simonton windows- profinish contractor series or reflections

weezeeSeptember 25, 2009

We have decided to go with simonton window/doors. Is there a very large difference between quaility of the profinish contractor series and the reflections series? Reflection series are twice the price. Trying to stay in budget, All windows would be low e argon gas. ufactor .28 shgc .23. Windows are either casements or awnings.

Thanks

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letsbuild123

I wondered the same thing. According to the Simonton rep I spoke to on their 800# the main difference is the warrany which is only 20 years on the Profinish but on the reflections it is 20 and then prorated. She did tell me the quote I have with the low e, argon glass and a 1" space (inceptor) was an upgraded package from the base as well so you may need to revisit those details.

I look forward to seeing others responses. Thanks for posting this for the forum.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:35PM
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weezee

bump

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 1:32AM
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skydawggy

The Pro-Finish does not qualify for the tax credit. It is a builder grade window. The warranty on the Reflections 5500 covers the vinyl, parts, weatherstripping and screens for as long as the original purchaser owns the home and then transfers fully to the next owner. The glass seal is covered 100% for the first 20 years, 75% to 50 years and then 50% as long as the windows are in the home.

If you got a price on the 5500 that was 2x the price of the Brickmold 600, then something isn't right. I would suggest getting another estimate.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 3:37AM
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lvpaguy2

I was about to go with BF Rich Vintage dressed up for the tax credit, from a reputable guy that just does windows and doors. But we are also getting a new roof and siding because of a hail storm (insurance paying the bill), and that contractor is a Simonton installer. He says he can give me 18 DH windows and a patio slider that qualify for the tax credit for $5,200 installed, because he is also getting the roofing and siding work.

We talked about the windows, and after researching the Simonton brand here and elsewhere, I had decided on the Reflections 5500. But the contractor is telling me that he quoted the 5050, and that it is the same window as the 5500, just different suppliers call them by different names. My research tells me differently.

Skydawggy, I have seen you are the Simonton expert on these window threads, and would like to get your input, if I may.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:44PM
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skydawggy

The Reflections 5050 is NOT the same window as the Reflections 5500.

The 5500 is Simontons "Flagship Window" these days. What that means is that the 5500 is available with all options like 2 tone finish, woodgrained interior, triple pane glass, balance covers etc. It can also be ordered with Super Spacer, 1" IGU, tempered glass, laminated glass etc and still qualify for the Tax credit. The 5500 is also available in all styles like DH, Casements, Sliders Bow and Bay, Awnings and Geometric shapes.

The 5050 is a much more basic window although it shares almost the same warranty as the 5500, it is only available in all white or all tan and only available as a DH, slider or picture window. When ordered with ETC starter glass with argon gas, it will meet the criteria for the tax credit but will not qualify if ordered with either tempered or double strength glass (don't ask me why, I have been trying to find out myself).

Bottom line is both windows share the same vinyl and parts. What's different other than the price and available options is the 5500 is a nicer looking window with cleaner welds at the corners and a softer appearance. It has a "stepped sill" as opposed to a straight sloped one and an extruded screen as opposed to a rolled form one.

We do sell a lot of 5050's to people on a tight budget or to people who want a decent quality window but don't plan on being in the house more than a few years. There are more size restrictions on the 5050 than the 5500. We sell a lot of 5500's to people who are concerned about aesthetics and/or desire the upgrade options.

I would advise you to look at an actual sample of both windows before purchasing. Don't take anyones word for comparisons.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 10:16PM
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lvpaguy2

Thank you for the detail and advice.

We will be in the house at least 10 years, and don't want to shortchange ourselves to save a few bucks. We had budgeted about 50% or so more than the quote on the 5050, so I will stick with the 5500.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 9:49AM
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lvpaguy2

What an adventure, to say the least. We chose the Simonton 5500. We love the WINDOWS even though they were ordered with less than specified features. But the install was a disaster, and still isn't done.

Mismeasured windows, the contractor started chiseling away exterior brickfront trim and sill to try and make them fit, mixed new construction and replacement windows to save cost. There are 8 windows the same size across the front of the house, half are inside brickfront and half are not. Since the ones in the brick need to be smaller, the windows in siding will have to be smaller to match. Contractor ordered 3/4" glass instead of 7/8" that was specified, baited and switched on the patio door, substituted the 6068 pro contractor (Simonton says it was upgraded to meet tax credit requirements) so this looks like a complete re-order. They also took out every window at once so they could scrap the aluminum, and just stuck the new ones in the holes without finishing a single install. Took down all the siding, soffit and fascia too, and only partially tyvek wrapped the house. This is late November in Pennsylvania!

OT - he also put on a roof without the quoted Ice and Water Shield in the roof valleys and at roof joints, or on low slope screen-porch roof. When I questioned him about it, he told me I didn't really need it, and that they didn't do the porch roof because it was a non-living area. Took down all the siding and soffits at the same time as well. How

Bottom line: Doesn't matter how good the window is if you hire a loser. It has been said on this forum a zillion times, but can never be said enough.

I think Simonton is a very good company that delivered what they were asked to deliver. Their customer service has been sympathetic and willing to listen, but in the end I picked a bad SOB of a contractor who somehow got references, including from a neighbor who now hides from me. Anyone can offer a great price if they don't plan on doing the work.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 9:46AM
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skydawggy

Is this the same contractor who told you the 5050 was the same as the 5500? Hopefully, you haven't paid him the full amount due.

I would start by filing a complaint with the Contractors licensing board. That is usually sufficient to get his attention. I would also demand the entire job be redone with the windows and door you ordered.

I'm very sorry to hear this happened to you. Again, it points out how important it is to ask for references. What I normally recommend is to ask for 100 or more and then randomly call 5 or 6 at least. If you sense any hesitation, you've got the wrong contractor. I would also back away from any contractor that lies to you about anything and I do mean ANYTHING!!!

Please let us know how it turns out. I wish you the best in getting this straightened out.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:29AM
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lvpaguy2

Yep. Same guy. He did my friend and neighbors roof, siding, bay and some DH windows. Turns out, the neighbor in question went to work for him as a labor hand - with no experience - a couple days after they started my house and was actually one of the chisel guys. I don't think the neighbor knows what is/isn't under his shingles, but the windows looked OK to me and to him.

I should have been more diligent, lots of egg on my face. But I will tell you, where I live, it is very difficult to get any contractor, and none put up with much inquiry. Very busy in this market, even now, and I didn't nickle and dime anyone, had the money to pay for most bids I got.

I had to put the door in or face the elements, and paid a reputable contractor/carpenter about $900 total to rebuild the opening to make the door work. It is not what I wanted, but it is ETC eligible and looks and operates better than I would have expected of that grade to work, so I may just keep it.

One saving grace: I didn't give him a penny (his offer not to pay till the job was done). He did scrap my aluminum siding, soffit, and windows, but that can't be worth that much. And, this is PA where the law changed drastically in July. The onus is on the contractor, with very specific items that must be in the contract or it is unenforceable. Lets just say his paperwork skills aren't any better than his window measuring skills. So, right now, he is out 20 square of GAF/ELK 30 year archectural shingles and related materials, some tyvek and tape, a couple squares of siding, $4200 worth of windows at his cost, some trim coil, and the several days he and his crew spent here.

I can file with the AG's office if I want, and I will. But I will likely just find a reputable contractor to redo all the work and send his windows back to him and call it a day, since I am not out anything but time and aggravation, and I like to think I can put that behind me. If the cost goes over, I'll pursue the difference.

Thanks for you concern, Skydawggy. Feels better to know there are good guys out there, somewhere. I will let you know how I make out.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 4:46PM
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skydawggy

I'm glad to hear you have most of your money at least. I'd tell him he can have all his product back when he returns what money you did give him. I really hope you will reconsider and still go after this guy with a complaint to the Contractors Board and the AG. Perhaps you can prevent someone else from getting raked by this idiot.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 7:58PM
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