Re: Economy Replacement Windows
If possible, you may want to figure out what it would take to use stock window sizes. You'll probably save 15-35% over custom sizes. Of course, you'll end up spending some extra time and money altering the framing and repairing interior and exterior walls.
The difference between builder-grade and premium windows will mostly be in how well the sliders fit into the fixed portion and how well they seal. The premium windows will also have a longer/better warranty on the sealed glass units, but they won't necessarily last longer. Some of the premium windows will have slightly better insulating properties, but all windows must meet energy codes. What price difference is really paying for is the higher incidence of warranty claims on the premium windows.
Think about it this way: if you have a 10-year or a 25-year warranty (and you pay twice as much for the 25-year) but BOTH windows have an average life of 30 years, which one is more likely to have a warranty claim? The 25-year window. Since the company needs to pay for those warranty claims somehow, they will pass that cost on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for better warranties. It doesn't necessarily mean one product is truly better than the other.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.