Vinyl Windows and Fiberglass Door

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Happs on June 22, 2011 - 4:25pm

I am considering replacing 38 year old single pane aluminum windows in the living room area of an apartment next to the beach that are drafty, old looking and have rusty sills. The frames the windows would go into are 82"x58" and 106"x58." The windows are east facing and get a lot of sun in the morning, but I don't need low-e glass or pre-tinted windows because I would prefer to have a professional window tinter come and use the tint material and brand of my choice. However, I was told that if you tint the windows, you will void the warranty on the windows. Is this true? The sales person at the home improvement store told me that you can't get dual pane windows without low E properties. Is this true? I don't use heat or A/C on the coast and don't need the energy saving, insulating properties that people in extreme climates need. I've read that vinyl windows are best for a high salt coastal environment since they can stand up to the elements. If anyone has gone through replacing old aluminum windows, I'd appreciate knowing what brand of vinyl window is the best value in Southern California.

I also have a wood door that I learned the hard way doesn't stand up to water, and absorbs it, leading to mildew. I've read a lot of positive comments and reviews about fiberglass doors, but just like windows there seems to be a lot of manufacturers and product catalogs are confusing. I went to a chain home improvement store and got a quote of $4,000 for an apartment sized fiberglass door that's half fiberglass and half glass. No way am I spending that kind of money. The wood door itself that I purchased 8 years ago that has half glass and half wood was $1100.

Submitted by desmond on June 22, 2011 - 5:27pm.

What about a steel entry door? I put one in when I remolded my house, you could not tell it was steel by looking at it. I put in Milgard vinly windows and I liked them. But that was in 2003-4 and now there are many more brands. And why would you not get the low e and the tint, you can barely even tell by looking through the window it's there?

Submitted by AK on June 22, 2011 - 5:40pm.

My house has a builder-grade fiberglass entry door that certainly cost nowhere near $400, much less $4000. With a good coat of paint it could pass for steel ...

Submitted by Happs on June 22, 2011 - 6:23pm.

The steel doors I saw at the big box stores didn't feel solid/sturdy. I prefer to get a brand of tint of my choice that I know is high quality with a window tinter I know. I have no idea of the quality of tint or the tint job with a factory tint.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 23, 2011 - 9:29am.

If you haven't already, try Dixieline. Their door/window people are pretty knowledgeable.

I can't imagine not getting low-e built-in to the glass. Tint film is not durable and not terribly attractive.

Submitted by trips123 on June 23, 2011 - 10:32am.

I had done some good amount of research on this while replacing the Aluminium patio door and windows in my home.
Anlin and Brothers were the 2 brands that i narrowed down on and finally went with Anlin from www.ClearConceptsSD.com as their quote for Anlin windows was the lowest.
Sit at home, take the dimensions, call 3-4 different places for quote.

Submitted by Happs on August 11, 2011 - 9:21pm.

I've obtained quotes from six different vinyl window installation companies for identical product and they are all within $200 of each other. Kind of disappointed and feel like the window industry is fixed. Not sure whether it's worth it to spend $2000 to replace two large living room windows.

Submitted by jstoesz on August 11, 2011 - 10:27pm.

Wood all the way! forget the crap dual pane stuff. Get wood. It can get repaired indefinately.

And in SD, who cares about energy efficiency (ducks...).

Submitted by EconProf on August 12, 2011 - 8:12am.

It is almost impossible to find single pane windows or doors any more.
For the sound insulation alone I'd go with dual glazed. You are right about dual glazed not helping much on heating and AC costs in a beach area. And Low-E adds very little to the cost. I'd avoid wood anything in a beach area, as you have already discovered--will not last.

Submitted by bearishgurl on August 12, 2011 - 9:07am.

Happs, the best mass-produced solid vinyl windows by far are Pella "Thermastar" sold by Lowes. Of course, you want the low E with argon gas between the panes. It cuts the sun by 90%. I replaced a very large window facing the sun with one. It has a slight green tint and brings the outside in! Just incredible looking and very cool to the touch, always.

see: http://www.greenerbuilding.org/product_d...

These windows typically go on 15% discount right after Thanksgiving and Lowe's contractor will install them very reasonably. Most sizes are special order but there are samples in the store to look at. You might want to call Lowes to inquire.

I believe these particular windows only come with white or cream-colored frames. There is far more selection at the Pella store on Morena Blvd but it is much more expensive to go thru them.

I agree that the mass-produced steel doors made by Stanley and other mfrs are the way to go near the ocean. Some are heavier with a fibre core. They shouldn't cost more than $400 with a prime coat on them and come with or without windows and panels. Sold by Lowes and Home Depot.

Edit: The "Thermastar" windows at Lowes are the exact same product as the "Encompass" windows at the Pella Store.

see: http://www.pella.com/windows/explore-win...

Submitted by jstoesz on August 12, 2011 - 9:39am.

How about a teak door?
Now that would be sweet!

Submitted by Happs on September 18, 2011 - 12:49am.

trips123 wrote:
I had done some good amount of research on this while replacing the Aluminium patio door and windows in my home.
Anlin and Brothers were the 2 brands that i narrowed down on and finally went with Anlin from www.ClearConceptsSD.com as their quote for Anlin windows was the lowest.
Sit at home, take the dimensions, call 3-4 different places for quote.

In the end, I decided to purchase dual pane aluminum windows from this company and will be getting them installed in a couple weeks. I spent a lot time researching windows and thought this company was the best value.

Submitted by Happs on September 18, 2011 - 12:52am.

jstoesz wrote:
How about a teak door?
Now that would be sweet!

I don't think the HOA would allow it. I don't need a lot of fancy ornamentation or glass work on the door. I've noticed that some plain looking (not much glass and a simple look) wood doors are $400 and some are $800, even from the same company. Does a higher price equal a better, longer lasting door? I'm thinking about wood again because I found out that if you apply a high quality sealer or varnish, it might last longer and they make 2 step wood cleaning products. I'm still puzzled why one manufacturer would charge double for the same looking wood door, unless one is a wood veneer and not solid wood.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.