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Old 02-24-14, 01:50 PM   #1
wewantutopia
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Default Window Recommendations

Hi everyone.

I'm getting ready to replace a picture window; it is inoperable. I'm having issues finding a fixed window on the web.

It is 64" x 47" and imagine/expect it will be a custom window. I'm not sure if I'm not using the right terms in my search but I'm even having issues finding them on window manufacturers' websites.

I'd really like it to be a vacuum insulated glass window but they're not really here yet (ply gem will sell start selling ~ U.10 windows later this year).

I'd like it to be at least U.20 if not better. Tripple or quad pane would be fine. Cost is important but not top priority. Efficiency is higher.

Also, although it is a south facing window I'm not worried about low e coatings as it is under a porch. When the sun is low enough to shine in the window for about a month I don't want to reflect the radiant energy.

Can anyone recommend a manufacturer, a particular unit, or better search terms??

Thank you!!!!

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Old 02-24-14, 02:06 PM   #2
Daox
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I recently put Alpen (previously Serious Windows) fiberglass windows in my office and they are amazing (and their price is shocking as well, high not low). But they are very nice. I put in 725 series casement windows in. Their 725 series picture windows have a U value of .15. All windows are custom made so you can get whatever size you want.

Here are their offerings:
Fiberglass Windows | Alpen Windows Alpen Fiberglass Windows | Alpen High Performance Products
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Old 02-24-14, 02:27 PM   #3
doug30293
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I bought my windows from Lowes about ten years ago. They were MW brand and top rated at the time (Consumer Reports, I think). MW was bought out and the name changed half way through the project. The name changed again about a year after that. None of the names are around today though I am guessing the product is made under yet another name.

Either Lowes or Home Depot should have a good vinyl window.
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Old 02-24-14, 08:32 PM   #4
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Here's a few I have on my list of windows to investigate next time I'm purchasing: WeatherMaster windows, Interstate windows, Intus windows. Weathermaster website is advertising some mighty low prices for triple pane windows.

Edit: Apparently Weathermaster is selling Earthwise windows.

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Old 02-25-14, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wewantutopia View Post
...I'm getting ready to replace a picture window; it is inoperable. I'm having issues finding a fixed window on the web...
I recently bought a window for a remodel I'm doing.

I had several good conversations with the Lowes salesguy, who was in the window installation business for a couple of decades.

When we were talking about "standard sized" windows and the increased costs of going non-standard, he said that the cost increase policies tended to be historically based, and that the vinyl window industry entered the picture late in the game and were very highly automated from the beginning. The upshot was that they do have "standard sizes" which are lower in price, but the difference between standard and custom is very modest. Other windows, wood windows for instance, were in the game earlier, and even though they also are now also automated, their 'up-charge' (who made up that word?) have ignored the very small difference in manufacturing cost when varying from a standard size, so their charges are substantially higher for a custom window size.

Shopping at Lowes and selecting for performance, I decided on a triple glass vinyl. The vinyl window structure had a lower U-value than the other types I looked at. I was impressed with the cross section of the vinyl structure and how it contributed to strength while reducing conduction.

I decided to go double low-E. Where I live, the days that could give me solar gain in the winter are very limited. I put in a double low-E in the bathroom last year and I have been favorably impressed with it since. I have done lots of measurements during the coldest winter days, and the double low-E helps reduce radiant losses.

So my strategy in the weather pattern and house I find myself in is to reduce heat loss rather than seek ways to increase solar gain, since winter sunshine is infrequent.

What I got was not to Passive House standards, but it is a huge improvement over the 120 year old double hung windows I am replacing.

-AC
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Old 02-26-14, 04:07 PM   #6
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Hi guys, thanks for the responses.

I've checked out the big box stores and was less than impressed with their offerings. I will check at lowes again to see what their triple panes are all about (specs)

I have requested a quote from Alpen and was plesently surprised at the price of the 925 series. I expected it to be expensive and it was but not out of line.

Our window is over 20 sq ft and their quote was $1040 including tempered glass for a u-.11 SHGC-.41 window. Those are pretty amazing specs of a window.

I've sent out quotes from a few others I've found including, Thermotech, Zola, and Marvin just for comparison to see what they have.

I must say I couldn't find too much info about the Earthwise windows.
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Old 03-19-14, 09:42 PM   #7
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Lots of good info on high quality windows over at Green Building Advisor.
One of the older discussions, but lots of good info, and more choices are available now:http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...m-better-walls
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Old 04-10-14, 01:05 PM   #8
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What window did you end up going with Wewantutopia?
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Old 04-10-14, 08:47 PM   #9
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Matching a window to the local climate and use makes for a *much* happier and valuable purchase.

It sounds like OP will not have a lot of sunshine to capture through the winter, but lives in a cold winter climate. If she wants to ventilate in the summer then a non-fixed window makes sense.

As for the rest:
As low a U value as is practical, AND
at least a single if not double HARD low-e coating(s)

The latter is to keep the heat she produces inside the house from radiating outward.
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Old 04-13-14, 02:31 PM   #10
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A/C which brand?

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