Thermal Industries vs. Okna vs. Tri State

thomas1975October 10, 2012

Hi. I'm in the process of researching/gathering prices to have 14 double-hung replacement windows (with full grates) installed, as well as 2 large picture windows. Through this and other forums I've heard that Okna are very good (I was quoted for D-400s with a special that Window King is offering through Angie's list), and I've read that Tri-State are good as well (currently they are offering their top of the line 5400 windows for the price of the low end 4100). I haven't found too much information on Thermal Industries (though after seeing all of the windows they all seemed about the same). So far I've received the following quotes (per window):

Thermal Industries: $550 including grates + $600 for each picture window

Okna D-400: $400 + $60 for grates (so $460/window) + $475 for each picture window

Tri-State 4100: $540 + $50 for grates (so $590/window) + $850 picture window

Tri-State 4200: $590 + $50 for grates (so $640/window) + $950 picture window

Tri-State 5400: $640 + $50 for grates (so $690/window) + $1,050 picture window

Tri-State 5400 (at 4100 price): $540 + $50 (so $590/window) for grates + $850 picture window

The 4200 and 5400 are triple pane, and the 5400 has Krypton. All other windows above are double pane with Argon.

The Tri-State seem very expensive but have a lifetime warranty, and the special on the 5400 is intriguing.

In summary, the 14 double-hung with grates and 2 picture windows with grates comes out to the following:

$8,200 for Thermal Industries (double pane w/ Argon)

$7,390 for Okna D-400 (double pane w/ Argon)

$9,960 for Tri State 5400 (triple pane w/ Krypton)

I'm leaning towards the Okna because not only are they the cheapest given the Angie's List deal, but I've heard great things. However, for an extra $2,300 is it worth getting the triple pane with Krypton TriState 5400? We're replacing original 1970s (single-pane) windows so anything should be a vast improvement.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Thanks!

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mmarse1

Depending upon what state you are in, ask about the Okna 500 with Krypton. Better window hands down than TriState..

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:28PM
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windowsonwashington

No comparison.

I would ask for the Okna 500 in this case and you can upgrade it to triple pane argon and get better performance out of that unit than the comparable krypton equip tristate.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:33PM
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HomeSealed

+1 to the previous posts. If you like the idea of triple pane, get it quoted in Okna. You are in the very fortunate (and uncommon) situation where the best window that you are looking at also happens to be the lowest price.
Given that they are picture windows (I assume that means that they will be fixed/non-operable), the quality difference will be less pronounced than say a double-hung, but even still, your best method of comparison will be the thermal and structural performance ratings. As long as you compare glass packages "apples to apples", the Okna will win every time.
I like the triple pane argon option as the best "bang for the buck", and as WoW said, it should be very close to the other options' krypton.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:53PM
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thomas1975

Thanks everyone. I'll try to get a quote for the Okna 500. Are they that much better than the 400? I am trying to keep overall cost down.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:39AM
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mmarse1

the okna 500 in triple pane argon gets you a Ufactor of .19 .

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:48AM
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windowsonwashington

The cost differential between the 400 and 500 varies by contractor, however, most times it is about $30 - $50.

The Soft-Lite options Eco mentioned are also a good alternative but afford no advantage over the 400 series. I would not recommend the Simonton in that comparison because the Soft-Lite is a better window and gives you more glass to boot.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:50AM
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HomeSealed

The Simonton is okay, but there is absolutely NOTHING that is excellent about it, from performance ratings to fit and finish. Certainly there are no "measurable benefits" over either the Okna or Softlite offerings. Here is a pic if the sill dam cut short so they filled it with wood putty... And this is supposed to be a "demo" quality window.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:53AM
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HomeSealed

Another pic if the fit and finish. It is certainly subjective as to whether or not this would be considered excellent quality, but in my opinion it is not.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:00AM
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HomeSealed

Lastly, a pic of the Simonton and Okna 800 to illustrate the difference in frame vs glass. The Okna 500, Softlite Pro and Barrington would all have an even larger discrepancy... I do agree with Eco however that some people prefer the "bulkier" look. Just not many in my experience.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:04AM
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mmarse1

the frame on the simonton is much wider which means you lose alot of glass. the sill wall on the Okna is mortised into the frame whereas the simonton "butts" against the frame and as we can see from the picture, it can cause a gap that lets water and air through. that wont happen with the Okna .
i am not particularly fond of simonton from both a performance and design perspective.
since when does JD Powers mean anything? it doesnt.consumer reports is another paid for scam.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:41AM
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uneeda

"Let�s water and air through" Really! The 5500 can be upgraded to a DP50 without reinforcement and a DP65 with reinforcement so the water must be pouring in. Also we have AI test results of .07 on the 5500 so there goes your air theory.

I�m not saying the Simonton upper end products perform as well as the best from a few other manufactures but Simonton puts out a very nice product with great service and warranty.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:31AM
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mmarse1

as you can clearly see in the pic, the simonton sill wall is flimsy and moves with a slight push of the finger. both soft lite and okna mortise their sill walls to prevent that from happening. thats where attention to detail and engineering come into play. simonton have a similar issue in the header wall with lots of movement.
simonton clearly need to redesign their window in my opinion.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 9:42AM
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windowsonwashington

I don't think anyone is saying the Simonton is a bad window. It isn't at all.

Is it is nice as some of what are considered the higher end units, probably not but it is a solid unit.

The unit that has the air number of 0.07 (the lowest of their models) is somewhat abnormally large (as are all the lower AI units) and by doing so, does somewhat askew the numbers.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 5:00PM
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uneeda

I think thats exactly what he is saying. He wrote that air and water can come through the sill dam when the testing proves it does not.

He also wrote that "the sill wall is flimsy and moves with a slight push of the finger. What I see in the picture is is a red finger and thumb from the amout of pressure that must be applied to bend the sill dam.He also wrote that there is an issue with the header wall and movement.I would like to know where that is.

This guy is talking like he is in a homeowners kitchen where no one knows better.

Simonton is a good performing window but not the best and i have no problem with factual comparisons but these are lies.

I am considering forwarding this thread to Simontons legal department.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 6:43PM
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windowsonwashington

I can't speak for mmarse1 as I don't know what he was trying to say but I am telling people that the Simonton window is not a bad window.

I don't like some design aspects of it but it is still worlds better than about 95% of the stuff out there and I don't like some design aspects of every window out there so it bears no distinction in that regard.

Solid performer and a solid company behind it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 7:24PM
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HomeSealed

For the record, I agree that the Simonton is not a bad window, in fact, it is above average as vinyl windows go IMO. I just thought that the characterization as "excellent" was inaccurate, and that is my I provided pictures to support my opinion.
It is decent window that I'd feel confident in selling/installing, just not my top choice.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:50PM
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rexman2000

Any update on this from the OP? Wondering which you chose. I am also considering the Thermal Industries and Okna. They are roughly the same price. It looks like Thermal Industries had a chapter 11 or some sort of bankruptcy proceedings a few years ago though. Any thoughts on product and company? The Okna seems to be well liked, but the prices that I am seeing are a bit higher than those by the OP.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2014 at 10:39AM
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