Okna 400 windows v. Soft-Lite Pro

MackusJuly 20, 2012

I'm deciding between Okna 400 windows or Soft-Lite Pros.

From reading around, it seems like most consider the Okna's to be slightly better, but if the Soft-Lite's are considerably cheaper those are still very good windows and could be a better value.

What is the typical install cost in the Baltimore / mid-Atlantic area for each of these windows? I've gotten a quote on the Okna's and am awaiting numbers on the Soft-Lite Pros. I also had a quote on Wincore 5400's that was higher than the Okna 400, from my research is seems like the Okna's are a better product so I am no longer considering the company quoting me for the Wincore's.

Thanks

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EcoStarRemodel

The Softlite Pro is an excellent window. It is every bit as good as the Okna 400. Foam filled frames and sashes, double strength glass, Super Spacer, nice profile, .28 u-factor, excellent customer service and made by a reputable company that is a major player in the industry.

I don't know what you have heard other than opinion that would make you think the Okna 400 is a better window.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Mackus

It was largely just opinions, but it seemed like more people's opinions preferred the Okna 400 to the Softlite Pro.

I didn't tally down each response, but that was my overall impression. I'm pretty much thinking that I'll go with whichever ends up being the least expensive. I'm quite confident in the professionalism and the level of install and warranty I'll get from each of the companies installing the windows, so the two main variables are the actual windows and the cost.

Thanks for the quick response.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 1:32PM
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windowsonwashington

I prefer the 400 of those two and the 500 is a better option in the Okna line.

That being said, the Pro is solid window and compares well to the 400.

If the price is tangibly less expensive, that is the better deal.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:20PM
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EcoStarRemodel

The Wincore 5400 is their lower end window. A fairer comparison to the Softlite Pro and the Okna 400 would be the Wincore 7700.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:22PM
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toddinmn

Most comments that I see that could be viewed as negative come from Soft-Lite Element/LS dealers.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 6:32PM
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HomeSealed

For the most part I'd agree with the above comments. The Okna 400 (in DX form) should beat the Pro in every rating, but by a small margin. If cost was no factor, I would choose the 400 by a slight margin, but I agree that installation quality and price factors should really make your choice between these two. Both are essentially the "entry level" products of their respective companies, yet both are better than 90+% of the other choices that you'll find.
Kudos to you on a narrowing your search to a couple of great choices.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:02PM
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toddinmn

The Pro is in the upper middle of the Soft-lite line-up.The Barrington is soft-Lites entry level window.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:45PM
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EcoStarRemodel

Yep. Barrington, Bainbridge, Classic, Pro, Imperial L/S any Elements. In that order. All of them are great windows at their respective price points.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:53AM
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windowsonwashington

I am probably in the HomeSealed camp on this one.

I prefer the Bainbridge over the Pro personally and I think it is slightly better at what it does but that is just reversing the middle of the pack.

The LS and Elements are certainly the top performers and in all of the windows listed above, their "entry" level performance is still miles ahead of most of the junk out there sold today.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:27AM
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toddinmn

What does it do that is better?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:18PM
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mmarse1

keep in mind, although the 400 is Okna's economical line, its still considered a solid window. the soft lite pro is pretty good for the price.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:31PM
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windowsonwashington

Todd,

The numbers on them are basically the same but the Bainbridge looks a bit more minimalist to me and appears (not any different) to be a bit narrower.

It also tends to come in at a price point that is more of that entry level designation than does the Pro

The are basically the same performance wise but the Pro is an R-50 vs and R-40.

Most personal opinion in this case.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:38AM
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toddinmn

The numbers on all of these windows listed are basically the same.As far as pricing goes I have not seen anything to indicate that the Bainbridge was cheaper than the Pro, I think this pricing could go either way depending on dealer.The Pro does have better numbers though and asthetics come down to personel opinion.WOW, Do you sell the Pro?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 12:47PM
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EcoStarRemodel

We sell the Softlite Pro. However, our price point on it is about the same as the Sunrise. Very few people don't prefer the Sunrise to the Pro if for no other reason than aesthetics.That doesn't mean the Pro isn't a nice looking window, because it is. Most of the Pro's we sell are due to it's availability of a large selection of exterior colors. I think the Softlite Pro competes very well with the Okna 500.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 6:34PM
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windowsonwashington

Todd,

We don't sell the Pro but we have access to it. The same could be said for the Bainbridge.

I stated in the post just prior to yours that the Bainbridge and Pro have relatively the same performance data with the slight edge going to the Pro in the DP category.

The OP did not indicated a price, however, I was basing my opinion on personal observation. The Bainbridge tends (in my observation) to be sold at a slightly more aggressive price point. Hence the reason that I said it "slightly better at what it does".

The two are very similar and I am sure that in many cases, the Pro is priced out a little bit less than the Bainbridge. That is just not my observations.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:30AM
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toddinmn

Interesting way of saying a window is better value without knowing the price. The Pro is perceived by most as a better window than the Bainbridge and would be the better value if priced the same or slightly more.For me the Barrington is 13% more than Classic and the Pro is 1% more than the Barrington in the 91-100 ui range. I don't have my prices on the Bainbridge but it is more than the Pro.Element/LS dealers usually get better pricng on the Bainbridge and Barrington.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:02AM
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windowsonwashington

I haven't priced out the comparative lately but I was mostly referring to what I see in my marketplace. Hence the reason that I "personally" in nearly every post that I made on the subject matter.

And since when did what a unit cost at all indicate what it is taken to market at?

My point from the outset was that the Bainbridge is typically priced at that lower price point given that it is perceived at that lower level and for that matter, it tends to fill that market placement a bit better than the similarly performing Pro.

What is really interesting is the fact that the original poster has probably long since made a decision and the last dozen or so posts have been contractors debating. Go figure.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:17AM
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HomeSealed

" I think the Softlite Pro competes very well with the Okna 500." -Ecostar

Having sold and installed both, I'd have to HIGHLY disagree. The 400 series vs the Pro is at least debatable, but you are looking at the Imperial LS if you want apples to apples to the Okna 500. The 500 wins by multiple points in nearly every rating at comparable trim/feature levels against the Pro. It also looks better, feels better, operates smoother, and on and on...
I think that the Pro is a very good window, but certainly not "cutting-edge", or "excellent". The fact is, it is Softlite's OLD flag-ship product, that is now sold through distribution and/or to dealers that Softlite won't let sell the Imperial LS or Elements, which are their new, world-class products. It is a nice "alternative" offering when folks are looking for a specific option, or don't really care about appearance, but want very good performance at a fair price.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:32PM
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EcoStarRemodel

You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. The Pro comes with re-enforced frames, foam in the frame and sash, Super Spacer, double strength glass and a wide array of options not available on the Okna 500 including foil laminate exterior colors as well as a color match paint feature for those consumers who have very picky Home Owner Associations. Aesthetic are really just a matter of opinion. The Softlite Classic is a good example, while some may find it has a 1980's look, some purchasers like it that way. It's the reason Softlite started re-production on it.

So really the only performance difference between the Okna 500 Deluxe and the Softlite Pro is .05 difference in AI and .03 difference in U-factor. So unless someone can explain to a consumer how much additional savings they would realize by purchasing the Okna 500 over the Softlite Pro, I'd say both windows are pretty evenly matched.

As for available options, foil laminate etc. the Softlite is the clear winner.

Another reason to choose the Softlite Pro is that it's a more competitively priced window because Softlite doesn't restrict the number of dealers who can sell it the way Okna does with their window lines. So the consumer is very likely to be able to negotiate a better price.

I won't even get into the real reasons window manufacturers restrict their "cutting edge" windows to specific dealers.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:25AM
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EcoStarRemodel

BTW, if the Softlite Pro is upgraded to the SolarBan 70XL, the U-factor drops to .27. On a scale of .00-1.0 that's only a 2% difference in energy performance. That doesn't even translate to a 2% difference in utility savings.

That's not even considered a hairs breath in energy performance. In fact it takes very sophisticated equipment to even measure that difference.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:11AM
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toddinmn

Sounds like you are trying to say that the Pro is better at what it does?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:05AM
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EcoStarRemodel

No, I'm trying to clarify to the consumer what "Better" means. I commend Okna for pushing the energy efficient envelope. I think they have challenged a lot of manufacturers and helped make the window industry better overall. But I think to insinuate to consumers that they are going to see any difference in their utility bills between a window with a .02 AI rating and one with a .07 rating is a bit of a stretch. So sure, in a window-techies world, the Okna does outperform nearly every window on the market. But,I think doing so without explaining that that scant difference is only achieved in a 25 mph wind is a bit disingenuous. The question all consumers want to know is "does that mean I will have lower utility bills?" The answer is "no".

I also think ignoring the better overall choice of options that Softlite offers on the Pro such as the vast array of two tone options, one of which is the foil laminate exterior, is something important that a consumer should consider if their requirements are for a two tone window.

In addition, since the Softlite Pro is available to more dealers, the consumer is very likely to get a better price on it since it's more competitively priced. At least that has been my observation in my marketplace here in Virginia.

Lastly, let me mention that although we do offer the Softlite Pro as an option to our customers, it is not our main bread and butter window nor is is the only brand we offer. But that's not because we don't think it's a very nice window at a pretty nice price point.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:57AM
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HomeSealed

Holy spin machine batman! By your logic, the Alside Excalibur would be a great choice with its endless array of options and "close enough" performance.
The fact is that there are a group of products at the top of the vinyl window world that have very similar ratings, including the Okna 500/800 and the Softlite Imperial LS/Elements (and a couple others). These are all in the same conversation as "excellent". This is a premise that cannot be argued with. Perhaps you should have consulted with Softlite before they spent millions developing a replacement for that window.
If Alex P. Keaton ever calls, I'll be sure to show him the Pro ;)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:21AM
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EcoStarRemodel

No issue with the ratings. What can be argued is what this means to a consumer and at what cost?

Example:

Some dealers of the "Elite Windows" in my market, sell the brands you like for around $700-$8 50 per window. I have quoted the same job using the Softlite Pro for less than $500 per window.

Please explain why a consumer who has 25 windows would benefit by spending more than $5000-$6000 more to replace their windows using one of these "Elite Windows" as opposed to using the Softlite Pro. Explain how much more saving they would realize per year with the difference between a .02 AI rating and a .07 and a U-factor of .25 compared to one at .027.

Sure sounds like hair-splitting at it's best.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:33AM
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HomeSealed

Pricing is another issue entirely, and will vary by market. The are also dealers selling those elite products in the $4-$500's. As a matter of fact, my cost on the Pro is about 10% higher than my cost on the 500 (and my pricing reflects that difference).
My issue with the original comments is the characterization of the Pro as and "excellent" product. It is not. It is very good, and can be a good choice at the right price. Given equal prices, the 500 wins every time. The OP's question was regarding product only, as he had not even received all of his prices.
I'd also add that the "widespread availability" of a given product is a double edged sword at best, if not a downright negative. The largest complaint/fear in contracting is fly-by-night contractors who are here today, gone tomorrow, or take your money and run. Manufacturer-direct dealers go through a vetting process for financial stability and in many cases professionalism and quality, whereas any Joe Blow with a pick-up truck can buy a window through a distributor.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:50AM
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EcoStarRemodel

I'm responding to a question from a consumer who is in my market area. I'm pretty sure I know it better than you do. Still waiting for an explanation as to why a consumer should spend $5000 more to get an elite window. In fact, I'll make it even easier. Explain why they should spend $2000 more to get a .05 AI rating "IN A 25 MPH WIND" and a U-factor .02 lower. How much additional annual savings do they get in the D.C./Baltimore area using those numbers?

So companies who limit their dealers are more credible? You mean like Schuco? A window that dealers were price gouging on and selling often for well over $1000 per window? Of course that was before Schuco just decided they weren't interested in the residential window market anymore and left their dealers and customers twisting in the wind with no warranty or support.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:03AM
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EcoStarRemodel

To clarify my comments above. I meant to say:

"Explain why they should spent $2000 more to get a window with a DIFFERENCE of .05 AI rating".

Will be eagerly waiting for your answer.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Mackus

I'm happy to have sparked such a lively discourse :)

I am still in the decision making process, but I have gotten my pricing on the Okna 400s.

I am getting 8 windows replaced, two are very large (~120 u.i) and one is rather small (~45 u.i). The other 5 are all about average size as I'd call it (~90 u.i). The price was in the $575-$600 range per window installed (about $625 for the average/large windows and about $400 for the tiny guy), plus the cost for removing my current windows.

Getting my estimate for the Soft-Lite Pro's on Friday so hopefully by this time next week I'll have firm numbers to compare for each product. Right now I'm leaning towards price being my biggest deciding factor, as from this thread and others it appears that both the Soft-Lite Pro and the Okna 400 would be solid choices that meet all of my needs.

I appreciate everyone's comments in response to my question. It's been very informative!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:16AM
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EcoStarRemodel

Both of those windows would be excellent choices. I would give very heavy consideration to whom you think would do the best job on the installation. If everything else is equal, I'd go with the Softlite Pro if for no other reason than it has re-enforcements and foam filled frame and sash. I would also encourage you not to go with the low solar gain glass on either window in this region.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:28AM
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EcoStarRemodel

I should also mention that the Okna 400 is available with foam in the frame and sashes, but it's an extra charge and requires an upgrade to the Deluxe package. The Softlite Pro comes with foam at no additional charge. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Mackus

The pricing I mentioned included an upgrade to the deluxe version. Thanks for the clarification, though.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:34AM
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EcoStarRemodel

I would also ask for references, check the BBB and read reviews on sites like Angies List. These sources will not tell you which company uses the best installation procedures but they will give you a sense of the companies management and their willingness to resolve problems if they come up.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Mackus

Fortunately, I'm quite confident in both of the companies I'm considering. One is a very well regarded window company in the area (not one of the ones with the pushy salesmen offering you 10% off if you make a rash decision on the day they come out to your house). One of the first estimates I got was from one such company (~$675/window for Wincore 5400) and they were crazy pushy and tried to tell me they were installing the windows at cost to them because they considered my house to be a marketing opportunity in a market they would like to do more business in.

Everything in terms of BBB and Angie's List raves about the quality of the install and the warranty form the company that quoted my the Okna's. The other is actually a contractor I've done a very large project with in the past and have been extremely pleased with who has a partnership with a local window company/manufacturer to procure the windows and then they would install them.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:58AM
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EcoStarRemodel

Good for you. Sounds like you are on the right track. Please keep us updated.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:07AM
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mmarse1

for what its worth, both the okna 400 and 500 achieve a DP rating of 50; thats without any reinforcement and with a welded sloped sill.
many companies take short cuts to achieve a DP rating of 50 by utilizing the very flawed Pocket sill.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:10AM
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EcoStarRemodel

I'd rather have a DP50 window with sash re-enforcements than a DP50 window without them. A DP rating does not assure a windows sash will not bow, especially on larger windows. A sash re-enforcement does. Plus when the locks are attached, they are set into the metal re-enforcement instead of just being screwed into hollow chambered vinyl. Another reason I prefer the Softlite Pro.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:18AM
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HomeSealed

Eco, you are arguing with yourself here.What is actually rather funny is that you have gone from contending that the products are on the same level, to now essentially admitting that they are not, but saying "Well they are not worth a $2k premium"... Nowhere have I or anyone else said that a difference in .05 AI is worth an additional $2k.
(On a side note: On the market difference, I may not do business there, but I happen to know for a fact what Okna products are selling for in your area. This is not top secret info.)
Lastly:
1) The situation with one or even a handful of manufacturers like Schuco is utterly irrelevant. There are far more people that are screwed over by fly-by-night contractors than those unfortunate enough to have their manufacturer go out of business.
2) Again going back to your ludicrous agreement about actual energy savings based on ratings: if you look at the ratings to determine nothing but the money that you'll save on your bills, then again I'd say that EVERYONE should buy the Window World 4000 at $189. Talk about bang for the buck! That would truly be the best choice based on your logic here.
The fact is, small differences in ratings can be very much indicative of the design and build quality of a given product, and in this particular case, it reflects the difference between a cutting edge product and one with an antiquated design that needs the kitchen sink thrown at it in terms of options just to keep up.

Mackus, the price that you received on the 400 sounds pretty reasonable. If the Pro comes in around the same range, I like the 400 better, but I'd actually see about getting the 500DX quoted as well. If the Pro comes in far less, then it may be the better choice assuming equal installation. As I stated earlier (despite how others would like to characterize my statements), the Pro is a good window, and at the right price, it very well could be your best choice.
BTW, if you are comparing these two products, you might consider contacting two of the posters in this very thread. Ecostar mentioned that he sells the Pro and Sunrise, and despite my disagreement with him on this topic, he obviously takes his craft very seriously. Windows on Washington also serves your area and offers the HiMark/Okna line among others and would be a tremendous choice... Just a thought ;)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:27AM
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EcoStarRemodel

1. Non-sequitur. The OP is dealing with 2 apparently reputable companies. My point was only that a high end "Elite Window" purchase is no guarantee that the consumer will be satisfied in the long term. Avoiding a seedy contractor is much easier than a manufacturer who just simply decides they no longer want to produce windows.

2. Again, non-sequitur unless you are going to insinuate that Softlites commitment to quality is on a par with WW's manufacturer.

The fact is small differences in rating do not necessarily indicate design and build quality. Case in point, you agree that Sunrise makes a very good window. But the best U-factor they acheive with 366 glass is .28 and the AI rating is .04. Using your "line of thinking", we could conclude that the Okna 400 is a better window. Is that what you are suggesting?

Are you also suggesting that sash re-enforcements have no value and that Softlite "throws them in" just to keep up? Would you feel comfortable selling someone a window wider than 40" in a hot climate without sash re-enforcements?Truth is, in 10-15 years that Okna 400 without sash re-enforcements is very likely to have a higher AI rating than the Softlite Pro with them.

BTW, thanks for the shout out but we only do business in Virginia.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 12:16PM
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HomeSealed

In response to your points :
1> I disagree for reasons that I've already mentioned.
2> Same answer. I was only continuing the line of logic that you established.

Regarding your comparison to Sunrise: The Okna 400 gets a .28 and .05AI, which is slightly worse than the Sunrise. I'd say that is an accurate description. The 500 on the other hand is better (than Sunrise), and I'd agree with that as well, although they are probably on about the same level.
Given my experience installing the Pro (not just selling ;) ), I would say that the 400 series will have better AI (than the Pro) on day one AND throughout its lifespan. It has a thicker vinyl wall, superior design (stouter sill and interlock), and more weatherstripping.
On sash reinforcement in general, I am not saying that it is utterly irrelevant. I do indeed prefer to sell a window with sash reinforcement on a window over 40", especially in a hot climate. If not abnormally wide, then it is not necessary in a window that is well designed and built.
A fair comparison of the two windows would be with equal option content (ie: with or without reinforcement).
Okna without :DP50 Softlite without: DP30?
Okna with :DP60 (800 series) Softlite with: DP50?

Your primary offering is Sunrise, correct? Last time I checked, it does not offer reinforcement standard, and the reinforcement that is offered on the higher lines is not metal (which is undesirable, thus the fact that no premium window developed in the last decade uses metal reinforcement). If your primary window offering does not offer metal reinforcement, your cheer-leading for it in this thread sounds somewhat disingenuous.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:55PM
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dennisgli

Posted by windowsonwashington:
What is really interesting is the fact that the original poster has probably long since made a decision and the last dozen or so posts have been contractors debating. Go figure.

Good point!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:19PM
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HomeSealed

That's no fun Dennis! Lol... in addition to the fact that the OP was still posting questions late this AM. Nothing wrong with a little healthy debate among pros. I think that such debates give consumers insight, and open them to perspectives that you won't hear in an ordinary sales pitch. :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:57PM
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windowsonwashington

Fight...fight...fight!!!!

Just kidding.

The only point I would add is that the Okna 500 is the more preferable of the window choices between the Okna 400 and 500.

Knowing the pricing like I do, the delta is very slight and I would prefer the 500 if it were my home.

If you want to look at the class leading from each manufacturer, look at the 800 and the Soft-Lite Elements.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:00PM
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HomeSealed

Can't argue with that, lol. For the minor premium, I'd choose the 500 over the 400 eleven times out of ten.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:34PM
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EcoStarRemodel

I'd choose the Softlite Pro or the Okna 500 over the Okna 400.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Mackus

I called and it's $30 more per window for the 500's versus the 400's. Sounds like the consensus is that this surcharge is well worth it. That pushes my per-window cost up to about $655 per window.

So now comparing the Okna 500's to the Soft-Lite Pro, which I'm getting an estimate on tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:44AM
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HomeSealed

Mackus, while I do believe that the 500 is worth every bit of $650 and is the best window that you've seen, you might be able to do a little bit better on price unless you have some major installation difficulties. I'd search out another quote or two on that product. I think that you could probably see a price under $600 per unit with a top notch installation and reputable company.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 11:13PM
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EcoStarRemodel

Looks like it could cost as much as $5000 more for the Okna 500. This is what many homeowner run into when they seek out windows that the manufacturer limits the number of dealers in a geographic area. That type of marketing stategy is very anti-consumer IMO. It does not give the consumer as competitive a market and leads to a greater incident of dealer price gouging. I'm sure you would agree that's likely the case here.

I agree with your advice that the OP should seek out more estimates and see if he can do a little better. I know he can do better with the Softlite Pro.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:56AM
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EcoStarRemodel

Clarification: $5000 more using the example I used previously based on a 25 window install.

The OP's 8 windows would still cost nearly $1600 more. Sorry, I just don't see paying that much more for 8 windows. If the comparison was against a window that had a very bad reputation, I could see it, but not when comparing it against a decent window like the Softlite Pro. There's nothing that much better about the Okna 500 to jusify spending that much more.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 2:11AM
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rhhu

i have followed closely this comparison of the okna with the softlite pro. I am leaning toward the softlite pro double hung because I believe the frame is a bit thinner than the okna 500, and so, in my opinion, looks better from the inside. my question is whether i am giving up any substantial amount of performance for this and more light? my understanding is that both frames are equally rigid.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:37PM
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EcoStarRemodel

You are not giving up any "real world" performance. Any differences are only in the minds of the "Window Techies" who offer nothing more than anecdotal disagreements. The SL Pro is an excellent window and one you will be very happy with for a long time.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:22AM
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windowsonwashington

I am not going to thrust my hat into the argument but your comment about the Soft-Lite Pro having a narrower frame the the Okna 500 is not correct.

They have the same VT numbers when comparing similar glass packages and the frame reveals are basically identical.

Good lively discussion otherwise!!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:37AM
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rhhu

thanks for the response. I was not asking about differences in the VT, but rather the width of the respective frames. Unfortunately, i did not measure them when i was looking at them, but the okna 500 did seem to me to have a wider frame than the softlite pro.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 1:47PM
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windowsonwashington

They are the same size and both are near 2.75".

The VT number is the easiest number to look at (if comparing similar options and glass packages) to help quantify the frame sizes and reveals.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:05AM
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HomeSealed

rhhu,
As WoW explained the width from frame to glass is the same. On the rigidity of the frame, the 500 series will have a thicker outer wall of vinyl, and a more stoutly constructed sill (less likely to "frown" over the years. The Pro has the sash rail reinforcement and is not a bad window. If you surveyed 10 window professionals and asked which product offered superior looks and performance, 9 or 10 would say that it would be the 500 (as even the biggest Pro "proponent" did earlier in this thread). That said, as has also been discussed in this thread, the price and quality of installation should play a factor in choosing as both windows are in the upper echelon of choices.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Mackus

Is it typically the same cost to do a different color on the exterior for both the Okna 500 and the Soft-Lite Pros? Or is one cheaper than the other?

I've got a quote to do the exterior Okna windows on the front of my house (4 windows) a non-white color for about $150 per window for the standard colors that Okna offers (only a few) or about $250 per window for any color I want.

Haven't gotten a number yet on the Soft-Lite Pros, which I'm anxiously awaiting to compare the costs.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:56AM
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HomeSealed

That all depends on how each dealer prices the option. The only way to really compare imo, is to compare the full project price after all options have been added.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:22AM
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Mackus

My estimate for the Soft-Lite Pros came in at about $575 per window, compared to about $655 per window for the Okna 500s.

So all other things being equal, would most folks be of the opinion that the Solt-Lite Pro as a better value for ~$80 less a window while still being a high quality option?

Thanks again for all the advice and information. I definitely feel I've become a more informed consumer, although certainly a more annoying customer to the vendors, with me bouncing all sorts of questions off of them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 4:36PM
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EcoStarRemodel

That's about what I expected it to be. I cannot see any reason to pay $80 more for the Okna 500. If the Pro wasn't such a good window, then perhaps it would be worth going to the Okna.

As long as you are good with the installer, I'd say you got a good window at a good price.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 5:09PM
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HomeSealed

My advice to everyone I talk to is that they should purchase the best window that they can which fits into their budget. The only caveat to that, is the folks that do not have a realistic budget to begin with, but that is not a problem here.
Ultimately, you are spending $5k give or take. A difference of a few hundred dollars is going to be very small if not irrelevant in the grand scheme when you take into consideration the size of the purchase and the fact that you have to live with these windows for the next X number of years. If you have the windows for 20 yrs, that is a difference $2 and change per month, or $32 per yr. When you look at it that way, it doesn't seem to make much sense to base this choice on price.
My advice: Pick the window that you like better from the installation company that you like better. Easy as that. You won't go wrong either way on product (installer is another matter, but we can't really offer much on that without knowing the companies in question).
Easy enough ;)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:02PM
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EcoStarRemodel

Take that $640 in savings and go buy yourself 20 bags of fiberglass insulation for your attic. You will get a much better return overall.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 7:13PM
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toddinmn

Or if you wanna have some fun take the savings and get a 8-ball and a hooker.

$640 is $640 no matter how many months, years hours, or minutes you average it over.Using that logic you might as well get the Elements or the 800's it'll only be a few dollars more per( or so)per month to have the top performer.Reminds me of most car sales persons, they always want to know how much you can afford a month.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 10:50PM
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HomeSealed

I'd agree with Ecostar except that the money would be far more wisely spent on air-sealing your attic than simply adding insulation ;)
On Todd's comments, i'd agree that the 800 or Imperial LS/Elements would indeed be better choices. Characterizing it as salesmanship is ridiculous. Given the expected lifespan of the product, figuring the cost over that time period is not misleading, it makes good sense. If I was purchasing a pc i'd probably figure it over a span of 5yrs and so on and so forth depending on the product in question and the amount of time that I expect it to last/perform.
Despite the venom spewed via the past couple of posts, I'd reiterate that you should choose the product and installer that you feel is superior and that you prefer when the cost is relatively close as it is here.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Jayegirl

We are in Florida (more stringent window strength requirements). The Softlite Pro window meets or exceeds those requirements. We recently had them installed and pleased with the value, energy savings, appearance of these windows, and the noise reduction. We would recommend these highly to anyone.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:32AM
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windowsonwashington

What requirements about Florida did the window need to meet?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Karateguy

I'm not a big fan of the Pro at all. Someone mentioned an 80's design and that is about right. Regardless of how much you shoot it up with steroids to get decent ratings, it has old bones and the newer designs are much improved. One of the better windows available to be purchased by "chuck in a truck", but that is not a ringing endorsement.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 5:51PM
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