The old windows had aluminum frames, 2-panes of glass, and no Low-E. The new windows have vinyl frames, 3-panes of glass, and 2 of the panes have Low-E.
The crew arrived on time every day.
The crew removed all debris at the end of each day.
Drop clothes were placed below each window being worked on.
The installation took 5 days. During one of those afternoons, I noticed the absence of chatting and construction noise. Looking around, I found the two A-1 trucks were gone. The crew had left for the day, and no one said anything. All the doors and windows were closed, though some were unlocked.
A-1's vinyl frames, insulated glass units, and window installation are warrantied for 20 years, 10 years, and 5 years respectively. Other vendors offer 20 to 25-year warranties, and some warranties last as long as the vendor is in business; those windows also cost more.
The new sliding windows can be opened with 1 hand. The old sliding windows required applying some body weight to operate.
The old windows had pronounced cold air bubbles on the inside. The cold bubble is largely unnoticeable with the new windows.
The walls around the old windows were normally cold. With the new windows, the walls vary from cool to barely warm.
Less outside noise enters the house. The Vaisakhi Parade is barely audible. We are located approximately 6 property widths away from the Parades route.
Two out of the 3 panes of glass on the windows are coated with Low-E. Their Visual Transmittance varies from 0.48 to 0.50. There was some concern every room would be dim and cave-like. In reality, every room that normally receives direct sunlight is well lit.
After installation was complete, a correction was required. A crew arrived in a few days. I didn't have to chase anyone down. A-1 didn't make a fuss.
No noticeable distortion in the glass.
The window renovation proceeded smoothly, until the painting phase. Wood trim was installed on the outside around each window. The wood came with a coating of primer. The homeowner is responsible for painting the trim. How complicated could that be?
A family friend, with aspirations to be a handyman, was hired to do the painting. Right away there was a problem. The brick red acrylic paint formed into tiny blobs on the white caulking. Visualize chickenpox rash. Why is the paint beading? We learned from A-1 the caulking was silicone, which is not paint-able. Up to that point, I believed all caulking was paint-able. I was wrong.
Since painting is the homeowners responsibility, solving the problem also falls on the homeowner. We chose the least expensive solution - paint the trim white. As expected, the paint beaded on the caulking. White beaded paint on white caulking isn't noticeable from 3+ meters away. Not sure what to do with a gallon of brick red paint.
My mother likes the new windows. She thinks they make her old house look new again.
Some of our small windows are half fixed and half operable. If I could redo the renovation, I would choose a different style for those windows. A vinyl bar (part of the sash) runs across the middle of the window. The bar (3 to 4.5 inches) reduces the amount of glass on a window that already has little glass area to being with. The bar is also a bigger eyesore on a small window. My recommendation for small windows and narrow windows: choose a window style that's either all fixed, or all operable (e.g., awning, casement, tilt & turn, or hopper).