Simonton 5500 vs. Milgard Tuscany

rcallawayOctober 15, 2010

The crusade continues.

We are trying to compare the construction of these two models, which appears very different to me, at least. While I don't need a DH window per se, the 5500 seems to be a "known quatity" in terms of a vinyl window sold in TX by which we can compare things. The SH, in this case the Tuscany, is more along the lines of our needs. Honestly, there are many windows out there, but lots are relatively unknown here in TX, with far less factory support (sometimes due primarily to distance), and customer service. I'm not so interested in them as a solution. Other windows that do meet those criteria, are welcome candidates.

In my mind, the way the two windows are sealed between the sashes and the casing is one big difference. IIRC, the 5500 has a bulb seal across the bottom of the lower sash. The Tuscany has, what I will call, a thick substantial rail across the inside of the bottom, behind the lower sash and there are small thin "v-seals" (my terminology) all around the front side and bottom of the lower sash. My terms are probably off, but the experts likely understand what I'm getting at.

The balance systems are totally different and I won't do a description justice. 5500 is constant force coil spring, the Tuscany is much more elaborate with little pulleys and spring working in concert with that.

Latches are different....and honestly we prefer the cleaner lines of Milgard's SmartTouch system, which is built in to the sash, not bolted on to the top of it. Seems like a more elegant solution; integrated versus added on.

Glass packages, I won't try and compare.

Many things are different about Milgard's Tuscany relative to lots of the windows I have seen thus far.

Can someone comment on these different approaches? Advantages / Disadvantages? Relative cost of the two versus the quality?

Trying to find air infiltration numbers to compare also.

I realize my terminology is probably off, so feel free to correct !!!


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I've done more of my own research while waiting for a response here.

Seem that the Milgard window is very much like a Jeld Wen in terms of balance systems and mohair seals (according to the last salesman). Anderson seems to use a similar system too. I just had not seen those windows yet.

I'm feeling like that the sealing system and balance system of these windows looks better than on something like a Simonton 5500 window, but waiting for the experts to chime it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:24AM
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The Simonton Reflections 5500 is the better window IMO. Simonton has used their patented balance system for over 30 years and it has proven to be one of the most reliable systems on the market. Simonton also used a stepped sill and dual bulb seal and an additional layer of fin seal on the lower sash. Not taking anything away from Milgard but I just think Simonton is a better window.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 4:56PM
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Simonton customer support for me was terrible.....I have to rentals put Tuscany in one and Simonton in the other...I should have stayed with Tuscany.....issues with Simonton and lack of customer service wasn't a good experience at all...I ended up calling a 3rd party to handle failed glass units even though they were so called "under there warranty" big joke.....

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 10:00AM
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Just registered today, first post and no details or credibility.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Regarding your decision to choose either Simonton or Milgard windows, sometimes boils down to who will be able to give the customer service should you need it. I am with Elite Exteriors, Inc. in Bremerton, WA. We have dealt with many different quality windows, but sometimes we cannot get the needed customer service for our window customers. In that event, the "best" window may not be the best choice. The coil system is definitely better than the pulley system and probably will never fail, whereas pulley systems can and do fail. Check to see whether or not there are local customer service technicians should you have future problems. Look for customer complaints about the manufacturer or windows themselves, as well we the window installation company.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 3:06PM
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i woukd be careful with Elite Exteriors. for them to come on to this site with the sole purpose of spamming is a giant red flag. something is very fishy here.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:27PM
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