Soft-Lite Soft-White Color

salsrodOctober 26, 2012

We have spent weeks learning about new vinyl replacement windows, pricing different brands, reading reviews and talking to references. We have looked at Simonton 6500 and 9800, Alside Sheffield(Window World), Wincore,Vinylmax, Seaway and Vista. We have rejected all of these for either too high a price or we weren't sure about the installer.

We have an installer that we like who sells Quaker and Softlite. The Quaker seems like a decent window, and his references give him and the Quaker raving reviews. I just can't find enough on the internet to substantiate that.

Soft-lite seems to be a premium window, that gets great reviews online. My gut tells me to go with the Soft-lite, which is $1700 more than the Quaker for 19 double hung windows.

However, the dealer gave us a sample of each window to test for a few days. For some reason the Soft-White color of the Soft-lite looks almost yellow in some rooms of our house. Our trim is high gloss white, and it seem to be noticeably different.

Has anybody else had Soft-Lite, Soft-White windows installed and noticed this? Or any dealers have a comments on this?

Also we are just trying to decide if the upgrade to Solar-E, from the Low E(regular E) is worth the cost for houses in Tennessee? Our upstairs gets pretty hot it the summer, so we thought we might get them upstairs at least.

Any input would be appreciated. We hope to end these weeks of 'learning' and actually get some windows ordered before the cold weather sets in.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Windows on Washington Ltd

The Soft-Lite window does have a softer white than many of the "blue" white vinyl windows. That is most often times viewed as a benefit but in this case, it appears to clash with your trim color.

Not sure you need the extra Low-e (i.e. solar control) in TN.

What is the attic insulation like? Most homes that have Low-e equip windows with heat issues upstairs are from lacking insulation levels in the attic.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 6:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's amazing that 'White' has so many colors! I just don't see why it would be so noticeable next to white! The living room is the most noticeable, so we are going to play with different light bulbs, as I think that has something to do with it. I like the Soft-lite window the best of all, so I hate for color to be the reason we don't get them.

You may have hit the heat on the head! We have the most insulation upstairs we could put, but it is a story and a half house, so there isn't much space between the roof and inside. But, the house faces east and the back is in the west. Even with shades underneath, the curtains get faded easily, so we know the sun is baking through. The dealer says regular Low E should be enough, but my husband wants to get Solar Low E, which for the whole house would be another $532. So, I'm just wondering if Solar E is overkill in Tennessee. Seems like the deep south would definitely need it.

Thanks for fast reply.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In a story and a half home, there are an abundance of areas that can contribute to energy loss. Even though it sounds like you don't have much space for insulation on the underside of the roof deck, tremendous improvements can be made by treating other areas including the kneewalls, crawlspaces, etc. Insulation is important, but air sealing is critical and often overlooked.
On the windows, your sales guy is probably correct that the standard low-e should be adequate... If you think about it, he is making less commission by selling something cheaper, so that should give some credence to his recommendation.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So, how much insulation should be behind the knee walls? We only have knee walls on the front of the house, which has three dormers. The back has a full dormer across the back. We had hail a few years back, and had them wrap the outside with heavier during insulating wrap, before putting the new siding up. We noticed quit a bit of difference from that. When it was built we had those foam things put in the rafters, which allow air flow, before putting in the insulation. Not much more we can do, except windows, so we just want the most benefit from that. While it will always be warmer than downstairs, we hope to make it more comfortable.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm quite sure that there is plenty more that can be done. For one, those baffles are not helping energy efficiency, they just theoretically extend the life of your shingles. I'd dense pack those cavities with cellulose. The kneewalls should be air-sealed (foam around all penetrations such as electrical, etc) then you should have the wall cavities filled with batting vertically, and another layer running horizontally, and then that should be covered with housewrap. The floor cavities (between the first and second floor) should be blocked under the kneewall to separate the conditioned and unconditioned space... Those are just a few things that can be done.
I'd recommend hiring a home performance consultant / energy auditor if your primary goal is saving energy and improving the comfort level of that space. Quality windows will certainly help, just don;t look for them to completely solve the problems in that area of your home.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks HomeSealed.
Of all you mentioned, the only thing that could possibly be done are to put more batting vertically behind the knee wall, if we had access. There is no way to put cellulose in the rafflers, as they are full of insulation already. And there was already insulation between the floors before we finished the upstairs. We are having TVA come and access the house, as by putting in new windows we are eligible for a $500 rebate. Will let you know if they have any suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The rafter cavities could still be improved even though they have insulation in them, and in regard to the floor, that cavity (typically 5 1/2" or 7 1/2" deep in older homes) is not sufficient as it will only give you an R value in the 20's at best... That being said, my advice is coming from a cold WI climate, so perhaps things are different down in TN. If you have someone with some expertise coming through that is the best thing that you can do at this point :).

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 6:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
please help with choice of replacement window
hello everyone....I need some help deciding on which...
Modern Windows
Can anyone suggest an affordable modern window? Thanks!...
Kitchen Sliding Patio Door
Hi everyone! My slider is junky and the frame around...
Window Manufacturers
Ladies and Gents: Wife and I are shopping brands for...
Best Window for Seasonal Cabin
I am building a small cabin in northeast Wisconsin...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™