Installing Replacement Windows

I'm in the process of requesting quotes to get the windows in my house replaced. So far I have got two quotes.
The first one is quoting me Milgard Styleline (model 6000) which from what I have read they seem to be ok windows. My concern with this one quote is that the installer is saying they would order the windows without nail fins and install them by screwing the window frame and then plugging the holes.
The second quote is for windows from a company called Insulate Industries. Their installation is more like what I have read and seen done in other places. My concern here is that when I looked up the company on the Internet I couldn't get much of a hit. The one entry I found was about a law suit due to misrepresenting the insulating ability of the windows. Not a good sign.
So the questionas are:
- Is the installation by the first installer a common way to install replacement windows?
- Will the method above be much of an issue for leakage? The installer claimed that this way it'll be easier to detect a leak than if you had the nail fins.
- Has anyone heard of Insulate Industries and are they any good?
Thank you in advance for any help. I will continue to ask for a couple more quotes but wanted to clear this ones in the mean time.
Later,
José.
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There is a difference between installing replacement windows and replacing windows.
Replacement windows use the existing windows frame. The sash (movable parts) are removed and the replacement window is installed in the old sash opening. Replacement windows are usually about 3" thick so they fill the entire opening. They are all custom made to fit your opening. They don't need nail fins.
Replacing a window is a more involved job since the entire window frame/trim/siding, needs to be removed. Many times the new windows are stock sizes and other alterations to the opening will need to be made. The windows will be thicker to fill a wall cavity opening. Nail fins would be common in this type of install. This type of install will cost more than a replacement window install.

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IMHO, even the best 'replacement windows' are cheap and nasty compared to replacing windows with good quality 'new construction' windows. A window installer can install a 'replacement window' in about 45 minutes to an hour, whereas it takes about 3 to 4 hours for a carpenter to replace a window with a 'new construction' window, if you include the time to make the new casing and do other related trim work. But in the end, a 'new construction window' will look better and let in more light (because it has more glass area) than a replacement window.
If you consider the cost of the windows versus the value of the house, then if you live in a house worth about $200,000 or more in year 2004, then I think that it is worth replacing windows with 'new construction' windows instead of 'replacement windows' to maintain the value of the home. If you live in a low cost house (worth, say, about $100,000 or less in year 2004), then you might be 'over improving' the house if you get 'new construction' windows. For the range $100,000 to $200,000, it's more a matter of your budget as to which you might choose. It's just like any other home improvement -- you would spend only $2,000 rennovating a bathroom in a $100,000 house, whereas you might spend $5,000 rennovating a bathroom in a $250,000 house.
By the way, both types of windows can be equally energy efficient and durable, assuming proper installation and quality manufacturing, so if someone claims that one type of window is more energy efficient than the other type, then it's just sales talk.
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> There is a difference between installing replacement windows and replacing > windows. > > Replacement windows use the existing windows frame. The sash (movable parts) > are removed and the replacement window is installed in the old sash opening. > Replacement windows are usually about 3" thick so they fill the entire > opening. They are all custom made to fit your opening. They don't need nail > fins. > > Replacing a window is a more involved job since the entire window > frame/trim/siding, needs to be removed. Many times the new windows are > stock sizes and other alterations to the opening will need to be made. The > windows will be thicker to fill a wall cavity opening. Nail fins would be > common in this type of install. This type of install will cost more than a > replacement window install. >
I guess I should have been more specific and use the correct terminology. The quotes are to have the windows replaced with new windows. They will remove the old ones and get the new ones in.
My concern was with the difference in the installation procedure between two installers. One said he wouldn't use nailing fins and screw the window thru the frame while the other uses the nailing fins.
Any advantages/disadvantages on using one or the other method?
Thx,
José.
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New windows use nail fins. Be sure to wrap the opening with tyvex (felt etc) before install.

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