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Replacement Windows Advice

Read replacement windows advice from homeowners and consumers alike.

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Aluminum Frame window Repair

Dane - I broke the outer pane of a Ram 21”x13” double pane aluminum frame window. The inner pane is fine. I believe it is a glass is glazed.

I replaced a number of broken windows with wood frames and caulking, but not a double pane and sealed aluminum frame. Is this something I can replace or is it better to get a professional?? Thank you for your advice.

Steve - Homeowner - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answer]

Steve, I would use a service like yelp to try and find a window repair person who can give you a free quote on the repair. Then you can make the judgement on whether or not you want to make the repair yourself or not.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2021

[Site Editor's Answers]

Q: Any thoughts about going to triple pain versus double pain adding value to a property at the time of resale?
A: I'm not a huge fan of triple pane unless you live in a really cold climate. More parts that could fail somewhere down the road.

Q: Humm, though my understanding is the Low E-Argon Energy Star Glass as specified is the correct package for our climate.
A: This sounds right.

Q: My understanding on the 5500 is the Air Leakage rating is 0.19CFM. How much of a difference in heating costs will that make versus the Okna 800 DX which claims 0.01CFM?
A: My understanding of the 5500 double hung was .09 and the horizontal slider was .14. There are lots of variations that will tweak these numbers, the casements and double hungs should have the best AI besides the fixed frame windows. Yes, it will make a difference over time. I don't have any exact figure, but over a decade it can certainly add up.

Q: Competitors seem to want to mention that Okna is a small company, compared to the others,and could go out of business??
A: No way. Okna is a very strong company that navigated the Great Recession just fine. (There were a handful of window companies that went out of business.) The next recession that hits doesn't look like it will be anything like the last one. I'd put this window in my house and wouldn't have any reservations about them.

Q: By the way in your opinion how often does warranty actually come into play?
A: Most companies service their warranties, but the problem is so much of the cost is in the labor of taking out the windows and replacing it. The labor warranty should cover this, but this means going back to the installation company, who has little incentive to stand behind their warranties. Doesn't mean they won't but getting a good window installed right the first time is the best way to avoid headaches down the road.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2019

Window Repair Advise Needed

How did I go about trying to get ahold of someone to come and look at 3 of my replacement windows that I just had replace 7/18/17. I had 21 total replaced but three of them sweat on the outside to the point they drip and this is almost every morning until the sun comes out to dry them up. My installer has gone out of business and I have had no luck in trying to contact by email for they say it si invalid address. I don’t know who to call for warranty. Thanks.

Tom - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Tom, if you just recently had them replaced this should be easy. Most manufacturers stamp their brand name on their windows. Often its on of the corners of the glass or on the hardware (often times on the lock).

Other manufacturers place a sticker on the inner track or sash that includes the manufacturing code, model number, or series number.

Hopefully one of these is true for your windows. If not, it's probably a knock off window that was purchased from a local hardware store (but even these usually has some sort of identifying code.)

Assuming you do find out who made the windows, do a google search for example for "sunrise windows in Gallipolis, Ohio" and see if any local companies sell this brand. If they do, call them up and tell them you have a warranty issue for that company and see if they will help you out.

They might just tell you to call up the national company, which you can do, and give them the series number of the window and go from there.

Good luck.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Home Window Glass Replacement

Hi Dane my name is Virginia and I live in Ft Pierce, Florida. On Monday the 12th of Feb 2018 . My neighbor dog got loose and was chasing a wild chicken and the chicken flew into my bottom window pane breaking the window pane and the screen. Type Aluminum single hung window with flange.

I want to know how long does the warranty last. I am disable and it is very hard to find someone to come out and put a glass and pane in. I live alone. I have called so many contractors and can’t get no help. Will you please help me even if you can give me a name of someone who can repair the window. Thank you very much for your time.

Virginia - Homeowner - from 2018

[Site Editor's Answer]

Ginger, I would suggest going to your local craigslist and searching "home window glass repair" in the services section. There should be someone who does nothing but home window glass repair/replacement.

Often, they will give you a price quote over the phone if you give them the measurements etc. I think this is your best bet.

Your warranty probably doesn't cover accidental glass breakage, and honestly, good luck getting them to response to your request if you don't know exactly who installed the windows.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2018

Finding Local Window Companies

It is interesting that many of the local window companies that my neighbors have used years ago seem to have now been bought by bigger companies with a website that sends you to a corporate 800 number that is closed on the weekend. (And they don't return calls.) It also seems that people are purchasing windows from the manufacturer and then hiring an independent contractor by word of mouth for installation (which kind of scares me!). I live in the NY - Westchester Country area. This must be a naive question, but can you recommend how I can find a company that has a showroom, sells from most manufacturers, and then does installation? I was looking at Home Depot, however they don't seem to offer Okna 500 or Marvin Integrity that I was hoping to price. Thank you!

Katie - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Katie, during the recession, quite a few of the smaller window companies were purchased by larger companies, although there are still hundreds of small window manufacturers across the U.S. Most window companies don't deal directly with the consumer and have no interest in fielding calls (mainly because a high percentage of them would be repair issues that should be handled through the dealer or local company who sold them the window). Home Depot for the most part sells a low quality window when it comes to vinyl windows.

Here is what I recommend -- get a list of the best vinyl window brands -- Okna, Sunrise, Soft-Lite, Hi Mark, Polaris, Marvin -- type in "westchester county okna windows" and see what local companies come up. These are the local companies who are authorized to carry the brand. Call them up, have them come out to give you and quote and get your three or four bids. Each should offer a number of brands (in addition to the premium brands I mentioned).

Get the bids, and then compare all the prices -- installation is important, so also look up the online reviews of each company who offers you a solid bid at a competitive price point. Feel free to send me the bid prices and details when you get them and I'll definitely weigh in on what I think are the best options.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

December 31 Tax Credit

Hello, Your site is really terrific! I need all new casement windows and doors for my townhouse. I was considering trying to get some of this project completed by Dec 31 to get an energy tax write off for this year. Someone mentioned that you shouldn't do replacements in the winter and I should wait until the spring (I live in New York), and said they had caulking issues due to an installation done in the cold. Is this valid? Thank you!

Katie - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Answer]

Katie, professional window installers do jobs in the winter all the time. I would ask whoever comes out to give you a bid if it’s in issue, but it shouldn’t be. Assuming they use a high quality caulk, it should be fine down to as cold as -20 F.

Feel free to send me the bids quotes with a few details and I’ll take give you my two cents on what quote and window looks the best. Good luck!

Tim - Site Editor - from 2016

Best, Better or Good Windows?

I am among the many that don't know a lot about windows, but am curious how you determine that a window is Best, Better or Good- beyond their specs? For example, I hear many good things about company a and more bad about company b. What is the basis for this assessment. If both companies products provide similar warranties, similar NFRC specs and similar aesthetics, why would one be Best and the other Good? Similarly, the crew you get to install a great window that does a bad job - would that be worse than a different crew doing a great job on a "good" window? Would like your thoughts on these notions - as knowledgeable in this field. I think it would help me, and maybe others. An unexcited-to -spend-many-dollars-on-windows homeowner. Thanks.

Tim - Homeowner - from 2016

[Site Editor's Response]

Tim, windows (especially replacement windows) can be very confusing and difficult to navigate. Admittedly, there are often times good and bad reviews on the exact same company and it can be difficult to tell the truth from the fluff. In general, looking at the long-term customer satisfaction and durability of the window is what typically dictates whether a particular window company is deemed as producing a quality product or not.

For instance, it's very possible to get a vinyl window from a lower tier company that works fine and there are no issues. However, on a weekly basis I receive nightmare stories from homeowners who purchase windows and there's condensation between the panes, mold in the jambs, etc. after a year or two. These people paid thousands of dollars and are now stuck having to rip the windows out and get them replaced the right way with the right window.

I would say that 50% of the project is based on the quality of the window itself, while the other 50% is the installation job itself. Take a look at our recommended window manufacturing pages to find a top quality vinyl window manufacture in your area that can give you a bid or perhaps several of the top manufacturers, check the reviews online, make sure you feel comfortable with how the local company conducts its business, and you should be good to go.

If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thanks!

Dane - Site Editor - from 2016

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