My wife and I purchased a 2500 ft2 Colonial home in suburban Detroit,
Michigan, two years ago. The home (and subdivision) was built in 1985,
and faces north. When we purchased the home, we knew at some point we
would need to replace the windows, as the original stock wood windows
were in poor shape, with heavily damaged screens, some broken seals, a
lot of sweating, some warped frames and many broken sash cords - so
that the windows wouldn't stay open. That first winter we also noticed
some heavy drafts.
Well, we were hoping to wait another year for windows, but we're in a
financial position to make the investment now, and the weathermen have
scared me to death with their "absurdly high cost of natural gas this
winter" stories ... so we're looking to have our windows replaced in
Dec or Jan. We've solicited several bids, and are now seriously
considering going with a local vinyl replacement window company called
Wallside Windows (http://www.wallside.com ). They have quoted us
approximately $7100 for the following: 18 replaced windows (mostly
double hung, 6 with Muntin squares, a large "picture window", and a new
5 1/2 ' doorwall). All windows are vinyl, fusion welded, Super Low E /
Argon glass. They are custom made by Wallside, a company that has been
in business in the area for 60+ years and offers a 35 year guarantee on
their product. Wallside has been referred very strongly to us by
several neighbors, as well as some family members - I haven't heard of
a negative experience yet.
In any event, I'm interested in any opinions or advice from anyone who
has been in a similar situation on the following:
1. Did replacing your 20+ year old windows make an appreciable
difference in your heat / AC costs ?
2. Are you satisfied with the decision to go with vinyl over composite
or wood (it's significantly cheaper, and most new homes - some $1 mill
homes included - around here use vinyl from the start)
3. Is there any potential problems I should be on the lookout for
during installation ?
This is a sizeable investment for the wife and I, so I appreciate any
insight that might put my mind at ease. We plan to be in the house
until at least when our kids get out of school (another 12 years),
though that's certainly not a guarantee.