Alside Excalibur Vinyl Replacement Window Reviews and Pictures

Dave Traynor, our founder offers up his review and evaluation.

Having installed hundreds of Alside windows of all makes and models I feel well qualified to review these windows in an unbiased manner.  Obviously no one sells a problem product for very long and this product has gotten a bit of a bad reputation due to the reviews of it's many competing manufacturers.  Here in Dallas it's a great product.

This was a six lite bow unit converted to a three lite bay type unit.  The frames in this application are about five inches on the interior and just under six inches on the exterior.

The Alside Corporation or Associated Building Materials was named the Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2000, 2001 and 2002.  It has also been named a Consumers Digest Best Buy and a Better Homes and Gardens Best Buy over the last 5 years or so.  It is Energy Star Rated and Approved with a U-Value of .30 and a SHGC that is .28-.29 with it's Climatech Low E Glass and Argon but can go all the way down to a SHGC of .21 or .22 with their Climatech Elite Plus Glass Package.  There is also a middle glass package product called the Climatech Elite.

For the most part, better spacer systems and double Low E Glass (Low E on the inside of both panes of glass) make up the higher performing packages.  They do not affect U-Values.

It is a full framed )3 1/4" frame thickness (interior to exterior measurement) type window with the smallest frame size available in a retrofit product. 

It has a frame of only 2 1/2" in the single hung 02AO Model, keeping the glass size as large as possible.  This is why it plays well in Southern Applications.

There are several other models from Alside that are not the same.  The 0700 has only a 2 3/4" thickness.  The Centurion is a "little brother" to the Excalibur.  It's somewhat "bigger brothers" include the Scheffield, the Ultra-Max and the ever popular Casement line. 

Centurion is a mechanical corner assembly and we don't use that one or the 0700 as it's more a builders grade thickness used primarily by siding applicators.  Most of our customer base is in homes of $250K and up. 

The Single Hung is acually more expensive than the Double Hung in this manufacturer due to service costs being higher on Single Hungs.  (The sashes are not removable and easily replaced, as is the case with the Double Hung).

I've had no problems with the glass packages or the hardware or constant force sash balancers and in fact have replaced only one piece of glass in the last 8 years of retail sales (roughly $1,000,000 in product purchases).

This is an Excalibur Double Hung with grids as an oriole.  Orioles are windows with a taller top sash than the bottom sash of the window.

This is the Excalibur Double Hung Vinyl Replacement Window in a Brick opening.  I don't write a lot of reviews but this one has gotten a bad rap and I wanted to weigh in with the rest of the replacement window reviews I see online.

The bad window reviews I've seen have been from installers in the Northern part of the country.  They seem to be vendors for Soft Lite and Gorrell but I've seen a few others as well.  To better understand it's important to see the differences in climate and in product types, the potential for personal motivation in tearing down some product to make yours look better (I know this is shocking, but it does happen).

The Northern Perspective

In the North you need a lower U value and a higher Solar Heat Gain Coeffecient.  They also primarily are using the vinyl replacement windows in a wood buck style installation.  This means the windows are wider and not as awkward looking when you install a frame that is very wide.  Many of the vinyl Double Hung Replacement Windows on the market have frames that are 3 3/4" thick and correspondingly have much smaller panes of glass.   The smaller glass means better performance, but at the cost of the light from smaller glass.  Window reviews seldom mention frame size and thickness.

Alside Excalibur Double Hung Oriole with no grids in a brick opening.  This window has a frame that is close to three and one half inches in width for a slightly bulky wood window look on the exterior of the homes windows

In Texas, and Dallas area specifically, we have quite a few bow and bays as well as a lot of windows that are only 20 to 24" in width.  The Excalibur is the only window on the market that can deliver a glass width of just under 19" as opposed to the 16 1/2" of glass you'll see in many replacement window products at the 24" mark.  Simply said.  They have less frame and more glass, specifically in the Single Hung Vinyl units 02AO.

Overall I find this product to be a good value and a good buy.  As with all vinyl replacement windows the primary part of the project is the installation.  I know that we do that better than anyone in Dallas.  Our awards, our customers and our actual pictures and actual window projects serve as proof positive that there is no better installation for replacement windows available in North Texas.

The Installation Variable

There is no detail that is more significant than the quality of workmanship involved in the installation of the vinyl window itself.  While it seems as though any good contractor could do it, that is often not the case. Homes are built with builders grade windows that are installed with Nailng Fins attached to the framework, behind the brick or siding. There are tricks to removing the windows without damaging the home or the interior sheetrock.  Also the sealant type can be a variable of $20 per window when optimal results are desired.  The sealants we use are the OSI Quad with a hand tooling for a seamless appearance. 

Our home helper caulking video shows some of that process.

Because we are a small company we offer personalized service and the most skill on the jobsite of any window provider in Dallas. Quality of installation is all that shows after FIVE years of typical wear and tear.  If it was done in an exceptional manner, it will look and work great.  If the installation of the window is substandard, the results are pretty ugly and can depreciate the value of the home.  In my opinion the caulking beads, the trim job and the squareness of the windows are the key factors.  They also have to be shimmed up to prevent the sill from bowing.

Some window installation companies pay their crews as little as $30 per window to tear out and install, trim and seal a window.  The most generous pay $60 per window.  We put $100 per window on the ground at the install to assure the highest levels of quality to the install.  No one cares about your homes windows more than we do.

This is an Excalibur Bay window with a Picture window center pane and double hung flankers.  These are actually thicker than the Single Hung Version with the smaller frame

Bay window with Double Hung Vinyl Replacement Excaliburs.  This was a great product to offer a review on!

Alside Excalibur Picture windows and single hung windows in a bow window unit

This Bay was built from Single Hung Excaliburs and Picture Windows.  As you can see the mulls are still pretty thick.  Can you imagine the amount of frame when you get to the 7 1/2" mullion from two big bulky windows?

There are many reasons why the Alside Excalibur Single Hung is a good value and a good product.  Remember that installation is everything and call us today if we can help you personally.

As you look over replacement window reviews remember that it's a matter of preference in many cases.

Call us today and find out how sales expertese and craftsmanship in windows can be affordable.

(972) 620-1994

NT Windows Dealer of the Year for Energy Master Vinyl Replacement Windows

For a brief demonstration of a window installation have a look at our video (I'm pretty proud that it's had more than 18,000 views in less than two years)

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