Choosing the Right Replacement Window

Selecting the right windows can be tricky.

Some people know exactly what they want… either a Harvey Classic Vinyl, or a Pella Architect Series with Simulated Divided Lights. However, many of the people we meet are not exactly sure. We try to lead them towards the appropriate window that fits their style of home, budget and long range plans.

Choosing the right replacement window.

70% of the windows we install are Harvey Classic Vinyl windows. They are the best value for the money, and our personal favorite. We have recommended them successfully for the past 14 years, and Harvey has been in the business for the past 47 years.

Here are some of my recommendations:

Wood Windows

For Wood windows, there are many choices. Pella and Marvin are my favorites, but Harvey offers an alternative that is good quality at a reasonable price. Both Pella and Marvin make great products, and both recently improved their existing lines of replacement window. There are countless others out there, but we have chosen 3 of the top performers based on quality, price and value.

Marvin Ultimate Inserts

Marvin Ultimate Inserts: This Marvin line of replacement windows is relatively newin the area. We like Marvin for the following reasons: Marvin makes quality products in a variety of sizes, hardware options and colors. They have nice details in all their product lines and their hardware is second to none. Marvin is a major manufacturer with excellent name recognition. Like the Pella, Marvin windows are pricey, depending on size, options and various installation procedures. They come with an aluminum clad exterior and wood interior. They are available with a snap in, or a simulated divided lite grid… full or half screen. They have many standard exterior clad colors, special colors, and upon request… custom colors. They come in pine, primed pine, mahogany or Douglas fir interiors. Their hardware and hidden tilt mechanism is very detailed and our personal favorite.

Marvin replacement windows also feature a wood jamb, thus when the windows is in the closed position, there is a minimal amount exposed vinyl extrusions. A drawback to the Marvin window is that it takes up more glass than the Pella window. You lose on average about an inch on each side, and an inch and a half on the top and bottom. We really recommend these windows when you have larger than normal windows.

Pella Architect Series/Designer Series Precision Fits: Pella has recently come out with a newer model replacement called the Model 3. We like Pella windows because their lines mimic the Boston style windows of the Northeast. They have thinner side rails and frames, so they maximize the view… while maintaining the look of your old window. Pella’s grid system is also quite appealing. Their simulated divided lite grid mimics the size and style of the local Boston area windows. Their snap in grill has a hidden clip that results in sleeker lines. This is our favorite snap in grill system. Pella has improved their old window in both appearance and functionality. The Model 3 is now available with an all wood jamb, full or half screen, and a hidden bottom tilt. This is a big improvement over their once famous center tilt mechanism. Pella windows also come in many exterior aluminum clad colors and options. Their interiors come in pine or primed pine. You can have the interiors pre painted white, which they send it out to an independent vendor.

Another great thing about Pella is that it has a local presence in Massachusetts called Pella Boston. This allows Pella to offer excellent customer service. If you have any issues with your new windows, the manufacturer is there to take care of you. This along with a lifetime workmanship warranty from Jeff Fisher Windows makes for excellent peace of mind before, during and after installation.

Pella Architect Series/Designer Series Precision Fits

Harvey Majesty Wood Windows: Harvey is a local manufacturer here in New England that is mostly known for their exceptional quality vinyl replacement windows. Their Majesty line of windows offers the availability for a wood interior. The aluminum clad exteriors are available in white, almond, bronze and forest green colors. The interior is pine. Click here to see the Majesty’s hardware options. This window is Energy Star Rated when sold with Low E/Krypton glass. It is also available full or half screen.

We like the Majesty window because it is offered by Harvey, which is a quality manufacturer that stands behind their products. Majesty windows are bulky though. You lose roughly 1 and a quarter inches around the entire perimeter of the window due to this bulk. The all wood interior is good for staining or painting. The hardware now comes in a variety of options and the side jambs are either almond or white. The window has visible tilt latches and is available in full or half screen. The Majesty is a good option if you are staining, or on a limited budget.

Andersen Woodwright Series Replacement Windows: Andersen has joined the replacement window market by introducing the Woodwright Series wood replacement window.  This window is designed along the lines of the Andersen 400 Series Tilt and Wash window.  The 400 series window is a very good value for a new construction window, it is affordable and available with many different options including a prepainted feature.  The Woodwright window is comparable looking, but is not as good as one might expect from Andersen.  The window has only been available for about a year in the New England Area, and I don’t think they have all the bugs worked out of it.  It does tilt in for easy cleaning, and it looks like the 400 series, but it has some unfinished elements that make it a bit difficult to install and leaves you with a not so satisfying exterior.