Because we are within one mile of the coast, the new building code requires impact resistant windows. Another option is to have plywood panels cut to size, ready to be installed in case of a major storm. The thought of worrying about when to have the plywood put up, how to have it put up if we’re not there, and what a plywood encased house would be like during a storm led us to go with the more expensive impact resistant windows.
Andersen windows are probably the most common major window brand, especially on Cape Cod. We have them in our current house and have been happy with them. Their impact windows, though, require extra levers and blocks to make them impact resistant, resulting in a less attractive window. A vinyl window, like those made by Harvey Industries, would probably be the cheapest option, but vinyl windows typically just don’t look as good. The glass is often set in front of the building plane which just doesn’t look right and the ‘welded’ corners are a little sloppy. There is a Pella store right in Centerville and they were a strong contender. We also looked at windows from Marvin, Kolbe & Kolbe, Weathershield and others. In the end we decided on Eagle Windows. They are a beefier window and, because of that, are good candidates for impact windows without the need for extra blocks and levers. They are a wood window with a heavy aluminum cladding and are a little less expensive than most of the others. I had used some of their larger sizes in several schools. Andersen recently bought the company, which means they will probably become more prevalent.
I had always anticipated having white windows, which is very typical on Cape Cod. Eagle offers fifty standard colors at no additional charge, and the idea of a colored sash is interesting. They probably don’t get much call for at least two-thirds of their colors, though. Some of them are rather jarring. The color decision wasn’t easy. We had them send us some actual samples on aluminum, but weren’t quite sure of the right color. I decided to try a window mock-up. I bought some four pane picture frames to simulate the window sash, and Sherwin Williams stores have the paint formulas for Eagle colors. Eagle has a deep red color that could be very interesting, but you don’t want to have the windows installed and then find that the color’s not right. I painted the picture frame and put it against one of our windows and, it works. Eagle’s ‘Cinnamon Toast’ color looks sharp.