New-build vinyl windows – durable enough to justify triple-pane?
I’m building a new house in climate zone 4-marine and have bids back for regionally-manufactured vinyl windows, both double and triple pane. Depending on the brand, triple-pane is 10-25% more, or about $3-7 per rough square foot. U-value goes from 0.27 (code minimum is 0.30 here) to 0.20 with triple-pane. The sales guy cautioned me that vinyl windows are not multi-generation investments and may begin to fail before the extra layer of glass pays back. So should I just be happy with a great value on U=0.27 windows, or am I missing an opportunity to spend a little extra up front for better performance? And is it reasonable to assume that new vinyl windows will simply be replaced within 50 years by something better?
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