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Friday, December 11, 2015

How to Choose New and Replacement Windows and Doors

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Source: Marvin Windows and Doors
I'm happy to report that after a year and a half of looking at windows (and changing my mind twice about the color), I have finally ordered our new windows  and all of the exterior doors with the exception of the front door which I'll share shortly...after I order it....

                                                                                                                 ....in case I change my mind.


First, let me say that this is not a sponsored post and I haven't been compensated in any way for writing this. Marvin Windows and Doors has no idea who I even am and they probably never will...at least I hope that they won't because that means that my new windows and doors will show up and be as fabulous as I'm imagining them to be. I'm simply sharing the windows that I chose: Marvin Next Generation  Clad Ultimate Double Hung windows in "Cadet Gray".

Marvin Cadet Gray
Second, there are lots of great windows and doors out there. I've spent the better part of a year and a half doing research on windows and doors for the farmhouse and when it came down to ordering, there were three or four companies that I felt had great quality products for similar prices that would work well in my application but in the end, Marvin had one feature that made them the perfect choice for our farmhouse: vent mode. More on that below.
Here's a photo of the simulated divided lites and the "tilt to clean" features that I mention below.

Source: Marvin Windows.
Below is the mullion pattern for our windows and doors.  The exterior doors will have either 4 panes or 6 depending upon whether or not they have a bottom panel. The windows will have the same pattern: a single mullion which runs from the top to the bottom of each window. It's clean...and just e "rustic" enough for me.
Source: Marvin Windows
These are the factors that I considered when choosing my windows:
  • I have some replacement windows (windows that need to go into existing openings that are both masonry (brick) and frame). Having flexibility in the size of the windows became important because we're retrofitting some existing openings.
  • I will have some windows that will need to go into new openings.
  • Aluminum clad exteriors on the windows. I had aluminum clad Anderson replacement windows in the second house that we rehabbed and Semco aluminum clad window in the new construction house at 127 and I loved them.
  • Simulated divided lites. I had "snap in" grilles on the Anderson windows and I'm just not careful enough to have them work for me. SDL's are permanently adhered to both the inside and the outside of the glass and even though it takes a little more work to clean the windows, I love the look.
  • Wood on the interior of the windows because I  plan on either liming or gray washing our interior wood trim so wood interiors were a necessity. ...that, and brass hardware...yep. Brass.
  • I needed "cottage style", "double hung",  "awning" and "fixed panel" windows and they all needed to match so having a choice of mullion patterns was important.
  • Windows must tilt in for cleaning.
  • Low-E, Argon filled, Thermal glass. Energy Star Compliant.
  • Some of the windows need  to be tempered glass due to local ordinances.
This is what our windows will look like from the outside (only they'll be gray).
Source: Marvin Windows
I could find all of those things with the five or so major window manufacturers that I considered but what sold me on Marvin were the following (in order of importance to me):
Source: Trade News Marvin
  • They have a really cool feature called "vent mode" (shown above) which means that I can actually open the bottom sash about four inches and it will automatically lock in place. Why is this important to me? Because I live in a ranch house and I like to sleep with the windows open. Vent mode allows me the freedom to do that with the security of a window that will lock in place and which cannot be opened further from the outside without some serious tools and one heck of a lot of noise.  THIS was the feature that sold me on these windows even though they were more expensive.
  • Service. Any product is only as good as their service department because things do go wrong.  The windows in the house at 127 came from a small window company but they had an amazing service guy named Norm. Over the ten years that we owned our home, Norm and I had annual visits, sometimes just to fine tune a window or bring me some clips for the screens, other times to replace a pane of glass after a storm. NORM was the reason that I loved my windows....Norm retired 6 months after we sold the house when the company was sold or I'd have used them again.
Source: Marvin Windows
I love the way these windows will look (and the fact that they will actually open) and I can't wait to show you them in person in about seven weeks when they come in. Yep, in February....in Chicago.....when it will probably be 106 below zero with 18 feet of snow.
                                                                                                        I never said that I had great timing.

Kimberly