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New Windows?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are looking into new windows for the house. Does anyone have any experience with Pella, Anderson, Marvin? There is a tax credit that we would like to take advantage of. Our current windows are dreadful. The let more cold in than they keep out.

I would love to hear positive and negative reviews.

post #2 of 15
I'm interested too!
post #3 of 15
To replace 7 windows ONLY in our home, Anderson wants over $7000. None are picture windows or anything. Pella's are even more.

Also, the tax credit is ONLY for materials, not labor/installation.
post #4 of 15
Our house is nearly 100 years old with HUGE windows. Nothing fancy, the windows are just very large.

We replaced about 2/3 with Pella windows. (the remaining 1/3 will be done down the road) I am happy with windows. A few "things" that needed to be corrected -

Some of the windows were installed too tight. The frame was screwed too tightly into the house and I could see daylight between the jam and the actual window.

The contractor didn't insulate and properly seal some of the windows so by winter, the airflow was actually worse than before.

both were eventually corrected but new windows were not the cure-all I thought they would be.
post #5 of 15
We are currently building a new home and put in Marvin windows. My husband and I were most impressed with the Marvin's and after getting bids on Anderson's and Pella's both, Marvins were the most expensive, but not by much, and we thought the quality of the windows was well worth the extra cost. I LOVE the tilt out mechanism of the Marvins compared to other styles (assuming you are going with double hungs). The Marvin windows felt far more substantial to us. A friend of mine put in Eagle (?) windows, which I think are owned by Pella. They have the shades between the glass and she upgraded the wood species. I am sure they were $$$, but they are very pretty.

I should add, we are building our "forever home" on my husband's farm which has been in his family for over 100 years. We will not be moving, ever. We hope one of our children will someday live in this home. We have no re-sale, get-our-money-back-out-of-it, plans for this house. If you are in a different situation you may not want to spend the extra money, Pella's and Anderson's are both quality windows.

I don't know if you are replacing any sliding glass doors, but the Marvin sliders are THE BOMB. They are the easiest moving, most solidly built slider I have ever felt. When I am over at the new house I MUST slide each one!!!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses!

So far, we aren't totally sold on replacing the windows. Mostly because we want to make sure that we get a good window at a good price and we think we might want to do new kitchen cabinets instead.

Our current windows are absolutely bad with some being much worse than others. Our quote from Pella yesterday was for fiberglass and I was mostly happy with the price. The sales guy was also no pressure during his visit. He was attentive and responded first thing to our questions this morning after having some time to research the prices for us on a couple other items. The sales guy was nice, no pressure and prepared. I was not, however, please with the "spoke to my boss, and to honor the prices I quoted you, I would need to meet with you by sometime this weekend
and sign the paperwork" attitude in his last email with the additional pricing.
I don't care that I can cancel within 3 days. We said that we were just
starting to investigate. Yes, the pricing is very good. Yes, they are giving a
nice discount because we asked them to visit during our trip to the home show in our area and they are are currently running a $100 off per window deal. We are replacing 16 windows in our house. With all the discounting, it was just a bit over $11k. However, I just don't like the idea that they want me to sign.right.now. Sorry. I'm not as young as I look. AKA, wasn't born yesterday.lol.

I have also looked at Lowes and Home Depot, but they don't have the style I want.

If we do windows or even the kitchen, this will be the last house we own. I think I have finally decided that, even though I hate the layout of the house, it does have many pluses. Since we are 90% certain we are not moving, then we should get good windows. jeannineb I appreciate your comments about Marvin.
post #7 of 15
We did 12 windows last year... our house was freezing and after we re-insulated the whole house and that didn't work we went with new windows, anderson wanted like 13 grand!!!

We went with Pella and it cost us half of that. We are very happy with the windows.
post #8 of 15
We replaced the windows in our last house and are doing the ones in this house gradually. We've used Anderson windows and we love them. Dh has done the installation and it's not too difficult and saves a fortune.
post #9 of 15
Do the math on the windows and the rebate before you buy a single thing.

We replaced 5 windows, a patio door and front door this fall. We went with the less expensive Pella vinyl windows from Lowe's (my dream windows would be the Pella wood-casement ones, but that's a dream world I do not live in right now).

I think the numbers were something like we would've shelled out $3000-$11,000 for all those doors/windows, and would've only gotten a few hundred back from the gov't rebate thing. So then hubby also did the math on a local rebate by our power company. We ended up getting a better ROI by going with the less expensive windows and getting the smaller but quick (4-6 week turnaround - I was surprised when it showed up in the mailbox, that I do remember) power company rebate that was also a few hundred dollars.

But Pella has a good track record. My parents put Pella wood casement windows in their house 24 years ago, and while pricey, look like new. Mom just had one window fixed this year because it was finally sagging (a huge 6-foot tall window that gets dried out by the sun exposure every day). Pella has a better locking/opening mechanism now than years and years ago, that I can definitely say (you ever whacked your hip into one of those spin-to-open handles that stick out 4 inches? Holy moly ouch). And hubby works next to one of their offices right now to boot. Go figure. Anyway.

Since that was way out of our budget, we went with the vinyl/whatever ones. Takes several months to break 'em in so they slide easier, but totally doable. We're happy with the windows we bought a year and a half ago on the front of the house - they made the rooms quieter in regards to street noise, the screens are easy to mess around with without them falling onto the roof (we had 1978 aluminum casing windows before, with zero insulation sealing the windows in behind the trim!), they lock easier, etc. Even my 6yo can open and close and lock 'em. Oh, but my hubby is super, super handy, so he installed them all himself. With the help of a friend with the really huge windows to get them into place, but it was all him. So I'm no help with the cost of labor, we're pretty cheap that way.

Ask me again in 5 years if we end up not selling our house to move, then I can have a better long-term opinion for ya.
post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by lmonter View Post

But Pella has a good track record. My parents put Pella wood casement windows in their house 24 years ago, and while pricey, look like new.
This is what we are hoping for with our Marvins. We paid about $25,000 for 18 windows and 2 sliders, wood, double hung, aluminum clad exterior. For the same style window, Pella and Anderson were a close match on price. We hope these windows will last a looong time.
post #11 of 15
I'm also debating getting new windows in our 20-yr-old home. They are super drafty and our electric bills are astronomical. We probably need new doors, too. I have a local friend who had hers redone and noticed a VAST difference in cooling costs. We've already replaced our A/C with no significant difference, so this seems to me to be the next step. Our big question now is, are we moving? And if we are, do we go ahead and spend the money to replace them? Or cross our fingers the buyers don't see how may kWh we're spending in the summer?
post #12 of 15
My SIL put the vinyl frame double glazed windows in her house (she moved again since) and absolutely loved them, her house was built in the 50's (small 2bed 1 bath) and sucked energy, it was always so hot in summer. With the new windows and some roof insulation she could actually keep the place cool with the wall a/c she has. SO I vote vinyl frame double glazed.
My Mom has the same in her house and loves them too.
post #13 of 15
Moving to Home Management
post #14 of 15

I know the feeling! We live in MN and our house was built in 1976 and had the original windows, which were really cheap. We just replaced them and could not be happier. I cringed at the price at first but kept telling myself that it was an investment and worth it.. and it was! So much has changed in window technology... our new windows reflect the sun away from the house but still let in natural light and have gas in between the panes for extra insulation. We went with white vinyl and the new windows look great. We have already seen an drop in our energy bills. I did some research before we bought and found that online with Angies List there were great references. We got quotes from the first one and got great service and value. You can also learn about all the different brands and types. Just ask a lot of questions to figure out what is best for your home, budget and the climate you live in. Happy window hunting! 

Edited by happytimes - 9/18/12 at 1:27pm
post #15 of 15

Uggghhh...this is such a sore spot for us.  We found out after buying our home that all the windows were painted shut.  Seriously.  The Inspector didn't check them, we didn't think of it (first time home buyers & it was winter time) & our Realtor urged us to not do a walk thru at closing.  Turned out later the Inspector was indicted for taking bribes from Realtors.  Nice.  We tried everything but couldn't get them opened, so we had to replace them all pretty quick, including the windows in a huge sunroom that were floor to ceiling.  Ended up going with Pella.  It was really expensive-$18k for the whole house, sunroom (sunroom alone was $9k) and 3 new doors.  The rebate was nothing.  Not worth considering replacement for in & of itself.


The Pella sunroom windows are really wonderful.  The whole room is glass & the floor is tile & it's situated over a garage, but in the winter, we can still sit in there & eat.  The rest of the windows in the house are just normal windows-nothing special really.  If we were DIY'rs, I wish we had done the rest of the house ourselves.  I wanted Marvin but they were much more expensive in our situation.  


I think it's a really impt detail that a PP mentioned about the house being a "forever house" & being passed down to children etc.  We thought this was going to be a place we would be for awhile but DH lost his job 2 years in & we are selling & probably short selling in the next month.  I wish to God we had that window $ in our pockets now & went with something cheap.  If I knew the house was seriously going to be in the family & all that, I would go with one of the leading ones like Pella, Anderson or Marvin.  If there is any chance you might have hardships, move closer to family, relocate etc., do the cheapest you can do that are still efficient.  


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