exactly, but they aren't even close to the Okna 500. Your price is going to vary a lot from dealer to dealer and installer to installer. I'd find the dealer that offers you the best deal, but you don't want an installer that's going to cut corners and do a sloppy job. You have to be willing to pay a decent price for the install. A great window put in badly will leak and look like crap.
Harry - Contractor in Wisconsin - from 2012
Replacement Window Recommendations #2
My A Team would be Sunrise, Okna, Softlite and HiMark. I would also throw in the Polaris Ultraweld, Energex Elite and possibly Gorell's new products now that they were acquired by Soft-Lite (although I may be jumping the gun here, so let's wait on this one). My B Team would by Great Lakes by PlyGem, Simonton and Vista. However, the issue I have with the B Team is that they are often sold at premium prices when they are not the same quality as my A Team. If you can get the B Team products at a good price and with professional installation, you will be happy.
Holland - Installer - from 2012
Replacement Window Recommendations #3
Marvin windows are widely considered one of the best brands on the market. While there are some differences from one Marvin line to the next, they are almost always going to win out when compared to any other brand with similar features. The Sunrise Restoration is one of the few that beats it, with way lower air infiltration numbers. One factor many people overlook is what the numbers are on a 10 year old window as opposed to one that's sitting in a showroom. There's a lot of debate as to what has the best stats after a few years of use. The Marvins are pretty much going to make anyone happy, with consistent performance and good customer support (and you will pay for this quality, although not as much as an Andersen). Oknas and Sunrise are good, too, if for some reason you don't love the Marvins. When it comes down to it, to get a good window you're going to have to pay for it, and the bargain brands just don't perform.
Steve - Industry Guru - from 2011
Soft-Lite & Sunrise
I really like both Soft-Lite and Sunrise Elements. SoftLites have fiberglass insulation stapled to the jambs and head, which I think is stupid. For an insane fee they'll give you a foam insulating wrap, which is better, or low-expansion foam, which is the best choice. Personally, if your openings are level and square I think you do better to order a window that fits nice and tight, with just enough room for some shims. If your jambs are plumb and sills are level, you can usually get a good fit without doing anything too crazy. If you have really large openings, then you might need something a little more complex. Sunrise windows have a flat jamb and the foam tape they use sticks out a little. If you anchor them well, then spray foam insulation under the sills you can then seal the frame with silicone or something similar.
Mike - Installer - from 2011
Replacement Window Recommendations #4
George - Homeowner - from 2011
Matt - Contractor - from 2011
Replacement Window Recommendations #4
The Gorell 5100 doesn't look like much, but take a look at the 5300. It's one of the best windows out there. Definitely one of the 5 best vinyl windows on the market, along with the Polaris, Sunrise, Okna, and Softlite.
Bill - Installer from Texas - from 2009
Read more on Sunrise windows reviews.
Recommendations For The West Coast
Jerry - Contractor in California - from 2006
Read more on Milgard windows reviews.