New Construction Simonton, Atrium, Silverline

upriverOctober 2, 2009


We are set to frame a new home and need to make a decision regarding vinyl windows.

We've priced several and are narrowing it down to Simonton ProFinish, Atrium and Silverline 3900.

From other posts, it appears Simonton is the best of the three. I don't see much on Atrium and Silverline appears to be on the lower end.

We have a lot of openings (43 windows if we go by the blueprint). Simonton came in about 25% higher (8k vs. 6K). Are they worth the difference? The U and SHGC ratings are close.

A friend (contractor who is not doing this job for us) recommends Silverline, he just installed them in his home. But the posts on the board have me wondering.

Any advice, thoughts, opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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My personal opinion is Atrium is the lowest rung in the food chain, i know there are people on here who will disagree and while i have never personally sold a vinyl Atrium unit i have sold enough other Atrium products to know i would not even take a product if theirs for free. There is not one good thing i could say about Atrium, and i am truly sorry to hear they are still in business!!!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 9:30AM
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12 year update on the Silverline 8000-8500 series. We built a new house in 2000 and asked the local window distributer for the windows he would use in his house. He stated that the Silverline windows were the best on the market and came with a lifetime warranty. So, we placed the order for 28 new windows. These were ordered with all of the bells and whistles. Double hung, Low-E, Argon filled, and internal grates. When the windows shipped they were nothing more than replacement windows with nailing fins attached to the frame.
After the first 5 years most of the sashes were replaced for one reason or another. The biggest issue was they used a rubber seal between the panes of glass to keep the argon gas in failed under fluctuating hot and cold weather as we get here in New Jersey. When this seal fails the argon escapes and the glass quickly becomes visually streaky because the Low-E film sticks to the glass. The second issue is the plastic clips that keep the windows in the track have become brittle and have been breaking.
By year 10 the majority of the sashes have failed and have been replaced under warranty. The main problem is that they will not replace the upper and lower sashes in pairs. They will only replace the unit that failed. When the new sash's were delivered they never matches the original sash. Now we have issues with air gaps and upper sashes that don't stay up when the windows are opened. Now every time we open a window the upper sash creeps down and the bugs are free to enter the house freely. Lower screen only, no full length screens were available for these windows. I've resorted to using white vinyl tape to keep the upper sash in place and keeping the air out.
I called customer service regarding this situation and I was told that since Anderson bought Silverline they had no ability to accurately match up the sash dimensions exactly. I requested that they replace the sashes in pairs and they said this is not covered in the warranty. At year 12, I give up! I'm looking to replace all of the windows in the house (again). I guess the "lifetime" warranty really isn't worth the paper it's written on. I'd crumple it up and throw it out the window, but I can't open the windows anymore! (Or see out of them either!!!)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Thanks for posting your experience with Silverline. Hopefully, this will help the next person who comes on here and argues with us that the U-factors and Solar Gains between 2 windows are the same and wants to know why they should pay more for a window that has identical performance numbers as the cheaper model they are considering. Brands of windows do mean something. The reputation of the manufacturer means something. This is the reason the Pro's on here mostly agree about certain brands.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:16PM
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silverline are a made cheaply, look cheap, and at the end of the day, cost alot of money because homeowners want to rip them out and install quality, essentially doing the job twice. unfortunately this is a common problem with silverline, excalibur, MI Windows, and pella.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Excellent. Great thread.

Let me tell you what many window companies are doing. Like Champion and WW. They are claiming an all encompassing lifetime warranty that lasts forever, including glass and screens. They are coming into the home with a mediocre crappy window, price gouging, and justifying it all with their warranty. The warranties are complete lies, and they will be abandoned within 10 years. They are also claiming lifetime warranties on installation, which is a lie also. They are also claiming to be factory direct and saying that they use employees and not subcontractors for their crews. This is a bold faced lie also. (I am all for sub-contractors and believe you get better work from them, but I'm not for lying.)

IMO, these are desperate measures in a down economy to get business any way they can, and lying is part of it. There are a few good vinyl window products, and a THOUSAND crappy ones. And they don't care. They legally cover their asses. They hedge their bets that you won't still be in the house, or that you won't follow through on warranties. It's disgusting. I'm up against it all the time.

There is no way a company can put that kind of a warranty on that kind of product, period. The money isn't there. The less you pay, the less is in the product, the less they pay their crews, the faster they bang it out. It's make the fast money while you can and then get out. You WILL DO THE JOB TWICE.

Do not fall for these unbelievable warranty lies, for price gouging, phony discounts, lack of integrity and hatchet workmanship.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:29PM
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